Licensed Officers

Our Deck Officers, referred to as Mates, are responsible for the safe navigation of our vessels and cargo operations. Engine Department Officers, referred to as Engineers, are responsible for the safe and efficient operation of our vessels' machinery and propulsion plants. 

Many of our officers were previously employed as unlicensed seamen on our vessels. Unlicensed seamen must first meet minimum sea time requirements and take US Coast Guard license exams in order to obtain a license as a First Class Pilot or Third Assistant Engineer.

We also hire officers from the federal or various state maritime academies. Maritime academies have four-year programs where upon graduation, the person will have both a bachelor’s degree and US Coast Guard license. Students enrolled in licensing programs at maritime academies may sail aboard Interlake vessels as cadets to obtain the required US Coast Guard sea time and experience. Maritime academy students who are interested in sailing with Interlake may arrange this through the academy's shipboard training representative. 

All of our officers are members of the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (M.E.B.A.), the nation’s oldest maritime labor union, established in 1875. 

All Interlake officers receive room and board while employed aboard one of our vessels. We also provide paid vacation, pension, medical, and education benefits through M.E.B.A.

Deck Officers (Mates)

All Great Lakes deck officers must meet the following requirements: 

  • Valid US Coast Guard license as First Class Pilot Of Any Gross Tons Upon The Great Lakes Between Duluth, Gary And Buffalo
  • Valid Unlimited Radar Observer endorsement
  • Valid FCC Marine Radio Operator Permit - See FCC Application Form 605
  • Valid Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) Card
  • Current physical examination
  • Current Department of Transportation Drug Screen in accordance with NIDA standards
  • Proof of US citizenship 
  • Requirements for First Class Pilots can be found in the US Code of Federal Regulations or by contacting the US Coast Guard Regional Examination Center in Toledo, Ohio. 

Engine Department Officers (Engineers)

All vessel engineers must meet the following requirements:

  • Valid US Coast Guard license as a Third Assistant Engineer Of Motor Vessels Of Any Horsepower (US Coast Guard licensing and documentation information can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations.)
  • Valid Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) Card
  • Current physical examination
  • Current Department of Transportation Drug Screen in accordance with NIDA standards
  • Proof of US citizenship

Please email your completed application to

jobs@interlake-steamship.com