What To Expect In Indian Coast Guard As A Career?

Today, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) turns 45 years old. ICG is not equal to the Indian Navy Force but ICG does come under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Defence just like the Indian Navy.

Indian Coast Guard plays a diverse role in the everyday protection of our coastal borders.

What does the Indian Coast Guard do?

The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) is the maritime law enforcement, search and rescue agency of India with jurisdiction over its territorial waters including its contiguous zone and exclusive economic zone.

In simple terms, they are our everyday policemen protecting our national water bodies day and night. This is their primary duty including many secondary duties to play.

Different Roles played by the Indian Coast Guard

  • Coastal Patrols 
  • Marine Search and Rescue
  • Law Enforcement 
  • Marine Border Protection 

There are 20000 active personnel currently employed in the Indian Coast Guard to protect our water borders.

The Indian Coast guard holds 157 vessels (ships) with 62 aircraft.

The 157 vessels play different roles like 

  • 3 pollution control vessels
  • 26 offshore patrol vessels
  • 45 fast patrol vessels
  • 82 patrol boats
  • 14 patrol craft
  • 18 hovercraft

The Coast Guard works in close cooperation with the Indian Navy, the Department of Fisheries, the Department of Revenue (Customs) and the Central and State police forces.

Now as you have understood the diverse role played by the Indian Coast Guard, let’s dive into how one can get into ICG for employment.

Indian Coast guard as a Career

If you are an engineer, Doctor or Lawyer, or if you hold a professional technical degree then you can apply for the below positions and must undergo training.

Currently, officers of the Indian Coast Guard undergo Basic Military Training at the Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala along with their counterparts of the Indian Navy.

  • General-Duty Officers: The command of ships at sea can only be exercised by officers of the General-Duty (GD) branch. The key functions of a General-Duty Officer would be to operate weapons, sensors and different kinds of equipment onboard a ship.
  • Pilot Officers: A Pilot Officer gets an opportunity to work at shore Air Stations along the Indian coasts and also embark on ships. Professional pilot training and certification is a must.
  • Technical Officers: Technical Officers are responsible for the operation of advanced technology and sensor systems onboard Coast Guard vessels and aircraft, as well as onshore installations. Engineers can apply for this position.
  • Law Officers: Section 115 of the Coast Guard Act, 1978 deals with the qualifications necessary to be appointed as the Chief Law Officer of the Indian Coast Guard. Law Officers act as legal advisers to their respective commanders. They represent the Indian Coast Guard in legal actions filed by or against the organisation.

Check how to enrol yourself for the officer’s position here https://joinindiancoastguard.cdac.in/selectionof_officer.html

Enrolled Personnel is the position where everyone with basic education like class 10th or class 12th can apply.

Enrolled personnel in the Coast Guard serve as either a yantrik (technician) or navik (sailor)

  • Yantriks are responsible for operating and maintaining mechanical, electrical or aeronautical equipment and systems onboard the Coast Guard vessels and aircraft.
  • Naviks may further serve in the General-Duty or Domestic branches. The General-Duty naviks serve as sailors, weapons systems operators, communication specialists, divers, etc. or in specific maritime or aviation support roles. Domestic branch naviks serve in roles such as stewards, cooks, etc. onboard Coast Guard vessels.

All personnel are trained in the operation of weapons systems in cases of emergency.

You can check the selection procedure and eligibility for enrolled personnel here https://joinindiancoastguard.cdac.in/selectionof_enrolled_personnel.html


The single most important factor today for the Coast Guard are the Officers who ultimately meet the challenges at sea. You could be the person for this challenging seagoing career if you are intelligent, bold can think with originality and possess leadership qualities. Service in the Coast Guard is not merely employment.

5 Personality Traits required to join the Indian Coast Guard.

  1. Resilience: Join at any level but the training is harder. You must have an athletic body to hold the training. You must have the resilience to continue the training in extreme conditions. Resilience is also important to continue professional work as living on the sea for more than 6 months requires mental strength.
  2. Locus of Control: Life at training could get hard and intimidate so you must understand your WHY’s. Having a strong locus of control will help you complete your training and on the job boarding too. Internal locus of control and knowing that you can control your weakness and portray your strengths will only make a person become Coast Guard Officers.
  3. Conflict Management: Having higher emotional intelligence to be able to control the instincts to fight. Living in a controlled environment during training or on the job could lead to overwhelming situations. Things get hard and there could be disagreements which could lead to conflicts. Managing one’s emotions and situations so that situations don’t go out of hand is an important factor in a person.
  4. Decision making: Coast Guard as a profession requires strong decision-making skills. Even if you get appointed as a cook, you must know how to make decisions every day to manage supplies till the next port arrives. Decision making is a skill that must be learned before joining the training program. Learning this skill before training will provide the person with an extra edge to apply for a higher position.
  5. Communication: The most important skill for any profession is communication. It is even more important in the Coast Guard profession. Everyday communication involves a chain of commands to be followed. There is a specific need for non-verbal communication training to communicate in case of an emergency.

On this 45th anniversary, Skillz4life acknowledges the work and effort of all the officers of ICG. 

Life in the Indian Coast Guard is a mix of many things, hard work, professionalism, risk and adventure.

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