Educational Opportunities

We're all about boating education and safety

The United States Power Squadrons was started in 1914 with the mission to provide education for boaters. It continues today.

An educated boater is a safer boater.

Why is Boater Education Important?

Watch the video and find out


This is the beginning-level boating course

Did you know?

Florida state law requires that anyone born on or after 1 January 1988, who will be operating a boat in Florida waters with an engine of 10 horsepower or more, must complete an approved boating safety course and obtain a Florida Boating Safety ID Card.

This course meets this requirement

Advanced Courses

The Advanced Courses build upon the knowledge obtained in the initial America’s Boating Course. Courses include Boat Handling, Marine Navigation, Advanced Marine Navigation, Junior Navigator and Navigator. Topics include how to handle a boat, basic navigation using landmarks and buoys, more advanced navigation using GPS and radar, all the way up to celestial navigation using a sextant and the stars, planets, sun and moon. Once you take our Advanced Courses, the whole world is opened up.

Image of a sailboat with a copper-colored sunset behind it
Power boat cruising the Intracoastal

Elective Courses

Elective Courses focus on particular areas associated with boating. Here, you can learn about planning cruises on your boat, how electrical systems on boats work, how to sail, using various communications devices, and more.


Seminars make it easier for you to acquire or update your knowledge and skills about specific topics in a short period of time, typically 2 or 3 hours.

Topics include Hurricane Preparation for Boaters, Introduction to Navigation, Weather, Anchoring, Marine VHF Radio and others.
The format is typically less formal than a course, with no examination.

Chart for Palm Beach Inlet
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lake, sunset, boats-7377942.jpg

Educational Grades

USPS awards to its members to indicate how far they have progressed in the continuing education program.  Since one of the USPS objectives is boating safety through education, USPS encourages every member to strive to achieve the Educational Proficiency level, with the ultimate goal being that of the Educational Achievement Award.

Educational Grades Insignia


Seaman (following completion of Boat Handling)           Image of insignia for Seaman

 Pilot (following completion of Marine Piloting)         Image of Pilot insignia

Advanced Pilot (following completion of Advanced Piloting)       Image of Advanced Pilot insignia

Junior Navigator (following completion of Junior Navigation)       Image of Junior Navigator insignia

Navigator (following completion of Navigation)       Image of Navigator insignia

Educational Proficiency Award:

The Educational Proficiency Award is given to a member who successfully completes Advanced Piloting plus three elective courses.  It is represented by the educational grade with a bar below it.  Shown is the Advanced Pilot grade with the Educational Proficiency bar below it.  The Junior Navigator and Navigator would be similar.

Image of Advanced Pilot with Ed Proficiency insignia

Educational Achievement Award:

When a USPS member completes all advanced grades plus any six elective courses, they earn the Educational Achievement Award.  This is the highest educational recognition award given by USPS.  A person with this award is known as a Senior Navigator, and uses the grade designation “SN”.  In the past, a Senior Navigator was referred to as a “Full Certificate” and used the printed grade designation N.  The insignia consists of the Navigator insignia within a box.

Image of Senior Navigator insignia