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Hydrographic Assistant Survey Technician

Shipboard Officer / Personnel / Crew
$44,421.00 to $47,290.00
Employment type
Full Time
Announcement Number:
Open and Closing Dates:
October 30, 2023 to November 30, 2023
Pay Plan:
Series and Grade:
Appointment Type:
Excepted Service

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. 

Base Salary Listed does not reflect Overtime Earned.

OMAO Professional Mariners are required to be fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19 regardless of the employee’s duty location or work arrangement (e.g., telework, remote work, etc.), subject to such exceptions as required by law. If selected, you will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit documentation of proof of vaccination or before appointment or onboarding with the agency. The agency will provide additional information regarding what information or documentation will be needed and how you can request of the agency a legally required exception from this requirement.

The Referral Bonus is only available to eligible NOAA employees.


Serves on a ship, launch/small boat, or field party conducting hydrographic survey operations. Serves as assistant to an assigned survey manager.   Performs data acquisition and processing tasks under close supervision of more senior survey department personnel. Qualifies and serves as a launch/small boat crewmember and assists coxswain or Officer-in-charge as a line handler, visual lookout, and radio watch as required.  Serves as a Hydrographer-In-Charge in Training (HIC-IT) on survey launch and shipboard acquisition stations.   Qualifies as HIC (shipboard and launch) as soon as practical after completion of requisite training and necessary experience as deemed by the Command. Serves as an assistant operator or observer when conducting remote or autonomous system operations to include small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS), remote operated vehicles (ROV), and Unmanned Surface Vessels (USV).


Minimum Eligibility Requirements


Applicant must have two (2) years at the Hydrographic Junior Survey Technician level or equivalent work engaged in the hydrographic field or one (1) year of experience as a Hydrographic Junior Survey Technician and one (1) year of experience equivalent to work engaged in the hydrographic field. Experience may include work in a survey related field, including: land surveying, hydrology, oceanographic research, or similar related field.
Completion of two (2) years of college or an Associate's degree in a surveyor computer-related field that included at least ten (10) credit hours in computer science or related classes such as Computer Cartography, GIS, or Auto-Cad may be substituted for the two (2) years of experience.

LICENSING AND/OR CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS:  Must possess a United States Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Credential with Entry Level ratings – OS, Wiper, Steward Department (FH).  Must possess a United States Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Credential with Medical Certificate.
MMC WAIVER* Applicants who demonstrate desirable Hydrographic education, experience and/or skills may be hired without the United States Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Credential.  Applicants will be hired on a waiver; employees must sign an agreement that he/she will obtain the United States Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Credential within one (1) of appointment or  may be removed from Federal service due to failure to meet conditions of employment.

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 Hydrographic Assistant Survey Technician 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.

Vacancy Announcement may be used to fill Chief Steward vacancies onboard other NOAA Research Vessels if vacancy occur.

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 of Shipboard terminology, alarm signals, standard commands, and nomenclature.  
  2. Knowledge of Basic seamanship to include line handling and knots for normal operations.  
  3. Knowledge of software systems, such as HYPACK, Triton ISIS, MapInfo, ArcInfo, ArcView or Caris.  
  4. Ability to operate any of the following types of hydrographic equipment: Recording echo sounder, side scan sonar, multi-beam sonar, recording CTD.  
  5. Skill in computer, oral, and written communication.

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.

This vacancy announcement is open continuously with periodic cutoffs


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