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Coast Guard Enlisted Job Descriptions
Marine Science Technician (MST)
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MSTs conduct marine-safety activities such as investigating pollution incidents, monitoring pollution cleanups, conducting foreign-vessel boardings to enforce pollution and navigation safety laws, conducting harbor patrols for port safety and security, inspecting waterfront facilities and supervising the loading of explosives on vessels. They may be assigned to the National Strike Force for oil and hazardous-material response. MSTs are also the Coast Guard’s safety and environmental health experts ashore.

At sea, MSTs are assigned to the Coast Guard icebreaking fleet, and receive advanced training in weather and oceanography to provide support to scientists conducting research from CG icebreakers. A few MSTs can be found ashore conducting weather and oceanography-related duties, such as providing weather forecaster support for Air Station Kodiak, or acting as ice observers and forecasters for the International Ice Patrol.


A successful MST has an aptitude for math and science, and has the ability to read and understand federal laws and regulations. Successful MSTs have strong attention to detail skills for conducting investigations. An interest in the environment is also beneficial.

ASVAB Score Requirements: VE+AR OF 115 (MINIMUM MK OF 58)


Training begins with the seven-week MST school at Training Center Yorktown, VA, providing the basic skills needed to conduct investigations, monitor pollution removal and conduct safety boardings on foreign-registered cargo vessels. Further training is available in such areas as cargo container inspections, commercial fishing-vessel safety, explosives handling and port security/anti-terrorism techniques. Members assigned to air stations, icebreakers and the International Ice Patrol may attend the Weather Forecasting course at the Joint Service Weather Training Facility at Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi, MS. MSTs assigned to icebreakers may participate in on-the-job training administered by the University National Oceanographic Laboratory System, which offers the opportunity to sail on one of the various university research vessels conducting oceanographic research, anywhere in the world.

Related Civilian Jobs:

Marine Environmental Specialist
Marine Safety Specialist
Weather Forecaster
Computer Systems Analyst
Hazardous Materials Specialist
Oil and Hazardous Materials Spill Responder

Above Information Courtesy of United States Coast Guard

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