Whether you want to own a boat charter, work on a boat charter, or want to be employed by a boating company or a state/federal agency, you will need a captain’s license.
Though not a requirement for recreational boaters, having a captain’s license is a great way to boost your resume and show others that you possess expert-level knowledge of maritime rules and regulations. The license only becomes necessary if you get hired to navigate an auxiliary powered boat in USCG-patrolled waters.
The USCG will issue the license after a training session and examination. Throughout the course, participants will learn about ocean and water navigation, maritime rules, weather patterns, chart plotting, and boating safety regulations.
There are different types of tests for different proficiency levels and overall goals. As for the courses, they consist of classroom learning and examinations, with durations ranging from eight days to two and a half weeks. The price depends on the type of course and ranges from a couple hundred dollars to more than a thousand.
All USCG-issued licenses must be renewed every five years. Though you don’t have to pass a renewal exam, you will be required to pass a physical examination and an approved drug test.
Step 1: Complete the Requirements
There are requirements that need to be completed before you can proceed with earning a captain’s license. These include the following:
- 360 days on the water, at four hours each day, documented within the last five years
- Pass a drug test
- Pass a physical examination
- Present three character references
- Possess CPR/First Aid certifications
- Pass a background test, with fingerprinting
Step 2: Look for a Certified Course Provider
Once the requirements above have been met, find the nearest USCG-approved training center. You can obtain an updated list of course providers from the USCG Maritime Center. Moreover, you can find relevant forms on the main USCG website.
Step 3: Complete the Follow-Up Requirements
Once you’ve completed the course, you have 365 days to submit the following materials to the USCG for processing: application form, drug and physical test results, sea time log, first aid and CPR certifications, insurance fees, letters of references, finger printing cards, and proof of citizenship (passport or birth certificate).
How Trusted Yacht Delivery Helps Boat Charter Captains
Being a boat charter captain is a challenging but rewarding profession. According to a 2015 study from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the wages of captains, mates and pilots of water vessels ranged from $39,100 to $102,870 a year. In comparison, the average hourly wage and the average annual wage in 2015 was $39.98 and $83,150, respectively. But beyond the money, a career as a boat captain has other perks. For example, being a boat captain means that you will get to enjoy flexible schedules and exciting opportunities for work.
Trusted Yacht Delivery is always on the lookout for seasoned boat charter captains to help operate the vessels in our ride sharing database. When working with us, you get to do what you love and share the excitement with less experienced boaters. Read more about boat charter captains working with Trusted Yacht Delivery.