Our website uses cookies so that we can provide a better service. Continue to use the site as normal if you're happy with this, or find out how to manage cookies.

Role of a pilot

Help us pilot some of the biggest ships in the world up and down the tidal Thames.

We’re looking for [motivated, ambitious] trainees to join our 100-strong team of pilots, guiding vessels along 95 miles of the river [from the North Sea to Teddington].

It’s a challenging role, requiring determination and commitment.

You’ll undergo six months of intensive training, ahead of a rigorous assessment [and examination] process.

In return, we’ll provide you with ongoing professional support, as you learn the skills to become a qualified London Marine pilot.

Your health and safety, along with that of others, will be a priority for us at all times and should be yours too.

You’ll be responsible for ensuring that vessels from all over the world navigate their way in and out of port safely, with a constant focus on providing the highest levels of customer service.

Key Attributes

You must:

  • Be eligible to work in the UK.
  • Have a ENG1 medical certificate, or equivalent, Full current driving licence and a Masters Unlimited Certificate of Competency, or at least achieve this at the time of commencing the training
  • Have evidence of Notice of evidence, if scheduled to  scheduled to take Masters examinations
  • Have good spatial awareness
  • Be decisive and be able to act confidently
  • Have experience as a pilot or have held a command position or Chief Officer’s appointment
  • Be an excellent communicator, fluent in English (for use on VHF radio),  and a team player, with good IT skills.


Desirable skills

  • Experience of tug operations (berthing and unberthing).
  • Experience of working aboard a variety of commercial  vessels.
  • Knowledge of Port Marine Safety Code


Key accountabilities

  • Providing clear navigational advice and information on regulatory requirements to vessels’ masters,  for example on  health and safety and environmental matters.
  • Supporting  masters in their communication with their personnel and other vessels.
  • Performing bridge management duties
  • Recording  and submitting  passage plans.
  • Preparing and submitting  incident/accident reports.
  • Providing appropriate assistance in the event of an emergency
  • Providing  professional advice to personnel on navigational issues
  • Liaising with Vessel Traffic Services
  • Coordinating  tug activity, as required
  • Complying with relevant codes of practice (navigational and industrial)
  • Providing  training and advice,  to other pilots, including trainees and Pilotage Exemption Certificate applicants
  • Providing excellent customer service (internal and external)
  • Statutory reporting of shipboard deficiencies in operations, navigation, health and welfare of crew, unsafe navigational practice of other vessels, navigational hazards and obstructions.

For further information please click here.