What Does a Coast Guard Yeoman Do?

Learn About the Salary, Required Skills, & More

A day in the life of a coast guard yeoman: Administrative duties, deliver payroll, prepare travel orders, prepare correspondence

The Balance / Tim Liedtke

Yeomen, familiarly referred to as YNs, are vital components of the Coast Guard’s day-to-day functioning. They work directly with personnel in problem-solving, counseling, and answering questions related to career changes, entitlements, incentive programs, retirement, and veterans’ benefits.

When a member of the Coast Guard seeks information or needs assistance, the YN is the go-to person.

Coast Guard Yeoman Duties & Responsibilities

The YN is a behind-the-scenes role, but this doesn’t mean it’s any less important. Duties include:

  • Payroll certification
  • Payroll delivery
  • Preparing military travel orders and transportation
  • Preparing correspondence
  • Performing administrative duties

YNs keep the Coast Guard ticking, helping members advance in their careers and understand their pay, benefits, and Coast Guard policies.

Coast Guard Yeoman Salary

A YN's salary can be dependent upon the duration of service and, to some extent, location.

  • Average Annual Salary: $60,938
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: More than $74,470
  • 75th Percentile: $67,274
  • 25th Percentile: $53,674

You'll additionally have access to a Thrift Savings Plan, which is a retirement and savings program plan similar to a 401(k). You'll have superior health insurance coverage, life insurance, and long-term care insurance.

As a full-time government employee, a YN is eligible for exceptional benefits. You'll earn 13 days of annual leave every year for your first three years, 20 days of leave for three to 14 years of service, and 26 days for more than 15 years of service. You'll also get 13 days of sick leave.

Source: Paysa

Education, Training, & Certification

More than half of all applicants have no college degree. About 23 percent have a bachelor's degree, and 10 percent hold associate degrees. Other training and testing for the YN position include:

  • The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) Score: The required score for a YN is VE + AR = 105. Listen, take your time, and don't be afraid to ask if you have a question when you're taking the ASVAB. The test is taken on a computer, and you can only use a few keys to answer questions. If you press an invalid key, your test might be invalid and you’ll have to come back and take it on another day. The most important thing to remember is to read and listen to instructions carefully.
  • Class A School: YN hopefuls can attend a Class A school in Petaluma, California, or enroll in a distance-learning course. The on-site class lasts eight weeks. Keep in mind that there are only a few slots available for the online course. You can also “strike” the rating from your initial duty station without attending Class A school to attain the rank of Third Class Petty Officer upon successful completion of the requirements.

You can also take advantage of a range of educational advancement and development programs once you become a YN.

Coast Guard Yeoman Skills & Competencies

A strong candidate for the position of Coast Guard yeoman will have the following skills:

  • Prioritizing and organization
  • Good communication and interpersonal abilities
  • Computer knowledge and the ability to research, prepare spreadsheets, word process documents, enter data, and use the Coast Guard Intranet

Job Outlook

As a practical matter, the armed services are not likely to go anywhere. Careers in any branch of the military should be available for a long time to come.

Work Environment

A YN can serve anywhere the Coast Guard operates: in a small office or aboard a Coast Guard vessel. Onboard jobs are very rare, however. The majority of YN positions are land-based.

Most Coast Guard units that employ YNs are located in or near large metropolitan areas, although opportunities are available at smaller offices.

Work Schedule

A survey by Indeed.com indicates that this position ranks four out of five stars for work/life balance. Of course, this can depend a great deal upon whether the YN is land-based or onboard.

This isn't to say that you should expect a 9-to-5 job. The U.S. Coast Guard Forum indicates that hours are generally either 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., or 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on land, and that there might occasionally be some overnight duty during times of pressing urgency.

Comparing Similar Jobs

The customer service and administrative skills a YN obtains on the job are invaluable in the business world, and a former YN would be a well-qualified candidate for the following positions:

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics