US Coast Guard Job Requirements in Maryland

The Coast Guard in Maryland has a long history, and the state plays a critical role in the management of the nation’s fleet. Two cutters and 39 boats are stationed out of Maryland’s nine bases, which include the US Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore.

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For over a century this shipyard alone has built, maintained, and repaired the country’s entire fleet. Besides shipbuilding, units are also constantly training and conducting missions aimed at keeping Maryland and the nation protected from the threat of terrorism and international crime syndicates.

With a budget of $252.9 million, the Maryland Coast Guard supports over 2,000 jobs distributed among the following three classifications:

  • 817 active enlisted
  • 195 reserve enlisted
  • 1,054 civilians


US Coast Guard Training and Education Considerations

Coast Guard jobs in Maryland are split about fifty-fifty between civilian and enlisted members. Civilians hold many of the same positions as enlisted members, with two key differences: most periods of enlistment are at least four years and those enlisted must complete some type of basic training. A major distinguishing factor in Coast Guard careers is a four-year education.

Enlistees – Candidates who do not have a bachelor degree may be eligible to enlist as basic recruits, and will need to complete eight weeks of boot camp before they are placed in a training unit for a career that matches their skills.

Officers – Enlistment at the level of Officer is an option candidates with a bachelor degree may find appealing. After completing 17 weeks of Officer Candidate School new recruits will be placed in a field that corresponds to their expertise, such as:

  • Health Services Officer for those with a bachelor degree in health sciences
  • Pilot for candidates with a degree in the sciences and aviation
  • Command Staff for those with a degree in Business Administration
  • Intelligence Officer for candidates with a degree in Mathematics or the sciences
  • Legal Officer for candidates with a degree in Law or the humanities
  • Technology Officer for those with a degree in Computer Science, IT and Networking

Civilians – Civilians will find that having an appropriate bachelor degree is also one of the key Coast Guard job requirements, with relevant degrees including:

  • Accounting
  • Engineering
  • Marine Biology
  • Electrical Engineering
  • IT and Computer Science

Civilians will receive appropriate pre-employment training for their specific Coast Guard careers, and are not required to attend a boot camp-style training.

Recent Missions Performed by the Maryland Coast Guard

A good way to get an idea of what is involved in Coast Guard careers is to take a look at some recent concrete examples. Some of the more typical operations conducted by the Coast Guard based in Maryland are search and rescue missions. Last year these numbered 901, such as the following:

  • The Coast Guard dispatched a 25-foot response boat from its Ocean City station after receiving reports of an airplane crash-landing in the water approximately 500 yards out at sea. The search effort was conducted in coordination with the Ocean City Fire Department and the Maryland State Police.
  • In another recent case, this time 70 miles east of Ocean City, Coast Guard air units were alerted to a report of a sport fishing vessel with five adults and four children taking on water. Two helicopters arrived in time to rescue five passengers and ensure the remaining four adults had the situation under control.

Besides actively rescuing people in trouble, the Maryland Coast Guard also actively fights polluters. The recent prosecution and conviction of a Greek national highlights this. After being tipped off, Coast Guard Environmental Contamination Officers investigated a suspicious pipe on a Liberian-flagged cargo ship that turned out to be illegally dumping waste oil directly into the ocean. The company owning the ship was also fined $2.4 million.

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