Ocean Career: Biological Science Technician at NOAA Fisheries

This position is located in the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC), Population and Ecosystems Monitoring and Analysis Division (PEMAD), Ecosystems Surveys Branch (ESB) with one vacancy located in Woods Hole, MA.

As a Biological Science Technician (Fisheries), you will perform the following duties:

  • Use complex electronic fishery-independent data entry systems in the execution of sorting, weighing, and measuring of collected samples for length, sex, gonad maturity, and extraction of age structures.
  • Work in collaboration with at sea leadership and vessel operators to implement and execute standard sampling protocols.
  • Conduct regular maintenance on complex technical electronic measuring boards, scales, monitors and bar code scanners to ensure availability for each survey season.
  • Coordinate with Program Leads to schedule and complete purchases and maintain an up-to-date inventory of research cruise supplies.
  • Perform punctual scheduling, staging, transportation, unloading and installation as required and sampling equipment both before the start and after the conclusion of surveys and research projects.


Conditions of Employment

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or National to apply.
  • Required to pass a background investigation and fingerprint check.
  • Must be suitable for Federal employment.
  • Must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable.
  • Time-in-grade/band must be met by closing date of announcement.

Due to COVID-19, the agency is currently in an expanded telework posture. NOAA received notice of reintegration to occur on April 25, 2022. As employees are permitted to return to the office, you will need to follow management’s guidelines on the expectation of reporting to the duty station listed on this announcement. You may be eligible to request to telework depending upon the terms of the agency’s telework policy.

This position will be filled under the DOC Alternative Personnel System (CAPS). This system replaced the Federal GS pay plan and structure. Under CAPS, positions are classified by career, pay plan, and pay band.

The ZT-3 is equivalent to the GS-09/10.

The Full Promotion Potential of this position is ZT-3.


Qualification requirements in the vacancy announcements are based on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Qualification Standards Handbook, which contains federal qualification standards. This handbook is available on the Office of Personnel Management's website located here.

EDUCATION: There is no positive education requirement for this position.

SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE: Applicants must possess one year of specialized experience equivalent in difficulty and responsibility to the next lower grade level in the Federal Service. Specialized experience is experience that has equipped the applicant with the particular competencies/knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position. This experience need not have been in the federal government.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations e.g., professional; philanthropic, religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies; knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

To qualify at the ZT-3 or GS-09 level:

SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE: One full year (52 weeks) of specialized experience equivalent to the ZT-2 or GS-08 in the Federal service. Specialized experience MUST include all of the following:

  • Identifying fish and invertebrate species during fisheries resource surveys;
  • Assisting to deploy standardized bottom trawl, dredge, and optical survey (cameras) sampling equipment; and
  • Supporting data quality control auditing procedures using relational databases such as Oracle.


SUBSTITUTION OF EDUCATION: Two full years of graduate education or a master's degree.


COMBINATION OF EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE: A combination of education and experience listed above.

NOTE: Only graduate education in excess of one year is qualifying for combination.


If you are qualifying based on education, submit a copy of your college transcript that lists college courses detailing each course by the number and department (i.e., bio 101, math 210, etc.), course title, number of credit hours and grade earned. You must submit evidence that any education completed in a foreign institution is equivalent to U.S. education standards with your resume. You may submit an unofficial copy of the transcript at the initial phase of the application process. If course content cannot be easily identified from the title of the course as listed on your transcript, you must submit an official course description from the college/university that reflects the content at the time the course was taken.

Salary: $61,268 - $87,713 per year
Pay scale & grade: ZT 3
Application deadline: June 16, 2022

Learn more about this position and how to apply.

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