Like the Navy, the Coast Guard calls its enlisted jobs “Ratings.”
Each of these ratings are categorized according to their responsibilities.
In order to become an enlisted member of the Coast Guard, you are required to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery Test, or ASVAB for short.
Listed here are all 24 Coast Guard ratings, what they do, as well as the minimum ASVAB score needed.
If you want to pursue a career in any of these positions you will need to pass the ASVAB Test score with at least a minimum score.
Note: While we don’t have articles posted for the exact Coast Guard ratings for these jobs (yet!), we DO for the Navy ratings.
The job responsibilities are very similar but are only linked to give you a rough understanding of what the job entails.
The ASVAB / other requirements may be different in the Coast Guard.
1. Avionics Electrical Technician (AET)
What They Do: These “trons,” as they are referred to by the aviation community, are the techies of their field. They maintain, service, inspect, and repair aircraft power, communications, navigation, auto flight, and sensor systems. In some cases, AETs will have to hold an aircrew position in specific Coast Guard aircraft. They will work with communications, radar, navigation, anti-submarine warfare sensors, electronic warfare, data link, fire control, and tactical displays with associated equipment.
Minimum ASVAB Test Score: 171
Click Here to learn more about the Avionics Electrical Technician (AET) rating.
2. Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT)
What They Do: Stationed at large and small Coast Guard air stations including Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico, AMTs maintain and crew aircraft, including HC-130 H and J, HC-144, and the HU-25A. They inspect, service, maintain, troubleshoot, and repair aircraft engines, auxiliary power units, propellers, rotor systems, power train systems, associated airframes, and systems-specific electrical components.
Minimum ASVAB Test Score: 213 (minimum 52 AR)
Related Article: Coast Guard Height And Weight Requirements
3. Aviation Survival Technician (AST)
What They Do: Referred to as “rescue swimmers,” and trained at the Aviation Survival Technician/Rescue Swimmer school at the Training Center (TRACEN) in Petaluma, California. Besides their film-worthy work (see the 2006 film The Guardian starring Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher), ASTs inspect, service, maintain, troubleshoot, and repair aircraft, aircrew survival equipment, and rescue devices.
Minimum ASVAB Test Score: 162 (minimum 65 AFQT)
Click Here to learn more about the Aviation Survival Technician (AST) rating.
4. Boatswain’s Mate (BM)
What They Do: Considered to be the most versatile members of the Coast Guard’s operational team, these guys are the master of the sea. As a BM you will be capable of performing any task that is connected to deck maintenance, operation, and navigation. You should have a general knowledge of ropes and cables, including different uses, stresses, strains, and proper stowing. Be expected to be assigned to some more challenging duties associated with traditional maritime law enforcement.
Minimum ASVAB Test Score: 101
Click Here to learn more about the Boatswains Mate (BM) rating.
5. Culinary Specialist (CS)
What They Do: Culinary Specialists are exactly what they sound like; they’re cooks! CSs are responsible for preparing and cooking meals, taking inventory of food items, and also learning how to use dining facility equipment. It actually makes for an exciting and rewarding career after your time in the Coast Guard is up!
Minimum ASVAB Test Score: 106
Click Here to learn more about the Culinary Specialist (CS) rating.
6. Damage Controlman (DC)
What They Do: These are the maintenance and emergency repair specialists. They are responsible for watertight integrity, and emergency equipment associated with firefighting and flooding.
Minimum ASVAB Test Score: 152
Click Here to learn more about the Damage Controlman (DC) rating.
7. Diver (DV)
What They Do: A new position that was created by the Coast Guard in 2014, they’re considered among the elite of divers in the world. They sweep ports and waterways during coastal security missions. In addition, they survey coral reefs and environmentally sensitive areas; repair, maintain, and place aids to navigation, as well as perform underwater maintenance and recovery.
Minimum ASVAB Test Score: 104
Click Here to learn more about the Diver (DV) rating.
8. Electrician’s Mate (EM)
What They Do: As an EM, you will be standing watch on most of the electrical equipment on board. This includes generators and distribution systems. They operate and perform maintenance on power and lighting circuits, motors, voltage and frequency regulators, controllers, distribution switchboards, and other electrical equipment. They support the Coast Guard’s fleet of cutters.
Minimum ASVAB Test Score: 152 (minimum 52 AR)
Click Here to learn more about the Electrician’s Mate (EM) rating.
9. Electronics Technician (ET)
What They Do: Working and supporting large and small ships, communications stations, and all major cutters, ETs are responsible for the installation, maintenance, repair, and management of electronic equipment such as shipboard weapons, communications receivers, and transmitters.
Minimum ASVAB Test Score: 171 (minimum 52 AR) OR minimum 66 AFQT
Click Here to learn more about the Electronics Technician (ET) rating.
Related Article: Coast Guard Age Limit
10. Gunner’s Mate (GM)
What They Do: One of the oldest ratings in the Coast Guard, you will have the opportunity to train personnel in the proper handling of all weapons, ammunition, and pyrotechnics. Their expertise in weaponry ranges from 9mm small arms to shipboard 76mm cannons. In addition, they perform maintenance on all gunnery equipment.
Minimum ASVAB Test Score: 208
Click Here to learn more about the Gunner’s Mate (GM) rating.
11. Health Services Technician (HS)
What They Do: Health services technicians are responsible for providing emergency healthcare services and daily medical care for Coast Guard personnel and families. They will become familiar with performing diagnostic testing, prescribing medications, administering immunizations, and performing X-rays. Some days they will need to perform minor surgical procedures.
Minimum ASVAB Test Score: 154
12. Information Systems Technician (IT)
What They Do: Responsible for the management of communication devices, IT Specialists maintain all telecommunications equipment such as telephones, voicemails, networks, pole lines, computer-based data communications, and processing systems. They work with local and wide area networks, installing copper and fiber optic cables, routers, and servers.
Minimum ASVAB Test Score: 171 (minimum 52 AR)
Click Here to learn more about the Information Systems Technician (IT) rating.
13. Intelligence Specialist (IS)
What They Do: Intelligence Specialists are the strategic members of the Coast Guard. They perform a wide range of duties associated with the collection and analysis of intelligence, often on potential enemies. IS should be ready to prepare and present intelligence briefings after spending some time analyzing intel. They work with graphics, maps, files, and charts to convey their message across.
Minimum ASVAB Test Score: None established
Click Here to learn more about the Intelligence Specialist (IS) rating.
14. Investigator (IV)
What They Do: Investigators conduct both criminal and personal background investigations. They collect and analyze intelligence information and provide personal protection to high-ranking Coast Guard officials and other VIPs.
Minimum ASVAB Test Score: None established
Related Article – Coast Guard Ranks And Pay
15. Machinery Technician (MK)
What They Do: As a Machinery Technician you have the opportunity for assignment at every Coast Guard cutter, boat, and shore station. Their main assignments include: Operating, maintaining, and repairing any ship’s propulsion and auxiliary equipment, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. At smaller stations and cutters, they also serve as electricians.
Minimum ASVAB Test Score: 150 OR or VE+AR of 106
16. Marine Science Technician (MST)
What They Do: This job can vary depending on how many missions you respond to throughout your career. It is necessary to adapt to different circumstances from protecting U.S. waters from oil and other hazardous materials to safety and security inspections. MSTs help enforce regulations to protect the marine environment and keep our nation’s waters clean.
Minimum ASVAB Test Score: 115 (minimum 58 MK)
17. Maritime Law Enforcement Specialist (ME)
What They Do: As a Maritime Law Enforcement Specialist, you will deal with traditional maritime law enforcement, anti-terrorism, force protection, port security, and safety, as well as providing unit-level training.
Minimum ASVAB Test Score: 100
Related Article – Coast Guard Grooming Standards
18. Musician (MU)
What They Do: As a musician, you will be composing and playing music with the Coast Guard Bands. The Coast Guard band only recruits the most highly skilled musicians, with an audition process that is extremely competitive.
Minimum ASVAB Test Score: Not applicable
Click Here to learn more about the Musician (MU) rating.
19. Operations Specialist (OS)
What They Do: Operations specialists work in the combat center of the ship. They are responsible for the organized collection, processing, display, competent evaluation, and rapid dissemination of tactical combat information. They work with many different types of equipment to achieve their goal, such as radar, IFF equipment, etc.
Minimum ASVAB Test Score: 106
Click Here to learn more about the Operations Specialist (OS) rating.
20. Public Affairs Specialist (PA)
What They Do: Interested in Journalism? As a PA, you have the responsibility of being a public-communication expert. PAs write news releases and articles, serve as spokespersons, and maintain websites to raise public awareness of the Coast Guard.
Minimum ASVAB Test Score: 110 (minimum 60 VE)
21. Storekeeper (SK)
What They Do: Utilizing all types of office equipment and computers, SKs handle all logistical functions of supply and are considered experts when it comes to accounting and inventory management. They will negotiate with vendors and make sure that taxpayers’ money isn’t wasted.
Minimum ASVAB Test Score: 106 (minimum 52 VE)
22. Yeoman (YN)
What They Do: These are the Human Resource specialists. They work with making sure Coast Guard members understand their pay, benefits, and policies. Customer service and Administrative experience help when being a Yeoman.
Minimum ASVAB Test Score: 106 and NO+CS of 101
Click Here to learn more about the Yeoman (YN) rating.
Joining the US Coast Guard can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.
Now that you have a better understanding of the types of Coast Guard ratings you qualify for, it should help to make your decision to join a bit easier.
If you are truly interested in joining the Coast Guard, I would recommend you check out this article.
It will tell you everything you need to know about joining, including the basic requirements, physical fitness tests, what basic training (boot camp) is like, and more.
Good luck on your journey, and remember the Coast Guard motto…
Check out some of the jobs in other branches below:
- 10 Best Navy Jobs For Civilian Life In 2023 - March 20, 2022
- 5 Best Coast Guard Jobs For 2023 - March 20, 2022
- Coast Guard Jobs List: A list of all 22 ratings in the Coast Guard (2023) - March 20, 2022