Attention job seekers! NOAA! Opportunities available!

A lot of ‘old evil’ has been banished from the civilian mariner sector within the NOAA fleet recently. Most of whom were licensed personnel who wore out their welcome years ago. And it ain’t over yet.
NOAA is always looking for a few good(and nice)men and women to replenish the ranks.

How are the AB positions there? I’m thinking about putting in an application.

I’ve always heard it’s rather low pay and more days worked than commercial vessels.

Is it basically on par with what an MSC AB would be getting?

From what I’ve heard (I have no first hand experience with NOAA) it’s way, way less than MSC.

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I’ve applied a couple times over the last 5 years (because of two seperate lay offs) and never got a response.


The annual base pay salary for AB is 42K-45K.
You can almost double that amount with overtime pay.
Depends on the type of vessel. Fishery vessels pay the best and trips are no longer than two weeks.
Annual leave, shore leave, and sick leave accrue, too.

Ha!! I had forgotten about this site and finally something I can help with… NOAA is a great place to sail. I sailed at MSC through OIF & OEF as an AB / SAR Swimmer and had an excellent experience and literally traveled the world…I needed a change and took a few years off then was ready to head back out to MSC but they were not hiring, but NOAA was… As we all know Govt application processes can be a challenge but if you can navigate the admin it moves along quite well(note: NOAA is supposed to have a streamlined hiring “portal” soon, stand by).
Anyhow, I was hired and was blown away by great missions that these ships were conducting in far away places ,but mostly they work nearshore USA…In comparison to MSC, NOAA follows all the same standards and pay is the same, except that our new SIU contract was in the mariners favor this time with an increase to comsub rates and adding to penalty rate categories…So, $$ pay and benefits are a thumbs up at this time. Overtime is the name of the game and you will typically double your base +…Yes, the pay is solid. My take on “Culture” and work environments is that there has been a great improvement over the last couple of years with emphasis on Safety, Respectful Workplace, and Mariner support. Many new ideas have been brought to the table and this has created a great line of communication which has created a much more satisfying work environment. Of course most Mariners don’t understand the NOAA Corp’s and how they interact with the USMM, but it is a thing and without them there is no mission…If you have a question about the NOAA Corp’s just search it and it will show you what they are all about. Now…The big question most have always had is this…How Long are the trips, what about berthing, how is the chow? Most trips are 2 weeks unless on a survey to a place far away Berthing is typically 2 pers to a cabin, but since it is shift work, typically your cabin mate is on opposite watch…but it works out. The chow is good and we never want for anything on my ship… Every ship has a good exercise room or there is plenty of gear to use ect ect. Training is great and always available including Fall Protection, Fast Rescue Boat, even Rescue Swimmer is available(not USN SRS)but an equivalent…MEDPIC/PRO and all of your upgrade and USCG req training is paid for and lodging/travel provided. Oh, and most ships have direct tv, full wifi and solid connectivity, I am writing this as we roll to our next survey station. OK, I’m done with all the fluff… It is not easy being a sailor, but if you can be a team player and work in a small crew with scientists doing their thing than you will be ok… Good Luck,

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Also, any good AB that my want to apply doesn’t necessarily have to have direct experience as a “Fisherman”, but fishing knowledge and interest is appreciated…Our fishing is not exactly like the “industry” as NOAA conducts surveys that have been in place for many years…so past experience with winches, cranes, heavy loads, fork lifts, heavy equipment, is most helpful… Small boat experience is especially helpful as many of our survey’s include RHIB and Hydro Survey Launches that take the boat away from the ship to conduct operations. Net Mending and general marlinespike seamanship is helpful. Knowledge of fish in general is good to have many of the missions include the handling of Alaskan fish species as well as plankton, shrimp trawling and shark handling(yes, Shark Handling)… But mostly a good grasp of “Seamanship” is the necessity… There is a SCUBA Diving program that is world class and available to those who are interested…This is really cool. There is plenty of “Deck Maint” and cleaning as well…The ships are well supplied with the proper tools and safe materials to use are the key. Environmental concerns are a huge factor at NOAA and taken very seriously as well…

I don’t know if you’re a current employee, but that is absolutely not true. Fishery and mammal trips can last from a week to a month, and yes, I made a month-long trip fairly recently. I did make very good money on those trips.

Got that right. Especially after what happened in March- a contraband search that did not end well for a few people. Did you hear about that?

Mending nets with electrical tape. That always made me laugh.

A true old man of the sea steps it up to duct tape. If that won’t work, there’s always J.B. Weld :rofl:

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Don’t laugh. Gorilla tape is some good shit, mang

Also seen Flex Seal in a flam locker on my last hitch. I shudder to think where that was used.

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I was on a ship that bought a case of the stuff recently, when it showed up many jokes about screen door boats were had by all but it was handy around the accommodation at any rate.

"As a Federal employee, you will earn hours of leave per pay period, depending on years of service credited:

  1. Up to 3 years of Federal service, you will earn 4 hours of leave/per pay period.
  2. 3-15 years of Federal service, you will earn 6 hours of leave/per pay period.
  3. 15 or more years of Federal service, you will earn 8 hours of leave/per pay period.

Shore Leave
You will earn an additional 8 hours of leave for every 15 days away from your home port / more than 50 miles away."

Yeahhh I’ll pass on conditions like that.

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I have been here several years now and am still struggling to get all of my prior federal service credited for leave. The admin problems are that bad. It’s an okay job as far as job security goes, but if you have pay or leave issues, it takes forever to iron out. They farm out a lot of HR/admin functions too. Much of the time I don’t even know who to contact to get something done.

All my sibs (five of them) have consecutive Social Security numbers. Three of them were simultaneously officers in the Navy, which at the time was using SSAN as ID number. And the records center in Cleveland, which handled leave, for reasons known only to them and perhaps God, truncated the last digit of the SSAN. Much hilarity ensued.

Fortunately their pay was handled locally, so it was only leave that got FUBARed.

My enlistment was well over by that time, and anyway my SSAN was not in that sequence. And nowadays they no longer issue consecutive SSANs in families.