by Stella Shepard
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. The course is offered 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:
- 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 12 MCTS centres located across the country.
- MCTS Victoria
- MCTS Prince Rupert
- 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 three 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
FOR MORE INFORMATION
to apply to the Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS) program, visit