Becoming a NOAA Corps Officer

NOAA Corps Odds
BOTC Completed Applications Success Rate
134 63 25.40%
135 63 20.63%
Total 389 20.57%
Average 64.83 20.53%

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NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps parent organizations

NOAA Corps Officers fly and operate ships to support NOAA’s missions. X.

Frequently Asked Question Q

What is the salary of a NOAA Corps Officer? A

NOAA Corps Officers are paid on a military pay scale. The pay is determined by your rank, length of service, marital status, and place of residence.

Photo: David Hall / NOAA

Crew members aboard NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow, a fisheries survey ship, steered the ship down the East River in New York.

There are two application cycles each year, which is important to know if you are a new recruit. To be considered for an interview, all paperwork must be received by the deadline.

Even the Basic Officer Training Courses (BOTC) (138, 140, 142, etc.) ):

  • Paperwork deadline is mid November
  • Interview deadline is early January
  • BOTC training starts in late July

For odd BOTC classes (137, 139, 141, etc.):

  • Paperwork deadline is in mid May
  • Interview deadline is mid June
  • BOTC training starts in January the following year

Applications for BOTC 142 can be submitted by logging into the NOAA Corps E-Recruit System. For the purpose of determining your eligibility and setting up an E-Recruit account, you will need to enter preliminary information. E-Recruit will walk you through the application process after you log in, allowing you to track your submissions and receiving updates that are relevant to your application. Application material is due 11 NOV 2022.

Application for appointment in the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps. Complete this form using the E-Recruit System. Print, sign, and date the form after digitally completing it. Mail the signed hard copy to the Officer Recruiting Branch.

*Although it is not necessary, it is advised that you send your NOAA Form 56-42 with a professional resume and cover letter.

Three letters of recommendation are required. The reference must directly sign and submit the NOAA Form 56-42A (which will be given by NOAA Corps recruiters). A formal letter may also be attached. References who are familiar with your character, professional experience or training, and leadership potential should be provided. Professional references include professors, employment supervisors, clergyman, etc.

Only one reference may be of a personal nature. Family members are not acceptable references.

This signed document may be submitted by references in either hard copy or electronic format. Electronic submissions must be sent to Apply. NOAACorps@noaa. gov directly from the reference.

You must submit certified official transcripts from each college or university you attended. Transcripts of any transfer credits used to earn a bachelor’s degree are also included. Certified official transcripts must come directly from the institution.

Any applicant who won’t graduate by the application deadline must submit an official Letter of Intent stating their graduation status and date. At least two months must pass after graduation for the BOTC to begin. These officer candidates must present a final transcript proving the degree has been awarded if chosen for appointment to the NOAA Corps.

The following documents are necessary if an applicant has prior commissioned or enlisted service:

  • All DD214s (Member-4 Copy), or service-equivalent forms, issued upon release from periods of active duty and/or separation from service must be authenticated by an official or notary. Each individual period of active duty must be covered by a different DD214.
  • copies of the applicant’s last three reporting periods’ Fitness Reports and Officer Evaluation Reports (FITREPs and OERs)
  • DD Form 368, Request for Conditional Release. Every applicant who has a commitment to Active, Reserve, Guard, or Inactive Reserve (IRR) must start the process in accordance with the requirements for releasing services.

All applicants must be interviewed by a NOAA Corps officer. An interview with a NOAA Corps officer of the appropriate rank and experience will be scheduled after the Officer Recruiting Branch has received and reviewed the aforementioned application materials. The Officer Recruiting Branch will receive an evaluation from the interviewing officer.

Interviews will be held virtually in order to standardize evaluation scores for interviews and more precisely choose the most qualified applicants for BOTC.

The application package must be finished at least six months before the next BOTC is scheduled to begin. Final administrative screening of all applications is required to ensure they meet all eligibility requirements. The NOAA Corps will not consider an applicant for a position if it is discovered that they do not meet these requirements at any time.

A Board of Officer Personnel (OPB) will be sent a complete application package for review. The Director, NOAA Corps will receive recommendations from the OPB for primary and alternate officer candidates. Applicants will be sent a formal letter informing them of their status (Primary, Alternate, or Non-Select) after the Director, NOAA Corps reviews and approves the suggested Primary and Alternate candidate list. At that time, additional guidelines regarding administrative processing and physical examinations will be given to the Primary and Alternate candidates.

Note: The NOAA Corps pays for pre-commissioning physical examinations, which follow standard procedures. Any expenses incurred in obtaining additional information, if necessary to assess a candidate’s medical suitability, are the officer candidate’s responsibility. The upcoming BOTC will be withdrawn if a medical qualification is not obtained. A candidate COULD be deferred to the following class without reapplying, depending on the type of disqualification.

Candidates will be given the option to accept or decline a temporary appointment in the NOAA Corps, subject to passing final administrative screening, a medical examination in accordance with NOAA Corps Directives, preliminary background screening for a Secret level security clearance, and the results of any drug test.

If a position opens up, the OPB will rank the applicants and offer them a temporary appointment in the NOAA Corps. Such openings arise if a Primary candidate declines the commission, is disqualified due to a medical condition, or fails a background check. Additionally, candidates for the position of an alternate must pass a medical exam, a preliminary background check, and all drug tests must come back clean. If a position becomes open, the top-ranked Alternate will switch to a Primary candidate.

The NOAA Corps will not offer any of the applicants a position. Non-Selects are welcome to re-apply for commission.

Application materials should be submitted via the electronic application portal.

You can find more instructions on electronic document submission in the NOAA Corps E-Recruit System.

The NOAA Corps is committed to equal opportunity for all persons.

You are here: https://www. omao. noaa. gov/learn/noaa-corps/join/applying/new-recruits Reviewed: August 23, 2022. Contact us with page issues.

The NOAA Corps: Service, Science, Adventure


Can you enlist in NOAA?

A minimum of 48 semester (72 quarter) hours in science, technology, math, or engineering courses relevant to NOAA’s missions must have been completed by applicants. The NOAA website is recommended for all applicants to visit in order to learn more about the missions.

Is NOAA considered military?

One of the eight uniformed services in the country is the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps (NOAA Corps).

How do you join the NOAA Corps?

Visitors can start their applications by going to the NOAA Corps E-Recruit System website. BOTC 143 and IST 10012 have different application deadlines of 12 May 2023 and 17 March 2023, respectively.

How long is NOAA basic training?

Candidates for the Coast Guard and NOAA spend two weeks of their training aboard the Eagle honing their leadership, teamwork, and seamanship abilities. The first Basic Officer Training Class (BOTC), which lasts 19 weeks, is required for all officer candidates.

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