Employment & Internships

Coast Survey is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce. We advertise open federal positions at USAJOBS. Opportunities may also be available for individuals with a qualified disability or veteran's status to be eligible for employment through the non-competitive process. Interested candidates are encouraged to contact NOAA's Veterans and Disability Employment Program Coordinator (VDEPC) about open positions at schedulea@noaa.gov or veteranshiring@noaa.gov.


NOAA's Office of Coast Survey employs approximately 250 federal and 50 contract staff. Most Coast Survey employees are based at our offices in Silver Spring, Maryland, Seattle, Washington, or Norfolk, Virginia. Others work in the field and are based in various locations around the country.

Coast Survey's professional workforce is primarily composed of the following positions:

Nautical cartographers produce charts that are used to provide information to commercial and recreational mariners for safe navigation through U.S. waters. Cartographers use a critical eye to evaluate bathymetric information for accuracy and develop recommendations for how to improve chart processing.

Physical Scientists/Physical Science Technicians
Coast Survey's physical scientists fill a number of different roles in the organization. These can include:

  • Project management - work with customer and partners to plan and supervise hydrographic surveys, which are used to update NOAA's suite of nautical charts.
  • Acquisition and processing support - acquire, process, and perform quality assurance on hydrographic data; compile hydrographic data into nautical chart products.
  • Emergency response - stand at the ready to respond to natural and manmade emergencies that impact safety of navigation.
  • Customer service - work directly with pilots, mariners, port authorities, and recreational boaters to provide expert navigation information for severe weather and hurricane preparedness, identify dangers to navigation, and inform the public about NOAA's latest navigation technology, products, and services.
  • Marine modelers - develop hydrodynamic models and operational forecast systems that support safe and efficient navigation and emergency response for estuaries and the coastal ocean.

Some physical scientists spend a portion of the year on survey vessels providing expertise in hydrographic data collection, processing, and quality assurance.

Other Careers
Coast Survey also employs a number of individuals who work to keep the office running and support the overall mission. These include administrative assistants, environmental compliance officers, international affairs specialists, communication specialists, property custodians, program analysts, and IT professionals (help desk specialists, system administrators, database administrators, webmasters).

Education Requirements
Many careers in Coast Survey require a degree in physical science, engineering, or mathematics that includes 24 semester hours in courses such as geographic information systems, remote sensing, quantitative methods, geography, and statistics.

Coast Survey participates in several programs that provide student employment or internship opportunities. The programs offer students a chance to learn through active participation in Coast Survey services and product development.

For more information in Coast Survey internships, contact ocs.internships@noaa.gov.

Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarships
The Ernest F Hollings Scholarship Program provides successful undergraduate applicants with awards that include academic assistance (up to $9,500 per year) for two years of full-time study and a 10-week, full-time paid internship during the summer at a NOAA facility.

EPP/MSI Undergraduate Scholarship Program
The EPP/MSI Undergraduate Scholarship Program provides scholarships and paid internships to outstanding rising junior undergraduate students majoring in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at minority serving institutions.

John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship
The National Sea Grant John A. Knauss Policy Fellowship provides a one-year paid fellowship to graduate students who have an interest in ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources.

Pathways Program
The Pathways Program offers federal internship and employment opportunities for current students, recent graduates, and those with an advanced degree. There are three different paths available:

  • The Internship Program is for current students in high school, college, trade school, or other qualifying institutions.
  • The Recent Graduates Program is is for those who have graduated, within the past two years, from a qualifying educational institution or certificate program.
  • This program is for recent graduates with an advanced degree—either a professional or graduate degree such as a master’s, Ph.D. or J.D.

Coast Survey's federal workforce is supplemented by employees from private sector contractors. Listed below are the major contracting companies that currently support Coast Survey.

Visit each of theses websites to view current contract opportunities:

IIC Technologies
Spatial Front Incorporated

Employee Spotlight

Kolleen Mortimer

Kolleen Mortimer

Bart Buessler
Navigation Manager

Bart Buesseler

Brian Martinez

Brian Martinez

John Doroba

John Doroba