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Marine Communications and Traffic Services training program

Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS) officers are important stewards of Canadian marine traffic. They work on behalf of the Canadian Coast Guard to provide one of the first responses to vessels in distress.

Officers oversee the safety of Canada’s waterways by:

  • listening for distress and safety calls
  • monitoring marine traffic to prevent accidents
  • making sure that vessels comply with Canadian laws
  • broadcasting maritime safety information, such as weather and navigational warnings

They provide services that help to:

  • protect human lives at sea
  • conserve the marine environment
  • ensure that vessels move safely and efficiently


The MCTS training program is taught at the Canadian Coast Guard College in Sydney, Nova Scotia. We offer the course in English and French.

Phase I of the training program is a 23-week program where you’ll learn the basics of performing officer duties. You’ll live at the college during your training and attend class from Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4 pm. Your classes will consist of:

  • theory
  • simulator exercises
  • practical applications

During Phase I of training, we’ll provide you with accommodations and meals in the college galley. In this stage you are considered an MCTS officer trainee. Students are not considered federal public service employees until they begin Phase II of the program.

After successfully completing Phase I, you’ll begin on-the-job training at one of the following centres:

  • Western Region:
    • MCTS Victoria
    • MCTS Prince Rupert
  • Atlantic Region:
    • MCTS Halifax
    • MCTS Sydney
    • MCTS Labrador
    • MCTS Placentia
    • MCTS Port aux Basques
  • Central and Arctic Region:
    • MCTS Sarnia
    • MCTS Iqaluit
    • MCTS Quebec
    • MCTS Prescott
    • MCTS Les Escoumins

During Phase II you’ll learn local geography and regional procedures, while applying the national standards covered in Phase I. On-the-job training can vary between 3 to 12 months, after which you’ll become a fully-certified MCTS officer.

Careers and benefits

MCTS officers receive a competitive salary and benefits package. Annual salaries range from approximately $53,000 to $70,000 based on experience and time worked.

MCTS officer positions include:

  • centre shift supervisor
  • centre officer-in-charge
  • instructor at the Canadian Coast Guard College
  • various positions within the federal public service

This career is perfect if you:

  • can work irregular shifts
  • are capable of multi-tasking
  • want fast-paced exciting work
  • work well in a team environment
  • show good initiative and judgement
  • have good oral communication skills
  • have a calm, clear and focused mind

Contact us

For more information contact:

Recruitment and admissions

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