After searching the internet and through these forums, I can’t seem to find information on this question, so I’m hoping that someone could help me out. I am at a point in my career where I am considering applying to a pilot association (and have been recommended to do so by an advanced ship handling instructor) The concern is that I can’t find any information on the stipend for apprentice pilots. I’m not concerned about how much I’ll make as a full pilot, I already know it will cover my needs; I just want to make sure I can continue to cover my bills and care for my wife while I’m an apprentice.
Thanks for the help.[/QUOTE]
getting an apprentice/deputy pilot job is generally very hard. and varies wildly from state to state. seriously, your ship handling instructor’s recommendation is worthless. you could be the greatest natural born harbor/river pilot, but if no one will hire you let alone talk to you, it matters not. that’s not to discourage you, that’s to enlighten you.
i know that some places pay there apprentices absolutely ZERO until they pass all tests/assesments. that can be as long as 3 or 4 years. some places might pay you 25-30k a year; i can not imagine trying to feed a family of 3 on that and pay a mortgage. you will have virtually no opportunity to work on the side b/c you are at the beck and call (and ultimately the will and pleasure) of the pilotage association.
most associations have a buy-in once you become a full pilot or deputy pilot, whatever they call it. unless you are already inherently wealthy (which you clearly are not, just like 99% of mariners, except for “Asd”) ponying up approximately $500K to officially join is pretty rough. it will obviously take years to pay that off. and if the association doesn’t use that type of system, then they typically take a huge chunk of your gross for 3-5 yrs.
first and foremost, it is a business. every single one of them. nepotism is much worse in the south, so good luck getting in there. i have listened to so many pilots from valdez to long beach and brownsville to sandy hook constantly bitch about money and wanting to work forever b/c they just haven’t made enough. it’s a broken record with them. so you can be sure that they will pay apprentices as little as the law will allow.
FL has the only state exam system which is open to anyone who meets the minimum reqs. anyone’s shiphandling is worthless on that test if i can memorize books better than you or draw a better chart from scratch than you. but at least everyone gets the same opportunity. there is a good chance that information (apprentice pilot pay) is public record. so start digging.
if you haven’t tried calling various associations and asking them point blank, then …