We work together to prevent the loss of life at sea and on the coast in the UK. We produce legislation on maritime matters and guidance to help follow maritime rules that govern the water.

What we do at MCA

We are the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), and we are one of the four executive agencies that make up the Department for Transport.

We are a team of 1,150 staff and 3,500 volunteers. Our headquarters are in Southampton and we have offices and co-ordination centres around the UK coast.

Whatever skills you may have, we can support your development throughout one of the many rewarding careers at the MCA, where we make a difference and contribute to saving lives.

  • Click here to reveal the duties we’re responsible for at the MCA

    We are responsible for:

    • the safety of everybody in a vessel in UK waters.
    • the safety of all seafarers on UK flagged vessels.
    • making sure all equipment on UK vessels is fit for purpose.
    • making sure all seafarers on UK vessels have correct documentation.
    • the environmental safety of UK coast and waters.
    • the accuracy of hydrographic data on UK charts.
    • overseeing coastal rescue volunteers, hydrographics, seafarer certification and the port state control inspection regime.

Does your job matter?

What we do matters. The MCA makes a vital difference to hundreds of people every single day. Whether at the beach, coast or sea, people rely on our 24-hour emergency service 365-days a year, whilst our Marine Surveyors operate to ensure high standards of safety for all ships and seafarers around the globe.

Our staff understand the significance of their work and its contribution towards our vision to be the best maritime safety organisation in the world. When you choose one of our MCA careers, you can be confident you are doing work that helps people every day.

Making a difference

Safety matters – join us and make a difference to people’s lives. From policy to enforcement, prevention to emergency response, and communications to corporate services, we work together to create safer lives, safer ships and cleaner seas.

Whether you’re starting out on one of our exciting careers at the MCA, changing paths, or joining us as an experienced professional, you’ll play a vital part in improving safety at sea. You could be dispatching search and rescue teams, inspecting ships, ensuring sea-goers are fit and properly qualified, enforcing or shaping maritime law, or developing how we communicate with people on the water.

What makes the MCA a great place to work?

Our people matter

We understand the importance of work/life balance, especially for those with families or caring responsibilities. Flexible working hours, job share opportunities, wellbeing support and diversity training are just a few examples of our dedication to creating an inclusive environment for everybody.

We offer a competitive benefits package with an attractive pension scheme, generous holiday allowance, childcare vouchers plus much more!

You’ll also have the chance to work in a location convenient for you. The MCA has offices based all around the UK, with our Head Office in Southampton, which has excellent transport links in and around the city.  

Download our Staff Benefits Brochure

Learn more about the benefits MCA offers to their staff, including; discounts, flexible working arrangements, development opportunities, cycle-to-work schemes, and more.

A diverse workforce

From Marine Surveyors, IT Technicians to operational Coastguards, our people are highly skilled. We can always rely on the diverse capabilities of our teams to achieve our aims and keep the public safe.

  • Did you know that you don’t need a maritime background or experience in emergency operations to become a Maritime Operations Officer?
  • Did you know we’re one of the four emergency services in the UK and the only national service as well as operating at sea and internationally?
  • Did you know Marine Surveyors carry out inspections on ships of all types and sizes all around the world?
Female MCA worker at the coast

We want you to be the best you can be. We provide regular support, training and development opportunities for all our staff beginning their careers at the MCA.

Our passion for diversity and equality means creating a work environment for all employees that is welcoming, respectful, engaging, and enriched with opportunities for personal and professional development.

Staff Network Groups

The MCA has 6 staff networks groups:

  • Mental Health Network
  • Women’s Network
  • Positive Support Network
  • Carers Network
  • LGBT+ Network
  • Respect Ambassadors

These are all run by the MCA staff members who offer friendly support, information and guidance.

Every year, our Agency is involved with Pride events. We organise Wellbeing and Inclusion weeks where staff host ‘Lunch and Learns’ about subjects such as autism awareness, the gender pay gap, unconscious bias or the transgender community. We also invite guests to bring awareness to the Agency on matters such as the menopause, or to share first-hand experience from the blind community.

One of our current priorities is working on removing stigma around mental health and sexuality. We are always increasing our workplace diversity by identifying barriers for staff with protected characteristics and a whole lot more!

Apprenticeship and development

At the MCA, we are passionate about developing our staff and enabling them to reach their full potential. This could either be through a recognised apprenticeship programme, to achieve a formal qualification, or one of the many internal development programmes that our staff benefit from throughout their MCA careers.

We reward hard work

The MCA’s Recognising Positive Impact (RPI) scheme is about acknowledging employees’ behaviours or achievements, with timely recognition reward payments. But that’s not all we do to reward our staff.

As an employee of the MCA, you’ll also receive:

  • Free health checks

  • Retail discounts

    Make great savings on purchases through High Street retailers. Find out more about retail discounts.

  • Blue Light Card

    This provides a discount service for Emergency Services, NHS and Armed Forces staff. It gives you discounts online and on the high street through a physical Blue Light Card.

    Find out more about the Blue Light Card.

  • Generous pension

    You will be entitled to join the highly competitive Civil Service Pension Scheme, which many experts agree is one of the most generous in the UK.

  • Flexible working patterns

    • Wherever possible, we offer flexible and variable working hours to help our staff have a healthy work/life balance.
    • Many of the jobs are offered as part-time or job-share. Working hours can often be varied to suit personal circumstances, or home working can be considered.
  • We look after your health and well-being

    The MCA has a range of workplace well-being initiatives to make sure you remain healthy and feel supported at work. We recognise that you bring your whole self to work, so when things happen in your life that mean you need a helping hand, we have a range of support available. This can range from our staff networks or Mental Health Buddies initiative, to our Employee Assistance Programme.

  • Maternity, paternity, adoption and parental leave

    The department offers maternity, adoption and shared parental leave of up to 26 weeks full pay followed by 13 weeks statutory pay and a further 13 weeks unpaid. We offer paternity leave of 2 weeks full pay.

  • Holiday and travel

    • All new staff receive 25 days annual leave plus 8 days of public holidays. You will earn an extra day each year of service, up to a maximum of 30 days.
    • Staff can also apply for interest free season ticket loans.
    • Cycle to work scheme – make tax savings on the purchase of a bike to cycle to work. In addition, interest free season ticket and cycle loans are also available.

What you could be doing at the MCA

We are currently recruiting for several important roles in our teams across the UK. The work we carry out is varied, exciting and can be flexible to suit your lifestyle. Some of the professions we recruit include:

  • Coastguards
  • Maritime Safety and Standards
  • Commercial
  • Finance
  • IT (Marine Future Technologies)
  • Human Resources
  • Estates

This is an exciting time to join one of our MCA careers! You’ll help us to maintain our aim of being the best maritime safety organisation in the world, and in return, we’ll support you in your ambitions. Whether that is to develop your knowledge or to climb the career ranks, we’ll be behind you every step of the way.

Together, we’ll create a modern, agile, faster-paced organisation. But there’s one thing that will never change: the thing that makes working for the MCA so special, important and unique – our commitment to ensuring the safety of people at sea and the protection of the maritime environment.

Because what we do matters.

What our people say about working for the MCA

Rob Townsend, Senior Technical Architect at MCA.

Rob Townsend, Senior Technical Architect

“You get an enormous sense of pride when you hear about the successes of our front line services such as HM Coastguard, Counter Pollution and Survey Branch.”

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