OCC Professional Mariner students advance from our program to careers on large private and charter yachts, cruise ships, passenger ferries, whale watch and dive boats, supply vessels, work boats, tugs, commercial shipping vessels and on-shore support positions.

Many students continue their education by transferring to attend four-year maritime academies.

Students who complete OCC's professional mariner program receive STCW Basic Training certificates and have the opportunity to apply for their Merchant Mariner Credential.


Maritime Industries

1 unit
MARA A151 - 16 weeks - Fall semester

Marine industry careers, maritime terminology, types of vessels, vessel protocol, job skills, and potential career paths for student are covered.

Boathandling and Seamanship

2 unit
MARA A152 - 16 weeks - Fall semester

Students learn to operate motor boats and tenders. Practical training includes docking procedures, underway maneuvering, anchoring and overboard rescue drills. Prerequisite: Ability to swim 50 yards and tread water for 10 minutes.

Maritime Environment

2 unit
MARA A156 - 16 weeks - Fall semester

Students will learn about the systems driving local and global weather, how to interpret conditions, and their direct effect on marine related activities. Global and local oceanography will be covered as it relates to navigational challenges.

Students aboard the Cee Ray boat


Coastal Navigation

2 unit
MARA A150 - 16 weeks - Spring Semester

Starting with the basics of navigation, students interpret charts, plot courses electronically and manually, utilize navigational publications, and determine the effects of tides and currents.Passage planning and boating safety legal requirements will be included.

Marine Basic Safety Training

3 unit
MARA A153 - 16 weeks - Spring semester

This is the Basic Safety Training (BST) course as specified by the U.S. Coast Guard. Students will qualify for the USCG STCW-95 certificate. Basic firefighting, personal survival, personal safety & social responsibility, and first aid will be covered in this hands-on course. Prerequisite: Ability to swim 50 yards and tread water for 10 minutes. A certificate fee may apply.

Yachtkeeping and Engine Maintenance

3 unit
MARA A154 - 16 weeks - Spring Semester

Students gain hands on maintenance experience including cleaning, painting, varnishing, maintaining diesel and gasoline outboard engines.

Ship docked at a pier


Professional Mariner Internship

1 unit
MARA A200 - 16 weeks - Fall or Spring semester

A supervised internship at a maritime related work site related to classroom-based learning. The student will gain experience in a position that bridges classroom based learning with career goals. Prerequisite: Marine Activities A150, or A151, or A152, or A153.

Professional Mariner Internship Lecture

1 unit
MARA A201 - 16 weeks - Fall or Spring semester

This course provides instructor-guided preparation related to work performed at a maritime-related job site. This course is designed as a supplement to the supervised internship course for the Professional Mariner student. Transfer Credit: CSU. Co-requisite: Marine Activities A200.

Radar Observer

2 unit
MARA A157- 8 weeks - Fall or Spring semester

Students will learn the uses and limitations of radar in the maritime environment. Primary focus is on Radar Navigation and Collision avoidance. Students fulfilling US Coast Guard requirements will qualify for a Certificate of Completion for a Radar Observer license endorsement.

Introduction to Sailing

4 unit
MARA A136 - 8 weeks - Fall or Spring semester

Novice sailors are introduced to the fundamentals of sailing through dockside lectures and hands-on experience in 14’ dinghies. Prerequisite: Ability to swim 50 yards and tread water for five minutes.

Intermediate Sailing

2 unit
MARA A137 - 8 weeks - Fall or Spring semester

Sailors advance basic skills through dockside lectures and hands-on experience in 30’ sloops. Prerequisite: Marine Activity A136 or Kinesiology A136, or basic sailing skills, and the ability to swim 50 yards and tread water for 5 minutes.