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How do I become a maritime pilot?

Masters to Pilots

The profession of the maritime pilot is not a teaching profession (yet). The first step to become a maritime pilot is the masters license for ocean-going ships.

After a sufficient period of experience in a responsible position at sea the license holder can apply for apprenticeship. The application has to be send to the governmental authority (General Directorate for Waterways and Shipping), who verifies if all legal requirements (rule #9 GMPA) are fulfilled. If so, it will forward the application to the brotherhood.

The brotherhood will in turn verify all applications and interview all applicants. The brotherhood will then notify the authority about the selection. The authority will give admission for apprenticeship.

After admission it is the brotherhood turn to start the 8 months long educational phase for the trainees. Education includes practical and theoretical lessons. After 8 months of training the authority will take the exam for maritime pilot and will hand out the appointment.

With that appointment the new maritime pilot becomes a full member of the brotherhood. However, the new pilot has to collect some experience over the first years before he or she can do duty on all sizes of ships.

The overall time to become a full pilot takes about 12 to 15 years after regular school. So new pilots are entering the brotherhood normaly in their mid 30s. By law the age limit for maritime pilots is 65.

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