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Merchant Marine Education and Professional Development Programs for Mariners & Recreational Boaters at the Washington Maritime Academy

seattle maritime academy sma

The Seattle Maritime Academy (SMA) or Washington Maritime Academy 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.


Washington Maritime Academy 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.

In addition to learning in Seattle Maritime Academy's new, state-of-the art building, you will gain critical on–water training aboard our fleet of vessels. At the end of your certificate program, you will participate in a mandatory 60 to 90 day at–sea internship aboard a large commercial vessel.

sma campus

Academic Programs




Professional Technical Programs (Certificate)

Seattle Maritime Academy offers two US Coast Guard-approved certificate programs that prepare you for a career in commercial and passenger transportation, commercial fishing, deep-sea sailing and the workboat industry. Both programs begin in the fall and comprise three 11-week quarters followed by an at-sea internship.

  • 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

  • Skill Building for Credentialed Mariners: Gain at-sea simulation experiences to build skills in vessel handling, radar, ECDIS and engineering. Practice working with marine diesel engines and electrical, hydraulics and refrigeration systems.
  • 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 Marine Electric Fundamentals for the Recreational Boater
  • Basic Navigation and Safety
  • Introduction to Marine Diesel Engines for the Recreational Boater
  • Knots and Brews
  • Knots and Line Handling
  • Navionics Navigation App on Your Mobile Device
  • Plan Your Perfect San Juan Island Cruising
  • Transiting the Ballard Locks

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: Washington Maritime Academy 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: Washington Maritime Academy 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 Sep 28, 2020