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Ship Pilot

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What Do Ship Pilot Do?

Career Description Command ships to steer them into and out of harbors, estuaries, straits, or sounds, or on rivers, lakes, or bays. Must be licensed by U.S. Coast Guard with limitations indicating class and tonnage of vessels for which license is valid and route and waters that may be piloted.

What Do Ship Pilots Do On a Daily Basis?

  • Consult maps, charts, weather reports, or navigation equipment to determine and direct ship movements.
  • Report to appropriate authorities any violations of federal or state pilotage laws.
  • Provide assistance to vessels approaching or leaving seacoasts, navigating harbors, or docking and undocking.
  • Direct courses and speeds of ships, based on specialized knowledge of local winds, weather, water depths, tides, currents, and hazards.
  • Maintain ship logs.
  • Steer ships into or out of berths or signal tugboat captains to berth or unberth ships.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Ship Pilot?

These are the skills Ship Pilots say are the most useful in their careers:

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

  • Marine Pilot
  • Ferryboat Pilot
  • Barge Pilot
  • Canal Driver
  • Speedboat Driver

Job Outlook for Ship Pilots

In the United States, there were 38,800 jobs for Ship Pilot in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 8.8% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 3,400 new jobs for Ship Pilot by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 4,400 job openings in this field each year.

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The states with the most job growth for Ship Pilot are Nevada, Georgia, and Tennessee. Watch out if you plan on working in Kentucky, Indiana, or Oregon. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for a Ship Pilot

The average yearly salary of a Ship Pilot ranges between $35,410 and $144,690.

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Ship Pilots who work in Texas, Oregon, or Maryland, make the highest salaries.

How much do Ship Pilots make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $79,750
Alaska $72,570
California $70,840
Delaware $74,790
Florida $78,880
Georgia $73,410
Hawaii $52,830
Illinois $67,020
Iowa $75,600
Kentucky $79,130
Louisiana $93,010
Maine $61,410
Maryland $86,460
Massachusetts $57,700
Michigan $83,040
Minnesota $73,910
New Hampshire $51,490
New Jersey $75,170
New York $95,370
North Carolina $55,710
Ohio $47,810
Oregon $100,150
Pennsylvania $74,780
South Carolina $67,090
Tennessee $54,480
Texas $103,950
Virginia $77,370
Washington $90,890
Wisconsin $48,190

What Tools do Ship Pilots Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Ship Pilots may use on a daily basis:

  • Log book software
  • Jeppesen Marine Nobeltec Admiral
  • Maptech The CAPN

How to Become a Ship Pilot

What education is needed to be a Ship Pilot?

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How many years of work experience do I need?

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Ship Pilots Sector

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The table below shows the approximate number of Ship Pilots employed by various industries.

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Those interested in being a Ship Pilot may also be interested in:

References:

Image Credit: via CC0 Public Domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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