NMC Job Openings

NMC has 4 openings, 2 for deck and 2 for engine. The positions are in course approvakls and license examinations. One of the deck and one of the enginer are GS-13 positions ($96,970 to $126,062 per year) and one each is GS-12 ($81,548 to $106,012 per year).

More information is here. Note that if you do not work for the Federal government, you must use the announcements that end in “D.”


For government employees may also use the announcements that end in “M”


Are these new positions or were they just unable to find anyone the last two times?

Unable to find means no one applied, despite athe incessant complaints of no mariners at NMC. 3 of the 4 are to fill vacancies from retirement or promotion/transfers to CG HQ.

Have you read the screening questions?

“Have you developed questions for Coast Guard merchant mariner examinations? Answer to this question is required”

If that’s a pass/fail question how many people will actually be able to say they did that who don’t already work for the Coast Guard?

There are no “pass/fail” questions.

If it’s a screening element, and you have not had experience performing that specific task, wouldn’t you be screened out by the HR Department, even if you’re otherwise a good candidate?

If someone answers “no” to that question but meets all other requirements, the odds of them still being referred to the hiring authority is so low as the make the question essentially pass/fail.

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It doesn’t work that way.

Federal hiring is not like private sector. There are two annopuncements for the same job, there is a “Merit Promotion” announcement for current Federal employees, and an “open” announcement for everyone.

Applicants for each of the two announcements are assigned a score based on the point values associated with the questions and the responses to them. All questions are not scored the same, some have higher point values. There is a minimum cut-off and those above it are found “qualified” and forwarded to the office with the vacancy, one list for open and one list for merit promotion. The office can make a selection from either list.

On the merit or “M” list, the office can hire anyone on the list. There is no priority for veterans on the M list. On the open list, the office can select anyone on the list, with one major proviso. If any of the applicants have a veteran’s preference, they cannot hire anoyone with a lower score than the applicant(s) with veteran’s preference.

On this specific question, an applicant with this experience will get a few points more than a similar applicant without that experience. That may be important if there are veterans on the list. This is typical of most questions, they are intended to give an applicant with more diverese or relevant experience a higher ranking than those without. But subject to the veteran’s preference rules, the “screening” of applicants is done by the office doing the hiring. As far as screening out for lack of experience with any of the questions, it’s also not that clear-cut. Some skills can be learned quickly, others can’t. The point values on the question, and the discretion to the office to make a selection from qual;ified applicants addresses that. This one probably has a relatively small point value associated with it.

As far as anyone considering applying, consider that the office that assigns those preliminary scores is not intimately familiar with the job, or the experience asked of the applicants. So don’t assume they will understand that you have the experience from something obvious to the industry. For example, if the desired experience was with planning for and carrying out cargo operations for dangerous liquid cargo, don’t assume that saying you were the Chief Mate on an oil tanker will be sufficient to show you have that experience. Your resume and other documents should be specific. Many applicants include, in an addition to a resume, an addendum that desribes their experience as it relates to each of the identified experience ranking factors or other required skills for the job. Considering tghe priority on veterans, every point you get (or pass up) on the preliminary scoring is important.

You can give yourself a reasonable benefit of the doubt, but if your answer is absolutely not supported by your experience, you’ll probably be called on it. I have sent more than one application back for re-scoring when the answer was not supported by experience (e.g. someone saying “Yes” to having experience as Mate/Master on vessels over 1,600 GRT but never having held a license for greater than 500 GRT).


I’ve never found it to work that way for the 8 people I hired when I was at NMC and the 10 or more hirings I’ve assisted with in other Coast Guard offices, at least on a question like this. I have included Yes/No disqualifying questions in my announcements, and I suspect the first one about evessel experience is one. But I doubt the one on exam questions is.

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I’m not saying I think your wrong, only that I’m dubious of the screening/point system actually working as intended. If you have seen it actually work that way as a hiring authority then it will be I deferring to your superior experience since I have not had that same experience.

While I have successfully navigated USAJobs several times, other times I have been unsuccessful which I could only point to saying no to single question as the apparent reason for having been determined to not meet the minimum requirements.

For anyone else, I would second Mr. Cavo’s above recommendation regarding the detail required with federal applications. Always assume the reader of your resume/application has no previous knowledge/understanding of anything in the application or job description. Go in to excruciating detail and err on the side of overexplaining. Definitely do not use jargon or acronyms. As an example my “regular” resume is two pages, my “federal” resume is 10 pages.

As with alll things, you’ll never know unless you try. If you’re interested in the position, instead of saying “I’m not going to get it anyway, so why bother?”, apply and see what happens. You have one of two outcomes:

  1. Your qualifications are inadequate and you are proven right.
  2. You are a superior candidate and offered the position.

@jdcavo ,

Thanks for clearing up the process. You actually gave me a lot of insight as to how federal hiring works.

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I’d be too tempted to try and slip “if you are hanging upside down from the mast, facing the stern, which running light would be to your right?” Into the exam.

Always fun in Seamanship 101 to see cadets contort to try and figure this one out and look silly. And then go “duh, I knew that…” :rofl::rofl:

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Well, finally you can have a direct reflection from DIRECT experience regarding this sham… What you guys run out of retiree’s? Sorry Mr Cavo, but let me relate the following:

BOTH My wife and I put in apps for the last set of jobs looking for preferably a Master and C/E on “each side of the house”… Not surprisingly- it took them more than 10 months to respond to my wife, they flat out rejected me in about a week… They still haven’t responded to her second app-

We both have all of the required background, training and LOT’s of experience… Answer these questions…

Lately I have been seeing A LOT of Civilian USCG Inspectors- Senior Ones. They are admitted recent retiree’s- I don’t see ANY of these jobs being posted on USA Jobs- this goes the same for a lot of MSC and other USCG jobs…

We’ll NEVER apply for a USCG job again- the whole “adventure” sucked…

We’re extremely disheartened by the responses (and lack of response) to our apps… We won’t be putting anymore apps into what we think is a flawed process…

The government is only interested in hiring know nothing, do nothing, cubicle puppets that will just go along with the existing brain dead program without making any waves.

Is it primarily a welfare program for USCG retirees that were not smart enough to find government liaison jobs in private industry.

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Where do i sign up…:rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl: