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Career change leads to travel and adventure at sea

headshot of Charles Maclean repairing an ship engine.
Charles Maclean, Third Engineer, repairs an engine onboard a Atlantic Towing tug boat.

Life took an unexpected turn for the better when Charles Maclean, laid off from the Port Hawkesbury mill, went back to school. “I had no idea I’d end up traveling the world and nearly tripling my salary. I love going to sea. It’s been a great experience that just keeps getting better!”


Graduating from NSCC’s Marine Engineering Technology Advanced diploma in 2015, he earned an average of 85 in his final semester. “Not bad for a guy who didn’t finish high school,” he says. “I was focused. I wanted to do well for my family and make the most of this opportunity.”


Charles adds, “The marine industry is growing. There’s a shortage of sailors everywhere and they pay very well. I’ve worked on ships off the coasts of Scotland, Spain, Norway, US, and along the east coast as far north as Nunavut. There’s no need to move out west. Stay in your own community and companies will pay to fly you to the ship.”


Currently home on vacation, from his role as 2nd Engineer with Atlantic Towing, he’s training to become an Assistant Instructor at the NSCC Strait Campus Fire School. “It’s a fun job to do part time, when home from sea,” he says.

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