Profession maritime pilot

Maritime pilots are mariners who guide ships through dangerous or congested waters, such as harbours or river mouths. They are expert ship handlers who possess detailed knowledge of local waterways.

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Personality Type

  • Enterprising / Conventional
  • Realistic / Investigative


  • Local waters of the port

    Know the local waters of ports and the most efficient routes for the navigation of different types of vessels into docks.

  • Principles of cargo stowage

    Understand the principles of cargo stowage. Understand procedures by which containers should be efficiently loaded and unloaded, taking into account gravitational forces that are exerted during transportation.

  • Vessel stability principles

    Thoroughly understand the principles of vessel stability; follow safety requirements during loading and unloading of cargo.


  • Plan pilotage

    Plans the navigation itinerary for a vessel taking into account tidal changes and weather conditions.

  • Carry out ship-to-shore operations

    Operate ship-to-shore radios and perform processes to exchange information required for vessel operations.

  • Guide ships into docks

    Safely guide a ship into a dock and anchor it.

  • Analyse weather forecast

    Analyse weather forecasts and the information provided on meteorological conditions, such as wind forces, atmospheric structures, clouds, and visibility. Provide analyses depending on the requirements of various different industries and service providers.

  • Anchor ships to the port

    Anchor ships to the port according to the type of vessel.

  • Coordinate dock operations

    Coordinate cargo shipments in and out of dock. Position cranes and arrange containers into shipments, taking into account the exact measures and weight of each container.

  • Maintain ship logs

    Maintain written records of events and activities on a ship

  • Conduct water navigation

    Ensure that a vessel carries up to date and adequate charts and appropriate nautical documents. Lead the process of preparing the voyage report, the vessel passage plan, daily position reports, and the pilot's information sheet.

  • Maintain counterweight inside modes of transport

    Maintain balance and mass distribution inside the means of transport (vessel, aircraft, train, road vehicles, etc). Ensure that passengers and cargo distribution do not hinder the mobility of the mode of transport.

  • Ensure compliance with port regulations

    Enforce compliance with regulations in harbours and sea ports. Communicate with relevant authorities to identify potential risks.

  • Monitor aviation meteorology

    Monitor and interpret the information provided by weather stations to anticipate conditions that may affect airports and flights.

  • Assist water-based navigation

    Ensure that up-to-date charts and nautical publications are on board the Ship. Prepare information sheets, voyage reports, passage plans, and position reports.

  • Use water navigation devices

    Utilise water navigation devices, e.g. compass or sextant, or navigational aids such as lighthouses or buoys, radar, satellite, and computer systems, in order to navigate vessels on waterways. Work with recent charts/maps, notices, and publications in order to determine the precise position of a vessel.

  • Regulate the speed of ships in ports

    Regulate the speed of vessels in ports based on information provides by port authorities. Ensure the smooth arrival of the vessel into the port.

  • Use rigging tools

    Employ rigging tools such as cables, ropes, pulleys and winches to safely secure high structures.

  • Steer vessels in ports

    Direct the course of vessels in ports using information on the local weather, wind, water depths tides, etc. Ensure that vessels avoid hazards such as reefs through use of navigational aids.

  • Assist in maritime rescue operations

    Provide assistance during maritime rescue operations.

  • Pilot vessel into ports

    Safely navigate vessel in and out of port; communicate and cooperate with captain and ship's crew; operate vessel communication and navigation instruments; communicate with other vessels and harbour control centre.

Optional knowledge and skills

assist in the movement of heavy loads act reliably use meteorological information use different communication channels have computer literacy work in a water transport team cooperate with colleagues show confidence

Common job titles

  • Vessel agent of operations
  • Temporary marine relief positions
  • Able bodied seaman - (a.b.)
  • Boarding agent trainee
  • Maritime site manager
  • Apprentice deck mechanics (3)
  • Vessel group manager
  • Rov pilot/technician
  • Managing director, oil