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Professional Marnier Career With NOAA

  • Training: NOAA strives to provide opportunities for our mariners in order to develop a highly skilled and adaptive workforce. Paid training opportunities are provided both on the job and through formal training programs, internal and external.
  • Expanding fleet: NOAA is actively working to expand and update its research fleet. There are currently four ships in the production pipeline. With an expanding fleet comes expanding career opportunities.
  • Internal Merit Program: Mariners with NOAA are able to apply for open positions (lateral or promotion) throughout the fleet through the Vessel Assignment Program/Vessel Merit Program (VAP/VMP) process.
  • Federal Job Security: Compared to private sectors, federal employment provides unmatched job security. While on leave you collect your base salary. Travel: NOAA Ships work across the US coast and internationally.
  • Travel: NOAA Ships work across the US coast and internationally.
  • NOAA Professional Mariners are given Commissary and Exchange Privileges allowing you to save money by shopping at military base commissaries and exchanges.



  • Transition to Rotational Staffing: Starting in FY 24 NOAA is incrementally transitioning the professional mariner workforce to a rotational model. Each Fiscal Year from 2024 until 2026 six ships will transition to a 60/30 rotational model. Mariners will be on rotation, working for approximately 60 days and then on leave and in training for 30 days.
  • Annual Leave: Federal full-time employees earn between 13 and 26 workdays of annual leave per year. The rate at which annual leave accrues is pursuant to the employee’s total years of Federal service. Those who previously served in the military may be entitled to additional leave benefits.
  • Shore Leave: Employees earn one day of shore leave for each 3 and one half consecutive days assigned to a NOAA Ship for up to 4 total days over a two week pay period. This leave is intended to facilitate rotational staffing.
  • Sick Leave: Sick leave is earned at the rate of 4 hours per pay period or 13 days each year. An employee may use sick leave for (a) personal medical needs, (b) care of a family member, and (c) adoption related purposes.



  • Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program: Health Insurance is available through the Federal Employment Health Benefits Program for Federal Civilian employees, without a medical examination or restriction because of age, current health, or pre-existing conditions. Employees are allowed to choose between self-only or self & family on a choice of plans from Fee-for-Service, HMO, POS, Consumer Driven or High Deductible Health Plan with HAS or HRA, within 60 days of eligible appointment or during the annual Open Season period. The government will pay up to 75% of the total premium for any plan.
  • Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP): Individuals can enroll in a dental and/or vision plan. They may enroll in a plan for Self Only, Self Plus One, or Self and Family coverage.
  • Flexible Spending Account (FSA): FSA allows an employee to set aside pre-tax dollars through payroll deduction to pay for dependent care or healthcare expenses not reimbursed by FEHB plan or any other medical, dental or vision care plan.
  • Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) Program: FEGLI provides group term life insurance. You are automatically covered by Basic life insurance and your payroll office deducts premiums from your paycheck unless you waive the coverage. In addition to the Basic, there are three forms of Optional insurance you can elect. You must have Basic insurance in order to elect any of the options. Unlike Basic, enrollment in Optional insurance is not automatic -- you must take action to elect the options.



  • Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS): FERS is a retirement plan that provides benefits from three different sources: a Basic Benefit Plan, Social Security and the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). Two of the three parts of FERS (Social Security and the TSP) can go with you to your next job if you leave the Federal Government before retirement. The Basic Benefit and Social Security parts of FERS require you to pay your share each pay period. Your agency withholds the cost of the Basic Benefit and Social Security from your pay as payroll deductions. Your agency pays its part too. Then, after you retire, you receive annuity payments each month for the rest of your life.
  • Thrift Savings Plan (TSP): TSP is a retirement savings and investment plan for Federal employees with before-tax savings and tax-deferred earnings. FERS employees are eligible to voluntarily contribute a percentage of whole dollar amounts of their bi-weekly basic pay and, after one year of the initial appointment, receive a 1% agency automatic contribution and add agency matching up to 4% of the basic pay.


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phone 1-833-SAIL-USA (724-5872)



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