He began work in 1922 at Goldwyn Pictures, and remained with the studio after its merger to form Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) in 1924. He spent essentially his entire career at MGM, retiring from the studio in 1954.
Nervig was the first recipient of the Academy Award for Film Editing for the film Eskimo (1934). He won a second "Oscar" (shared with Ralph E. Winters) for the film King Solomon's Mines (1950). He was also nominated for his work on A Tale of Two Cities (1935).