Becoming a Harbor Pilot

All persons desiring to become a Harbor Pilot are required to obtain an extensive maritime background, as well as pass the state administered Deputy Pilot examination, before entering a rigorous on-the-job training program provided by the Port Everglades Pilots Association. After successfully passing the Deputy Pilot examination and being certificated as a Deputy Pilot, the training program will last approximately 2 1/2 years. During this time, you will ride, observe and handle (under instruction) literally thousands of ships prior to being nominated to sit for the full Pilot examination. You will also be required to attend various formal and informal classes both on and off site.

Since all members of the Port Everglades Pilots Association are dually licensed to provide both federal and state pilotage, both sets of requirements must be satisfied prior to becoming a full member of the Association.

State pilot licenses are regulated by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation through the Board of Pilot Commissioners. Openings for a Deputy Pilot in a particular port are tested and licensed by the state in an open competitive process. All persons must meet certain requirements prior to applying and sitting for this comprehensive test. The prerequisites necessary to take the Deputy Pilot test are stipulated in Florida Statutes Chapter 310 and Florida Administrative Code Chapter 61G14. Anyone qualified or soon-to-be qualified to sit for the Deputy Pilot exam is encouraged to visit the Board's website for further information as well as notices of vacancies in various ports across Florida.

Federal pilot licenses are regulated by the United States Coast Guard. All persons must meet certain prerequisites prior to applying and sitting for the federal test. These prerequisites are stipulated in 46 CFR 10. A federal pilot license must be obtained either prior to or during the Deputy Pilot training program in Port Everglades.


Mentor Program

Port Everglades Pilots Association has an active competency-based mentor program by which minority persons, as defined in s. 288.703(3), may be assisted in acquiring the skills for the professional preparation and education competency requirements of a licensed state pilot or certificated deputy pilot.


History of a Harbor Pilot

To read about the history of Harbor Pilots, click here.