Coastguard

Alternative titles for this job include

Coastguards help prevent the loss of life along the coast and at sea by co-ordinating and supporting search and rescue operations.

Average salary (a year)

£20,000 Starter

to

£30,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

41 to 43 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts

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How to become

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How to become a coastguard

You can get into this job through:

  • working towards this role
  • volunteering
  • applying directly

Work

You may be able to work your way into this role by starting as a watch assistant and applying for promotion when you've got more experience.

You'll need literacy, numeracy and IT skills, as well as seagoing experience.

Volunteering

You could start by becoming a coastguard rescue officer volunteer, then apply for a paid position when vacancies are advertised.

Direct Application

You can apply directly for jobs if you have some of the relevant skills and knowledge needed for this role.

You'll need a good standard of literacy and numeracy, good hearing and eyesight to become a watch officer.

Employers will often ask for seagoing experience, for example from:

  • the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force or the Merchant Navy
  • activities involving boat work and navigation
  • experience as a coastguard rescue officer volunteer

More Information

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a coastguard from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and Civil Service Careers.

What it takes

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What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to work well with others
  • physical fitness and endurance
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

You'll need to live within 30 minutes of the coastguard rescue location you wish to work for.

You must be prepared to work anywhere in the UK.

What you’ll do

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What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this job, you could:

  • monitor vessels' radio and satellite communications
  • give information and advice about coastal and sea safety
  • offer navigational advice along particular stretches of water
  • send out weather and tidal reports
  • respond to emergency distress calls
  • supervise and assist search and rescue operations
  • handle reports of wreckage, pollution or debris along the coast or at sea
  • co-ordinate training

Working environment

You could work in an office or at sea.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

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Career path and progression

With experience, you could be promoted from coastguard watch assistant to watch officer, then to watch manager or section manager. You could also work in other parts of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

Current opportunities

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Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a coastguard right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Public Services First Diploma

  • Provider: BEXHILL COLLEGE
  • Start date: 06 September 2021
  • Location: Bexhill on Sea

Public Services - Foundation Degree

  • Provider: BLACKPOOL AND THE FYLDE COLLEGE
  • Start date: 13 September 2021
  • Location: Blackpool

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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