Pilot Trainee Training Program

Become a Pilot

The Board of Pilot Commissioners administers a maritime pilot training program. Graduates of the program become Board-licensed maritime pilots. Entrance into the program is via a selection examination.

Before Submitting an Application

The minimum requirements for entrance into the Pilot Trainee Training Program, are outlined in California Code of Regulations, Title 7, Section 213.  The Board has recently changed the minimum experience qualifications to qualify for the exam.  These now include allowing Chief Mate experience, piloting in other jurisdictions, and lower tug tonnage requirements. Applicants who do not meet the minimum qualifications will not be admitted to the examination.

Pilot Trainee Training Program Selection Examination

A Pilot Trainee Training Program Selection Examination was held in June 2022 at the California State University Maritime Academy (Cal Maritime) in Vallejo, California.  We anticipate the next exam to be offered in June of 2025. The 2022 exam produced a list of ten successful candidates, as well as an Exam Validation Report, the later created by the Selection Services Program of the California Department of Human Resources.  These, and other exam resources can be found in the links below:

Trainee Exam Simulator Orientation Video