Page updated 2/10/2015
This group includes all classes of positions, the duties of which are to advise on, administer, supervise, or perform work involved in the various phases of personnel management and industrial relations. The jobs range from personnel management, pay administration, and administrative work in the human resources area including federal retirement benefits.
There were 41,834 federal workers employed in this group in 2014 within all Executive Branch departments and large independent agencies including OPM, EPA, and the Smithsonian Institution. Over half, 27,260 specialists, work in the GS-0201 Human Resource Management series with the Department of the Army and VA employing the largest numbers. Another 11,041 work as human resource assistants. You will find the 2,711 EEO specialists employed within all large and medium sized agencies across the country.
Don't overlook any agency in your job search as there are many employed in this group spread throughout all Executive Departments and independent agencies. For example the Department of Health and Human Services employs 1,154 from this group while as few as 20 are employed from this group by the Federal Trade Commission.
Significant changes were made to this group in 2000 when they consolidated many of the previous standards under the GS-0201 series. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) consolidated the following series from this group into the GS-0201 standard:
All of the above listed series are now advertised under the GS-0201 series with qualification requirements to meet the needs of the organization. The Contractor Industrial Relations GS-0246 series was transferred to the GS-1101 series.
Work is available at all federal departments and agencies.
Click on the job title for current job listings and click on (job series definition) to review duties and qualifications.
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.
Human resources (HR) specialists provide a variety of human resources management (HRM) services as well as consultation on the most effective alignment of HR systems to support strategic goals and objectives and produce the results that accomplish the agency mission. Management relies on these specialists and systems to help them apply merit system principles to attracting, developing, managing, and retaining a high quality and diverse workforce. Employees rely on these specialists and systems to provide information and assistance that sustain important features of the employer-employee relationship, such as employee benefits. These specialists provide products and services for a wide variety of employee categories that involve different systems with different statutory and regulatory authorities. Examples of employee categories include:
The development of creative, results-driven approaches to recruitment and placement, strategic rewards, continuous learning, and employee and labor-management relations is an increasingly important function of the HR office. As a result of greater demand for strategic approaches, HR specialists have assumed an integral and critical role in planning and decision-making processes in addition to assuring that merit system principles are observed in executing HRM actions. Although this latter role is essential and fundamental, it has been significantly expanded in most HR offices to include advisory services essential to providing management with the tools necessary to properly plan, develop, organize, manage, and evaluate mission-oriented programs. This requires:
Here is a list of ten specialties that are found within the Human Resources Management series. They are:
Automation greatly affects the way HR products and services are delivered. Managers can initiate and track multiple actions, obtain up-to-date payroll data, generate ad hoc reports, and run these reports from their desks. Such HR information systems development significantly impacts management and employee expectations about timely and quality service. HR assistants are constantly challenged to learn and function effectively with automation tools.
Although assistants use computers to perform basic work processes, knowledge of the rules and processes in an HR office or pertaining to HR procedures remains the paramount subject matter knowledge required to perform this work. The kind of automation tools involved and the skill required to use them generally replace or supplement work methods and techniques previously performed through manual or machine enhanced processes. Although computers are used to facilitate work within this occupation, the use of automation does not change the primary purpose of the work in the HR occupation. Proper classification of positions within this and other administrative support occupations is based on the relevant knowledge and skills required to perform the primary - in this instance, HR-related - duties of the position.
Human resources (HR) assistants provide support for HR specialists involved in using HR information systems; in delivering HR services to military personnel; and in classification, recruitment and placement, employee benefits, human resource development, performance management, and employee and labor-management relations. They work in HR offices, examining or job information centers or offices, or administrative support offices. They process and document HR actions for a wide variety of employee categories that involve different forms, different authorities, different action codes, and different regulatory authorities, or additional pay systems. Examples of employee categories include:
Work within this series may require the HR assistant to perform one or more of the following:
HR assistants perform limited work within specialty areas requiring a practical knowledge of an HR specialization. They may also perform work in two or more specialty areas. For example, an HR assistant may do support work in both the classification specialty and the recruitment and placement specialty. HR assistant duties in the military specialty area include support work in unique programs such as special benefits in housing or education for veterans of recent conflicts or for their widows or orphans.
This series includes all positions that involve providing mediation assistance to labor and management in the settlement or prevention of industrial labor disputes connected with the formulation, revision, termination or renewal of collective-bargaining agreements. The paramount qualification requirement of all positions in this series is ability and skill in applying the techniques of mediation in dealing with the parties to a dispute. The application of these techniques in the settlement of industrial labor disputes requires knowledge of the field of labor-management relations, particularly of collective-bargaining principles, practices and processes; understanding of economic, industrial, and labor trends, and of current developments and problems in the field of labor relations; and knowledge of applicable labor laws and precedent decisions.
(This series applies only to mediator positions in the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and in the National Mediation Board.) As of September of 2014 there were 183 mediators employed in this series.
The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and the National Mediation Board carry out the Federal Government's role of mediating collective-bargaining disputes between labor and management in industries engaged in or affecting commerce. The purpose is to promote and maintain peace in labor-management relations as a means of avoiding interruptions to commerce. The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, which functions under Title II of the Labor Management Relations Act, is concerned with disputes in industry in general (with the exception of the railroad and airline industries). The National Mediation Board, which functions under the Railway Labor Act, is concerned with disputes only in the railroad and airline industries.
Mediator is the title for positions primarily involving use of the techniques of mediation to assist labor and management in the settlement and prevention of collective-bargaining disputes in general industry, in accordance with the provisions of Title II of the Labor Management Relations Act.
Mediator (Railroads and Airlines) is the title for positions primarily involving the same skills as the above, except that these positions function under the Railway Labor Act and involve application of intensive knowledge of the railroad and airline industries.
Excluded from this series are:
This job series includes positions that involve the administration, supervision, or performance of work primarily concerned with (a) the promotion of apprenticeship and other on-the-job training programs and standards to meet the needs for skilled manpower in industry, and (b) providing technical advice and assistance on methods for improving and obtaining more effective utilization of worker skills on the job.
This work includes obtaining the cooperative support of, providing consultant services to, and coordinating with management and labor, educational, community and other groups, and governmental agencies at local, State, and Federal levels. Positions in this series basically require knowledge of the principles and practices of apprenticeship, ability to analyze industrial processes and operations in order to identify the manpower and training problems involved and to advise on solutions, and knowledge of related industrial relations practices and problems.
Also classifiable to this series are positions requiring application of the same basic knowledges and abilities in supervising or performing work primarily involving the review of apprenticeship standards and training agreements for conformance with basic national standards.
Field apprenticeship and training representatives are chiefly concerned with promoting and advising on apprenticeship training and other occupational skill development programs for workers in industry. (NOTE: For editorial convenience the term "field representative" is frequently used to refer to the field located Apprenticeship and Training Representative positions specifically covered by this standard.) Their efforts are directed toward the attainment of a skilled and versatile work force adaptable to a changing technology to meet industry's current and future manpower needs and toward providing workers with the industrial skills necessary for gainful employment. To this end field representatives provide the necessary stimulus, leadership, technical guidance and consultant services to industry (management and labor) and others concerned, in the identification of specific industrial training needs and related manpower problems; in the development of new or improvement of existing industrial training programs and related on-the-job manpower utilization practices; and on the role of apprenticeship and other industrial training programs in community economic development planning. In carrying out these activities they obtain the cooperative support of, and work closely with, management and labor, as well as educational, civic, business and other groups concerned, and appropriate governmental agencies at local, State, and Federal levels.
Field representative positions are located in a nationwide network of regional, State, and local offices that carry out the field operations of the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training, U.S. Department of Labor. Typically, field representatives are assigned specific coverage of a territorial area within the jurisdiction of their field office.
This series includes positions which involve the administration, supervision or performance of work in the investigation, evaluation and resolution of cases involving charges of unfair labor practices or collective-bargaining representation issues or disputes which arise under the National Labor Relations Act. Work in this series requires a knowledge of the field of labor management relations, of collective-bargaining processes, of applicable labor laws and precedent decisions, and of the regulations, policies and practices of the National Labor Relations Board. It also requires the ability to apply investigative techniques, and to negotiate constructively and persuasively.
This series excludes positions the duties of which primarily involve the mediation of labor management disputes arising out of the formulation or revision of collective-bargaining agreements; such positions are classifiable in the Mediation Series, GS-0241.
Labor management relations examiners are chiefly concerned with the examination and resolution of: (a) Specific charges of unfair labor practices filed against either an employer, a union, or both, or their agents, alleging violation of collective-bargaining and other statutory rights; and (b) petitions to certify or decertify employee representatives for collective bargaining with employers in enterprises affecting commerce (in all industries except those specifically excluded by statute). These latter are referred to as representation cases.
Labor management relations examiners work within a specific statutory framework, namely the National Labor Relations Act, as amended. The work occurs in the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which was established by Congress as the sole agency responsible for protecting the rights prescribed by the Act -- rights of employees, employers, labor organizations, and the public as well -- and for remedying unfair labor practices.
There are 277 specialists working in this series of which the majority, 264, work for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
EEO positions are primarily concerned with developing, administering, evaluating, or advising on the Federal Government's internal equal employment opportunity program within Federal agencies then the position requires knowledge of Federal equal employment opportunity regulations and principles; Compliance and enforcement skills; administrative, management, and consulting skills; and knowledge of Federal personnel administration. This includes managers or coordinators of special emphasis Programs designed to solve the specialized employment problems of women, minorities, veterans, the handicapped, persons over age forty, and others as they relate to Federal employment.
As of September 2014 there were 2,711 EEO specialists employed in this series and working in all federal departments and most large agencies. The largest employer is Department of the Army with 433 and the Department of Agriculture employs 179 EEO specialists. If you are interested in this career review job announcements from all federal agencies. This occupation is required throughout government.