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Internships, Scholarships & Apprenticeships
Pilotage is not easy work. Read about the occupational hazards of Columbia Bar
pilots. The work involves jumping and climbing from a vessel like Chinook (pictured
below) or being lowered onto the wet and pitching deck of a cargo ship in conditions
that can include rain, wind, sleet and other things to jeopardize a pilot's life.
Internships, scholarships and apprenticeships have become a vital element of the
maritime community. Scholarships are occasionally offered to colleges, universities
and maritime academies. One of these is through the
Florida Harbor Pilots.
They annually select two minority cadets attending a maritime college for a possible
career track as a harbor pilot. Scholarship winners each receive $2,500 and are
encouraged to participate in an internship with a member association.
The pilot boat Chinook is one of
two powerful vessels used by the
Columbia River Bar Pilots.
Follow the link above to read a
great article at Smithsonian
Magazine about the unique skills
and hazards that are part of the
day-to-day lives of this elite group
of maritime professionals. It's a
great article, but
don't overlook
the additional photos in the
article... great photojournalism!

In addition to the jet powered
craft, this group also utilizes a
small helicopter. The helicopter
isn't a frill. It's sometimes a safer
option than trying to jump onto a
Jacobs Ladder from a small
pitching craft in swells that can
often exceed 20 feet in the winter
months. If you need to be lowered
onto the deck of a ship by
helicopter just to start your
workday... you deserve all the
money in the world!
Legal Issues That Sometimes Arise With Unpaid Internships
Although internships have become a vital element of the labor sector, unpaid
internships have sometimes raised eyebrows from employment lawyers and
legislators. The argument has been made that some unpaid internships amount to
free labor, in violation of labor laws.
How do you become an instructor at the training facility in Port Revel, France? You become a
pilot, which as explained below, is the ultimate accomplishment of a deck officer. Read more
below about a U.S. scholarship for a career as a pilot. Although this photo might suggest fun,
the training course is demanding and requires skill in piloting these powered down scale models.
A Difficult Way To Earn A Living
We hate it when we hear idiots gripe about pilot salaries... "Man, do you know how
much a pilot makes... over $200,000 a year sometimes!"
Well, do you know why?
Pilotage is not easy work. Most people don't even know what it takes to become a
pilot. It's not some condensed three weekend course to get a six-pack license.

A pilot will typically need three years under the belt as a master, unlimited tonnage,
oceans, to even qualify for a pilot association. After that, they can expect another three
years of apprenticeship and supervision. The job requires immense skill and
experience.