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Coast Guard Enlisted Job Descriptions
Electrician's Mate (EM)
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Electricians Mates (EM’s) are the Coast Guard’s Electrical Systems Specialists. EM’s are responsible for the installation, maintenance, repair, and management of sophisticated electrical and electronic equipment. These include:

  • Electrical power generation, distribution, control, and monitoring equipment
  • Fractional and integral horsepower motors, both AC and DC
  • Process controllers including; electro-mechanical, electronic, and Programmable
  • Logic controllers
  • Cutter propulsion plant control and monitoring equipment
  • Cutter and shore based auxiliary plant control and monitoring equipment
  • Interior Communications systems, electronic navigation equipment, and gyrocompass equipment

Types of Duty:

Afloat units are the EM’s primary focus at 42%. All Cutters 110’ and larger have EM’s working aboard, as well as some smaller Cutters. These Cutters are stationed throughout the world, including Alaska, Guam, and Puerto Rico. On some Cutters, the EM is the Engineering Petty Officer (EPO), and while acting in this capacity is responsible for all engineering systems aboard the Cutter as well as supervising the Engineering Department. EM’s also have a variety of cutters support assignments including, Maintenance and Logistics Commands (MLC), Integrated Support Commands (ISC), and Engineering Support Units (ESU). EM’s work both in and out of rate at Groups, Stations, Aids to Navigation Teams (ANT), LORAN Stations, Air Stations, and Marine Safety Offices (MSO).


To be an EM, you should have an interest in electrical, electronic, mechanical, and pneumatic systems, an aptitude for detailed work, an above average ability in solving mathematical problems. Since electricity itself is best never seen, the ability to visualize the theoretical working of the systems is a prime prerequisite. An EM must have normal color vision. Practical experience or prior training in electrical or electronic repair is helpful, but not required.

ASVAB Score Requirements: MK+EI+GS OF 152 (MINIMUM AR OF 52)


Training opportunities for EM’s are outstanding. Being an Electricians Mate requires a vast knowledge of electrical theory along with the practical hands on skills required to manage, repair, maintain, calibrate, and install all kinds of electrical and electronic equipment. EM ‘A’ School is one of the most intensive in the Coast Guard. Located in Yorktown Virginia, personnel will learn about mathematics, physics, electrical circuit analysis, test equipment. They will be well versed in motor, generator and transformer principles, theory, and application, electrical and electronic component theory and circuit applications. After ‘A’ School, most graduates enter the fleet where their newly learned skills can be applied. Class “C” schools abound and range from courses in Advanced Analog Electronics, Advanced Digital Electronics, Programmable Logic Controllers, Fiber Optics, and Gyrocompass’. Numerous Cutter specific Main Propulsion Control and Monitoring Systems (MPCMS) courses are available. During a career, an EM can expect to receive training in electronics, management, and leadership. At mid career, high performing EM’s may compete for selection to the Advanced Computer, Engineering, and Technology (ACET) education program, which provides 2 years, full-time, paid for college for the member to obtain an Associates or Bachelors degree in Engineering or Technology.

Related Civilian Jobs:

Electrical Systems Inspector
Electrical Research & Design Consultant
Electrical Construction Foreman

Above Information Courtesy of United States Coast Guard

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