Marine navigation training

Marine navigation officers are responsible for the safety of their vessel, their crew and the environment. They pilot and follow routes from charts while taking depth, weather conditions and traffic into account. They are also responsible for radio communications.

This program prepares you for a career as a marine navigation officer aboard a Canadian Coast Guard vessel. Officer cadets studying marine navigation learn about ship behaviour due to internal and external factors such as weather and ice conditions. You’ll also learn about:

  • radar
  • signals
  • icebreaking
  • maritime security
  • aids to navigation
  • cargo and stowage

Training topics

Marine navigation officers must know how to effectively respond to different scenarios while at sea. At the College, we prepare you for your role by teaching you:

  • seamanship
  • celestial navigation
  • search and rescue techniques
  • fisheries enforcement procedures
  • environmental response procedures
  • how to navigate challenging environments, such as narrow channels and busy harbours

Training phases

Officer cadets receive hands-on experience aboard a ship to ready them for their career as a marine navigation officer. To balance this with classroom learning, the program is divided into 5 phases:

  • 11 months at the college
  • 7 months at sea
  • 8 months at the college
  • 7 months at sea
  • 10 months at the college


We’d like to meet you if you are:

  • dedicated
  • a team player
  • a good communicator
  • clear-headed and logical
  • interested in working at sea
  • knowledgeable in math and physics
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