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Electronics Technician

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An electronics technician (ET) is responsible for the installation, maintenance, repair and management of sophisticated electronic equipment, including command and control systems, shipboard weapons, communications receivers and transmitters, data and voice-encryption equipment, navigation and search radar, tactical electronic detection systems, and electronic navigation equipment.

Types of Duty:

ETs are stationed throughout the Coast Guard, including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Guam. ETs work and support large and small shops, communications stations, and all major cutters. The large shops are called electronics systems support detachments (ESD) and smaller shops are known as electronic systems support detachment details (ESDD). From these units, ETs are dispatched to Coast Guard search-and-rescue stations and smaller cutters to maintain, repair or install electronic systems.

Training Available:

Being an electronics technician requires a vast knowledge of electrical theory along with practical hands-on skills needed to repair and maintain C3 systems. Basic electronics technician school is one of the longest in the Coast Guard, at 20 weeks. Located in Petaluma, Calf.,  (about 50 miles north of San Francisco), students learn how to repair and maintain HF SSB transceiver systems, antenna systems, VHF mobile transceivers, direction finders, digital GPS receivers, small boat radar, depth finders, and integrated control systems. Coast Guard 'C' schools are available to ET school graduates and mid-career ETs who are responsible for maintaining close-in weapons systems, gun fire control systems, air search radar and navigational radars. At the pinnacle of ET education opportunities is the advanced computer, engineering, and technology education program, which provides two years, full time, paid college for Coast Guardsmen paygrades E6 to E8 to obtain an associate or bachelor's degree in engineering or technology.


To be an ET, you should have an interest in electronic systems and an aptitude for detailed work. You should be above average at solving mathematical problems. You must have normal color vision. Practical experience or prior training in electronic systems maintenance and repair is helpful, but not required.