Spec Writer IV, 4E in San Diego, CA at Austal

Job Snapshot

Employee Type:



San Diego, CA

Job Description

Any qualified individual with a disability who is having difficulty in completing an application because of incompatible technology or other disability-related application issues may contact us at the following phone number for assistance: 251-445-1932.
Austal shall abide by the requirements of 41 CFR §§ 60-1.4(a), 60-300.5(a) and 60-741.5(a). These regulations prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals based on their status as protected veterans or individuals with disabilities, and prohibit discrimination against all individuals based on their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin. Moreover, these regulations require that covered prime contractors and subcontractors take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status or disability.  Austal’s commitment to equal employment opportunity applies at all levels of employment, in all job titles, including the executive level, and to all employment actions, including but not limited to decisions concerning recruitment, hiring, training, and promotion. 

REPORTS TO: Mechanical Design Lead

SUPERVISES:  Spec Writers I, II & III


  • Responsible for the development of technically valid and properly formatted repair items proposed to accomplish ship repair and/or maintenance requirements on board naval vessels in accordance with relevant directives to support various contracts and for the efficient accomplishment of ship/craft repairs and alterations, including equipment removal, installation, and testing. Additional responsibilities include:
    • Authoring new and/or editing existing 4E Work Specifications for technical information that is clear, accurate, and effective in transforming tasking into a logically sequenced executable contractual document.
    • Taking all ships force Alteration Installation Team (AIT), shipyard work, service and repair routines, modernization and preventative maintenance actions and codifying as work requirement statement’s at the Ships Worklist Item Number (SWLIN) and line item level
    • Provides detailed cost estimates to the paragraph and trade level for developed work items and new work written by subordinate planners.
    • Develop accurate Bills of Material that include identification numbers, quantity, units of issue, descriptions, and part numbers and other applicable notes or special remarks.
    • Review and validate each 4E Work Specification for technical adequacy, accuracy, and executability, by performing a comprehensive quality review of planning products to ensure high definition of all aspects of the work item including boundaries, scope, technical requirements, and quality assurance requirements. Completeness of information, presence of extraneous reference material, soundness of work sequence, and executability for the contractor are paramount.
    • Ensure the quality of the 4E Work Specification and that they meet the work item philosophy of the Joint Fleet Maintenance Manual (JFFM). Objectives are reviewed from a long-term perspective for desired outcome.  Ensures consistency with unit objectives.
    • Oversees the process improvement initiatives that creatively improves the efficiency and effectiveness of the 4E development process.  Reviews initiatives and formulates logical and objective conclusions, recognizes alternatives and develops plans to implement change. 
  • Performs analysis of complex technical directives where considerable independence is exercised.  Decisions may be made where established procedures and policies may be unavailable.
  • Thoroughly understands how the Quality Checkoff List is used to develop metrics that matter to monitoring business performance.  Responsible for interfacing with Navy/SUPSHIP personnel.
  • Will perform ship checks as needed to support technical and sequential development of the 4E work specifications.


  • General:
  • Must have a minimum of 13 years’ experience in developing Navy repair 4E Work Specification or technical writing and execution support experience.
  • Must have a thorough understanding of naval maintenance availability planning and execution.
  • Must have a thorough knowledge of US Navy, ABS and NVR maintenance and repair requirements.
  • Must be familiar with Fleet Modernization Program processes and procedures to include MACHALTs, AERs, D and K Alts.
  • Thorough knowledge of Navy Maintenance Database (NMD) workflow, both the planning and execution side.
  • Demonstrate excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Experienced in interacting with Naval Support Activities, Senior Ship’s Force personnel, NAVSEA Commands, Engineering, Operations, and design teams from other companies, customer representatives and equipment manufacturers.
  • Significant knowledge and comprehension as to the practical application of the Joint Fleet Maintenance Manual (JFMM).
  • Significant knowledge and comprehension as to the practical application of the General Specifications for Shipboard Overhaul (GSO).
  • Significant knowledge and comprehension as to the practical application of Naval Ships Technical Manuals (NSTM).
  • Significant knowledge and comprehension as to the practical application of the Electric Plant Installation Standard Methods (EPISM).
  • Significant knowledge and comprehension as to the practical application of Military Specifications (MILSPECs).
  • Significant knowledge and comprehension as to the practical application of all Category One and Two NAVSEA Standard Items to suit the maintenance and repair context.
  • Exhibit breadth and depth of knowledge of the Hull, Mechanical, and Electrical (HM&E) shipboard systems.
  • Understands the classifications of overhaul for equipment.
  • Understands the relationship that IDRs/CFRs have to 4E Work Specs, and their impact to Production Milestones.
  • High School diploma or equivalent required.  Related degrees advantageous.
  • Computer literate and familiar with Microsoft Office products.
  • Prior U.S. Navy, MSC or USCG experience desired, in the hull, mechanical or structural ratings, but not required.
  • Must currently hold or be able to obtain a Secret Security Clearance.
  • US Citizenship.

TOOLS:  Computer – MS Office, AutoCAD


  • Will lead, direct, train and review the technical work product of Spec Writers I, II & III


  • Will provide input to annual evaluations of Spec Writers I, II & III
  • Has authority to direct, evaluate and correct the work of Spec Writers I, II & III
  • Functions autonomously. Exercises maximum latitude in determining objectives and approach to meeting objectives. Understands risk and unrecoverable costs associated with incorrect work item development and estimation.

LIAISES WITH:  Engineers, Production Personnel, Customers, Regulatory Bodies, Program Management, Senior Ship’s Force personnel and Equipment Suppliers.  Serves as prime contact at various management levels for the company.


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Must be able to tour all vessels and work sites.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to stand, walk, use hands to manipulate, handle, or feel, reach with hands and arms, climb and balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl, and talk or hear.  The employee is occasionally required to sit. 

Specific physical requirements include the following:

Must have the ability to bend, squat, stoop, crawl, and kneel. Perform prolonged standing. Ability to turn head from side to side and about the vertical axis. Ability to turn body at the waist from side to side and about the vertical axis. Lift/push/pull 50lbs to 75lbs on an occasional basis. Lift/push/pull up to 20lbs on a frequent basis. Must have the ability to climb in a safe manner (climbing as a minimum includes stairs, scaffolding, ladders, and ramps). Ability to work at heights above 12’ while working from ladders, scaffolding and/or man lifts. Able to work at a variety of levels (ex. waist, eye, overhead). Demonstrate the ability to safely and appropriately use required tools and equipment. Demonstrate good balance while working on uneven surfaces and maneuvering obstacles. Possess sufficient handgrip and coordination to carry and operate tools and equipment. Ability to utilize personal protective equipment (hard hat, safety glasses, steel-toes shoes, goggles, respirator, safety harness, safety line, flotation gear, etc.) safely per OSHA standards. Ability to withstand cold and hot temperatures. Ability to enter 18” x 36” openings and work in confined spaces for prolonged periods of time. Able to respond to verbal and audible sounds/commands. Able to utilize adequate visual skills. Ability to fully extend the arm while reaching overhead, reaching out, reaching to the side and reaching down. Ability to perceive attributes of an object/material such as size, shape, temperature and texture by means of receptors in the hands and fingers.


The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. 

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly exposed to humid conditions, bright flashing lights, moving mechanical parts, high precarious places, outside weather conditions, and extreme heat.  The employee is occasionally exposed to fumes and/or airborne particles at or below the PEL, toxic or caustic chemicals, and heat and cold.  The noise level in the work environment is usually very loud, + 90 dB.


Must comply with company, federal, state, and local safety and environmental rules and regulations while performing daily job tasks. 


  • The ability to obtain and maintain a DoD clearance may be required if deemed necessary in the scope of your position responsibilities.
  • Candidates must meet the following employment eligibility guidelines to be eligible for employment with Austal USA:
  • 18 years of age or older at time of application.
  • Able to provide proof of US Person Status
  • Willing to submit to a drug screen
  • Willing to submit to a background check
  • No felony convictions of Theft/Deception or Violent crimes within seven years from disposition date
  • No felony convictions of Drug crimes within three years from  disposition date