You can get a civilian job with the U.S. Navy without a Department of Defense background. Some jobs, such as those with the Navy's Military Sealift Command, can take you around the world. Others let you use your professional skills to support the Navy and its personnel. These jobs offer civil service pay and benefits, whether you're near your home or on the other side of the world.
All civilian jobs with the U.S. Navy support the Navy's military efforts in one way or another. These jobs act as force multipliers -- civilians that can handle jobs, such as those in finance and administrative areas that don't require specific military skills, free up sailors for jobs only sailors can do. This means that Navy personnel aren't tied up with jobs that can be done by civilians with the appropriate skills, often at a lower cost.
Although the Navy is a seagoing service, you don't have to go to sea to work for the Navy. Civilian jobs exist in information and technology, engineering and science. As an employee of the Department of the Navy, you can work in building maintenance, warehouse and logistical work. In addition to technical positions, there are jobs such as those in retail at Navy Exchange facilities that support Navy morale.
Jobs At Sea
If you hold a merchant mariner credential, you can work for the Navy at sea. The Navy's seagoing transportation is handled by the Military Sealift Command. The MSC transports both war-fighting equipment and the household goods of families returning home from a tour of duty in which they accompany their sailor. The seamen who command and crew the MSC's ships are civilians -- civil service merchant mariners. They also crew the Navy's hospital ships, which are staffed by Navy medical personnel.
Getting Navy Jobs
You'll find many civilian Navy jobs at don.usajobs.gov. These are typically skilled labor and management positions. You can find civilian mariner jobs at sealiftcommand.com. Jobs in retail or hotel operations are found at public.navy.mil/donhr/Services/Pages/NonAppropriatedFund.aspx. Some jobs are reserved for ex-service personnel and some are reserved for the wives of military personnel who are stationed overseas. Each of the job listings clearly spells out the requirements you must fulfill.
Will Charpentier is a writer who specializes in boating and maritime subjects. A retired ship captain, Charpentier holds a doctorate in applied ocean science and engineering. He is also a certified marine technician and the author of a popular text on writing local history.