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Merchant Marine Education and Professional Development Programs for Mariners & Recreational Boaters at Seattle Central Community College

seattle maritime academy sma

The Seattle Maritime Academy (SMA) trains students for a career in the maritime industry and a division of Seattle Central Community College (SCCC). Fully approved by the US Coast Guard, it is the only program of its kind serving Washington and Alaska. SMA students enjoy great success with ninety-five percent graduates find work in the maritime industry.

SMA's mission is to provide vocational education, technical training and licensure preparation, which meet the needs of industry. The level and scope of training offered is directed towards the following maritime sectors: commercial fishing, Merchant Marine and workboat industry. Quality and applied learning are the cornerstones of the SMA training experience. SMA offers about 45 courses annually.

SMA offers formal certificate programs in both Marine Deck Technology and Marine Engineering Technology. In addition to the formal programs, SMA provides STCW Training in a variety of marine subjects and topics under the aegis of community education. Lastly, SMA provides training under contract to private sector companies, government agencies, military units and unions. The format and scope of instruction is customized to meet specialized training needs on the part of external clients.

sma campus

Academic Programs


Professional Technical Programs (Certificate)

  • Marine Deck Technology (64 Credits): The Marine Deck Technology Program combines practical shipboard experience and requisite courses in nautical science with additional courses in computation, communication and human relations. Emphasis is placed on the theory, design, operation and maintenance of deck equipment and applied navigation skills. The sea component requires the student to go to sea once a week during the second and third quarters aboard the college's training vessels. The academic program is followed by a 30-day at-sea internship on a large commercial vessel.
  • Marine Engineering Technology (77 Credits): The Marine Engineering Technology Program combines practical shipboard experience and required courses in engineering with additional courses in computation, communication and human relations. Emphasis is placed on the theory, design, operation and maintenance of marine propulsion plants and associated equipment. The sea component requires the student to go to sea once a week during the second and third quarter aboard the college's training vessels. The academic program is followed by a 60-day at-sea internship on a large commercial vessel.

Professional Development

  • Fishing Vessel Engineer License: The Seattle Maritime Academy offers a 3–module course designed for mariners to build the knowledge and skills required to qualify for a commercial fishing license. The modules will cover - General Electrical and Refrigeration Systems, Marine Diesel Engines and Auxiliary Boilers, and Safety-Emergency Equipment and Lifesaving Devices.
  • EPA Refrigeration Technician exam - 7317 CSS 122: These exams will certify you for certification as an EPA–approved Refrigeration Technician for candidates seeking either Type I, Type II, Type III and/or Universal certification.

Recreational Boating Programs

  • Basic Electricity for Small Boats & Recreational Boaters
  • Marine Diesel Engine Maintenance & Operation for Boaters
  • Basic Navigation
  • Knot Tying (Marlinspike Seamanship)
  •  Small Boat Handling (Both Coed and Women-Only Classes)
  • Transiting the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard For Women And Separate Class for Couples

Seattle Maritime Features

SMA provides training in a non-degree format under the aegis of continuing education. Instruction is offered in boating; fisheries' skills; marine affairs; marine engineering; marine safety; navigation and, seamanship. Course format and duration ranges from half-day lectures to one-day seminars to two- or three-day workshops to quarterly programs. The nature of the training runs the gamut from vocational education to professional-technical training to licensure preparation to public safety campaigns. Students receive certificates in all courses successfully completed and they may opt to take select courses for academic credit and/or sea-time credit.

  • Campus: The campus is appropriately situated on 2.2 acres of land bordering Lake Washington Ship Canal adjacent to the northeast abutment of the Ballard Bridge, Seattle, Washington.
  • Accreditation: SMA is a division of Seattle Central Community College (SCCC) and accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges. SMA is also approved by the US Coast Guard and supported by the US Maritime Administration.
  • Training Facilities: The campus comprises three buildings, a floating laboratory instructional platform, 1025' of pier/dock footage and several training vessels. Specialized facilities include: a diesel lab, hydraulics and refrigeration lab, electrical lab, rigging and trawl gear lab, radar lab, and, computer lab. The fleet consists of 43-foot troller, 83-foot cutter and, 101-foot training ship.
  • COE Academics: Mechanical and Ocean Engineering, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, Naval Engineering, Oceanographic Engineering, and Transportation.
  • Employment Opportunities: Employment prospects have been excellent and graduates of SMA's Marine Deck (Job titles include able seaman, apprentice mate, and lifeboatman) and Marine Engineering Technology (Job titles include electrician, oiler, pumpman, refrigerator engineer, and junior engineer)Programs enjoy a high rate of success in finding employment.
  • Real-world Training at Sea: SMA instructors are experienced maritime professionals who prepare students via classroom instruction, experiential learning, critical on-water training, and professional development. The two flagship maritime programs conclude with a mandatory 30 to 90-day at-sea internship aboard a large commercial vessel.

LAST UPDATED ON Jan 14, 2018

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