Small Craft Operator.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

United States
Posted on Wednesday, May 15, 2024

This is a Career-Seasonal position and subject to release and recall procedures. A permanent career-seasonal position includes all the benefits of permanent employment but does not provide employment on a full year-round basis. As such, selectee will be in a non-pay/non-duty status for at least 2 weeks to 6 months per year based on project requirements or weather conditions. Selectee is guaranteed to work at least 6 months per year but not more than 50 weeks per year, with the work schedule to be determined upon appointment.

This is a Career/Career-Conditional Full-time appointment.

The broad mission of the Green River Basin Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office is the identification and implementation of means to recover three endangered fishes native to the upper Colorado River basin. These fishes, listed as endangered under the 1973 Endangered Species Act are Colorado pike minnow (Ptychocheilus lucius), bonytail (Gila elegans) and razorback sucker (Xyrauchen texanus). The incumbent is responsible for recovery activities on the Yampa River, the White River, and the Green River in Colorado and Utah.

As a Small Craft Operator your duties will include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Operate oar or motorized rafts, launches on rivers to transport passengers or light materials in various weather conditions.
  • Operate motorized and non-motorized rafts on a variety of river water environments that include calm to white-water rated at a class level 4 or higher.
  • Perform routine maintenance and repairs on small crafts such as changing outboard engine water pumps and propellers, patching inflatable boats, and accounting for repair needs.
  • Participates in multifaceted fish population studies, including carrying out a variety of research and survey methods and monitoring environmental elements related to conservation, management, and/or control of fish. Independently identifies and collects data for studies. Logs samples/data to be used for analysis. Uses a variety of equipment to perform standardized tasks for studies.
  • Uses a variety of equipment to perform standardized tasks for studies.
  • Load and unload cargo from small craft, launches, etc.
  • Accomplish work following standard established procedures.

Certifications: Incumbent must possess or be able to obtain and maintain the following US Fish and Wildlife Service approved certifications:

  • Motorboat Operator Certification (MOCC)
  • Swiftwater Rescue Certification

Physical Effort: The small craft operators frequently perform heavy lifting of equipment into or out of the boat and hauling on lines to moor, unmoor or move the boat. Most items carried will weigh 40 pounds (18 kilograms) or less. The operator may stand or move on surfaces which may be wet and slippery or subject to erratic tipping or movement, which requires coordination of hands, eyes, legs and body.

Working Conditions: The small craft operators work in open boats, exposed to rain, sun and wind. Work may be performed during high winds or storm conditions. Operators could be exposed to moderate noise and vibration of engines, possible falls on deck, and to the possibility of falling overboard. A life jacket is worn at all times while underway.


Conditions of Employment

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or National.
  • Resume (See "Required Documents"). Failure to provide ALL required information on your resume will result in loss of consideration due to an incomplete application package. It is your responsibility to ensure all information is provided on resume.
  • Eligibility and Supporting documents - You will ONLY be considered for the eligibilities that you select "yes" to AND submit the required supporting documentation, as listed in the Required Documents section.
  • Suitability for employment, as determined by background investigation.
  • Driver’s License: Selectee will be required to possess and maintain a valid State driver's license at all times during their tenure.
  • Uniform: Official U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service uniform MAY be required.
  • Probationary Period: Selectees MAY be required to successfully complete a probationary period.
  • Individuals assigned male at birth after 12-31-59 must be registered for the Selective Service. To verify registration visit
  • Knowledge of first aid and river rescue operations is required.


By the closing date of this announcement, you must meet the requirements of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Handbook X118C, Job Qualification System for Trades and Labor Occupation.

Although no specific amount of experience, education or training is required, applicants must meet a minimum level of ability in relation to the position and the Assessment Questionnaire in order to be rated qualified for consideration. To be qualified candidates must meet any screen out element(s) listed at an "acceptable" level, and must achieve an average rating of at least "acceptable" on all of the elements. Only education, training, or experience acquired before the closing date will be considered.

SCREEN-OUT ELEMENT: Your qualifications will first be evaluated against the prescribed screen out element, which usually appears as question 1 in the on-line questionnaire. Those applicants who appear to possess at least the minimal acceptable qualification requirement are considered for further rating; those who do not are rated ineligible and are eliminated. The potential eligibles are then rated against the remainder of the Job Elements.

The screen out element for this position is: Ability to do the work of a Small Craft Operator position at the WG-05 grade level without more than normal supervision. You must bring this specific experience to the job in order to meet basic qualification for this position. Your application/resume must include enough information to support your answer.

Job Elements

  • Ability to Drive Safely (Motor Vehicles)
  • Work Practices (includes keeping things neat, clean, and in order)
  • Ability To Interpret Instructions, Specifications, etc. (related to mobile equipment operation)
  • Reliability and Dependability as a Small Craft Operator

If your knowledge and ability in the SCREEN OUT factor above is not sufficient, you will receive no further consideration. In preparing your application, describe in detail the experience and training which you have had that specifically prepared you for this job and to perform the duties described for this job. Experience should be clearly described and documented in your resume. The qualifications reviewer will not assume performance of such duties by Job Titles alone. Address your knowledge, skills and/or abilities in the areas shown in the job-related factors.

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.


There is no substitution of education for experience for Wage Grade (WG) positions.

Additional information

PCS Information: No PCS entitlements are authorized.

Telework: This position is not suitable for telework.

Government Furnished Housing: Housing is not provided.

Additional Vacancies:One or more positions may be filled from applications received under this announcement in the advertised office or other U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service offices in the local commuting area.

Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): Department of Interior (DOI) Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) procedures apply in filling this vacancy. CTAP or ICTAP applicants must be determined to be well-qualified for this position in order to receive special selection priority. To be well-qualified, a CTAP or ICTAP applicant must meet the following: OPM qualification requirements for the position, all selective factors, where applicable; special OPM approved qualifying conditions for the position; is physically qualified with reasonable accommodation, where appropriate, to satisfactorily perform the duties of the position upon entry; and receives a rating of at least 85 on the questionnaire. . For more information visit:

Reasonable Accommodation: The USFWS provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. Please visit

The Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act (LMWFA), P.L. 114-47, allows certain individuals who currently or formerly were under time-limited competitive appointments at certain land management agencies to compete under merit promotion procedures.

NOTE: You MUST submit ALL SF-50s and performance information for each period of temporary/term employment that qualifies for Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act (LMWFA).

Current Appointees

  • Must have been hired under competitive examining procedures to a time limited appointment with a land management agency.
  • Must have served under 1 or more-time limited appointments by a land management agency for a period totaling more than 24 months without a break in service of 2 or more years; AND
  • Must have performed at an acceptable level.

Former Appointees

  • Must have been hired under competitive examining procedures to a time limited appointment with a land management agency.
  • Must have served under 1 or more-time limited appointments by a land management agency for a period totaling more than 24 months without a break in service of 2 or more years.
  • Must apply for position within 2 years after separation.
  • Must have been separated for reasons other than misconduct or performance; AND
  • Must have performed at an acceptable level.

Public Land Corps (PLC) Hiring Authority: Served as a qualified youth on an appropriate conservation project completing a minimum of 640 hours of satisfactory service that included at least 120 hours through the PLC and received a certificate of non-competitive eligibility. Completed most recent Corps service, for which a certificate of non-competitive eligibility was issued, within the last 2 years. Appointment must be effected within the 2 year period.

  • A career with the U.S. government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding.

Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.