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Pilots, Ship - 53-5021.03

O*NET-SOC Description

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.

Sample of Reported Job Titles

  • Boat Pilot
  • Docking Pilot
  • Harbor Pilot
  • Marine Pilot
  • Pilot
  • Relief Docking Master
  • River Pilot
  • Ship Pilot
  • State Pilot
  • Towboat Pilot

SOC Occupation Groups

Related Occupations


  • Advise ships' masters on harbor rules and customs procedures.
  • Consult maps, charts, weather reports, or navigation equipment to determine and direct ship movements.
  • Direct courses and speeds of ships, based on specialized knowledge of local winds, weather, water depths, tides, currents, and hazards.
  • Give directions to crew members steering ships.
  • Learn to operate new technology systems and procedures through instruction, simulators, or models.
  • Maintain or repair boats or equipment.
  • Maintain ship logs.
  • Make nautical maps.
  • Operate ship-to-shore radios to exchange information needed for ship operations.
  • Oversee cargo storage on or below decks.
  • Prevent ships under navigational control from engaging in unsafe operations.
  • Provide assistance in maritime rescue operations.
  • Provide assistance to vessels approaching or leaving seacoasts, navigating harbors, or docking and undocking.
  • Relieve crew members on tugs or launches.
  • Report to appropriate authorities any violations of federal or state pilotage laws.
  • Serve as a vessel's docking master upon arrival at a port or at a berth.
  • Set ships' courses to avoid reefs, outlying shoals, or other hazards, using navigational aids, such as lighthouses or buoys.
  • Steer ships into or out of berths, or signal tugboat captains to berth or unberth ships.

Detailed Work Activities

  • Assist others during emergencies.
  • Choose optimal transportation routes or speeds.
  • Communicate with others to coordinate vehicle movement.
  • Direct passenger or freight transport activities.
  • Explain regulations, policies, or procedures.
  • Maintain professional knowledge or certifications.
  • Maintain watercraft engines or machinery.
  • Monitor cargo area conditions.
  • Notify others of emergencies, problems, or hazards.
  • Operate communications equipment or systems.
  • Operate ships or other watercraft.
  • Read maps to determine routes.
  • Record operational details of travel.

Military Crosswalk Titles

  • Assistant Navigator (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Boatswain's Mate (Coast Guard - Enlisted)
  • Boatswain's Mate (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Cannon Crewmember (Army - Enlisted)
  • Causeway Barge Ferry Pilot (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Cavalry Scout (Army - Enlisted)
  • Combat Engineer (Army - Enlisted)
  • Combat Medic Specialist (Army - Enlisted)
  • CWO - Special Warfare Combatant-Craft (Navy - Warrant Officer only)
  • Harbor/Docking Pilot (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Infantryman (Army - Enlisted)
  • Landing Craft Air Cushion Operator/Navigator (Navy - Enlisted)
  • M1 Armor Crewman (Army - Enlisted)
  • Marine Deck Officer (Army - Warrant Officer only)
  • Marine Engineering Officer (Army - Warrant Officer only)
  • Military Police (Army - Enlisted)
  • Quartermaster Journeyman (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Ship's Docking Pilot Officer (Navy - Commissioned or Warrant Officer)
  • Special Warfare Boat Operator (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Unit Supply Specialist (Army - Enlisted)
  • URL - Surface Warfare (Navy - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Watercraft Operator (Army - Enlisted)
  • Wheeled Vehicle Repairer (Army - Enlisted)

Apprenticeship Crosswalk Titles

  • Pilot, Ship

DOT Crosswalk Titles

  • Pilot, Ship