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Career and Education Opportunities for Ship Pilots in Houston, Texas

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for ship pilots in the Houston, Texas area. There are currently 2,670 jobs for ship pilots in Texas and this is projected to grow by 18% to 3,150 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for ship pilots, which sees this job pool growing by about 17.3% over the next eight years. In general, ship pilots command ships to steer them into and out of harbors, estuaries, and sounds, and on rivers, lakes, and bays.

The average wage in the general category of Nautical jobs is $19 per hour or $39,170 per year in Texas, and an average of $24 per hour or $50,501 per year nationwide.

The Houston area is home to eighty-one schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Houston where you can get a degree as a ship pilot. The most common level of education 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 Houston include:

  • Airline Pilot. Pilot and navigate the flight of multi-engine aircraft in regularly scheduled service for the transport of passengers and cargo. Requires Federal Air Transport rating and certification in specific aircraft type used.
  • Ship's Captain. Command vessels in oceans, bays, and coastal waters.


Texas A & M University at Galveston - Galveston, TX

Texas A & M University at Galveston, 200 Seawolf Parkway, Galveston, TX 77554. Texas A & M University at Galveston is a small university located in Galveston, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,612 students and an admission rate of 91%. Texas A & M University at Galveston has a bachelor's degree program in Marine Science/Merchant Marine Officer which graduated thirty-five 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.


Houston, Texas
Houston, Texas photo by Hequals2henry

Houston is located in Harris County, Texas. It has a population of over 2,242,193, which has grown by 14.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Houston, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Houston are valued at $173,500 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, 3,684 new homes were constructed in Houston, down from 6,035 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Houston are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 27.0% of Houston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Houston is 8.0%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Houston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. El Buen Pastor United Methodist Church, 34th Temple Church of God in Christ and Pentecostal Church of God in Christ are some of the churches located in Houston. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Houston is home to the Champion Rod and Gun Club and the Independence Heights Residential Historic District as well as Hermann Park and Hennessey Park. Shopping centers in the area include Windsor Plaza Shopping Center, Meyerland Plaza Shopping Center and Meyerland Shopping Center. Visitors to Houston can choose from Capital Inn, Bradford Homesuites - Houston Galleria and Best Western Fountainview Inn and Suites for temporary stays in the area.