Becoming a barge pilot is no easy business. There are many different specifications you will need to complete. You will also have to train for a long time. However, if being a barge pilot is your passion, then there is nothing that should stop you from doing so.
Here are some tips on how to become a barge pilot:
- Know the inner workings of a barge. A barge is specially designed to transport heavy goods. Unlike regular boats, the bottom of a barge is flat. They are specifically built to go on rivers and canals, not oceans and seas. This is because the side of the barge is usually open, with only a small, thin railing supporting on the sides. Thus, it cannot stand too many tides. The costs to transport goods using barges are usually low. They are many types of barges. As a barge pilot, it is important to know what kind of barge you will be driving, as you they all have many different techniques. Some barges do not have propellers, and need to be towed away using tugboats. It is up to the barge pilot to use different techniques to maneuver his way through tunnels and rivers.
- You will need to go to school to be a barge pilot. Because being a barge pilot is very technical, you will need formal education in order to become one. There are many schools to choose from. However, you should be careful in choosing one because not all schools have the required Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping certification. Your school will prepare you for a license examination you will have to pass before being a barge pilot. The United States Coast Guard licensing standards will apply, so you will have to choose your school wisely. Make sure that your training is sufficient.
- Prepare your driver’s license. This may sound strange, but many people who want to become barge pilots often are surprised to find that your drivers license is required to get a job as a barge pilot. It will help if your record is clear.
- Collect those hours! You need 720 hours of experience, so start working on them! Make sure that you work hard. You can get upgrades so you can get a better level at being a barge pilot. If you collect enough hours, you can be able to take a Masters Upgrade test. Take note that even if you pass the Masters Upgrade test, you will still have to pass a drug test. Make sure that you are drug free so you can be worthy of becoming a barge pilot.
- Before becoming a full fledged barge pilot, you will have to pass some physiological tests. These include a physical exam, and various other tests to see if you can take the strain of being a barge pilot. Also, all of your training will have to be verified to ensure that they are real.
Becoming a barge pilot requires a lot of hard work. You will need determination and passion. If you want to become a barge pilot, follow these simple steps.