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Coastguards direct 24-hour search and rescue operations throughout the UK.

The Work

You could be:


The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on where you work.

You would start as a maritime operations officer (MOO) on £20,855 a year. After experience and promotion to senior maritime operations officer (SMOO), you would earn £25,259 a year. You would also receive a shift allowance (around £5,000 a year).

A maritime operations specialist (MOS) earns £29,832 a year. You might earn more through performance bonuses or if you are based in the islands. Coastguard rescue officer (CRO) is a voluntary role, however you are entitled to claim expenses for training and responding to emergencies.


Coastguards work for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), a UK government agency. It has 11 HM Coastguard Operations Centres around the coast of Britain from Shetland in the north to Falmouth in the south. Three are in Scotland: Aberdeen, Shetland (Lerwick) and Stornoway.

Workforce Employment Status

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Getting In

You can start in one of two ways.

You could also apply to be a voluntary coastguard rescue officer (CRO) to gain experience, which may be of benefit when paid jobs become available. Find out more about this on website.

Whichever level you start at you must note the following information.

MOOs are recruited locally and you should contact your nearest coastguard station if you are interested. Vacancies are advertised on the MCA website. SMOO posts are advertised in local Jobcentre Plus offices, on the Find a Job website (formerly Universal Jobmatch) and on the MCA website.

Workforce Education Levels (UK)

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Job Outlook Scotland


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Job Outlook Scotland

0.4 %

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What Does it Take?

You need to have:

You need to be able to:


Getting On



The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI)
Tel: 0300 300 9990
Twitter: @RNLI

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