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SwampAssassin
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2020
28 posts

River Pilots in Louisiana for dummies
As everyone on here knows by now, River pilots in Louisiana make damn good money. Their average salary is right around 650,000, but there are a lot of things people on here don’t understand about the job and the maritime industry as a whole.

In order to be a pilot, the first step one could take is to attended an maritime academy. There are only 7 in the US. Maine Maritime Academy, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Texas A&M at Galveston, California Maritime Academy, Great Lakes Maritime Academy, SUNY Maritime, and the US Merchant Marine Academy (a federal service academy).

You cannot join an association without a 4 year degree from one of those schools. Also in order for you to get a degree from one of those schools you have to go through a rigorous academic course load with Coast Guard requirements, and also pass a 7 test CG exam where most of the tests require a 90% to pass.

After that, you must have a certain amount of days at sea in order to even be considered for the selection process. Then you have to be approved by the pilot board to even start an apprenticeship, and that consists of about a year of working and going with pilots. If all that goes well, which for some people it doesn’t, the association then has to vote you in. This is where the nepotism comes into play. Yes it greatly benefits you to have connections in order to get all of the votes you need, but is it necessary? No. There are plenty of people who have worked there butts off during their apprenticeship to build connections before they’re voted in, and it’s worked for them. After you get voted in you do not start making the big bucks. In order to do that, you have to buy into the association. Think of this as doctors or lawyers buying into a practice. It’s basically the same situation.

Now about how much they make. Yes, they get paid about 650,000 as I said before but they are considered independent contractors and thus have to pay about half of that back in taxes. So let’s just say they take home about 375,000 which is still great money. Most of them also have drivers through a company to take them too and from ships and terminals. Most of these drivers are tipped by the pilots so that’s where the extra roughly 40,000 comes into play as a transportation fee not including the miles on their trucks and their own gas. So yes they get paid extremely well, but they also have a job that can be dangerous at times and could destroy Louisiana’s ecosystem and potentially shut down the river which would have a significant impact on Louisiana’s economy.

Let’s just say that there was a pilot on board and they screwed up and ran an oil tanker aground. Now you have a ship carrying roughly 150,000 tons of oil dumping its cargo into the river. Just think about how that would shutdown the river and cause devastating damage to the environment. Not to mention pilots have to climb aboard moving ships on rope ladders in all types of weather, have to deal with foreign crews who usually don’t speak English very well, and have to guide ships which are in unknown shape and can be very different in how they steer. (If you want to learn more about the steering look up the differences between left and right pitch propellers, ship squat, bank effect ect)

They last time a ship caused major damage in the river was when a ship that completely lost steering hit they warehouses near the river walk. That ship could have easily caused mass casualties if it had hit other place in the river. While there has not been anything like that more recently, in the past ships have caused major loss of life on the river like the Lulling ferry disaster in the 70’s. The threat of a ship causing damage in the river is a very real one contrary to popular belief. The Mississippi River is dangerous during all times of the year but especially around high river when the current can easily be pushing 6 knots and cause eddies in the river. Every year ships at anchor break free and start drifting down the river and pilots have to quickly get on board and get the ships back to a safe area.

If you’ve made it this far and still want to discuss the pilots I’d love to have a discussion about it with you. Do they get paid a damn good salary even AFTER taxes? Yes. But they do a lot of the state of Louisiana and they keep our economy alive and our ecosystems safe.
This post was edited on 7/31 at 6:04 pm


S
Texas Southern Fan
RIP Wayde
Member since Jan 2007
115819 posts

re: River Pilots in Louisiana for dummies
Didn’t read, ask Derek


SG_Geaux
LSU Fan
Googolplex Posts
Member since Aug 2004
69455 posts

re: River Pilots in Louisiana for dummies
Not reading that wall of fricking text.


JetsetNuggs
Chicago Cubs Fan
New Orleans
Member since Jun 2014
8189 posts

re: River Pilots in Louisiana for dummies
quote:

In order to be a pilot the first step one could take is to have family in the business


FIFY


SwampAssassin
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2020
28 posts

re: River Pilots in Louisiana for dummies
Yep the person that lied, got caught, and fired.


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212
jimbeam
USA Fan
University of LSU
Member since Oct 2011
64467 posts

re: River Pilots in Louisiana for dummies
quote:

Do they get paid a damn good salary even AFTER taxes? Yes. But they do a lot of the state of Louisiana I’m keeping our economy alive and our ecosystems safe.


Pilots are essential frontline workers. They need to make more tik tok videos


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441
ElRoos
Member since Nov 2017
3294 posts

re: River Pilots in Louisiana for dummies
quote:

But they do a lot of the state of Louisiana I’m keeping our economy alive and our ecosystems safe.


Thanks for working on the front lines, baw.


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232
SwampAssassin
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2020
28 posts

re: River Pilots in Louisiana for dummies
quote:

Not reading that wall of fricking text.
just trying to teach ya something today bud


ItTakesAThief
LSU Fan
Scottsdale, Arizona
Member since Dec 2009
7231 posts

re: River Pilots in Louisiana for dummies
In Louisiana first you have to be born into the correct family.

River pilots are a click. They let in who they want in. Keep out who they don’t want in to protect the gravy train.


notiger1997
Metairie
Member since May 2009
47901 posts

re: River Pilots in Louisiana for dummies


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40
tgrbaitn08
Vanderbilt Fan
I can’t stay in one place
Member since Dec 2007
106807 posts

re: River Pilots in Louisiana for dummies
quote:

SwampAssassin




Great post. Hopefully these retards will comprehend what you just spelled for them.

Please feel free to elaborate


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965
Nicky Parrish
Member since Apr 2016
4308 posts

re: River Pilots in Louisiana for dummies
Or be related to someone


jimbeam
USA Fan
University of LSU
Member since Oct 2011
64467 posts

re: River Pilots in Louisiana for dummies
Clique*


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260
SwampAssassin
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2020
28 posts

re: River Pilots in Louisiana for dummies
quote:

River pilots are a click. They let in who they want in. Keep out who they don’t want in to protect the gravy train.
you’re right. They get a say in who comes into the organization. It’s gotten a lot better over the years and still has a long way to go


JG77056
LSU Fan
Vegas baby, Vegas
Member since Sep 2010
10935 posts

re: River Pilots in Louisiana for dummies
Why would anybody bother going to one of those 7 maritime schools for 4 years knowing they won’t ever get hired because they aren’t related to a current pilot?


superwolf
LSU Fan
Member since Dec 2006
543 posts

re: River Pilots in Louisiana for dummies
I'm not a CPA but I'm 100% sure that even if you are an independent contractor/1099 you will take home much more than 50% of your gross.


AbitaFan08
LSU Fan
Boston, MA
Member since Apr 2008
20705 posts

re: River Pilots in Louisiana for dummies
That’s a lot of words that I will never read.

What’s the river pilot equivalent of “Karen”? Because that’s you.


SwampAssassin
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2020
28 posts

re: River Pilots in Louisiana for dummies
quote:

Or be related to someone
doesn’t that help in just about any industry. Doctors, lawyers and such


wadewilson
LSU Fan
Harrison County
Member since Sep 2009
24273 posts

re: River Pilots in Louisiana for dummies
You're wasting your time. The OT hates anything it doesn't understand.


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1331
SlowFlowPro
Stanford Fan
Simple Solutions to Complex Probs
Member since Jan 2004
375382 posts

re: River Pilots in Louisiana for dummies
quote:

If you’ve made it this far and still want to discuss the pilots I’d love to have a discussion about it with you.

i think people would be more receptive to the whole issue if the river pilots weren't so openly rampant with nepotism

it's the combination of these jobs only being allowed to go to family/friends and the salaries that make people upset


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