CTI owns five freighters, ranging from 242' to 260' long. We deliver cargo from our terminal to Seattle to towns in Western Alaska and the Aleutian Islands, such as Sandpoint, Chignik, King Cover, Cold Bay, False Pass, and Dutch Harbor. Our cargo is palletized rather than in containers. Most of our cargo is associated with commercial fishing, and the work is often just as hard.

A typical voyage is 24 days long.

We deliver cargo from our terminal in Seattle to towns in Western Alaska and the Aleutian Islands.

Coastal is currently hiring Second Mates, ABs, and Cooks
We accept applications year-round.


Position Starting
(Starting wage may be more, DOE)
Second Mate $350-380/day
Able-Bodied Seaman $280/day
Deckhand/Wiper $185/day
QMED $280/day
Cook $220/day (w/AB $240+/day)

FAQ

How To Apply



The captain is completely in charge of the operation of the vessel, which means he or she must accomplish a myriad of tasks that cannot be listed in full here. Exceptional knowledge of coastal piloting and the Inside Passage is a must. Captains must be able to make landings alongside docks and other vessels in all weathers. Attention to detail in cargo stowage is imperative. Also, the captain must be able to complete paperwork in a detailed and orderly fashion.

A license of Master 500 tons Uninspected Fishing Vessel, or greater, is required.

All employees undergo rigorous fire-fighting and respiratory protection training throughout their employment. Persons with respiratory problems, or suffering from claustrophobia while wearing respirators, should keep this in mind when applying.

Because our trade is so specialized, we very rarely hire captains from outside the company. Instead, we prefer to promote our mates, who have learned the trade and are extremely competent and proficient at the job.

How To Apply
Able-Bodied Seaman info...
How To Apply


CTI owns five freighters, ranging from 242’ to 260’ long. We deliver cargo from our terminal in Seattle to towns in Western Alaska and the Aleutian Islands, such as Sandpoint, Chignik, King Cove, Cold Bay, False Pass, and Dutch Harbor.

Each vessel has a captain, chief engineer, mate, A.B., deckhand, and cook. The A.B. needs a Merchant Mariner’s Credential (MMC) from the Coast Guard. Deckhands, wipers, and cooks do not need a MMC.

A.B.s, deckhands, and wipers all load cargo on and off the boats, act as lookout, and perform maintenance work such as painting and splicing rope. Wipers tend to work more in the engine room when the boat is traveling, but they work cargo as much as anyone else. Cooks do not work cargo. You should have cooking experience at sea to be a cook on our boats. For the A.B., deckhand, and wiper each work day is at least 12 hours long. During cargo operations (which take up a third of the voyage) the hours can be far longer.

Two-thirds of the trip is underway time, standing watches, doing cleaning, and maintenance. One-third of the 24-day trip is spent in cargo operations. Cargo operations are rough physical work in an extreme environment. You must be able to lift heavy weights, up to 100 pounds. Main duties of cargo operation are: driving yard and stay cargo gear; operating lift trucks; slinging loads; working with lashing chain, chain binders, and dunnage; and sweeping and cleaning cargo holds. This is a fast-paced job, suitable for high-energy individuals. Carefully read the physical requirements of the job, which can be found on our website at: www.cticrew.com/jobs.

These are full time jobs. You usually work three trips and then take a trip off. Most trips are about 24 days long. Some are longer or shorter. Between trips the crew generally gets 1 to 7 days off.

MEDICAL CRITERIA
READ CAREFULLY: IF YOU FEEL YOU ARE NOT UP TO THIS KIND OF WORK DO NOT APPLY.

A.B.s, DECKHANDS, and WIPERS

Criteria- Individuals go out on 24-day voyages in rough waters on a vessel making random and severe motions. They can be sedentary for the first nine days, then perform extremely strenuous labor for nine days with little sleep and then be sedentary again for nine days.

The strenuous work consists of lifting & stacking heavy cases of frozen seafood in freezers. Prospective employees must be able to lift 100 lb. to shoulder height and the same weight overhead by partially resting it on another object, for many hours.

Prospective employees must be able to stand, suitably clothed, exposed to arctic conditions for long periods of time. They must be able to breath in a freezer hold with an air temperature of -10 deg. F. “Box dust” (fine dust from cardboard boxes) is usually present in small amounts in the air. Keep this in mind if you have sinus problems.

Prospective employees must be to stay on their feet for 24 hours, with minor rest breaks. Due to the rough seas encountered, the individual must be able to move about a cluttered engine room without an unusual chance of stumbling. The individual must be relatively insensitive to vertigo.

Survival Testing- The prospective employee must be capable of donning a USCG- approved survival suit in a reasonable time, jumping off a vessel or structure at a height of twelve feet off the water, and swimming in the survival suit 100 feet to a fixed ladder. The length of swim time is not important. The prospective employee must be able to climb the ladder 12 feet back up to the jumping point. You will be tested for this by CTI.

All employees undergo rigorous fire-fighting and respiratory protection training throughout their employment. Persons with respiratory problems, or suffering from claustrophobia while wearing respirators, should keep this in mind when applying.

How To Apply


Ship’s cook prepares three to four meals a day for a crew of nine people. The cook does not work on deck. Cooks do not work cargo operations nor do they tie up the ship. The average voyage is 24 days long. For approximately seventeen days out of the voyage, cook will prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast generally occurs between 0530 and 0630, lunch between 1130-1200, dinner between 1730-1830; HOWEVER, meal hours can change quickly based off of cargo operations. During cargo operations, which take up approximately seven days out of the voyage, cooks prepare a meal called night lunch which is eaten approximately at midnight.

There is only one cook aboard each vessel. The cook needs to prep all meals, cook all meals, do light baking, clean the galley, and wash the dishes. There are no steward’s duties to perform, such as laundry or cabin cleaning. During times of maximum cargo operations, the cook is also expected to keep the main passageway and ship’s head clean. This is approximately four days out of a voyage.

Cooks must be completely insensitive to sea sickness. Our ships roll and pitch heavily on the open sea. If you have a tendency to get sea sick, do not apply for this job. The quality of meals can make or break a voyage. We expect our cooks to be as excellent at their job as our crewmembers working cargo.

FOOD ORDERING
All food is purchased by a food vendor working from an order sheet from the ship’s cook. Cooks are responsible for taking a galley inventory at the middle and at the end of the voyage. Food orders are sent down by the cook halfway through the voyage to our food vendor. On the day before the next voyage sails, the cook will receive the food order.

SCHEDULING
The average cook sails eight 24 day trips a year. Some cooks sail as few as four to seven 24 day trips a year. Occasionally we hire relief cooks, who only sail one or two trips.

MEDICAL CRITERIA
READ CAREFULLY: IF YOU FEEL YOU ARE NOT UP TO THIS KIND OF WORK DO NOT APPLY.

Criteria- Prospective employee would cook for a crew of about 9 people aboard a small boat.The cook has no help with his/her job and prepares all meals alone. Likewise cleaning of galley spaces and dishwashing. The cook usually works about 10 hours a day, with frequent long breaks. Except for the often wild and random motions of the boat while at sea, the position is much the same as any other cook’s job.

Cooks are not usually asked to work on deck, i.e., hauling on heavy ropes, or performing strenuous manual labor. A cook must be able to lift 50 lb. to waist height, and conduct this up an eight foot flight of stairs, if only by dragging it up. A cook must be able to do this twenty times in six hours, once a week. The job doesn’t require walking for long distances. However, the candidate must be sure-footed, due to the severe rolling and pitching motions of the vessel while underway, and the dangerous proximity to stoves, etc.

A cook must be able to work over a smoky grill and must be free from tuberculosis or other severe communicable respiratory diseases.

The prospective cook must be capable of donning a USCG-approved survival suit in reasonable time, jumping off a vessel or structure at a height of twelve feet off the water, and swimming in the survival suit 100 feet to a fixed ladder. The length of swim time is not important. The candidate must be able to climb the ladder 12 feet back up to the jumping point. You will be tested on this at CTI.

All employees undergo rigorous fire-fighting and respiratory protection training throughout their employment. Persons with respiratory problems, or suffering from claustrophobia while wearing respirators, should keep this in mind when applying.

How To Apply


The chief mate’s job while underway consists of standing watch, navigating the Inside Passage and the waters of the Gulf of Alaska. During cargo operations, the mate supervises and participates in the loading and unloading of cargo.

On the Inside Passage, the Second Mate stands a watch under the tutelage of the captain or chief mate, learning the details of the route. Underway on the open sea, the second mate is in charge of his or her own watch. Otherwise, a second mate does much of the work normally done by an AB seaman.

Two-thirds of the trip is underway time, standing watches, doing cleaning, and maintenance. One-third of the 24-day trip is spent in cargo operations. Cargo operations are rough physical work in an extreme environment. You must be able to lift heavy weights, up to 100 pounds. Main duties of cargo operation are: driving yard and stay cargo gear; operating lift trucks; slinging loads; working with lashing chain, chain binders, and dunnage; and sweeping and cleaning cargo holds. This is a fast-paced job, suitable for high-energy individuals. Carefully read the physical requirements of the job, which can be found on our website at: www.cticrew.com/jobs.

MINIMUM LICENSE REQUIREMENT: USCG uninspected coastwise 500 tons. Fishing

WORK SCHEDULES: Most mates work one voyage on, one voyage off. A voyage is usually 21 to 33 days long. Between voyages, the crew generally gets 1 to 7 days off in Seattle.

MEDICAL CRITERIA
READ CAREFULLY: IF YOU FEEL YOU ARE NOT UP TO THIS KIND OF WORK DO NOT APPLY.

A.B.s, DECKHANDS, and WIPERS

Criteria- Individuals go out on 24-day voyages in rough waters on a vessel making random and severe motions. They can be sedentary for the first nine days, then perform extremely strenuous labor for nine days with little sleep and then be sedentary again for nine days.

Prospective employees must be able to lift 100 lb. to shoulder height and the same weight overhead by partially resting it on another object, for many hours.

Prospective employees must be able to stand, suitably clothed, exposed to arctic conditions for long periods of time. They must be able to breath in a freezer hold with an air temperature of -10 deg. F. “Box dust” (fine dust from cardboard boxes) is usually present in small amounts in the air. Keep this in mind if you have sinus problems.

Prospective employees must be to stay on their feet for 24 hours, with minor rest breaks. Due to the rough seas encountered, the individual must be able to move about a cluttered engine room without an unusual chance of stumbling. The individual must be relatively insensitive to vertigo.

Survival Testing- The prospective employee must be capable of donning a USCG- approved survival suit in a reasonable time, jumping off a vessel or structure at a height of twelve feet off the water, and swimming in the survival suit 100 feet to a fixed ladder. The length of swim time is not important. The prospective employee must be able to climb the ladder 12 feet back up to the jumping point. You will be tested for this by CTI.

All employees undergo rigorous fire-fighting and respiratory protection training throughout their employment. Persons with respiratory problems, or suffering from claustrophobia while wearing respirators, should keep this in mind when applying.

How To Apply


Our freighters are technically considered uninspected fisheries tender vessels. Most are just below 500 tons. Our vessels are refrigerated throughout the holds. Vessel length is about 260 feet. Crew size is 8-9 persons. CTI carries palletized general freight from its terminal on Seattle’s Ship Canal to various ports in Western Alaska, the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands, and Bristol Bay. Palletized frozen seafood is carried southbound to Seattle. We operate all year, with seasonal highs and lows.

Chief engineers must have extensive experience with refrigeration plants and hydraulic systems. A DDE or Chief Engineer’s limited license is required.

For main engines, our vessels use Caterpillars ranging between 2000 to 2600 combined HP. One of our vessels has an ammonia refrigeration plants. The others use Freon R-22.

A chief engineer’s duties include engine servicing, repair and maintenance of all mechanical equipment aboard, welding and fitting, and fueling. Underway watch rotation with the unlicensed assistant is 6 on/6 off, or 12 on/12 off, depending on the chief’s preference. This is a job for a working chief but no non-engineering deck work is required. Work during cargo operations in Alaskan ports consists of maintenance, repair, and taking on fuel. Chief engineers during this time must be prepared to perform maintenance tasks with little or no assistance.

You must have a drug test and pass a physical examination. Medical/Dental insurance and a 401k plan are offered after a trial period.

All employees undergo rigorous fire-fighting and respiratory protection training throughout their employment. Persons with respiratory problems, or suffering from claustrophobia while wearing respirators, should keep this in mind when applying.

How To Apply

APPLYING FOR WORK AT CTI: SOME FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS



QUESTIONS ABOUT THE HIRING PROCESS…

I want to know if someone has seen my application. No one at CTI returns my calls. What do I do?
Due to the large number of phone calls we receive and our small staff we cannot answer all calls. Therefore, to be fair, we answer none of them. We do send a postcard or email to everyone that applies, letting them know we’ve received their application. We carefully review each application. If we want to contact you for employment we will call or email you. Do not call us.

What are my chances of getting hired?
Low. From hundreds of applicants we hire about 6 people a year. Most are hired only for the Summer busy season and they are laid-off come Fall. (We will let you know early in the hiring process whether we are considering you for a full time or seasonal position, so there is no confusion). Our preference is to hire only experienced Bering Sea fishermen. However, we do hire “greenhorns” every year, with no seagoing experience.

What will slow down the hiring process?
If you don’t list any job references or phone numbers for those references we won’t process your application. If you don’t return a Criminal History Procurement Authorization we won’t process your application.

What is the Criminal History Procurement Authorization for?
We conduct criminal history checks on prospective employees. While a single transgression in the past will not necessarily bar you from employment, we do not hire persons with a history of violent crime.

I have applied ten times to Coastal Transportation and no one ever phones or texts me. Why is that?
While you might have a wealth of experience in your particular trade, our operation is very specialized trade. We are looking for people with particular skills and mental outlook. If you haven’t been contacted it may be that you didn’t fill our criteria or someone with more experience than you was available at the time.

Why do I need to do all this horse $#!t to get the job? I can get a job in the Gulf of Mexico tomorrow…
By all means, find employment elsewhere. We are only interested in persons with the desire to do extreme work in extreme settings. We want a particular blend of brains, muscle and physical and mental endurance. If you are looking to make the maximum amount of money for the least amount of work, please go elsewhere.
For those of you still reading: the application process is purposely set up as a test to see if 1) you really want the job and 2) are smart enough for the job. Can you follow simple tasks, such as filling out forms as requested, addressing an envelope, and waiting for an answer? (A lot of people fail this initial test). If you shortcut the process by not filling out the required forms, or by calling us on the phone, it shows us you can’t--or won’t--follow simple instructions, and are a poor risk for employment.

Hey! You called phoned/emailed me to contact you! What can I expect?
An interview is the next step. If you live within driving distance of Seattle we will invite you in for an interview. If you live farther out we’ll do it by phone. We’ll describe the job in detail. If you come to the Seattle we’ll give you a tour of a boat and the facility. After answering your questions in interview, you will be asked to call back in a couple of days if you still want the job. Only then will the ball start rolling on hiring you. If you don’t want the job there is no need to call back.

What tests do I need to pass?
You will need to pass a drug test, reference check, criminal history check, and a psychological survey. We are not looking for saints. We are trying to weed out non-recovering addicts, people who can’t hold a job, thugs, and irritating, immature, and/or lazy people. Only after passing these checks will we formally offer you the job.
The last test you will need to pass is safety training, which includes basic familiarization with firefighting gear and survival suits. On occasion people fail the safety training, generally because of claustrophobia.

Do you pay for transportation?
Yes. How much and when depends on your work schedule.

Hey, I’m a non-recovering addict that can’t hold a job and who likes to hit people. My incredible lack of people skills is exceeded only by my stunningly poor hygiene. I worked for you back in 2005. I keep re-applying with you and you never call me back. What’s up with that?
It’s not the same company as it was 30 years ago, or 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago. Our hiring standards seem to get tighter every year. Many of the people we hired in the past would not get a call from us now.

QUESTIONS ABOUT TRAINING…

What kind of initial training can I expect?
If you are an experienced AB-seaman you’ll probably get 1 day of safety training and 3 days of working as dock worker in Seattle before sailing, to familiarize you with the cargo operation. If you’ve never been to sea before the training is more intensive. A “greenhorn” can expect as much as 2 to 3 weeks of training before they sail. Typically 1 day of safety training, followed by a 24-hour voyage on our training boat, then working Monday – Friday, 8 hours a day as a Seattle dock worker. In addition, we try to give you 4 hours a day of seamanship training. Weekends we sail you out on one boat, then transfer you to an inbound boat. You’re back in on Monday to do more dock work for another week. After two or three weeks of this you will be ready to go out on a full voyage. Keep in mind that failing training, and dismissal, is an option.

QUESTIONS ABOUT WORK SCHEDULING…

If I am hired by CTI what will my work schedule as a new deckhand or wiper be?
New persons can expect to move from ship-to-ship for the first year of employment, working as deckhand or wiper, as needed. New people act as relief personnel until they have enough merit a “boat of their own.” By switching between work as deckhand or wiper you will gain valuable knowledge about the entire operation.

How many months a year will I have to work?
That’s something worked out between you and the Port Captain. Most ABs, deckhand, wipers and cooks sail 6 to 9 trips a year (144 to 216 days). About 8 trips is average, with time off between trips. Each person is different.

Will I have to work Christmas or in August?
If you are the new person you can almost guarantee you will work Christmas and August.

QUESTIONS ABOUT LIVING CONDITIONS ABOARD THE BOAT…

What’s the Wifi situation?
There is no email/web service at sea. Dutch Harbor and Seattle have limited Wifi. Good at the Seattle dock, slow in Dutch Harbor. None in the other ports. Can’t live without the Web? Not the job for you.

What kind of a room do I get? Do I get my own bathroom?
One person per cabin. Cabins are small rooms, with a bunk and locker (closet). Most have desks. Many (not all) have TVs that you can plug your device into. No TV reception at sea. The “head” (restroom) is shared.

How is the food?
The food is generally very good. Seamen are surprisingly picky about what they eat and can be very health conscious, but don’t count on a vegan option. Your biggest danger is putting on weight.

QUESTIONS ABOUT WORKING CONDITIONS…

Is the work hard?
Did you read the first page of this pamphlet? Of course the work is hard! If you don’t like hard work go somewhere else. Our mariners are the best. They get the job done using brains, skill, and muscle, fueled by a fierce work ethic. No whining, no excuses. If that doesn’t sound like you, please do not apply here.

What is “handstacking”?
Handstacking is stacking cases of frozen fish in the hold by hand. We did it to varying degrees from 1984 to 2012. We stopped altogether in 2012. Since then loading operations have been 100% palletized with forklifts. Our crew members do stack cases of fish on occasion to change palletload heights, but the work is nothing like “handstacking”. Very long hours during cargo ops are still the norm however.

I‘ve heard that work on Alaskan fishing vessels is dangerous. Is that true?
Yes. You can’t have an operation where heavy machinery swings tons of weight through the air while the boat rolls to some of the stormiest waters in the world not be dangerous. That being said, let’s consider facts. We’ve been in business over 30 years. During that time only one person has died here: a chief engineer connecting a power cable to a boat at the Seattle dock, between voyages. A tragedy. But the point is, if sailing for us is so dangerous why hasn’t anyone died on a voyage, after 1000 voyages? We’ve never put anyone in a wheelchair permanently. No one has lost a limb. That’s a 30-year safety record any maritime company would be proud of.

How do I keep my job?
Good question. Yes the work is hard at CTI. We don’t claim otherwise. It’s not the best paid job in the merchant marine. Our ships aren’t the biggest. We only claim to be the best—the toughest of the tough, the most knowledgeable mariners out there. We work hard, train smart, and don’t suffer fools. We are not shy about going back to the well for another recruit. So just because we hire you doesn’t mean your job is guaranteed. You will be observed for four voyages before we decide whether you have what it takes to stay with the Fleet. Things that will get you canned: drugs, alcohol, laziness, bad attitude, slowness.

Does the company appreciate what I do?
Absolutely. We look upon our mariners as the best of the best. Once you prove yourself to the Fleet we try to keep you happy, as best we can. We value and honor a good work ethic, and the tremendous skill our experienced people bring to the job.

Who does well at CTI?
High-energy professional mariners with a need for constant physical movement, who work well as a crew.

The starting pay seems low. What’s the deal with that?
Pay at CTI is based on merit. We will not disrespect our skilled employees by paying unexperienced people what the experienced people make. Cargo operations are what we do. If you are not highly skilled in driving a forklift in a ship’s hold, operating yard-and-stay cargo gear, lashing down deck cargo for a ride across the “Gulf” in Winter, building “chain walls” quickly and to spec, etc. don’t expect top pay. We reserve the highest pay for our skilled, longtime employees and it is quite a bit more than starting pay.

How To Apply

How to Apply


  1. Read all the job description information.
  2. Complete the application form and criminal history procurement authorization. Your application will not be considered if it is incomplete. An application form and criminal history procurement authorization may be downloaded here.
  3. Mail or fax them back to CTI, or leave it at our office. We’re located on the east side of the south end of the Ballard Bridge.

    Applications may be mailed to:
    Coastal Transportation
    ATTN: Vessel Operations Assistant
    4025 13th Ave W
    Seattle, WA 98119-1350


    Applications may be faxed to:
    ATTN: Vessel Operations Assistant
    206-283-9181

    As a reminder, from our Frequently Asked Questions:



    I want to know if someone has seen my application. No one at CTI returns my calls. What do I do?
    Due to the large number of phone calls we receive and our small staff we cannot answer all calls. Therefore, to be fair, we answer none of them. We do send a postcard or email to everyone that applies, letting them know we’ve received their application. We carefully review each application. If we want to contact you for employment we will call or email you. Do not call us.

    Job Application & Background Investigation [PDF]