Career After Academy

Discussion in 'Coast Guard Academy - USCGA' started by coastguardhopeful, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. coastguardhopeful

    coastguardhopeful New Member

    Dec 26, 2012
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    Hello ya'll. I know that after the four years at the academy, everyone can be commissioned as an ensign in the coast guard. Do you get paid to do this? Or ar you just working off your tuition of 4 years at the academy? Also, you get paid somewhere in the ballpark for uniform expenses and what not, but are you actually considered active duty while at the academy?
  2. SamAca10

    SamAca10 5-Year Member

    Jul 19, 2009
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    Yes, you get paid to be an Ensign. Depending on the area that you live in for your first duty station, you could be making around 50-70k a year. Commitment is 5 years aftewards.

    Tricky response on active duty. Yes, as cadets we are active duty (and therefore subject to the Uniformed Code of Military Justice), but our active duty time does not count towards retirement purposes for those 20 years. However, if you got out of the coast guard and worked for another federal agency, those 4 years at the academy would factor into your federal pay and federal retirement.
  3. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006 5-Year Member

    Nov 25, 2007
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    Before the question comes up, the range of what you'll be paid has a number of factors. Your base pay (your salary) is the same no matter where you are. A newly minted ensign in New York has the same base pay as a newly minted ensign in Kodiak, Alaska. That base pay is based on your "pay grade", which has a corresponding rank. An ensign's pay grade is O-1. A Lieutenant junior grade's pay grade is O-2.... and it keeps going. There are also jumps in pay based on years of service (or in grade) within those pay grades, but they are smaller.

    Added to that base pay is a basic allowance for housing (BAH) which is based on your location and is not taxed. You could move during your career can see a drop in what you make (but no fear, it's also cheaper to live where ever you moved).

    Now, there are additional little bumps, like hazardous duty pay, flight pay etc etc etc.

    The pay isn't bad, and if good to remember, you're also not paying for healthcare, and that BAH isn't taxed.

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