Western Pacific Maritime Academy offers classes on Saipan


Saipan-based Western Pacific Maritime Academy offered its first U.S. Coast Guard-approved course in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands on Sept. 17, according to a news release from the school.

The vessel security course, Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties, was administered to 12 candidates holding a Merchant Marine Credential or men and women who wish to become professional mariners.

The school is a nonprofit corporation with maritime offices and classrooms located at Northern Marianas Technical Institute.

It will be offering a full curriculum of Coast Guard-approved maritime courses and services, including free seminars to the public on how to obtain a Merchant Marine Credential.

The workforce development program steers candidates into high-paying jobs in the maritime sector.

Entry-level credentialed professional mariners may work as deck seamen, engineers or members of the catering department.

An entry-level seaman in the U.S. Merchant Marine can earn upwards of $5,000 per month through one of a number of maritime unions or Military Sealift Command, according to the news release.

Public School System Commissioner Alfred Ada has approved a four-year high school vocational maritime track at Kagman High School and has signaled his intent to expand the program CNMI-wide in the near future, according to the release.

The Public School System Maritime Vocational Track will graduate students ready to enter the maritime workforce as fully credentialed unlicensed mariners or work in the lagoon supporting tourism and trade.

College-bound courses are also available for students to further their education in one of several maritime academies. Maritime colleges graduate deck and Engineering merchant officers who may also serve on active duty or reserve in the Navy or Coast Guard.