Become a Marine Communications and Traffic Services officer

Learn about our program, including training and professional development, career opportunities and essential qualifications.

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About our officers

Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS) officers are the eyes and ears of the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG). It’s their duty to provide services to clients and stakeholders, such as:

  • fishers
  • navigators
  • the marine industry
  • recreational boaters
  • provincial governments
  • federal government departments
  • international government agencies

Their responsibilities include:

  • regulating marine traffic
  • responding to distress calls
  • communicating the needs of ships to those on shore
  • providing continuous monitoring of distress and safety maritime radio frequencies

MCTS officers contribute to the:

  • safety of life at sea
  • protection of the marine environment
  • safe and efficient navigation of vessels in Canadian waterways

Officers perform these duties from 12 MCTS centres across Canada.

Training and development

To enter the training program, you’ll need a high school diploma or equivalent.

The Canadian Coast Guard College in Sydney, Nova Scotia, is the only institution offering MCTS officer training. The 25-week program is offered in both official languages and consists of theoretical courses and simulator classes.

Students who complete the program at the College must successfully complete a 4 to 12-month work placement in an MCTS centre. This training is free and remunerated.

Career opportunities

Career opportunities as an MCTS officer include:

  • regional training officers
  • regional program specialists
  • Canadian Coast Guard College instructor
  • MCTS centre shift supervisor and officer-in-charge
  • various positions within the Federal Public Service

Essential qualities and interests

You’re an ideal candidate for the MCTS officer training program if you:

  • enjoy team work
  • have an interest in the marine field
  • possess good oral expression abilities
  • are interested in using highly advanced equipment
  • are bilingual (some positions are English essential)
  • take initiative, express judgment and can tolerate stress
  • are able to work irregular schedules of 12 hours (day and night)

Annual income

The annual income for MCTS officers is outlined on our rates of pay page.

You should note that the salary increases as you reaches higher levels of positions.

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