Experienced mariners who want to step up to dock piloting in the New York-New Jersey harbor have until Dec. 16 to apply to the New Jersey Maritime Pilot and Docking Pilot Commission, which has opened its state docking pilot apprenticeship program to new candidates.

The program is open to licensed masters and mates with at least 10 years of industry experience, and five years in the towing industry. The pilots handle some of the largest ships in the world – including post-Panamax containerships, which for now can call at the Global Marine Terminal in Bayonne, but will have access to the harbor’s inner Newark Bay container ports when the $1.3 billion elevation of the Bayonne Bridge over the Kill Van Kull channel is completed.

Pilots draw jobs for the entire port including the Hudson River, the East River, Raritan Bay and the Raritan, Hackensack and Passaic rivers.

There is a non-refundable $500 application fee. Full details on the program and the requirements are included with application forms, which can be obtained via mail by writing to:

The New Jersey Maritime Pilot and Docking Pilot Commission, Attn: Andre Stuckey, One Penn Plaza East, 9th Floor, Newark, N.J., 07105.

Application forms can also be downloaded from the commission website.  Applications must be filed by mail to the commission no later than Dec. 16, 2016.

The selection of apprentices is made from an approved list of qualified applicants that the commission maintains for a two-year period.


Contributing Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for over 30 years before joining WorkBoat in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. He has also been an editor for WorkBoat’s sister publication, National Fisherman, for over 25 years. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.