Coast Guard Petty Officer First ClassE-6 Petty Officer, U.S. Coast Guard
E-6 Petty Officer First Class - Petty Officer - U.S. Coast Guard Ranks
Petty Officer First Class is the third of the Coast Guard's Petty Officer grades, and serves as a non-commissioned officer. A Petty Officer First Class serves both as a leader and as a technical expert, and all Petty Officers have a specified rating, or job. The exact title with which a petty officer is addressed depends on their specialty; a Petty Officer First Class serving as an Electronics Technician, for example, would have the full title of Electronics Technician First Class.
A Petty Officer First Class is often chosen to serve as the Leading Petty Officer (LPO) of a division, and the leadership experience demonstrated through this position is often used to choose sailors for promotion to Chief Petty Officer.
Like advancement to Petty Officer Third Class or Petty Officer Second Class, to receive a promotion to Petty Officer First Class sailors must complete a specialty test for their particular rating and apply for advancement every six months, in March and September of every year. Advancements to PO1 also require three years of service as a PO2 and a recommendation from a commanding officer. Only a certain number of Petty Officer First Class billets are available to be filled every year, and competition for promotion is extremely fierce among qualified applicants.
Petty Officer First Class is the 6th rank in the United States Coast Guard , ranking above Petty Officer Second Class and directly below Chief Petty Officer. A petty officer first class is a Petty Officer at DoD paygrade E-6, with a starting monthly pay of $2,849.
How do you become a Petty Officer First Class?
A Petty Officer First Class is most often promoted from Petty Officer Second Class (PO2), although promotion from lower paygrades may occur with sufficient display of leadership and experience.
Advancement to E-6 in the US Coast Guard requires a minimum of six months' Time in Grade (TIG) and earning points for performance, leadership and technical knowledge. Candidates compete for a limited number of posts ("billets") as these become available.
What is the proper way to address a Petty Officer First Class?
The correct way to address a Petty Officer First Class named Mr. Smith is "Petty Officer Smith", or written as PO1 Smith. In formal situations, a Petty Officer First Class should always be addressed by their full rank.
How much does a Petty Officer First Class earn?
Basic pay for an entry-level Petty Officer First Class with 2 or less years of experience is $2,849.40 per month.
A Petty Officer First Class receives an automatic raise to their basic pay every one to two years. Basic pay is only a small percentage of a Petty Officer First Class' final compensation package.
In addition to a monthly basic pay salary, a Coast Guard Petty Officer First Class may be eligible for multiple types of allowances and bonus pay including hazard pay, retirement benefits, and more.
For full details on the Coast Guard's Petty Officer First Class compensation and retirement plan, visit the 2023 Coast Guard Petty Officer First Class Pay Chart. A full table of the Coast Guard's current paygrades are available at the Coast Guard Pay Chart.
Equivalent Ranks to the Coast Guard's E-6 Petty Officer First Class
To learn more about the Coast Guard's rank structure, see our complete list of Coast Guard ranks.
The Government civilian-employee equivalent of a Petty Officer First Class is paid under the General Schedule payscale. For more details, see this Coast Guard rank to GS grade conversion table .
To see a list of military medals and decorations that can be earned by servicemembers in the Coast Guard and other branches of the military, see our list of military decorations and medals.