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Officer Training Program

COVID-19: Our campus is closed to the general public. Learn more about our response to COVID-19.

The Canadian Coast Guard Officer Training Program is an exciting opportunity to serve your country while making a difference on Canada’s waters.

The 4-year Officer Training Program is one of the best marine training programs in the world, producing both Marine Engineering and Marine Navigation Officers. The program teaches through:

  • in-class learning
  • hands-on training at the college
  • highly modernized marine simulators
  • practical experience aboard Coast Guard vessels at sea

Students are officers-in-training and are referred to as officer cadets. Our program focuses on marine safety and environmental protection, and prepares officer cadets to lead and succeed.

We train officer cadets to help protect:

  • individuals at sea
  • our ocean resources
  • Canada’s 243,000 kilometre coastline

Program streams

The Officer Training Program provides training in marine engineering or marine navigation. Either stream will prepare you to become a highly motivated and competent officer serving at sea in the Canadian Coast Guard fleet. Learn more about each stream:

Not your typical 4-year university or college

To meet the professional standards of the Canadian Coast Guard, the Officer Training Program can be more demanding and structured than a typical university course. This 4-year consecutive program aims not only to educate but to develop you as a leader. You will grow intellectually as well as ethically and become part of something greater than yourself.

Pay and benefits

When you apply to the college, you’ll be applying for both a degree program and a job with the Public Service of Canada. You become an employee upon acceptance into the program and will receive:

  • a fully paid education
  • a monthly allowance
  • textbooks and uniforms
  • accommodations and meals
  • medical and dental coverage
  • 4 weeks paid vacation leave per year


Officer Training Program graduates have the education and training to succeed in the Canadian Coast Guard and carry out its daily operations. When you complete the 4-year program, you’ll earn a:

  • Bachelor of Technology degree in nautical science from Cape Breton University
  • Canadian Coast Guard College diploma
  • commercial certification as a ship’s officer from Transport Canada

Serve where needed

Officer Cadets gain continued employment with the Canadian Coast Guard upon graduating. You’ll receive a list of potential job locations available across the country and may request several potential choices. However, not every location is guaranteed to be available.

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