US Coast Guard Job Requirements in Delaware

Coast Guard units based out of Delaware save countless lives every year, serving the primary functions of providing search-and-rescue, medical evacuations, and firefighting services. Units from the Indian River Inlet Station near Rehoboth Beach conduct regular training exercises with their counterparts of Lewes Fire and Rescue, based a few miles north. Last year the Coast Guard in Delaware conducted 36 search-and-rescue missions with its three boats and in conjunction with units from other states. However just because rescues are the most common service provided by this agency does not mean it is not capable of other missions; the Delaware Coast Guard is prepared for six primary duties:

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  • Maritime Transportation System Management
  • Maritime Response
  • Maritime Security Operations
  • Defense Operations
  • Maritime Law Enforcement
  • Maritime Prevention


Careers in the US Coast Guard

There are several paths to apply for Delaware-based Coast Guard jobs. One of the first distinctions is between civilian and enlisted positions. The civilian branch of the US Coast Guard functions much like a civilian employer in the private sector. Candidates bring a particular set of skills to a job offer, and if they are qualified and selected they can begin work. Having a college degree increases the potential possibilities for civilian employees, who work in positions such as:

  • Mechanical engineering
  • Accounting
  • Medical services
  • Search and rescue controller
  • Budget analyst
  • Electrician
  • Legal assistant

Candidates can apply for enlisted positions if they are between the ages of 17-27 and have a relatively clean criminal background. Training for these Coast Guard careers takes place after the completion of an eight-week basic training academy. As in the civilian branch, enlistees who have a bachelor degree are eligible to apply for more advanced careers, and are may be able to join as officers which will earn them the entry rank of ensign and a higher starting pay grade. In order to do this, candidates must be accepted into and complete the 17-week Officer Training School. Four-year degrees in the proceeding subjects can lead to the following careers, although the Coast Guard always has the final say for an enlistee’s position:

  • IT, Computer Science and Systems Management can lead to careers as a Network Analyst
  • Law degrees can lead to careers as a Coast Guard Legal Officer
  • Business and Management degrees can translate into a career in Human Resources or Command Staff
  • A degree in Engineering can be very useful for those working as:
    • Communications Engineers
    • Telecommunication Engineers
    • Naval Engineers
    • Civil Engineers


Delaware’s Working Environment

Civilians or enlistees will be curious what to expect once they have fulfilled the Coast Guard job requirements, have been hired, complete their initial training, and are stationed in Delaware. Coast Guard units based at the Indian River Inlet Station fulfill a wide range of duties that contribute to the accomplishment of the six principle missions with which the station is tasked. When units are not busy training, they may be active in search-and-rescue missions such as the following:

  • A 47-foot motor lifeboat was recently deployed from the station in response to a disabled pleasure boat in cold, rough seas, and was able to tow the craft to safety
  • A recent medevac operation was carried out by a rescue boat seven miles out at sea from the Indian River Inlet coast of a 45-year-old man who was suffering from extreme sea sickness
  • Heavy waves caused a boat with nine passengers to capsize in Indian River Inlet, where Coast Guard units and passing boaters were able to rescue everyone
  • Six fishermen were recently rescued by Indian River Inlet units after their sportfishing boat collided with a sailboat and became submerged out at sea off the Delaware coast
  • A 47-foot Coast Guard motor life boat was recently deployed in response to a catamaran sailboat capsized 32 miles northeast of Ocean City. Coast Guard medics were able to save four men, two of whom were unresponsive at the time they were rescued

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