As many of you may already know, there are frequent job openeings on USAJOBS.gov, working for the government.
I have seen a lot of posts here on gCaptain from entry-level OS’s and AB’s seeking work. The Army Corps of Engineers is consistently looking for Deckhands. For you greenhorns just starting out, it’s a great opportunity to get your foot in the door because you don’t need an MMD. They typically work a 12-hour schedule so you’re getting 1 1/2 sea-time per day worked. Also, the pay is very comparable to industry average, if not above average. Some vessels are paying up to $20.00/hour plus daily overtime (time and a 1/2) for any work over 10 hours. If you do the math that’s $260/day, plus let’s not forget the night-watch and Sunday incentives (gotta love the government). Also, many crews are working 2 for 1, two weeks on, one week off. If anyone’s heard of any company paying entry-level deckhands more than that, PLEASE sign me up.
As for you more seasoned folk (AB’s), well, it’s work during tough times, it pays better than many AB jobs out there, and it’s sea-time towards your license. Also, they frequently have postings for, Small Craft Operators (Master100GRT), Dredge Mates, and Chief Mates. As a matter of fact they have several openings for deckhands, Mates, and Chief Mates as I write.
The website is sort of a pain to search. From the home-page, [U]usajobs.gov[/U], hover your cursor over the “Search Jobs” link in the top left-hand corner. A dropbox will appear. Click on “Advanced/International Search”. In the third column, “Series Number Search” type in the numbers “57” (you can also try “99”, but rarely do jobs come up on that one), DO NOT hit ENTER yet. Scroll to the bottom of the page where it says “Applicant Eligibility”. If you have any prior military service or have worked as a government/federal employee, read this section thoroughly! If you meet any of the criteria, select “YES”. This will give you the opportunity to compete for many, many more positions. Now you are ready to “Search for Jobs>”. You’ll have to filter through all the Equipment Operator positions, but there are quite a few Maritime-related jobs posted. Generally there is at least one new posting weekly. If you are 10-point Vet, there is no reason why you can’t land a gig here, and soon.
Because we are dealing with the government, responses to applications can take up to several weeks and on occasion several months. If you’re a seasoned mariner than you should be used to it by now (not much different then applying for a credential with the NMC).
Hope this helps some of you in need. I’m pretty savvy with the site, so if you have any questions or need some help, feel free to drop me a line. Please keep me informed if you find anything promising. Good luck!