Career as a Response Specialist

Do you want to be a Response Specialist?

Are you passionate about the marine environment and would like to protect it? Do you possess training in engineering or environmental science? Do you enjoy working outdoors? Then, we may have the job for you!

What do they do?

A response specialist with the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) is responsible for the maintenance and operation of the pollution response equipment with the Environmental Response (ER) section. They monitor and manage marine oil spills in Canadian waters. A response specialist is also part of the national response team, which can be deployed to a spill anywhere in Canada or around the world.

The key responsibilities of a response specialist include responding to marine pollution incidents, deploying and operating pollution countermeasures equipment and developing response, emergency preparedness and training plans. Other duties include monitoring and evaluating industry responses to environmental emergencies, assessing pollution incidents, maintaining specialized pollution spill clean-up equipment and delivering oil spill response training.

How do I become a Response Specialist?

To become a response specialist, you need to complete a technical training program. This can be achieved by completing a three-year mechanical engineering technology or marine environmental technology program from a recognized institute, such as the Marine Institute or the College of the North Atlantic. You could also complete the journeymen/millwright program from the College of the North Atlantic or a private institution.

During your studies, it would be advantageous to seek out summer jobs where you can participate in oil spill response. Working with a government department or response organization will provide you with experience and allow you to see if this is an area you wish to pursue.

Openings for jobs with the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) are advertised through the Public Service Commission (PSC) website.

Spotlight on… Lisa Laurie, response specialist trainee with the Canadian Coast Guard’s Environmental Response section of the Newfoundland and Labrador Region.

She enjoys the challenges of working in a variety of environmental conditions and the excitement of responding to an oil spill.

Each day brings an array of different tasks and challenges, from servicing and maintaining response equipment, responding to incidents, carrying out beach surveys to operating Environmental Response vessels to assessing marine oil spills. “It’s the variety of tasks that keep my job interesting,” says Lisa.

Published By:

Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Communications Branch
P.O. Box 5667
St. John’s, NL A1C 5X1

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada
DFO/2009-1610
Catalogue Number: Fs154-7/29-2009
ISBN: 978-1-100-50073-7