Pilots, Ship

General Information


Command ships to steer them into and out of harbors, estuaries, straits, or sounds, or on rivers, lakes, or bays. Must be licensed by U.S. Coast Guard with limitations indicating class and tonnage of vessels for which license is valid and route and waters that may be piloted.

Explore this career in the military

Industry areas

  • Deep Sea, Coastal, and Great Lakes Water Transportation
  • Inland Water Transportation
  • Support Activities for Water Transportation

Job Outlook

Overall employment of water transportation workers is projected to decline 2 percent from 2018 to 2028. Fluctuations in the demand for bulk commodities, such as petroleum products, iron ore, and grains, is a key factor influencing waterborne employment. When demand for these commodities is high, the need for water transportation workers goes up; when demand slows, so does the need for workers. In addition, larger vessels that can carry more cargo require fewer water transportation workers. Nevertheless, these workers will continue to be needed as federal laws and subsidies ensure that there always will be a fleet of merchant ships with U.S. flags. Keeping a fleet of merchant ships is considered important for the nation’s defense.

Read More

Related Military Careers

No Information for this section


Average Salary



Military salary*


Explore this career in the Military

State-by-state Salary

Gray states indicate no data available

No Information for this section


Most Common Education Levels

People in this career achieve this level of education.

  • High school 43%
  • Associate's degree 16%
  • Post-secondary certificate 15%
  • Bachelor's degree 14%
  • Master's degree 4%
  • First professional degree 4%
  • Less than high school 1%
  • Some college 0%
  • Doctoral degree 0%
  • Post baccalaureate 0%
  • Post-doctoral training 0%
  • Post-master's certificate 0%

Related College Majors

Select major to see colleges that offer it


  • Transportation
  • Geography
  • Education and Training
  • Law and Government
  • Public Safety and Security
No Information for this section