Page updated 1/17/2017
This group includes positions that administer, supervise, or perform work which cannot be included in other occupational groups either because the duties are unique or complex and don't uniquely fit into other related groups.
There were 88,849 federal workers employed in this group within all Executive Branch departments, and in many large and small independent agencies with 1,760 employed overseas. The largest employer is the Department of Justice with 22,593 followed by the Department of the Army with 13,581 civilians employed. Even small agencies including the National Capital Planning Commission (7), and 4 with the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
The cross section of occupations are diverse and include positions with unique qualifications. Take for example police, security guards, and correctional officer occupations. Most would assume they belong possibly under a law enforcement group. The only related group would be in the GS-1800 Investigation Group since there isn't a specific occupational group for law enforcement.
The GS-0000 group captures occupations that don't fit into other categories including environmental protection specialists, park rangers, morticians, chaplains, US Marshalls, safety and fire protection to name a few. If you can't find a good fit in another occupational group come here to see if your job series resides in this group.
The comprehensive job listings that follow include private and government sectors to provide job seeker with as many potential job opportunities as possible for your area of consideration. We also include direct links to USAJOB listings for each occupational title.
The following information is compiled from numerous federal documents including qualification standards, job announcements, career articles, occupation flysheets, FEDSCOPE, OPM, Agency websites, interviews with federal employees, The United States Government Manual, and from the Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook.
Including Police, Safety, and Park Ranger Jobs
Click the job title for job listings, the number employed, hiring agencies, and job series definitions.
Review the job vacancy announcements and Qualification Standards for the job you are interested in.
These position descriptions are excerpted from the qualification standards for each job title in this group. In the General Schedule position classification system is established under chapter 51 of title 5, United States Code. The term “General Schedule” or “GS” denotes the major position classification system and pay structure for white collar work in the Federal government. Agencies that are no longer subject to chapter 51 have replaced the GS pay plan indicator with agency-unique pay plan indicators. For example, the Bureau of Prisons uses GL instead of the GS designation. For this reason, reference to General Schedule or GS is often omitted from the individual qualification standard sheets.
A brief introduction for major occupations within this group is provided below.
This series employs over 1,758 workers and includes positions which involve responsibility for managing, or participating in the overall management of, correctional institutions, correctional systems, or correctional programs, and positions which involve responsibility for advising on, reviewing, and evaluating the management of such institutions, systems, or programs. Work in this series requires knowledge of (1) penological theories, principles, and techniques and (2) the problems, methods, and techniques of institutional management. The majority, 1,690, work for the Department of Justice.
The Federal Prison System is composed of a network of
over 40 correctional facilities, ranging from minimum
security camp settings to maximum security
penitentiaries, as well as community program offices,
medical centers, staff training centers, etc. The
various facilities encompass such diverse
characteristics as juvenile and adult offenders, single
sex and co-correctional
populations, white collar and violent criminals, special treatment (drug/alcohol related offenses) and standard confinement, isolated rural locations or proximity to Federal courts, etc.
The system is administered by a central office
through a system of regional offices. Control and
coordination of Federal Prison System activities is
carried out in major functional groupings. These include
correctional programs (correctional management, inmate
programs and research, etc.), medical and services
(medical services, hospital administration, food
operations, etc.), planning and development (budget development, financial management, facilities and programs development, etc.), and industrial (Federal Prison Industries -- UNICOR, and Bureau of Prisons programs such as community programs and standards, and accreditation).
Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.
Correction officer duties are to provide supervision, correctional treatment and care of inmates. Officers are charged to maintain the institution's security, contributing to the inmates welfare and health and the promotion of good public relations. The federal government employs 18,538 in this occupation of which 18,375 work for the Department of Justice and 163 work for the Department of the Interior.
They Enforce rules and regulations governing facility security, inmate accountability and inmate conduct to ensure judicial sanctions are carried out and inmates remain in custody. From time to time, they may be authorized to carry firearms and to use physical force, including deadly force, to maintain control of inmates.
During institution emergencies or other periods of heavy workload or limited staff, may be required to work long and irregular hours, unusual shifts, Sundays, holidays and unexpected overtime. Information as to operations and procedures is provided by post orders, Bureau of Prison (BOP) program statements, local supplements, custodial manual, internal correspondence and staff meetings. Officers must be flexible and have a broad knowledge base to use their own initiative in the resolution of problems and various situations.
Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.
CAUTION: You can qualify with either a BS Degree OR 3 years of general experience for the entry level GS/GL-05 grade. Most read the job announcement and see BS degree and stop there. Keep reading and you can qualify with 3 years of experience in the field.
FOR GL-05: Successful completion of a full 4-year
course of study in any field leading to a bachelor's
degree from an accredited college or university.
NOTE: If you are using education to qualify, transcripts MUST be uploaded and electronically transferred from USAJOBS at the time you apply and MUST include identifying information to include School Name, Student Name, Degree and Date Awarded (if applicable). The education MUST be from an institution accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. If you are selected for this position based upon your education, you will be required to provide an OFFICIAL transcript prior to your first day on duty.
FOR GL-05: At least 3 years of full-time general experience, one of which is equivalent to the GL-04 grade level, or one year of specialized experience. This experience must have demonstrated the aptitude for acquiring the qualifications required for correctional work, and, in addition, demonstrate the possession of personal attributes important to the effectiveness of correctional officers, such as:
General experience may have been gained in
work such as:
The Department of Justice, Bureau of Prisons has established the following medical requirements for Correctional Officer positions: The duties of these positions involve unusual mental and nervous pressure, and require arduous physical exertion involving prolonged walking and standing, restraining of prisoners in emergencies, and participating in escape hunts. Applicants must be physically capable of performing efficiently the duties of these positions, and be free from such defects or disease as may constitute employment hazards to themselves or others. The duties of a Correctional Officer are arduous; and sound health as well as physical fitness is required.
Credit will be given for paid and unpaid experience. To receive proper credit, you must show the actual time (such as the number of hours worked per week) spent in activities.
Note: Your eligibility for consideration will be based on your responses to the questions in the application.
Explosive safety specialists manage, supervise, administer, lead, advise on, or perform explosives safety work including protecting personnel and property from the hazardous consequences of, and reducing and mitigating the risks associated with, intentional and unintentional detonations, managing the risk of handling ammunition and explosives, and ensuring compliance with explosives safety policy and regulations.
The federal government employs 139 this occupation of which 89 work for the Department of the Navy and 32 for the Air Force. Several work for the Army and the Department of Justice.
The work requires knowledge of:
Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for government and private sector jobs.) The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.
EH&S managers are involved with the management, administration, or operation of a safety and occupational health program or performance of administrative work concerned with safety and occupational health activities and includes the development, implementation, and evaluation of related program functions. The primary objective of this work is the elimination or minimization of human injury and property and productivity losses, caused by harmful contact incidents, through the design of effective management policies, programs, or practices. Safety and occupational health management work requires application of the knowledge of: (a) the principles, standards, and techniques of safety and occupational health management; and (b) pertinent elements of engineering, physical science, ergonomics, psychology, industrial hygiene, physiology, sociology, and other scientific and technological fields which contribute to the achievement of comprehensive safety and occupational health objectives.
The field of safety and occupational health has been expanded beyond applying established standards and codes, investigating mishaps, and correcting unsafe acts and conditions. Contemporary safety and occupational health methodology increasingly requires an analytical approach to determine and devise measures to control or eliminate environmental hazards and reduce errors in human performance. For example, optimum integration of safety and occupational health elements in operational programs may require appraisal of various system components at the planning, design, development, test, installation, and implementation stages.
The federal government employs 5,755 in this occupation of which 180 work overseas. The Department of the Army is the largest employer with 1,293 civilians employed followed by the Department of the Navy with 983 and their are 886 with the Department of Labor. All cabinet level and many large agencies employ this occupation.
Occupational Knowledge & Skills
Safety and occupational health work in the Federal service involves the application of recognized principles, standards, and techniques in a broad variety of organizational settings including public and private sector offices, field locations, laboratories, manufacturing enterprises, and storage facilities.
Although positions in the field vary in organizational settings and specific responsibilities, broad knowledge of safety and occupational health principles, methods, and techniques is a common occupational requirement. Skill in recognizing hazardous or potentially hazardous conditions, developing measures to eliminate or control these conditions and effectively communicating the appropriate measures to resolve these problems is essential. Knowledge requirements range from the basic methods, techniques, and principles found at the entrance level to comprehensive knowledge and skills necessary to establish and manage programs found at the higher levels. A practical knowledge of the methods, techniques, and procedures applies by industrial hygienists and environmental and fire prevention engineers is frequently necessary.
Safety and occupational health managers and specialists typically play a role in the formulation, implementation, maintenance or modification of an agency's safety and occupational health program and consequently possession of program knowledge, skills, and abilities is highly important in the successful performance of occupational duties. Safety and occupational health managers and specialists should have a working knowledge of subject-matter areas such as information systems, fiscal, personnel and property management and the social and physical sciences. The identification and solution of many safety and occupational health problems often requires cooperation with individuals from these fields.
Certain positions in the Safety and Occupational Health Management Series may require specialized knowledge of areas such as safety research, employee training, hazardous materials or aviation. Where a specialized knowledge is essential in filling a position, selective placement of candidates is encouraged.
Safety technicians support work in accident prevention, including inspecting safety conditions, investigating and compiling data on accidents, and providing information on safety standards and techniques. Positions require a practical knowledge of work processes and equipment, environmental conditions, and established safety standards, protective devices and accident prevention measures.
The federal government employs 153 in this occupation. The Department of the Army is the largest employer with 56 civilians employed followed by the Veterans Administration with 33 and the Department of the Navy with 30.
Safety technicians perform support work in the safety field that involves obtaining and giving factual information about safety.
Safety technicians perform routine inspection and
investigative work in enforcing occupational safety and
Safety technicians look for and report on unsafe mechanical and physical conditions and work practices bordering on carelessness or negligence that may involve injury to persons or damage to property, or both. Safety technicians report findings and recommendations to the supervisor. Their findings result typically from observing violations of established requirements and safe practices.
Safety technicians investigate accidents and review accident reports for such items as specific causes and the nature of injuries or damage to property to assure proper coding. They issue and maintain personal protective equipment. They provide supervisors, employees and safety representatives with clearly applicable information concerning accident hazards in the work setting. Safety technicians conduct safety meetings with workers to give or reinforce training in safe work methods, and standard accident prevention techniques such as use of protective clothing, defensive driving, etc.
Safety technicians apply technical knowledge of the trades and craft or general safety practices type. Safety technicians frequently perform duties which require a general understanding of the construction, operation, and capacity of industrial machinery, construction machinery, and Diesel, automotive, and marine equipment. Knowledge of blueprints and designs may also be utilized in the performance of work in this series. Such knowledge may have been gained through vocational training or practical work experience.
Community planners are concerned with community planning and with developing the art and science of planning to apply to communities such as urban or rural neighborhoods, villages, Indian reservations, cities, counties, regions, States, or the nation. Community planning work requires knowledge of planning concepts, principles, techniques, and practices; the social, economic, political, and physical elements involved in human settlements; and the dynamics of change within these elements. Planners identify community needs, resources, and problems, and assist citizens to make decisions on goals, policies, priorities, plans, programs, and methods of implementation designed to create a physical, economic, and social environment in which the human activities desired by the members of the community may flourish.
The federal government employs 899 community planners of which 41 work overseas. The Department of the Army, Air Force and Navy are the largest employers with 497 civilians, followed by the Department of Transportation with 287, the Interior Department with 52, the National Capital Planning Commission employs 18, and Homeland Security employs 14.
Planning is the process of preparing a set of alternative courses for decisions in establishing the best action to ensure the future availability and development of adequate resources, facilities, and services required to support human activities. Community planners are concerned with the dynamics and the interrelationships of basic physical, economic, political, and social elements in communities. Through study and analysis, planners project the influence of these elements on a variety of public and private decisions bearing on the future of an urban neighborhood, a rural community, an Indian reservation, a city, or the orderly growth of a broad urban region. Planners work with the physical, climatic, economic, social, political, and financial conditions in such communities, the process of change, and the policy questions related to guiding that change.
Outdoor recreation planner's primary concerns are planning, advising on, and coordinating the use of land, water, and related resources to provide opportunities for the creative use of leisure time outdoors, with due regard to protecting and enhancing the quality of the outdoor environment for the enjoyment of people. The work requires application of knowledge of (a) pertinent aspects of economics, sociology, and other social sciences in the assessment of demand for outdoor recreation, (b) the practices of natural resource conservation involved in the development and coordination of programs to provide recreation resources, and (c) the techniques of area planning.
The federal government employs 411 outdoor recreation planners. The Department of the Interior is the largest employers with 369 civilians, followed by the Department of Energy with 16, and the Agriculture Department with 14.
Outdoor recreation is an important activity on America's lands and waters. Studies have revealed that most Americans seek outdoor recreation and that all indicators – population increase, rising incomes, growing mobility and more leisure time – point to a mounting demand for outdoor recreation. Primary concerns of positions in this occupation are to assess the demand for outdoor recreation and to provide the facilities needed to meet this demand. The land, water, mountains, forests, wildlife, and other outdoor elements which are useful for recreational purposes are considered to be recreation resources.
Outdoor recreation planners insure that outdoor recreation needs are met for people in both urban and rural areas. At the same time, they seek to protect and enhance the scenic and aesthetic quality of the physical environment in which the people live. This concern for the outdoor environment includes open space and other public land in urban areas. The outdoor recreation planner aims to assure opportunities for creative use of leisure time outdoors.
Park rangers perform duties such as supervising, managing, and/or performing work in the conservation and use of Federal park resources. This involves functions such as park conservation; natural, historical, and cultural resource management; and the development and operation of interpretive and recreational programs for the benefit of the visiting public. Duties characteristically include assignments such as: forest and structural fire control; protection of property from natural or visitor related depredation; dissemination to visitors of general, historical, or scientific information; folk art and craft demonstrations; control of traffic and visitor use of facilities; enforcement of laws and regulations; investigation of violations, complaints, trespass/encroachment, and accidents; search and rescue missions; and management activities related to resources such as wildlife, lakeshores, seashores, forests, historic buildings, battlefields, archeological properties, and recreation areas.
Caitlin Worth was interviewed for an article on our federal jobs blog titled Working For The National Park Service (Part 2). She is a GS-9 park ranger at the Sugarland’s Visitor Center at Great Smoky Mountains National Park (NP) and states, “when I had the opportunity to apply for an internship, at Great Smoky Mountain NP, it seemed like a fun way to spend a summer, and I had always thought I might be a good fit for this type of work. It ended up being a life changing experience, and after that, I made it my mission to find work in parks and make it my career. I cannot describe what it is like to hear the audible gasps or excited giggles that can come out of full-grown adults when you lead them to an amazing vista or let them photograph a bear in the wild from a safe distance.” Worth remarks, “I can’t imagine my life without my current career. It can be incredibly rewarding and the office is like no other. However, I only recommend it to those that feel they can be dedicated enough to the park service.”
Worth concludes that, “careers in the National Park Service can be difficult to build with many years of seasonal work and moving to far away places. Flexibility and patience are necessary, but given the right time and effort, an amazing opportunity to protect America’s most special places awaits you. Finally, start as young as you possibly can. Find ways to be exposed to as many types of park rangers as possible. Volunteer, attend special events, and participate in community workdays at your local parks. Start small. Internships are almost a requirement before competing well for seasonal work. Organizations like the American Conservation Experience (ACE), Student Conservation Association (SCA), and internships provided through each park are wonderful opportunities to get your foot in the door, learn about what you love and make lasting connections for the future.”
This series includes positions that involve advising on, managing, supervising, or performing administrative or program work relating to environmental protection programs (e.g., programs to protect or improve environmental quality, control pollution, remedy environmental damage, or ensure compliance with environmental laws and regulations). These positions require specialized knowledge of the principles and methods of administering environmental protection programs and the laws and regulations related to environmental protection activities.
The federal government employs 5,472 in this occupation. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the largest employer with 2,372 employed. All cabinet level and many large agencies employ workers in this occupation.
All Federal agencies are required to comply with Federal, State, local, and host nation environmental laws and regulations, and relevant Executive Orders. To achieve and maintain compliance, agencies must integrate environmental considerations into their decision-making processes, prepare detailed environmental documentation regarding proposed actions, maintain ongoing programs to protect and restore environmental resources, fulfill numerous environmental reporting requirements, etc. Regulatory agencies, principal among which is the Environmental Protection Agency, are responsible for rulemaking, monitoring, compliance, and enforcement activities affecting both public and private organizations and for managing and overseeing programs conducted by States and other entities through program delegations (contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, etc.).
Environmental protection programs deal with such areas as air and water quality, hazardous waste and materials management, underground storage tanks containing regulated substances (petroleum products, chemicals, and wastes), oil and hazardous substance spills planning, nonhazardous waste management, waste minimization and recycling, and site restoration and remediation. Many programs focus on specific pollutants (e.g., noise, radon, asbestos, pesticides, medical waste, acid rain) or on protecting a specific medium (land, air, water, wetlands).
As it has become recognized that program areas are not always discrete (i.e., that pollutants pass from air to water, from land to groundwater and back, freely), the focus has begun to shift to more integrated approaches. Consequently, many environmental protection programs are adopting strategies that deal with the environment in a more coordinated way, e.g., addressing overall environmental quality objectives, comparing environmental risks across programs, considering total pollutant loads and exposures, preventing pollution instead of controlling or transferring it to other parts of the environment, recognizing the worldwide and long-range character of many environmental problems, and reflecting environmental priorities in policies for other sectors such as energy, transportation, and agriculture.
Environmental protection specialists play a central role in planning and administering environmental programs.
There are no Individual Occupational Requirements for this series. Use the Group Coverage Qualification Standard for Clerical and Administrative Support Positions for this series in conjunction with the Individual Occupational Requirements for the position advertised.
The federal government employs 194 environmental protection assistants. The Department of the Army, Air Force, Navy, and DOD are the largest employers with 156 civilians, followed by the EPA with 20.
Typically a sports specialist plans and administers a segment of a sports program for an organization. Responsibilities include team sports programs and activities involving a variety of athletically related recurring and non-recurring activities such as special and intramural events, etc. Selects and emphasizes competitive sports activities to be offered, both within the required basic program categories and those additional ones possible through available resources and desirable in terms of participant's interests and needs. Schedules and publicizes various tournaments, and other sports events. Solicits volunteers and part-time paid service for activities. Evaluates the effectiveness of ongoing sports activities from the standpoint of participants’ response, resources, program objectives. Ensures playing surface is properly maintained, safe, and ready for play. Responsible for scheduling of courts, track, and fields, and regularly inspects for repairs, cleanliness, etc. Assists Youth Sports in all aspects of managing the sports program, to include the background check process.
Provides World Class Customer Service with an
emphasis on courtesy. Assists customers and communicates
positively in a friendly manner. Takes action to
solve problems quickly. Alerts the higher-level
supervisor, or proper point of contact for help when
problems arise. Adheres to safety regulations and
standards. Promptly reports any observed workplace
hazards, and any injury, occupational illness, and/or
property damage resulting from workplace mishaps to the
immediate supervisor. Adheres to established
standards of actively supporting the principles of the
EEO program and prevention of sexual harassment.
Performs other related duties as assigned.
The federal government employs 441 sports specialists. The Department of the Army, Air Force, and Navy are the largest employers with 164 civilians, followed by the Department of Justice with 241, and the Department of Transportation with 31.
Use the Group Coverage Qualification Standard for Administrative and Management Positions for this series in conjunction with the Individual Occupational Requirements described below.
Education Undergraduate and Graduate Education: Major study -- physical education.
General Experience (for GS-5 positions): Experience that provided a knowledge of the physical and psychological factors in individual and team sports, and the nature, purposes, and organization of recreational or competitive individual and team sports. Examples of qualifying general experience include:
Specialized Experience (for positions above GS-5): Experience that demonstrated the ability to:
Examples of qualifying specialized experience include:
There is no Group Coverage Qualification Standard for this series. Use the Individual Occupational Requirements described below.
Individual Occupational Requirements
Applicants must be licensed to practice embalming and funeral directing by a State, territory, or the District of Columbia.
All positions in this series require a minimum of 1 year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the next lower grade level in the normal line of progression. Experience must have been as an embalmer, funeral director, or mortuary officer that included restorative art and cosmetology. It must have required knowledge of the laws governing mortuary activities, including transportation of remains. The experience must also have demonstrated the ability to establish effective working relationships with individuals, groups, and the public.
Applicants for mortuary officer positions must have a thorough knowledge of all phases of a large mortuary program.
The federal government employs 302 funeral directors. The Department Health and Human Services employs 278 and the Department of the Air Force employs 14 civilians.
Chaplains advise on, administer, supervise, or perform professional work involved in a program of spiritual welfare and religious guidance for patients of Government hospitals and homes, for inmates of Government correctional and penal or other institutions, or for persons in other Government activities where civilian chaplain service is needed. Positions are classifiable to this series when the nature of duties and responsibilities is such that ordination by a recognized ecclesiastical body is a basic requirement.
The federal government employs 1,236 chaplains. The Veterans Administration is the largest employer with 795, followed by the Justice Department with 252, the Department of the Army employs 68 and the Air Force 63, with Health and Human Services employing 52.
Chaplains are concerned essentially with providing for the religious needs of the population served, and with serving as spiritual counselors in moral and religious problems. Most chaplains carry out this work in a direct service capacity by providing a religious ministry for patients or inmates confined in Government institutions. Some chaplain positions also include, as a sole or partial responsibility, one or more of the following non-direct services functions: staff functions of administration; or special functions of training or research.
Although this series covers all chaplain positions, this standard is concerned with the direct services types of chaplain positions, i.e., those in which the primary function is to directly carry out, or to directly supervise programs for carrying out, a religious ministry for patients or inmates. Grade level criteria are confined to these types of chaplain positions.
Clothing designers are involved with nonprofessional technical work in the design, development, testing, standardization, and improvement of clothing (including headgear, footgear, and hand gear) for performance, appearance, comfort, and economical production.
The federal government employs 34 clothing designers. All work for the Departments of the Army, Air force, Navy and DOD.
Typically, clothing design involves: analysis of requirements to be met by clothing items; initial conception of new or modified items consistent with specified requirements; development of technical data and preliminary sketches and/or sample models; translation of sketches or models into a master pattern for a standard size (pattern making); drafting of patterns for various sizes using the master pattern as a guide (pattern grading); construction and testing of prototype models; pilot production of items; modification of designs and patterns to remedy defects, improve performance, or facilitate production; detailed definition and standardization of design through development of production specifications and patterns.
A key facet of the occupational relationship of positions in this series lies in the complementary participation of the creative design project leader and the patternmaker in the clothing design process. This joint sharing of the clothing design function provides the basis for the title structure and is an important consideration in the inclusion of patternmaker positions under the Classification Act.
Fingerprint examiners perform functions that involve classifying, searching, verifying, and filing fingerprints and other vestigial prints (such as footprints or palm prints) for identifying persons. The work requires a knowledge of the methods used in fingerprint classification and identification.
The federal government employs 254 fingerprint examiners. The Department of Justice employs 191, followed by the Health and Human Services with 27 and Homeland Security employs 23.
Fingerprint identification involves taking prints, classifying them for use in subsequent operations, filing them according to classification and searching existing records for identification purposes. In addition some fingerprint specialist assignments include testifying in court on fingerprints taken or identified.
This series includes positions the primary duties of which are analytical, planning, advisory, operational, or evaluative work that has as its principal purpose the development and implementation of policies, procedures, standards, training, and methods for identifying and protecting information, personnel, property, facilities, operations, or material from unauthorized disclosure, misuse, theft, assault, vandalism, espionage, sabotage, or loss. Duties involve the management, supervision, or performance of work in: (1) developing, evaluating, maintaining, and/or operating systems, policies, devices, procedures, and methods used for safeguarding information, property, personnel, operations, and materials; and/or (2) developing and implementing policies and procedures for analyzing and evaluating the character, background, and history of employees, candidates for employment, and other persons having or proposed to be granted access to classified or other sensitive information, materials, or work sites.
The federal government employs 13,486 in this occupation of which 496 work overseas. All cabinet level and large agencies employ workers in this group. The Department of the Air Force employs 2,371 civilians in this series and the Department of Homeland Security is the second largest employer with 2,197 specialists. Explore all agencies for vacancies in this occupation.
Security administration in Federal agencies includes a number of functional areas, particularly personnel, physical, information, and industrial security. (Industrial security includes aspects of the other security functions and applies to industrial and academic organizations under contractual agreement to comply with Federal security requirements.) Security administration involves the safeguarding of information, personnel, property, assets, and/or material from theft, loss, misuse, fraud, disclosure, espionage, or sabotage. It also assures that the employment of personnel in sensitive positions or access by employees and others to secured information, assets, and material is clearly consistent with position sensitivity and in the national interest (national defense, national security, or national resource protection). Security specialists develop, evaluate, and implement security program policy and/or direction. Some prepare classification guidance, and some make original classification, declassification, downgrading, and upgrading decisions. Many security specialists train security and subject-matter personnel in security requirements and procedures.
Security administration is a specialized and integral aspect of agency missions and programs. It is concerned with (1) identifying the need for protection and security, (2) developing and maintaining the physical means which are used for protection and security, (3) developing, implementing, and maintaining procedural and technical methods to enhance physical protection, (4) assessing the reliability, loyalty, suitability, and trustworthiness of those persons who have access to sensitive or classified information, resources, and material which could adversely affect the national security, the public welfare, or the efficiency of the Federal service, and (5) assessing the damage done to national security when information or material has been compromised or sabotaged. Security administration is concerned with safeguarding information and material whether it is in the direct custody of the Federal Government or in the hands of other governments, private businesses (e.g., those having contacts with the Government), educational institutions, or other persons or organizations.
Security specialists interpret or develop general policy direction for application on an organization-wide basis and conduct oversight reviews on the effectiveness of programs and practices within lower echelon and supported organizations. At operating component, regional, or installation levels, specialists further interpret and define policy guidelines, develop and implement specific guidelines to meet localized requirements, and monitor program effectiveness in Federal, government contractor, and private sector facilities. Security specialists commonly participate in program and project planning efforts to evaluate the need for security requirements and recommend equipment, methods, procedures, and systems. In this role, specialists will sometimes maintain rather substantial budgets for the purchase and installation of security equipment, systems, and services.
Preparation and readiness is the cornerstone of the firefighting occupation. Successful response to emergencies requires preparing for the unexpected. Firefighters are trained to react to a variety of conditions, which may occur at the installation or facility, with a response appropriate to the conditions encountered. Although firefighters follow established protocols or procedures and refer situations not covered by them to professionals, they must also quickly and independently gauge the situation, make a number of assessments, and choose from a variety of actions.
The federal government employs 9,005 in this occupation of which 224 work overseas. The Army, Navy and Air Force employ 8,376 civilians in this series. The Veterans Administration employs 293 while the DOD has 157 fire fighters. There are small numbers at HHS and Home Land Security. The National Park Service (NPS) also employs 400 permanent and 600 seasonal fire fighters in the GS-0455/0462 job series. Betty Boyd featured the NPS fire fighter occupation on our blog in the article titled Fire Fighter Jobs With the National Park Service.
This series includes positions that supervise or perform work to control and extinguish fires, rescue persons endangered by fire, and reduce or eliminate potential fire hazards. It also covers fire service positions that:
Positions in this series require knowledge of:
Some positions may also require varying levels of knowledge regarding hazardous materials and/or emergency medical services.
United States Marshals are involved with a range of law enforcement responsibilities including serving a variety of civil writs and criminal warrants issued by Federal courts; tracing and arresting people wanted under court warrants; seizing and disposing of property under court orders; safeguarding and transporting prisoners; providing for the physical security of court facilities and personnel; providing for the physical security of jurors and key Government witnesses and their families; preventing civil disturbances or restoring order in riot and mob violence situations; and performing other special law enforcement duties as directed by a court order or by the Department of Justice. These positions require ability in locating and identifying wanted people or property, knowledge of court procedure, basic knowledge of business records and practices, knowledge of Federal and State laws that deputies must enforce, as well as relevant court decisions, and ability to deal with people from all levels of society
The federal government employs 276 U.S. Marshals. All U.S. Marshals work for the Department of Justice.
This occupation is found only in the United States Marshals Service, Department of Justice. Although the Marshals Service is a part of the Department of Justice, it functions as an executive arm of the Federal courts. Its primary function is to provide support to the Federal courts. This support involves protecting court personnel, facilities, and witnesses, executing writs, process and orders issued by the courts and the Board of Parole, and guarding and transporting prisoners.
Couriers are involved with performing or supervising the safe and secure transportation of sensitive nuclear materials owned or controlled by the Department of Energy. The work requires knowledge of laws, rules, regulations, methods, techniques, and procedures governing: the operation, control, and protection of vehicles and their cargos; the use of tactical weapons and arrest authority; emergencies involving health and safety of personnel, vehicles, and nuclear materials; departmental and other Federal, State, and local security authorities; and similar knowledge involving the protection, movement, and delivery of sensitive nuclear materials.
The federal government employs 297 couriers. All work for the Department of Energy.
The Department of Energy is responsible under law for safeguarding and transporting nuclear weapons, components, and other sensitive nuclear materials from points of manufacture to authorized destinations. In fulfilling that responsibility, the department employs, trains, and administers a work force of couriers whose prime responsibility is the safe and secure transport of such materials. Under departmental regulations derived from pertinent Federal laws, couriers are authorized to use necessary force and exercise arrest authority as necessary to protect the nuclear materials and apprehend individuals or groups attempting to gain unauthorized possession of such materials.
Couriers engaged in transporting nuclear materials perform vehicle operations, armed escort, communications and security equipment operations, and related work designed for, and peculiar to, the safe and secure transport of highly sensitive nuclear materials. The sensitive nature of the materials transported requires proper handling while under escort and the taking of all necessary measures to prevent the improper possession and misuse by unauthorized individuals or groups of individuals. Couriers assure that such materials are transferred between points of manufacture or other origin to authorized military or civilian recipients for use, storage, and/or disposal.
Federal police and security guard work ranges from fairly passive to very active involvement in law enforcement and protective activities. In some jurisdictions, there is a high potential for minor and serious violations, including some incidence of felonies, while in other locations, even misdemeanors are not very common except for traffic violations.
The primary mission and purpose of police organizations is to enforce law, maintain law and order, preserve the peace, and protect the life and civil rights of persons. The primary mission and purpose of security guard organizations is to protect and prevent unauthorized access to Federal property because it contains processes or materials that are sensitive or valuable from a national defense, public treasure, public health, or public safety point of view.
The federal government employs 14,087 police of which 230 work overseas. The Veterans Administration employs 3,378 followed by the Department of the Navy with 2800 civilians employed in this series. Over half of the cabinet level agencies hire police officers and security guards. There are 4,717 security guards employed in the federal service. Most work for the Department of the Army, while others work at various agencies large and small. Health and Human Services employs 237, while the Department of the Interior employs 182. The DOD, Navy, Air Force and others employ small numbers of security guards.
Police are typically trained to deal with misdemeanors and felonies, which can range from petty theft and verbal assault through murder, rape, simple and aggravated assault, domestic disputes, kidnapping, hostage taking, theft of national defense information and materials, theft of office equipment, drug trafficking, assault on Government facilities, arson and bomb threats, crowd control, and other conditions involving violations of law and threats to human life.
Connie Rupp was interviewed for an article on our federal jobs blog titled Police Officers (GS-0083) – Working for the U.S. Mint. Rupp is a police officer (GS-0083) with the U.S. Mint and is stationed at Denver, CO.
Rupp stated, "I started as a Law Enforcement Officer in the US Air Force and knew I had found my place. After my tour of duty with the Air Force I sought a degree in Criminalistics and have continued with a Masters in Criminology. The field continues to fascinate me. I’ve been fortunate to work many aspects of the law enforcement field, from the crime lab to dispatching and security to Police Officer. Police Officers have a special bond and sense of being part of an elite team. I cannot imagine doing anything else."
Read the entire interview article titled Police Officers (GS-0083) – Working for the U.S. Mint on our blog.
Security guards are trained more in the methods and techniques for detecting and repelling attempts at trespass, sabotage, and theft of property. Typically, security guards prevent, respond to, and/or resist attempted violations, apprehend and detain offenders, and turn over cases and violators to police or other law enforcement officers.
As required by 5 U.S.C. 3310 and 5 CFR 330.401, guard positions are restricted to preference eligible. Nonveterans may be appointed to guard positions only if no qualified preference eligible are available or through certain noncompetitive actions or temporary appointment. There are no such restrictions for appointment to police officer positions.
In some instances, the distinction between police and guard work may not be an easy one to make, because of the similarities between the two kinds of work. Employees in both series may be uniformed, armed, trained to respond to all possible situations, referred to or addressed as "officer," and subject to substantial hazard or danger in emergencies. It is necessary, however, to make a determination as to whether a position covered by this guide is a police officer or a security guard. This determination is needed to assure compliance with veterans preference requirements and proper application of this guide for titling and grading purposes according to assigned duties and responsibilities. The following information is intended to help in making this determination.
The primary mission of police officers in the Federal service is to maintain law and order. In carrying out this mission, police officers protect life, property, and the civil rights of individuals. They prevent, detect, and investigate violations of laws, rules, and regulations involving accidents, crimes, and misconduct involving misdemeanors and felonies. They arrest violators, assist in the prosecution of criminals, and serve as a source of assistance to persons in emergency situations.
Police services are provided in Federal residential areas, parks, reservations, roads and highways, commercial and industrial areas, military installations, Federally owned and leased office buildings, and similar facilities under Federal control. Within their jurisdictions, police officers enforce a wide variety of Federal, State, county, and municipal laws and ordinances, and agency rules and regulations relating to law enforcement. They must be cognizant of the rights of suspects, the laws of search and seizure, constraints on the use of force (including deadly force), and the civil rights of individuals.
Police officers are commissioned, deputized, appointed, or otherwise designated as agency and/or local law enforcement officers by statute, delegation, or deputization by local governments, or other official act. Arrest and apprehension authority includes the power to formally detain and incarcerate individuals pending the completion of formal charges (booking); requesting and serving warrants for search, seizure, and arrest; testifying at hearings to establish and collect collateral (bond); and/or participating in trials to determine innocence or guilt.
Police officers carry firearms or other weapons authorized for their specific jurisdictions. They wear uniforms and badges, use military style ranks (private, sergeant, lieutenant, etc.), and are commonly required to refamiliarize themselves with authorized weapons periodically and demonstrate skill in their use.
Police work in the Federal service may involve both line operations and auxiliary operations. Line operations typically include such activities as patrol work, traffic control, canine operations, vice control, work with juveniles, and detective operations. Auxiliary operations performed by officers include such activities as operating control centers and communications networks, court liaison, limited laboratory activities, and other miscellaneous duties that support and enhance line operations. Trained officers might perform in any of the line or auxiliary operations in full-time or part-time assignments.
Most police officers are engaged in patrol duties and/or traffic control. In performing patrol duties, they serve as a deterrent to crime and other violations of laws, rules, and regulations. Crime prevention is enhanced by the presence of uniformed officers in an area and by their being continually alert in observing, inspecting, and investigating circumstances or individuals which appear unusual and suspicious. Police officers regulate pedestrian and vehicular traffic; prevent accidents, congestion, and parking problems; give warnings; issue citations for traffic violations; and make arrests if necessary. They conduct preliminary investigations of crimes, investigate accidents, dispose of complaints, recover stolen property, counsel adults and juveniles, and assist persons needing help. Typically, investigations that remain incomplete at the end of an assigned shift are turned over for completion by detectives or criminal investigators.
Security Guards Duties
The primary mission of security guard programs is to
protect Federal property from hazards such as sabotage,
espionage, trespass, theft, fire, and accidental or
willful damage and destruction. Security guards are
employed in Government-owned or controlled buildings,
hospitals, museums, libraries, manufacturing plants,
warehouses, military installations, and other
Security guards wear uniforms, display badges of authority, and may carry weapons. They are often organized along military lines and make use of military ranks and working titles (i.e., sergeant, lieutenant, etc.). Security guards apprehend and detain violators of laws, rules, and regulations and turn them over to Federal or civil police or other law enforcement officers for arrest and/or posting of collateral.
Security guards serve at fixed posts or patrol assigned areas on foot or by vehicle and perform a variety of protective duties. They enforce pertinent administrative rules and regulations governing traffic control, parking, building or other facility access, and breaches in physical security controls (locks, fences, gates, or other barriers). When enforcing rules and regulations established to accomplish the protective mission, guards control the movement of persons and protect lives and personal property in and around the Federal property being protected. Guards in hospitals may be required to help in dealing with patients who are mentally ill and others whose actions are influenced by distress associated with their medical condition. Security guards carry out related duties such as escorting persons and valuables, driving emergency vehicles, detecting and reporting potential fire and accident hazards, making preliminary checks of violations, conducting canine operations to detect explosives or illegal drugs, and preparing reports of incidents or security conditions.
The security assistant includes positions the primary duties of which are to supervise or perform clerical and assistant tasks in support of established security programs (e.g., personnel, physical, information, or industrial security) when such work requires, in addition to general administrative and/or clerical skills, practical knowledge of specific security objectives, programs, methods, and procedures, and skills in carrying out support tasks related to security administration.
The federal government employs 2,605 security clerical assistants of which 21 work overseas. The Departments of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and DOD are the largest employers with 1,534 civilians employed. The Veterans Administration employs 611, the Office of Personnel Management employs 117, and Homeland Security employs 81. Other agencies hire smaller numbers of this occupation.
The Federal Government originates and maintains a great variety of classified defense and other highly sensitive information and materials that must be protected from unauthorized disclosure. Security specialists perform the functions of planning, implementing, administering, reviewing, improving, and terminating security methods, procedures, techniques, and programs. Security programs include the processes of: reviewing background investigations to grant or deny security clearances for Federal employees and private sector individuals who have access to sensitive information; planning and installing, or arranging for installation of, physical barriers and detection, alarm, response, and control systems; reviewing Federal and other organization security practices and modifying systems to improve levels of protection; establishing and monitoring document marking, control, and access procedures; and similar actions to limit access to sensitive information.
Many security organizations, especially at installation levels, employ security clerks and assistants to perform or monitor standardized aspects of established security program operations. Such work varies from establishing and maintaining security records where support employees are expected to recognize, locate, and insert certain kinds of data/information to positions in which employees are responsible for specific activities such as operating an established pass and identification system. The work may occur in support of any of the specializations covered in the Security Administration Series, GS-0080, and varies widely in duties and responsibilities according to local requirements or management decisions on how to assign work. The following paragraphs describe a few examples of the kinds of work performed by security clerks and assistants. Staff and policy level environments are not described because the security support work typical of this series is not commonly found at those levels.
The guide includes all classes of positions the duties of which are to provide or supervise nonprofessional interpretive and guide services to visitors to parks, dams, and other sites of public interest. The work involves giving formal talks, interpreting natural and historic features, explaining engineering structures and related water resource developments, answering questions, guiding tours, and providing miscellaneous services to visitors. Incidental duties are performed in connection with responsibility for visitor safety and protection of historic and scientific objects and natural or engineering features.
The federal government employs 709 guides. The Departments of the Interior employs 687 and the Agriculture Department employs 16.
Guides regularly give talks normally following a prescribed outline and requiring application of broad subject-matter knowledge of the features of interest peculiar to the work site. A guide may tell the entire story of the park or dam in a talk given at one point, e.g., in an assembly room at the visitor center where visitors are oriented before taking a self-guiding trail trip; or a guide may be stationed at one of several points of visitor interest and give talks covering only a portion of the interpretive story, e.g., in a large battlefield park, one park guide may be stationed at the historic house where the terms of surrender were drawn up, and would give talks covering the history of the house and the details of the surrender negotiations. In the same park, another park guide might be stationed at an observation point on the battlefield and would describe the battle, pointing out the exact sites where important skirmishes occurred, and explaining the significance of the battle with reference to the war.
In caves and other parks where the size of the parties of visitors taking guided trips (as distinguished from self-guided trail trips) requires more than one guide, a group of park guides accompanies the party throughout the trip; at various stopping points, one of the park guides points out the features of interest which can be observed from that point, and gives a talk covering a portion of the cave story such as the history of exploration or the geological processes which result in the formation of the stalactites and stalagmites. Such talks include detailed and specific interpretation and explanation of the outstanding features from the standpoint of scientific or historical interest, the background of events leading up to the natural feature or phenomenon; the facts, events, personalities and circumstances, not limited to those closely related to the immediate features of interest but those identified with them in their origin, growth, or development, or influencing their present status, form, condition, or importance. In addition, the talks provide general information about other sites of public interest; facilities for public use; pertinent rules and regulations; and other matters designed to stimulate a sense of appreciation and thus encourage protection and preservation of the scenic, scientific or historic features. In some circumstances, the talks are given in conjunction with live demonstrations of nearly forgotten arts and crafts. Frequently, the talks are given in conjunction with electric maps, photographic slides, and other audio-visual devices.
In all cases, the talks require application of skill in preparing oral presentations, a good speaking voice, a fluent command of English, and other traits common to good public speaking. The basic information to be incorporated in the talks, and the general outline to be adopted in presenting them have been provided by a professional staff man, but the guide is expected to "personalize" them. He must couch the talks in terms appropriate to the obvious interests of the group, e.g., the talks might be quite differently worded when given to a group of school children than to a group on a photographic tour. The guide must exercise judgment in selecting from among the many specific items those which best satisfy the desires of the group and hold their interest.