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Career and Education Opportunities for Ship Pilots in Fairfield, California

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for ship pilots in the Fairfield, California area. About 2,000 people are currently employed as ship pilots in California. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 10% to about 2,200 people employed. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for ship pilots are expected to grow by about 17.3%. Ship pilots generally command ships to steer them into and out of harbors, estuaries, and sounds, and on rivers, lakes, and bays.

Ship pilots earn about $25 per hour or $53,360 annually on average in California and about $29 hourly or $61,960 annually on average nationally. Earnings for ship pilots are better than earnings in the general category of Nautical in California and better than general Nautical category earnings nationally.

The Fairfield area is home to sixteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Fairfield where you can get a degree as a ship pilot. Given that the most common education level for ship pilots is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a ship pilot if you already have a high school diploma.


Ship Pilot video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, ship pilots command ships to steer them into and out of harbors, estuaries, and sounds, and on rivers, lakes, and bays. They also must be licensed by U.

Ship pilots make use of ship-to-shore radios to provide data needed for ship operations. They also consult maps and navigation apparatus to decide on and direct ship movements. Equally important, ship pilots have to direct courses and speeds of ships, on the basis of specialized knowledge of local winds and hazards. They are often called upon to set ships' courses that avoid reefs and other hazards, utilizing navigational aids such as lighthouses and buoys. Finally, ship pilots learn to use new technology systems and procedures, through the use of instruction and models.

Every day, ship pilots are expected to be able to understand events and object details at a distance. They need to discern details even when faced with glare. It is also important that they understand the spatial relationships between objects in the world.

It is important for ship pilots to stop ships under their navigational control from engaging in unsafe operations. They are often called upon to serve as a vessel's docking master upon arrival at a port and when at a berth. They also furnish assistance in maritime rescue operations. They are sometimes expected to give directions to crew members who are steering ships. Somewhat less frequently, ship pilots are also expected to maintain and repair boats and equipment.

Ship pilots sometimes are asked to maintain ship logs. and report to appropriate authorities any violations of federal or state pilotage laws. And finally, they sometimes have to direct courses and speeds of ships, on the basis of specialized knowledge of local winds and hazards.

Like many other jobs, ship pilots must be reliable and be able to take change and lead.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Fairfield include:

  • Ship's Captain. Command vessels in oceans, bays, and coastal waters.


California Maritime Academy - Vallejo, CA

California Maritime Academy, 200 Maritime Academy Dr, Vallejo, CA 94590. California Maritime Academy is a small school located in Vallejo, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 812 students and an admission rate of 79%. California Maritime Academy has a bachelor's degree program in Marine Science/Merchant Marine Officer which graduated seventy-two students in 2008.


Coastal Navigation Certification: Coastal Navigation Certification requires the successful completion of knowledge and skills, as demonstrated by passing a written examination.

For more information, see the US Sailing website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Fairfield, California

Fairfield, California
Fairfield, California photo by Ryanloney

Fairfield is located in Solano County, California. It has a population of over 103,683, which has grown by 7.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Fairfield, 143, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Fairfield are valued at $197,000 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Fairfield, down from one hundred eighty the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Fairfield are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is construction, public administration, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 20.4% of Fairfield residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Fairfield is 13.1%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Fairfield residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.4%, is less than both the national and state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the American Baptist Churches in the USA and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Fairfield is home to the Fairfield City Hall and the Dickson Hill Water Treatment Plant as well as Tabor Park and Sunrise Park. Shopping malls in the area include Geri Towne Shopping Center, Mission Village Shopping Center and Solano Mall Shopping Center.