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COAST GUARD PILOT, IN-DEPTH: Making A Dream Into Reality

About this video 

Ian, a Lieutenant Coast Guard pilot, describes the challenges of his job, what he likes most, his key decisions, how difficult getting into the industry is, and work-life balance. He tells us that, with such few positions open, it is very challenging to become a Coast Guard pilot at the moment - but of course, with some handwork and dedication, it's all still possible.

Job Title: US Coast Guard Pilot
Employer: United States Coast Guard

Job Summary: Military Careers

Job Description

The U.S. Military provides training and work experience in a variety of military careers. Members of the Armed Forces work in almost all occupations that are available to civilians in addition to occupations that are specific to the military. Service men and women serve on active duty in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps, or in the Reserve components of these branches, and the Air National Guard and Army National Guard. The Coast Guard is part of the Department of Homeland Security.

On-the-Job Training

On the job training

Additional Info

Applicants must meet age, educational, aptitude, physical, and character requirements, which vary by branch of service and between officers and enlisted members. Members are assigned an occupational specialty based on their aptitude, former training, and the needs of their branch of service. All service members must sign a contract and commit to a minimum term of service.

Officers usually need a bachelor's or graduate degree.

Certification Requirement
Depending on the occupational specialty, members of the military may be eligible for civilian certifications.

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
Confirm
$15,000 - $185,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
Not applicable
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Part-time, Full-time
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Office, Travel, Outdoor, Indoor, Hospital / Clinic, Military, Physically demanding
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Leadership ability, Teamwork, Strength/stamina, Adventurous, Courageous, Likes working with hands

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P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='0'>What</span> <span m='480'>I</span> <span m='670'>like</span> <span m='820'>most</span> <span m='1070'>about</span> <span m='1260'>my</span> <span m='1400'>job</span> <span m='2330'>is you're</span> <span m='2570'>coming</span> <span m='2840'>to</span> <span m='2960'>work.</span> <span m='3300'>You</span> <span m='3370'>have</span> <span m='3460'>no</span> <span m='3640'>idea</span> <span m='3940'>what</span> <span m='4090'>you're</span> <span m='4170'>going</span> <span m='4270'>to</span> <span m='4350'>do</span> <span m='4500'>that</span> <span m='4740'>day</span> <span m='5060'>exactly.</span> <span m='5730'>You</span> <span m='5890'>might</span> <span m='6120'>go</span> <span m='6270'>out</span> <span m='6480'>to</span> <span m='6580'>save</span> <span m='7050'>a</span> <span m='7130'>couple</span> <span m='7370'>people's</span> <span m='7750'>life.</span> <span m='8020'>You</span> <span m='8470'>might</span> <span m='8670'>protect</span> <span m='9520'>a</span> <span m='9610'>fishery</span> <span m='10030'>in the</span> <span m='10190'>area.</span> <span m='10670'>You</span> <span m='11040'>might</span> <span m='11100'>provide a</span> <span m='11430'>service</span> <span m='11860'>for</span> <span m='12190'>the</span> <span m='12290'>public</span> <span m='12760'>that</span> <span m='13050'>you</span> <span m='13310'>didn't know</span> <span m='13570'>you</span> <span m='13700'>were going</span> <span m='13760'>to do</span> <span m='13900'>that</span> <span m='14100'>day.</span> <span m='14720'>And</span> <span m='14850'>the</span> <span m='14910'>various</span> <span m='15340'>missions</span> <span m='15850'>and</span> <span m='15920'>the</span> <span m='15990'>various</span> <span m='16390'>ways</span> <span m='16890'>we get</span> <span m='17070'>to use</span> <span m='17310'>our</span> <span m='17410'>helicopters</span> <span m='18000'>and</span> <span m='18140'>use</span> <span m='18330'>our</span> <span m='18590'>air</span> <span m='19090'>crew</span> <span m='19780'>make</span> <span m='19960'>it</span> <span m='20040'>a</span> <span m='20080'>really</span> <span m='20300'>fun</span> <span m='20570'>job.</span> </p><p><span m='20900'>The</span> <span m='21290'>most</span> <span m='21500'>challenging</span> <span m='21820'>part of</span> <span m='22090'>this</span> <span m='22300'>job</span> <span m='22960'>is</span> <span m='23060'>just</span> <span m='23230'>how</span> <span m='23390'>much</span> <span m='23700'>studying and</span> <span m='24130'>dedication</span> <span m='24575'>you need</span> <span m='25020'>to</span> <span m='25100'>have</span> <span m='25375'>into</span> <span m='25650'>to</span> <span m='25950'>learning</span> <span m='26340'>all</span> <span m='26500'>the</span> <span m='26570'>manuals,</span> <span m='27180'>regulations,</span> <span m='28530'>and</span> <span m='29160'>laws</span> <span m='29540'>that</span> <span m='29600'>go</span> <span m='29850'>into</span> <span m='30480'>executing</span> <span m='30815'>Coast</span> <span m='31150'>Guard</span> <span m='31586'>missions.</span> <span m='32460'>We</span> <span m='32640'>operate in</span> <span m='33030'>so</span> <span m='33210'>many</span> <span m='33400'>different</span> <span m='34900'>areas</span> <span m='35200'>of</span> <span m='35300'>responsibility,</span> <span m='36110'>with</span> <span m='36260'>different</span> <span m='36730'>laws</span> <span m='37120'>that</span> <span m='37460'>are</span> <span m='37640'>involved.</span> <span m='38310'>And</span> <span m='38450'>just</span> <span m='38640'>flying</span> <span m='38930'>a</span> <span m='38950'>helicopter</span> <span m='39500'>itself</span> <span m='39890'>is</span> <span m='40010'>very</span> <span m='40190'>challenging.</span> </p><p><span m='41230'>You</span> <span m='41340'>have</span> <span m='41510'>to</span> <span m='41610'>know</span> <span m='42130'>everything.</span> <span m='42465'>You're</span> <span m='42800'>constantly</span> <span m='43270'>studying</span> <span m='43610'>and</span> <span m='43800'>reviewing.</span> <span m='44080'>There's</span> <span m='44180'>so</span> <span m='44350'>much</span> <span m='44630'>to</span> <span m='44710'>know.</span> <span m='45160'>You</span> <span m='45230'>can't</span> <span m='45410'>actually</span> <span m='45690'>know</span> <span m='45860'>it</span> <span m='45980'>all at</span> <span m='46330'>one</span> <span m='46370'>point,</span> <span m='46760'>so you're</span> <span m='46980'>continuing</span> <span m='47480'>reviewing</span> <span m='48060'>and</span> <span m='48680'>getting</span> <span m='48910'>tested</span> <span m='49330'>on</span> <span m='49480'>all</span> <span m='49700'>of</span> <span m='49780'>this</span> <span m='49960'>stuff.</span> <span m='50950'>So</span> <span m='51275'>the</span> <span m='51600'>most</span> <span m='51830'>challenging</span> <span m='52210'>part,</span> <span m='52480'>by</span> <span m='52610'>far,</span> <span m='53720'>is</span> <span m='54110'>the</span> <span m='54260'>knowledge</span> <span m='54590'>base</span> <span m='54800'>required</span> <span m='55240'>to</span> <span m='55630'>be a</span> <span m='56020'>helicopter</span> <span m='56512'>pilot.</span> </p><p><span m='57990'>The</span> <span m='58360'>key</span> <span m='58520'>moment</span> <span m='59470'>that</span> <span m='59610'>got</span> <span m='59850'>me</span> <span m='59950'>to</span> <span m='60100'>where</span> <span m='60250'>I</span> <span m='60300'>am</span> <span m='60450'>today</span> <span m='61120'>was</span> <span m='61280'>in</span> <span m='61350'>high</span> <span m='61490'>school,</span> <span m='61910'>discovering</span> <span m='62490'>that</span> <span m='63090'>although</span> <span m='63580'>a</span> <span m='63670'>dream</span> <span m='64000'>was to</span> <span m='64239'>fly</span> <span m='64459'>helicopters,</span> <span m='65050'>I</span> <span m='65160'>could</span> <span m='65340'>make</span> <span m='65519'>that</span> <span m='65660'>a</span> <span m='65700'>reality</span> <span m='66260'>through</span> <span m='66390'>hard</span> <span m='66690'>work.</span> <span m='67960'>When</span> <span m='68140'>I</span> <span m='68190'>was</span> <span m='68300'>in</span> <span m='68370'>high</span> <span m='68520'>school,</span> <span m='68820'>one</span> <span m='69020'>of</span> <span m='69070'>my</span> <span m='69200'>friends</span> <span m='69620'>about</span> <span m='69820'>two</span> <span m='69940'>years</span> <span m='70110'>older</span> <span m='70310'>than</span> <span m='70500'>me</span> <span m='70620'>got</span> <span m='70770'>accepted</span> <span m='71200'>to</span> <span m='71390'>the</span> <span m='71780'>Naval</span> <span m='72020'>Academy.</span> <span m='72475'>It</span> <span m='72930'>kind</span> <span m='73210'>of put</span> <span m='73340'>it all in</span> <span m='73640'>perspective</span> <span m='74170'>for</span> <span m='74280'>me</span> <span m='74470'>that</span> <span m='74940'>this</span> <span m='75120'>is</span> <span m='75180'>something</span> <span m='75490'>that</span> <span m='75740'>people</span> <span m='76020'>actually</span> <span m='76300'>can</span> <span m='76470'>do.</span> <span m='76650'>I</span> <span m='76750'>know</span> <span m='76940'>a</span> <span m='77000'>person that's</span> <span m='77470'>going</span> <span m='77590'>to</span> <span m='77780'>do</span> <span m='77940'>this</span> <span m='78100'>mission</span> <span m='78890'>and</span> <span m='79340'>protect</span> <span m='79735'>the</span> <span m='80130'>United</span> <span m='80440'>States</span> <span m='80780'>through</span> <span m='81070'>join</span> <span m='81300'>the</span> <span m='81360'>military.</span> </p><p><span m='82080'>I</span> <span m='82190'>never</span> <span m='82220'>really</span> <span m='82430'>thought</span> <span m='82660'>about</span> <span m='82920'>it</span> <span m='83100'>seriously</span> <span m='83690'>until</span> <span m='83930'>that</span> <span m='84160'>point.</span> <span m='85200'>So</span> <span m='85400'>when</span> <span m='85780'>that</span> <span m='85970'>person</span> <span m='86220'>was</span> <span m='86390'>accepted,</span> <span m='87170'>I</span> <span m='87390'>started</span> <span m='87890'>looking</span> <span m='88170'>into</span> <span m='88480'>it,</span> <span m='88590'>googling</span> <span m='89120'>the</span> <span m='89270'>different</span> <span m='89570'>academies,</span> <span m='90050'>my</span> <span m='90170'>different</span> <span m='90440'>options.</span> <span m='90890'>And</span> <span m='90990'>I</span> <span m='91040'>discovered</span> <span m='91540'>Coast</span> <span m='91690'>Guard</span> <span m='91790'>aviation</span> <span m='92330'>was</span> <span m='92440'>one</span> <span m='92590'>of</span> <span m='92650'>the</span> <span m='92720'>best</span> <span m='93020'>kept</span> <span m='93230'>secrets</span> <span m='93730'>in the</span> <span m='94030'>entire</span> <span m='94710'>military.</span> </p><p><span m='95270'>You</span> <span m='95510'>fly</span> <span m='96210'>a</span> <span m='96320'>lot.</span> <span m='96575'>You</span> <span m='96830'>fly</span> <span m='97110'>really</span> <span m='97390'>cool</span> <span m='97570'>missions.</span> <span m='97840'>You get</span> <span m='98090'>to save</span> <span m='98560'>lives</span> <span m='99740'>almost</span> <span m='100060'>every</span> <span m='100260'>day.</span> </p><p><span m='102100'>I</span> <span m='102230'>would</span> <span m='102310'>describe</span> <span m='102580'>my</span> <span m='102690'>work/life</span> <span m='103190'>balance</span> <span m='103700'>as</span> <span m='104250'>a</span> <span m='104450'>mix</span> <span m='104700'>between</span> <span m='105090'>good</span> <span m='105300'>and</span> <span m='105380'>bad.</span> <span m='106070'>Some</span> <span m='106310'>days</span> <span m='106550'>are</span> <span m='106670'>outstanding.</span> <span m='107360'>You're</span> <span m='107640'>loving</span> <span m='108060'>your</span> <span m='108180'>life.</span> <span m='108800'>You</span> <span m='109050'>have</span> <span m='109340'>plenty</span> <span m='109530'>of</span> <span m='109590'>time</span> <span m='109810'>with</span> <span m='109880'>your</span> <span m='109960'>family.</span> <span m='110760'>But</span> <span m='110920'>other</span> <span m='111150'>days,</span> <span m='111680'>you're</span> <span m='111980'>deploying</span> <span m='112420'>downrange</span> <span m='112990'>for</span> <span m='113080'>about</span> <span m='113340'>60 to</span> <span m='113700'>90</span> <span m='114080'>days.</span> <span m='114610'>You're</span> <span m='115010'>on</span> <span m='115160'>a</span> <span m='115220'>cutter</span> <span m='115990'>offshore</span> <span m='116740'>trying</span> <span m='117000'>to</span> <span m='117060'>save</span> <span m='117340'>lives</span> <span m='117700'>but at</span> <span m='117790'>the</span> <span m='117850'>same</span> <span m='118110'>time</span> <span m='118460'>missing</span> <span m='118660'>your</span> <span m='118780'>family</span> <span m='119210'>and</span> <span m='119300'>not</span> <span m='119510'>getting</span> <span m='119590'>a ton</span> <span m='119980'>of time</span> <span m='120270'>off.</span> </p><p><span m='120640'>It's</span> <span m='121010'>very</span> <span m='121150'>challenging</span> <span m='121520'>to</span> <span m='121570'>become</span> <span m='121870'>a</span> <span m='121920'>Coast</span> <span m='122290'>Guard</span> <span m='122756'>helicopter pilot</span> <span m='123222'>right now.</span> <span m='123690'>There</span> <span m='123790'>are</span> <span m='123900'>very</span> <span m='124100'>few</span> <span m='124270'>slots</span> <span m='124650'>open.</span> <span m='124915'>And</span> <span m='125180'>if you</span> <span m='125450'>don't set</span> <span m='125640'>yourself</span> <span m='125970'>apart</span> <span m='126460'>through</span> <span m='126840'>extra</span> <span m='127105'>curricular</span> <span m='127520'>activities</span> <span m='128330'>or</span> <span m='128780'>your</span> <span m='129120'>grades,</span> <span m='130045'>you're</span> <span m='130410'>not</span> <span m='130680'>going to</span> <span m='130800'>be</span> <span m='130900'>able</span> <span m='131039'>to</span> <span m='131320'>be</span> <span m='131430'>selected.</span> <span m='132530'>If</span> <span m='132650'>you</span> <span m='132760'>work</span> <span m='132980'>really</span> <span m='133190'>hard,</span> <span m='133440'>though,</span> <span m='133690'>and</span> <span m='133830'>really</span> <span m='134050'>give</span> <span m='134650'>your</span> <span m='134690'>entire</span> <span m='134980'>dedication</span> <span m='135560'>to</span> <span m='135960'>becoming</span> <span m='136260'>a</span> <span m='136470'>helicopter</span> <span m='136970'>pilot,</span> <span m='137340'>you</span> <span m='137615'>can</span> <span m='137890'>easily</span> <span m='138240'>do</span> <span m='138400'>that,</span> <span m='139010'>and</span> <span m='139150'>you will</span> <span m='139320'>be</span> <span m='139440'>selected,</span> <span m='140160'>and</span> <span m='140370'>you'll</span> <span m='140440'>have</span> <span m='140610'>one</span> <span m='140770'>of</span> <span m='140820'>the</span> <span m='140860'>most</span> <span m='141100'>rewarding</span> <span m='141870'>yet</span> <span m='142070'>challenging</span> <span m='142510'>jobs</span> <span m='142810'>you</span> <span m='143110'>can</span> <span m='143410'>get.</span> </p>","file":{"id":265686,"video_id":"2707987595001","name":"71538670","duration":145130,"thumbnail_url":null}});