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Chief Boatswain (Fisherman)

Shipboard Officer / Personnel / Crew
$70,370.00 to $74,900.00
Employment type
Full Time
Announcement Number:
Open and Closing Dates:
November 09, 2023 to November 25, 2023
Pay Plan:
Series and Grade:
Appointment Type:
Excepted Service

Open to all qualified United States citizens. Relocation expenses are not authorized for this position. 

Position is onboard the NOAA Ship Henry Bigelow, homeported in Newport, RI.  Rotational assignment, approximately 60 days on and 30 days off.

Base Salary listed, salary does not reflect Overtime Earned.

Recruitment Incentive may be authorized.  OMAO is authorizing a Recruitment Bonus up to $10,000.00 for eligible applicants for a two (2) year service commitment. 

The Referral Bonus is only available to eligible NOAA employees.


The Chief Boatswain (Fisherman) is the manager of the Unlicensed Deck Department, responsible for planning all department activities, managing the budget and inventory control of the department and assisting the chain of command in mission planning and execution in relation to deck operations.  The Chief Boatswain (F) will report to the Executive Officer/ First Officer.  The Chief Boatswain (Fisherman) will assist the Safety Officer in maintaining all Safety Equipment aboard and ensuring the safety equipment is being properly utilized by crew and visiting science party personnel.    The Chief Boatswain (Fisherman) will work directly with the Chief Engineer to ensure deck equipment maintenance, repair, ship-wide work requests are being tracked properly within the Ship’s Maintenance Management System.  Responsible for ensuring all equipment is in good working order and department inventory levels are maintained at sufficient levels.  Develop departmental instructions and ensure all department personnel are trained in accordance with proper procedures and techniques.

Minimum Eligibility Requirements


  1. Must Possess Able Seaman Special, Limited, or Unlimited endorsement on the U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Credential. 
  2. Current STCW certificate II/4 Able Seaman, Rating Forming Part of Navigation Watch (RFPNW) Able Seaman;
  3. Possess a United States Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Credential with Medical Certificate. Must be Small Boat Coxswain Qualified. 
  4. Must have one (1) year experience as Lead Fisherman (or equivalent).

Conditions of Employment

As a conditional of employment, your position will be a Mixed Tour position. Mixed Tour of duty is a combination of full time, part time and intermittent work schedules which allows the best utilization of resources based on the work requirements of the organization. You will be required to sign a Mixed Tour Agreement.

Once selected, you may be sent to any vessel nationwide. There is no guarantee that you will be assigned to any particular vessel or geographic location, however, your duty location will be determined by your home of record or ship’s home port. Duty locations are Norfolk, VA; Charleston, SC; Woods Hole, MA; Pascagoula, MS; Newport, OR; Kodiak, AK; Ketchikan, AK; San Diego, CA; Honolulu, HI; Newport, RI; New Castle, NH

Salary will be determined by locality and class of vessel. 

A two year Trial period may be required. 

Applicant must be able to obtain and hold a US Passport. 

Must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable 

Applicant must be a United States citizen of at least 18 years of age.

Must be suitable for Federal employment.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS:  Physical requirements in accordance with OMAO Medical Policy.  USCG Medical Clearance examinations are required to include a pre-placement examination(s) as a condition of employment per OMAO policy.  Position is subject to Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Transportation (DOT) randomized drug testing.

SECURITY REQUIREMENTS: Employee must obtain and maintain appropriate security clearance for the Chief Boatswain (F) position. Position is designated as a Safety-Sensitive. 

Attend and successfully complete all mandatory training courses.

Be ready, willing, and able to physically perform the duties of this position.

Be ready, willing, and able to work in a shipboard environment and wear protective equipment.

NOTE: The tentative offer of employment will be rescinded if the selectee fails to report to any of the scheduled appointments - fails the physical examination, fails the drug test, suitability or unable to obtain the required security clearance


Evaluation Criteria
Applicants who meet the minimum eligibility requirements described above will be further evaluated. Documented knowledge, skills, and abilities, education, training, and awards contained in the application package and resume will be reviewed and rated to determine the degree to which applicants possess the required knowledge, skills, and abilities listed below that are essential to perform the duties and responsibilities of the position for which applications are being considered.

  1. Knowledge and ability to operate, maintain, train crewmembers on Fast Rescue Boats, RHIB Boats, lifeboats, launch and recovery procedures.
  2. Knowledge of shipboard safety, including lifesaving and firefighting equipment, methods and techniques.
  3. Knowledge and skill in operating material handling equipment, winches, forklifts, cranes, davits, etc.
  4. Ability to apply knowledge of seamanship.
  5. Ability to plan, organize, train, direct and assess the work of others; to include fishing operations,    i.e. trawling, repair of fishing gear and deployment of scientific equipment.
  6. Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
Apply Instructions

How to Apply

Applicants must submit their application through OMAO's Wage Mariner Hiring Portal.

Any questions may be directed to the Civilian Personnel Management Division via email at

In addition to meeting the minimum conditions of employment, you will be required to scan and upload files of the following documents:

1. Front and back of United States Coast Guard Merchant Mariner’s Credential (MMC), United States Coast Guard license, and STCW certificate.

2. Relevant professional certificates as applicable for this position i.e. American Culinary Federation (ACF), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Universal, Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), Security Plus, etc.

3. If you are a current or former federal government employee, a copy of your most recent Notice of Personnel Action (SF-50).

4. If you served in the U.S. military service, you must provide a copy of your Certificate of Discharge (DD-214) that shows the type of discharge you received. This information is located under the “Character of Service” block of your DD-214. If you are claiming 10 points or higher veteran’s preference you must provide supporting documentation such as a completed Application for Preference (SF-15)
Additional information on veteran’s preference is available at
You will also be required to provide a copy of the VA Rating Decisions for 10point consideration.

5. Job related honors, awards, and special accomplishments; for example, military, government or recognized professional organizations related to the maritime field and performance awards. You will be able to upload and store versions of these documents in your secure online profile.

NOTE: It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the documents scanned and uploaded are legible.

Applicants may be interviewed prior to being selected for employment.

Additional selection(s) may be made when vacancies occur onboard other NOAA Vessels.


Failure to provide the required information requested for this position will adversely affect your eligibility. Federal job applicants who make a false statement in any part of the application could be turned down for the job; removed after beginning work; or subject to fine, imprisonment (U.S. Code, title 18, section 1001), or other disciplinary action.

NOAA is an Equal Opportunity Employer

All applicants meeting minimum qualifications will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.


Enjoy an exciting career with NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations!
NOAA is home to the nation’s largest fleet of oceanographic research ships. With 15 ships in our fleet, OMAO operates worldwide to support diverse information programs, environmental stewardship services, and applied scientific research.


Once selected, you may be sent to any vessel nationwide. There is no guarantee that you will be assigned to any particular vessel or geographic location, however, your duty location will be determined by your home of record or ship’s home port. Duty locations are Norfolk, VA; Charleston, SC; Woods Hole, MA; Pascagoula, MS; Newport, OR; Kodiak, AK; Ketchikan, AK; San Diego, CA; Honolulu, HI; Newport, RI; New Castle, NH