Most ship pilots have a bachelor’s degree from a merchant marine academy. The academy programs offer a bachelor’s degree and a Merchant Marine Credential (MMC) with an endorsement as a third mate or third assistant engineer. Graduates of these programs can also choose to receive a commission as an ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve, Merchant Marine Reserve, or U.S. Coast Guard Reserve.
Interested in becoming A Ship Pilot? Find the right schools that can help you to become one. You will need some of your details to get you matched with the right college or university. This service is free thanks to our sponsors.
Questions to ask the university or college:
How many students are in the program?
Is your program accredited?
How many faculty members do you have? Do they hold the right credentials?
What is your job placement rate?
Does your school hold career fairs or other on-campus events with employers? How many employers typically attend?
How many of your students have at least one internship by graduation?
You may need some previous work-related skill, knowledge or experience to be A Ship Pilot.
For example: An electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
To become A Ship Pilot, you will usually need 1 to 2 years of training which includes both on-the-job experience and training with experienced workers.
How long does it take
Over 4 to 6 years
2 to 4 years
4 to 6 years
Over 10 years
1 to 2 years
6 to 8 years
Over 2 years
2 to 4 years
4 to 10 years
0 to 1 month
1 to 2 years
Most Ship Pilots have 2 to 4 years work experience and Over 2 years job training.
To increase your chances of getting a job, you can look for job training while studying to be one.
License and certifications
Do you need any license or certification
Requirements vary by state
All ship pilots working on ships with U.S. flags must have a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) from the Transportation Security Administration. Most ship pilots must also have a Merchant Marine Credential (MMC). They can apply for an MMC at a U.S. Coast Guard regional examination center. Ship pilots are licensed by the state in which they work. The U.S. Coast Guard licenses pilots on the Great Lakes. The requirements for these licenses vary, depending on where a pilot works.
We asked other Ship Pilots if they could only have 5 skills, what would they be. Here is what they said.
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Written by: Stanley Tan
Ship Pilots 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.