Maritime Career Interest, Certificate of Technology

Program Information

Could you see yourself working on the water? Are you looking for a career outside of the office? Do you enjoy new challenges every day? If so, pursuing a degree in Maritime Transportation might be right for you! The San Jacinto College Maritime Transportation associate degree program offers United States Coast Guard (USCG)-approved and internationally recognized Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW) maritime training and deck level course work for all professional mariners. Training ranges from the entry-level deckhand on an inland towboat to Unlimited Tonnage Masters on the world’s largest ships and everything in between.

Our staff consists of USCG-approved Vessel Captains, ship officers, Chief Engineers, former US Navy, US Coast Guard, Merchant Marine Officers, and skilled technicians with more than a century of combined experience who make the learning experience both effective and enjoyable. 

The San Jacinto College associate degree Maritime Transportation program:

  • Provides students with USCG-approved instruction to be capable, knowledgeable mariners;
  • Provides instruction, actual experience, and course work to become a professional mariner; and
  • Effectively balances hands-on maritime courses and general academic courses.

Career Opportunities

Texas ranks first in the nation for both domestic and international freight with its waterways, handling almost 50 million tons of freight shipments each year and has been the top exporting state for 13 years.

In Houston, more than 200,000 barge transits occur in and out of the Port of Houston each year.

Texas waterways and ports support approximately 1,170,000 jobs and contribute $264 billion to the state’s economy. These lucrative jobs hold great potential for professional growth and advancement in the maritime transportation industry.

Earning Potential

Note: Below are starting salaries in the Texas Gulf Coast region. Salaries for these positions greatly increase within the Houston region, where there is high vessel traffic.

Sailors and Marine Oilers: $47,596 per year 1

Captains, Mates, and Pilots: $81,292 per year 1

For more information, students may contact 281-459-5483 or


Maritime Campus


San Jacinto College developed the Maritime Transportation program at the request of an advisory committee comprised of members from the maritime industry. Maritime is a semester credit hour program that incorporates US Coast Guard (USCG)-approved training into the semester credit courses. This training provides instruction to prepare students for a future career as a mariner on board vessels. As part of the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Maritime Transportation, students must complete two Practicums during summer terms. Typically, this means working as a deckhand or crew member on a commercial vessel. Students will obtain a Transportation Worker’s Identification Credential (TWIC) during the first semester.

All US Merchant Mariners are credentialed by a branch of the US Coast Guard-National Maritime Center. It is important that students be able to obtain a Merchant Mariner Credential. Students must be able to pass USCG background check, drug and alcohol testing, security screening, medical, and professional standard requirements set by the US Coast Guard. Students will also be required to don full fireman outfits for USCG fire fighting assessments. Likewise, students will be required to tread water for two minutes as well as complete the swimming course as listed on the Plan of Study.

Students enrolling into San Jacinto College programs with external learning experiences (i.e., clinical, practicum, externship, cooperative, etc.) will be required to comply with the immunization requirements and policies of the clinical/external learning sites to engage in all clinical/external learning experiences. Vaccination requirements at clinical/external learning sites are implemented pursuant to the independent authority of such facilities and are not mandated by San Jacinto College. Failure to meet the immunization requirements mandated by clinical/external learning sites may limit a student’s ability to complete the program and/or may delay the student’s graduation date. San Jacinto College does not process exemptions, and students should address potential vaccination exemptions directly with the clinical/external learning site.

All Maritime Transportation courses with the NAUT rubric are held at the

San Jacinto College Maritime Center
3700 Old Highway 146
La Porte, TX 77571

Students may call the Maritime Center for additional information at 281-459-5483.


Graduates of the Maritime program who apply for a US Coast Guard license must meet professional requirements that include drug testing.

In accordance with Texas House Bill 1508, the College informs all students in this program who may have a criminal background that a criminal history could keep graduates from being licensed by the state of Texas. Students with any questions about their background and licensure may speak with the Director of the Maritime Credit Program.

More information about applying for Merchant Mariner Credential can be found here:

Employers often have additional requirements and stricter standards. The medical standards can be found at:

For more information, students may contact Maritime Center staff or call 281-459-5483.

Plan of Study 


Plan of Study Grid
First TermCredits
NAUT 1305 Introduction to Ships and Shipping 3
Second Term
NAUT 1315 Basic Safety 3
NAUT 1320 Seamanship I 3
Third Term
NAUT 1345 Marine Cargo Operations 3
NAUT 2310 Seamanship II 3
Fourth Term
NAUT 2415 Terrestrial Navigation 4
NAUT 1255 Maritime Law and Regulations 2
Fifth Term
NAUT 2301 Able Bodied Seaman and Lifeboatman 3
NAUT 1230 Marine Engineering Familiarization 2
 Total Credits26

Capstone Experience: NAUT 2301 Able Bodied Seaman and Lifeboatman