Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


How do I apply?
The boot camps have only 15 spots in each and hundreds of applicants who have expressed interest.  To apply for the course, click the “apply now” link on this website and fill out the information requested. We enter each applicant’s information into our database and add you to a mailing list to let you know when class enrollment opens for each boot camp, and when we’ll hold information and eligibility orientation sessions.  You will recieve an email within one business day.  If you do not see your email, please check your junk mail and spam folders before contacting boot camp staff.  All communications will be conducted via email to provide a record for both you and our staff!

If you want to guarantee a spot in the next open class, you may place a (non-refundable) $1,000.00 down payment, with the rest of tuition due 10 business days prior to the start of class. Students applying for funding through state workforce centers or scholarships may not “hold” a spot, but must complete all steps for eligibility and qualification.

How must does it cost?
The cost of the program varies based on location.
Norfolk, VA – $5,000
San Diego, CA – $5,500

Is there financial aid?
Maritime Institute does not offer financial aid, and does not receive federal financial aid money. The boot camp program has, however, been accepted by the State of Virginia’s workforce board, as a career training option for eligible applicants. Virginia Career Works One Stop Centers on the Southside (Glen Rock Road, Norfolk), and Peninsula (Butler Farm Rd., Hampton) may be able to provide funding for eligible applicants 18 and older.   Applicants between 18 and 24 years old may also qualify for Hampton Roads Workforce Council’s “Out of School Youth” program. You can learn more about these funding options by visiting your local workforce center or by applying and attending an information and orientation session when enrollment opens for the next class.

Do you have a payment plan?
Students can pay $1,000.00 down to reserve a spot, but all tuition must be received by two weeks prior to the start of program.

How do I qualify?
All students who apply for the boot camp must be eligible to receive or update their Merchant Mariner Credential and TWIC. You must be able to pass a Dept. of Transportation Drug Screen and Physical, along with a criminal history and National Driver’s Registry Search in order for these credentials to be issued.

All applicants must be able to swim at least well enough to tread water for over 60 seconds in 12 or more feet of water and must be a US citizen.

All students applying for workforce funding will be required to pass the drug screen BEFORE being awarded funding. This is to ensure that all students who receive funding will be eligible to receive all credentials upon completion of the program.

How long is the program?
The program is four weeks of classroom instruction- with some off-site training included.  Students will be expected to be on campus by 7:30 am, and will be transported to other training sites (fire-fighting facility, pool, other training venues) from there.

Is there an internship required?
For students attending the classroom part of their “Out of School Youth” program, internships are required by the funding agency.  For all other students, there is no internship component.

Can I participate if I have a record?
Maritime Institute reviews each criminal record on a case-by-case basis as part of the interviewing process.
Having a criminal history or record of serious vehicular offenses might not eliminate you, but the National Maritime Center reviews each offense to determine your “safety and suitability.” Failure to disclose a criminal history can result in the NMC denying an application for credentials. If this happens, funds paid to the school are not refundable.

What do I need to get into the program?
In order to be accepted into the program, you need to be a US citizen or eligible to work within the United States. You must be able to swim and able to pass the DOT physical and drug screen.

To be considered for the class, you must attend an information session.  Times and dates of these sessions will be emailed to anyone who has applied for any course.  The sessions fill up quickly, so watch your email and RSVP to boot camp staff via email when the sessions are announced.  After attending a session, applicants who have completed the required drug screen  may schedule an interview.  Applicants must interview with boot camp staff and one or more instructors to determine suitability for the class. Students applying for outside funding must meet all eligibility requirements of their funding source.

Do I have to have my credentials to start the program?
You do not need credentials to enroll in the boot camp.  You may still be accepted into the program if you already have your TWIC and MMC, but it is not required.

Graduates receive their Transportation Workers Identification Card (TWIC), their Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) and the training courses needed to earn their STCW (Standards of Training and Certification for Watch-keepers) endorsement. These credentials together allow  an entry level mariner to sail upon any US Merchant vessel regardless of how big or how far from home.

I already have my TWIC and/or MMC will that guarantee me a spot?
No. While having your TWIC and/ or MMC does show you’ve begun your work towards going to sea, you will still need to apply for the program and go through the steps listed above to be considered.

Am I guaranteed a job when I complete the program?
We cannot guarantee placement in a job. We will, however, help you earn the credentials you need, learn job-seeking skills, and gain on-the-job experience in order to give you the tools you need to be competitive in entering the Maritime Industry.

What is “Maritime?”
The Maritime Industry includes all jobs related to ships and shipping, both bordering the sea and related to navigation or commerce on the sea. The Mariner Boot Camp is designed specifically to train US Merchant Mariners, the personnel that make up the staff and crew of all US commercial ships and vessels. All US Merchant Mariners must get and maintain credentials from the TSA and National Maritime Center in order to work aboard ship, along with classroom and on-the-job training to advance and be successful at sea.

How long will I be underway?
Merchant Mariners serve aboard all sorts of vessels and a range of schedules. You might find employment on a vessel that allows you to go home each day, or you may sign aboard a ship sailing for far away ports and be gone for months (or even years) at a time. It is typical in the industry for mariners to work for long shifts (2 weeks to 4 months) followed by an equal- or nearly equal- amount of time ashore.

Is this MSC?
No, the Military Sealift Command is a civilian maritime government supply organization. We are a Maritime training center. Maritime Institute trains mariners from all over the industry, including MSC, as they enter into and advance in their careers.

Apply Now

Apply Now For The Maritime Institute Boot Camp.