"I like my job because it is never routine. Every day is different with different ships."

St. Lawrence Seaway is one of the world's largest inland waterways.

Manon Turcotte is a pilot on the St. Lawrence Seaway. She works for a company called Mid St. Lawrence Pilotage, navigating ships through the seaway from Montreal to Trois-Rivieres.

The St. Lawrence penetrates over 3,700 kilometres into the North American continent. Its geography is complex and varied, with 500 islands dotting its course. Pilots like Manon are called in to take ships through this tricky, potentially dangerous waterway and into the right harbor safely. Manon helps all kinds of ships from all over the world, from cargo ships to tankers to passenger ships, even submarines and destroyers!

Did you know? The St. Lawrence Seaway serves the water borne cargo needs of 14 American States and four provinces.

A pilot on the St. Lawrence Seaway makes a good living. The starting wage is $60,000 a year and, if you work your way up to a Class A pilot, you can make $120,000 annually. The hours are demanding and very irregular. You can be called in at anytime. Manon says she has learned to sleep whenever she gets a chance.

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Manon originally wanted to become an accountant, but realized an office job wasnít right for her. Then she saw a presentation on careers in the marine industry and decided to chart a course in this direction. She attended a Marine Institute and spent several years on ships. Today, Manon is one of only three female marine pilots in Canada, out of a total 350 marine pilots nationwide.

Manonís job keeps her very busy. So in her spare time she likes to go for quiet walks in Trois-Rivieres, where she lives.


Education: Navigation course, Rimouski Marine Institute

Hobbies: Walking