by Heidi Riley
The Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) owns and operates the federal government’s civilian fleet and provides key maritime services to Canadians.
CCG is a special operating agency within the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and is responsible for services and programs that contribute to the safety, security, and accessibility of Canada’s waterways.
CCG has 114 vessels, 23 helicopters, 17,000 fixed floating aids for navigation, and 183 marine communication towers. Across the country, 4,500 members work around the clock to protect and secure 243,000 kilometers of Canada’s coastline. They are first responders and the foundation of Canada’s maritime search and rescue system, saving an average of 15 lives a day.
They monitor 1,233 vessel movements each day across the country, thanks to highly skilled Marine Communications and Traffic Services Officers and Integrated Technical Services personnel. They also prevent threats to Canada’s marine environment and lead the response to pollution events from coast to coast to coast.
They keep the Canadian economy moving by keeping shipping routes clear of ice and facilitating the safe and efficient transport of more than 470 million tons of cargo through Canadian ports each year. They work with partners to identify threats and provide ships, helicopters, and people.
CCG offers many seagoing and shore-based careers that can lead to postings across the country, even in the Arctic. Many seagoing positions can provide the necessary education, training and experience that can lead to shore-based positions.
Career titles include, but are not limited to, Engineers, Welders, Machinists, Technicians, Carpenters, and Electricians, who maintain and repair equipment systems on shore.
“We also offer opportunities for students, including summer jobs,” says Laurie Morash, with the CCG.
CCG operates in four regions in Canada: Atlantic, Central, Arctic, and Western.
CCG Atlantic Region consists of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. This region has 183 shore-based positions and 1,300 sea-going personnel. Some of the work is outside, and some require travel.
Some of the varied positions are in these areas:
- Environmental Response
- Search and Rescue
- Compliance and Enforcement
- Incident Management
- Aids to Navigation
- Marine Communications & Traffic Services stations in Halifax, Sydney, Port a Basques, Placentia and Labrador. Bilingualism is required for these positions. “It is a very challenging and interesting job.”
- Marine (seagoing and shore-based)
- Operational Business
- Safety and Security Operations
- Regional Operations Centre
- Marine Security Operation Centre
Integrated Technical Services
- Marine Engineering
- Marine & Civil Infrastructure
- Electronics & Informatics
- Technical Management
Integrated Business Management Services
- Workforce Generation
- Indigenous Relations & Partnerships
- Strategic Services
- Workplace Wellness
- Oceans Protection Plan
CCG Atlantic Region Services
Marine Communication & Traffic Services (MCTS)
- MCTS centres provide distress and safety call monitoring and coordinate responses.
- Broadcast maritime safety information (weather and navigational warnings)
- Screen vessels entering Canadian waters and direct vessel traffic in high traffic zones
- Deliver information and advice to regulate marine traffic movement.
- Take appropriate action to ensure the safe and efficient movement of vessels in Canadian waters.
Aids to Navigation (AtoN)
A navigational aid is a marker that helps the traveler in navigation, usually by sea or air, for example, lighthouses, buoys, fog signals, and day beacons. An AtoN helps mariners confirm their positions, stay inside navigable channels, and avoid marine hazards.
CCG has four classes of vessels: icebreakers, multi-purpose vessels, science and research vessels, and search and rescue lifeboats.
The fleet of vessels delivers the on-water portion of CCG’s programs, including icebreaking, aids to navigation, search and rescue, environmental response, and waterways management.
The fleet supports DFO to carry out science and conservation and protection operations.
The Operations Business Branch is responsible for the national Fleet Operations Plan, including oversight and costing and the management of the national fleet, fuel, and programs budgets.
The Marine Branch coordinates seagoing employee-related tasks such as coordinating employee training and crewing the vessels.
Regional Operations Centre (ROC)
The ROC in St. John’s NFL coordinates program delivery for CCG services by providing support for CCG Atlantic Region Fleet Assets: 25 large vessels, 20 small vessels, and eight helicopters.
The CCG Atlantic Region also has several other sectors that provide services to ensure the region is ready to respond to incidents and deliver on its public-facing programs. Staff shifts cover 24/7 to be prepared to react to an incident at sea.
Integrated Technical Services (ITS)
ITS provides technical support to CCG programs and services, ensuring that equipment is maintained and operational including vessels, radar equipment, and lighthouses.
This section includes:
- Technical management
- Marine Engineering – repair and upkeep of vessels.
- Electronics & Informatics – looking after communications.
- Marine & Civil Infrastructure – looking after buoys and lighthouses and other aids to navigation.
Oceans Protection Plan – This is the newest section of the CCG. It coordinates regional projects and initiatives to improve marine safety and protect the marine environment, such as cleaning up derelict vessels,
Safety Management – Provides advice regarding safety and the safety management system and completion of audits.
The Canadian Coast Guard College in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia is the CGC national and bilingual training institution which trains officers for CCG vessels. The four-year Officer Training Program produces Marine Engineering Officers and Marine Navigation Officers. Study includes classroom learning, simulation, practical training, and time at sea.
Marine Navigation Officers are responsible for the safe passage of CCG vessels at sea and for their security in port. They have logistical, safety, and financial responsibilities onboard a vessel. They perform repairs to main engines and associated propulsion systems.
Marine Engineering Officers are responsible for the safe operation and maintenance of all equipment and structures of CCG vessels. They perform repairs to main engines and associated propulsion systems.
- Canadian Coast Guard diploma
- Bachelor of Technology in Nautical Sciences
- Commercial certification issued by Transport Canada
- Employment with CGC
- Internationally recognized certification
During your four years at the college, you will receive:
- Paid education and a monthly allowance
- Accommodations and meals
- Textbooks and uniforms
- Medical and dental coverage
- Up to four weeks paid vacation leave each year.
Programs to help students find job opportunities with the Canadian Coast Guard
Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP) offers valuable and meaningful experience. Explore hundreds of career paths and thousands of jobs that the Government has to offer across the country.
Eligibility for the program
- Full-time high school, CEGEP, college or university student
- Returning to full-time studies in the next academic year
- Meet the minimum age requirement in the province/territory of work
Post-Secondary Co-op/Internship Program offers hands-on experience, a diverse and inclusive workplace, and a way to kick-start a meaningful career that spans hundreds of careers and offers thousands of jobs across the country.
Inshore Rescue Boat (IRB) Student program
Crew members in the IRB service provide assistance to mariners in distress or in need of assistance via a Joint Rescue Coordination Centre or a Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre. Working on the water during the summer as an IRB crew member comes with serious responsibility. Search and rescue operations can occur at any time of the day or night during all types of weather and sea conditions.
Requirements for the IRB program:
- Post-secondary student meeting FSWEP criteria
- Canadian driver’s license
- Standard First Aid with CPR-C/AED certification
- Pleasure Craft Operator Card
- Restricted Radio Operator Certificate
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Currently, CCG is running a national recruitment campaign. It mostly focuses on priority positions that CCG is looking to fill: cooks, engine room staff, MCTS officers, stewards and storekeepers.
Job opportunities and more details are posted on the sites below:
Indeed: Canadian Coast Guard Careers and Employment | Indeed.com
Campaign webpage: Live the experience of a lifetime every day (ccg-gcc.gc.ca)
For a list of job opportunities, visit www.ccg-gcc.gc.ca/careers-carrieres/index-eng.html
For more information, email CCGAtlanticCareers.firstname.lastname@example.org
For a video about the Canadian Coast Guard, click here