A career as an Electrical Officer


"You are constantly doing inspections on every piece of machinery and on every system. For example, alarm and monitoring systems, fire detection systems, emergency backup systems, and the ship's propulsion system have to be monitored every day. You are solving problems when the ship is out of service and it is rewarding to know you are responsible for getting everything up and running again. There is always something to fix or improve upon."
–Terry Hunt, Electrical Officer, CCGS Ann Harvey

What is an electrical officer?

As an Electrical Officer, you install, maintain, test, and repair ships’ electrical and electronic equipment (except for navigation apparatus). This includes the main engine electrical components, electricity production systems, auxiliary machinery, electricity distribution systems equipment and machinery, and other various systems. Your role is important for the upkeep of the vessel. Under the supervision of the Chief Engineer, your recommendations on electronic systems upgrades, additions, and changes have a direct impact on our vessels’ ability to deliver essential services on the water.


Your responsibilities as an Electrical Officer include:

  • reading and interpreting various types of electrical plans, drawings, and sketches
  • ensuring that equipment and systems comply with applicable standards
  • quickly pinpointing problem sources and finding solutions
  • troubleshooting broken electrical equipment and making needed repairs

You may also be in charge of supervising an employee (Junior Electrician Officer).

Is this career right for me?

These qualities and interests are essential for this career:

  • interest in sciences and technological equipment
  • knowledge of computers and software applications
  • good manual dexterity
  • good ability to analyze
  • meticulous
  • leadership abilities
  • interest in working at sea
  • able to work irregular schedules
  • taste for adventure and travel

Training and education requirements

To become an Electrical Officer, you must have successfully completed high school and/or a post-secondary program, be a certified electrician, and meet the marine industry standard requirements. Like all employees on Canadian Coast Guard vessels, you must meet other Requirements as well.