Harbour pilot


A harbour pilot is responsible for the safe and efficient navigation of vessels within the port and offshore wind farm. This includes piloting vessels in and out of ports, assessing navigational risks, monitoring vessel traffic and weather conditions.

Lifecycle stages

Installation, operations and maintenance.

Typical employer

Port company or local authority (if it owns the port).

Place of work

Onshore in an office at the port.

Typical working pattern


Education, training and qualifications

Relevant technical training or certification, such as the Class 2/II Chief Officer Certificate of Competency (CoC) or similar is required. Experience (3 years) in maritime operations and safety and/or sailing in the position of a first mate.

Graduate schemes in transferable sectors such as naval defence are available, at NFQ level 7.

For offshore work, the following is required:

  • Seafarers Offshore Medical

  • Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), and

  • Global Wind Organisation Basic Safety Training.

Typical entry position & transferable sectors

Entry roles can include first mates, maritime operations and safety.

Transferable from similar industries such as shipping, transportation, defence, and naval operations.

Career possibilities

Harbour pilots can progress to become harbour masters, chief pilots and safety managers.

Full time salary estimate

€40,000-€80,000 per year, depending on experience. This salary range is for this specific role.