Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.

Career and Education Opportunities for Ship Pilots in San Francisco, California

For those living in the San Francisco, California area, there are many career and education opportunities for ship pilots. There are currently 2,000 working ship pilots in California; this should grow by 10% to 2,200 working ship pilots in the state by 2016. 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%. In general, ship pilots command ships to steer them into and out of harbors, estuaries, and sounds, and on rivers, lakes, and bays.

Income for ship pilots is about $25 hourly or $53,360 yearly on average in California. Nationally, their income is about $29 hourly or $61,960 annually. Ship pilots earn more than people working in the category of Nautical generally in California and more than people in the Nautical category nationally.

There are eighty-six schools of higher education in the San Francisco area, including one within twenty-five miles of San Francisco where you can get a degree to start your career as a ship pilot. The most common level of education for ship pilots is a high school diploma or GED. It will take only a short time to learn 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 San Francisco 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: San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California photo by Optigan13

San Francisco is located in San Francisco County, California. It has a population of over 808,976, which has grown by 4.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in San Francisco, 180, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Francisco cost $218,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, fifty-seven new homes were built in San Francisco, up from fifty-five the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in San Francisco are professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 31 minutes. More than 45.0% of San Francisco residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 16.4%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of San Francisco residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.8%, is less than both the national and state average. Gold Mountain Monastery, Golden Gate Community Church of the Nazarene and Golden Gate Lutheran Church are among the churches located in San Francisco. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the United Methodist Church.

San Francisco is home to the Pier 88 and the Prayer Book Cross as well as Helen Wills Playground and Music Concourse. Shopping malls in the area include Yerba Buena Square Shopping Center, Fox Plaza Shopping Center and Galleria At Crocker Center Shopping Center. Visitors to San Francisco can choose from Astoria Hotel, A-1 Inn Motel and Best Western Canterbury Hotel for temporary stays in the area.