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Over/Under-Qualified Considering Engineers Job

Discussion in 'Yacht Crews' started by Big Disaster, Apr 25, 2020.

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  1. Big Disaster

    Big Disaster New Member

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    Hi all - Any thoughts on how to navigate this? Specifically employability.

    Age - mid 30s
    Marital status - single, no kids

    Wondering on your thoughts on my abilities to be employed. Looking for a change - I want to get out in the world, and love being on the ocean. I have some sailing experience, but nothing to really write home about. Based on my education/job history I think working towards an engineer position would be ideal, however I’m worried that I’m both over and under qualified.

    I have a mechanical engineering degree with 1 year experience in small engine engineering (tractors). I left the industry over 10 years ago. I’m handy with mechanical jobs and frequently do moderate level car repair and small engine work.

    Here’s the other kicker - I’m a board certified emergency physician. I’m worried employers are going to see that and throw out my CV. I plan to switch to locums tenons for my ER work, which can be done seasonally and anywhere in the US on my own schedule.

    I don’t care about the money - I can make enough money for the year working 3 months in an ER. I’d like to be paid on a yacht, but don’t command a doctor’s salary. I mostly want a change.

    Other potentially relevant quals - diver master certification.
  2. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Zero to none. Sorry. But doc you have to understand that you're needed right now badly, and you have an obligation to use your talents and education for the good of mankind right now. You like boats? Get one and be your own engineer. Better still 30's. single, no kids and a doctor??? hook up with a rich girl (or guy) who has or wants to get a yacht.

    Besides the fact that you're way over-qualified in career you're way underqualified for the position. Quite frankly I don't think you'd be happy working in an engine room all day. It's not glamorous. But if you're intent on trying I'd suggest getting a commercial job like on a crew boat or ferry, tug or fishing boat. They'll be more inclined to teach you. You'd learn if it's right for you while you learn what you don't know.

    One last thing. With the virus' effect on the economy there's bound to be a big downturn coming in the yachting industry. There may be a lot of very qualified and licensed engineers looking for work.

    Good luck.
  3. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    You seem like a very interesting guy, but a resounding "no" from me. Two major reasons.

    1-You're not looking at yacht engineering as a profession, but more like something to do along the way.

    2-You've taken no steps to train as a yacht engineer. Yes, mechanical, I get, but not a single course at a marine academy, not a single yacht engineering course.

    I don't think you even know what a yacht engineer does or what is required from one. I'd suggest learning that first.
  4. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I don't think NYCAP and Olderboater are thinking out of the box enough. I think you can be employed, on a super yacht I think it would be hard to find a position. Start by getting your STCW and engineering classes that you can do. With those in place, you probably could get hired as a fill in jr. engineer on a trip. Some elderly owners or large enough mega yachts might really like the idea of a physician on board. OR someone doing a round the world cruise. Be honest and have a good introductory paragraph stating what you are and want to achieve.

    That being said, I think you could fit in on some of those large dive charter boats that do week long trips with a bunch of crazy divers that dive 4 dives a day, such as in Belize. Or some other seasonal small cruise ship in Alaska or something like that.
  5. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    sounds like the old USSR or China where people can’t decide where they should work because of social obligations are defined by others.

    that said there is a lot of marine specific engineering things that needs to be learned to be an engineer ...
  6. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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  7. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Yes I think the yachting industry will quickly get back to normal once the mass hysteria subsides and people finally learn the truth about this virus

    we ve been going out every other day or so with owners since coming back from Exumas 3 weeks ago.

    the segment that will take longer to recover is the owner operated or owner plus 1 crew boats, under 70/80’
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2020
  8. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    A lot of dream crashers around here, never mind the negatives, where there is a will, there is a way. Mechanical engineer background, mr. fixit hope, ER experience, diving , there are a lot of positives to have you onboard, keep at it you’ll find the right fit.
  9. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    You do realize we're not talking about a dock rat. We're talking about a doctor throwing away his career to basically work as a mechanic's helper when he can find work. That's a job for a 20 y.o. high school drop out who wants to start his career, and in an industry that I don't see a stable near future for. If he wants to get trained, etc. to become an engineer he'll be in his 40's before he's a qualified, then he can look for a job as a 40 something ex-doctor with a blank C.V. Yes I'm happy to crash this dream. Better that than to encourage him to destroy his career and deny the world of a critically needed physician. I'll stick with my previous advice.
    P.S. An employee who is overqualified is almost as bad as one who is underqualified.
  10. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    Maybe the worst post I have ever read on this forum.
  11. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Thank you for your critique.
  12. Big Disaster

    Big Disaster New Member

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    The feedback is truly appreciated - both positive and realistic. I do understand there is coursework, and a lot of learning. That won't be a significant barrier.

    For a little context, I tried to join the Navy out of undergrad, and again in med school but received a medical d'q both times. I appreciate the suggestion of a dive charters, I hadn't considered that. I'm mulling over this idea and have nothing set in stone in my mind. I don't have any great resources to seek advice from, thus this post. Any and all suggestions are really appreciated.

    NYCAP123 mentioned being "treated by a real doctor" - does that job exist in this industry? If it does - sign me up. I'm not tied to an engineering job, but that feels "right" considering the options.

    I also considered moving to the Caribbean and working or starting a dive company. I could fairly easily get a job in an ER in any US territory, such as USVI, if necessary.

    From a doctoring perspective, I have specialty and subspeciality board certifications, assistant professorship, numerous publications, and no sanctions/malpractice. Medicine is sort of easy at this point, just not very fun. I've done some PRN work in Hawaii and Minnesota. Infrequent work in high need areas (locums tenons) is easy to come by and I would still like to do some of it.
  13. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Although some people may have personal physicians who travel with them, in general "yacht doctor" is rare if at all. However vessels such as cruise ships generally do have doctors. One of the things that bothers me most in this world is waste, and especially wasted talent. The more you state your qualifications and training, the more I see you wasting. I've held lives in my hands on occasions, and I can see nothing more rewarding. As for "Fun" you need to understand why what we do is called a job and we get paid for it because it's work, not play. I've done a lot of different jobs in my life, and have found it's always the other guy who has the easy and fun job. The best way to ruin a hobby is to make it your profession.
  14. ranger42c

    ranger42c Senior member

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    What is it about working for another guy on his boat that sounds attractive?

    Why not buy your own boat, be your own engineer... and captain, and navigator, and steward, and chef, and plumber, and etc etc etc? Use your talent and "medical money" to pay yourself?

    -Chris
  15. bayoubud

    bayoubud Senior Member

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    Being an engineer and emergency boat doc might work well on the right yacht. Obviously you want a change in your life and I don't see any problem working on a yacht and also a part time doc. Agree with NYCAP123, doing a hobby for pay could end the fun.
  16. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    I had a client who custom built a 55' long-range steel trawler (remember Sand Pebble at one of our early YF rendezvous?) He included a generous crew suite with the intentions of cruising the world, just him and his wife. But, when he thought the sun might be setting, he planned on bringing a doctor aboard as crew. Let the doctor keep him healthy until it's time to throw him (the body, not the doc) overboard. I thought it was brilliant.

    I know many ER doctors (my first husband was one) and it's a crazy lot in general. Put your eccentricities to good use: I say go for it!
  17. leeky

    leeky Senior Member

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    Can you explain why you think this is true? I can't.
  18. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I can't either. I have seen over-qualified employees who have been there/done that/made their money in a field, and now are taking a job that they enjoy because they do like to work, will stay a long time in that job, and want a job they like (for whatever reason) and the money is not the motivating factor.
  19. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    I think many employers believe that. I don't. I look at logical reasons. I would want to know why they're willing to step back. In today's world, many highly skilled people end up out of jobs through no fault of their own and they're often more than willing to take a lesser position in the right company. We have several people in our company heading areas that they once ran for much larger companies but they wanted out of that world.
  20. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Over qualitied workers get bored and disgruntled. They don't like taking orders or instruction from people they consider inferior. CEO's may be able to sweep floors, but they won't last doing it day in and day out year after year.