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Page updated 9/13/2016

 

This group includes all classes of positions, the duties of which are to advise on, administer, supervise, or perform research or other professional and scientific work or subordinate technical work in any of the fields of science concerned with matter, energy, physical space, time, nature of physical measurement, and fundamental structural particles; and the nature of the physical environment.

There were 31,566 federal workers employed in this group within all Executive Branch departments, and in many large and small independent agencies with 261 employed overseas. The largest employer is the Department of Interior with 5,850 followed by the Department of Commerce with 5,534 and the Department of the navy with 4,195 civilians employed. A number of large independent agencies hire in this group including the EPA with 2,750 employed.

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.

 

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GS-1300 Physical Science Occupation Menu

 

GS-1300 Job Listings

 

Job Listings Click the job title for job listings, number employed, job series definitions, duties and qualifications.

 

Job Series Definition

These position descriptions are excerpted from the qualification standards for select job titles 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.

General Physical Sciences GS-1301

This series includes positions that involve professional work in the physical sciences when there is no other more appropriate series, that is, the positions are not classifiable elsewhere. This series also includes work in a combination of physical science fields, with no one predominant.

The federal government employs 7,717 physical scientists of which 261 work overseas. The EPA is the largest employer with 2,108 employed followed by the Department of the Army with 1,039 civilians and the Department of Commerce with 823. All cabinet level agencies except for the Department of Energy employ in this group. A number of large independent agencies also hire physical scientists.

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.

USAJOBS GS-1301

Health Physics GS-1306

This series includes positions that require primarily application of professional knowledge and competence in health physics, which is concerned with the protection of persons and their environment from unwarranted exposure to ionizing radiation.

The federal government employs 956 health physicist of which 11 work overseas. The Department of Navy is the largest employer with 405 employed followed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission with 161 and the Veterans Administration with 96. Most cabinet level agencies employ in this group along with several large independent agencies.

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.

USAJOBS GS-1306

 

Physics Series GS-1310

This series includes positions that advise, administer, supervise, or perform research or other professional and scientific work in the investigation and application of the relations between space, time, matter, and energy in the areas of mechanics, sound, optics, heat, electricity, magnetism, radiation, or atomic and nuclear phenomena.

The federal government employs 2,356 physicists of which 6 work overseas. The Department of Navy is the largest employer with 1,026 civilians employed followed by the Department of Commerce with 408 and the Department of the Army with 288. NASA employs 123 physicists. Over half of the cabinet level agencies employ physicists along with several large independent agencies.

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.

USAJOBS GS-1310

 

Physical Science Technician GS-1311

 

Physical science technicians supervise, lead, or perform nonprofessional work in the physical sciences that is not specifically included in other technical series in the Physical Sciences Group. Physical science technicians perform technical work in such fields as astronomy, chemistry, geology, physics, geophysics, health physics, metallurgy, and oceanography for which a specific technician series has not been established. Work in this series does not require full professional knowledge equivalent to that represented by completion of a bachelor’s degree in a physical science field.

The federal government employs 2,053 Physical science technicians of which 12 work overseas. The Department of Navy is the largest employer with 993 civilians employed followed by the Department of Agriculture with 290 and the Department of Interior with 212. Over half of the cabinet level agencies employ physicists along with several large independent agencies including the EPA.

Specialized Experience (for positions at GS-4 and above):

Examples of qualifying specialized experience include work in the fields of astronomy, physics, geophysics, chemistry, hydrology, health physics, engineering, electronics, geology, oceanography, and metallurgy.

Experience as a laboratory mechanic or in a trade or craft may be credited as general or specialized experience when the work was performed in close association with physical scientists or other technical personnel and provided intensive knowledge of appropriate scientific principles, methods, techniques, and precedents.

or

Education and Training:

For GS-3: Successful completion of l year of study that included at least 6 semester hours in any combination of courses such as physical science, engineering, or any branch of mathematics, except financial and commercial mathematics.

For GS-4: Successful completion of 2 years of study that included at least 12 semester hours in any combination of courses such as those shown above for GS-3.

For GS-5: Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study leading to a bachelor's degree (a) with major study in an appropriate field of physical science, or (b) that included at least 24 semester hours in any combination of courses such as those shown above for GS-3.

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.

USAJOBS GS-1311

 

Geophysics GS-1313

This series includes professional scientific positions requiring application of knowledge of the principles and techniques of geophysics and related sciences in the investigation, measurement, analysis, evaluation, and interpretation of geophysical phenomena and artificially applied forces and fields related to the structure, composition, and physical properties of the earth and its atmosphere.

The federal government employs 423 geophysicists. The Department of Interior is the largest employer with 297 employed followed by the Department of the Air Force with 29 and the Army with 27. A few other cabinet level agencies employ small numbers of geophysicists along with several large independent agencies including NASA with 14 and the Nuclear Regulatory Agency with 13 employed.

Basic Requirements:

Degree: that included at least 30 semester hours in mathematics (including calculus) and the physical sciences (geophysics, physics, engineering, geology, astronomy, meteorology, electronics, etc.).

or

Combination of education and experience -- courses as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.
For Department of the Interior Positions with Pilot Duties

Applicants must: Possess a current FAA Commercial Airman Certificate with ratings appropriate for the duties performed;
Possess an instrument rating; Have completed a minimum of 500 hours of flight time as Pilot-in-Command and 25 hours of flight time as Pilot-in-Command at night; and Possess a current Class II Medical Certificate.

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.

USAJOBS GS-1313

 

Hydrology GS-1315

 

This series includes positions that involve professional work in hydrology, the science concerned with the study of water in the hydrologic cycle. The work includes basic and applied research on water and water resources; the collection, measurement, analysis, and interpretation of information on water resources; the forecast of water supply and water flows; and the development of new, improved or more economical methods, techniques, and instruments.

The federal government employs 2,172 hydrologists of which 14 work overseas. The Department of Interior is the largest employer with 1,452 employed followed by the Agriculture Department with 330 and the Department of Commerce with 262. A few other cabinet level agencies employ small numbers of geophysicists along with several large independent agencies including 33 with the EPA and 21 with the Nuclear Regulatory Agency.

Bryce Bohn was interviewed for an article on our federal jobs blog titled Hydrologists & Planning & Environmental Coordinators | BLM (Part 3). Bohn, is a GS-1315-13 hydrologist, who is located at the BLM Idaho State Office in Boise, ID.
Bohn was interested in becoming a hydrologist when he participated in the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) program in high school. He states, “I became interested in being a hydrologist when a Forest Service hydrologist came to talk about his job. From that moment on, all of my education and career planning was directed towards being a hydrologist.  Since entering federal service, I have been the forest hydrologist on four National Forests before becoming the state hydrologist for BLM-Idaho.”
Bohn is excited about his career because, “I use my training and education to make a difference in the quality of the environment. I love being responsible for the protection, restoration and monitoring of aquatic resources on public lands in the west. It is a job that allows me to make a difference in the quality of people’s lives as well as the quality of the environment that persists long into the future”.
Bohn suggests that individual interested in becoming a hydrologist should, “talk to as many people as you can. Read books and professional literature to see what the current research topics are. Never forget that the success of any science hinges upon the effective communication of your findings and making it relevant to the public. Develop your people skills with the same focus and urgency as you develop your scientific skills.  Hydrology is a field of engineering that you can specialize in any number of sub-disciplines such as groundwater, dams and irrigation, snow hydrology or wild land hydrology.”

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.

USAJOBS GS-1314

 

Hydrologic Technician GS-1316

This series covers one-grade interval technical positions that supervise, lead, or perform nonprofessional work that requires practical knowledge of the methods, procedures, and instrumentation used in hydrologic studies. Hydrologic technicians gather information on the quantity, quality, availability, movement, and distribution of ground water and surface water. They also evaluate water samples and data, prepare reports, and carry out related duties that support professional work in hydrology. Work in this series does not require full professional knowledge equivalent to that represented by completion of a bachelor’s degree in hydrology.

The federal government employs 1,551 hydrologic technicians of which 18 work overseas. The Department of Interior is the largest employer with 1,239 employed followed by the Agriculture Department with 221 and the Department of the Army with 71.  A few other cabinet level agencies employ small numbers of hydrologic technicians  along with several large independent agencies.

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.

USAJOBS GS-1316

Chemistry GS-1320


This series includes all positions involving work that requires full professional education and training in the field of chemistry. This work includes the investigation, analysis, and interpretation of the composition, molecular structure, and properties of substances, the transformations which they undergo, and the amounts of matter and energy included in these transformations.

The federal government employs 5,493 chemists of which 61 work overseas. The Department of Health and Human Services is the largest employer with 1,943 followed by the Department of the Army with 630 and the Navy with 551. The majority of the cabinet level agencies employ small numbers of geophysicists along with several large independent agencies including 482 with the EPA.

This work includes the investigation, analysis, and interpretation of the composition, physical and chemical properties, molecular structure and chemical reactions of substances; the prediction of transformation they undergo; and the amount of matter and energy included in these transformations.

Dr. Keith A. Loftin was interviewed for an article on our federal jobs blog titled Ecologist Jobs (GS-0408) and Chemist Jobs With the USGS (Part 2). Dr. Loftin is a GS-1320-13, Research Chemist, located at the USGS KS Water Science Center, Lawrence, KS. Loftin is a research chemist, this gives him the opportunity to identify and work on solutions to environmental problems with human and ecological health relevance.  He relates, "chemistry is used to understand, make, or enhance the quality of agriculture, clothing, building materials, clean drinking water, manufacturing of a full range of luxury items, as well as medications."

Loftin explains, "chemistry allows a person to breakdown complex systems and processes at a fundamental level that can be used to solve problems."

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.

USAJOBS GS-1320

 

Astronomy/Space Science GS-1330

This series includes professional positions requiring primarily application of the principles and techniques of astronomy and physics in the investigation and interpretation of the physical properties, composition, evolution, position, distance, and motion of extraterrestrial bodies and particles in space.

The federal government employs 424 astronomers, Astrophysicist, Radio Astronomers and space scientists.  NASA is the largest employer with 289 followed by the Department of the Navy with 80 civilians employed, and the SEC with 35. The National Space Foundation employs 12.

Job Series Titles: (Click on the job title to view job vacancies for federal, state government, and private sector jobs). The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series. Consolidated listings provide vacancy announcements from all sources in your area. 

  • Astronomer-This title includes professional positions concerned with observing and describing celestial objects; determining the positions, the motions and gravitational interactions of celestial objects; and investigating related aspects of stellar and galactic dynamics;
  • Astrophysicist-This title includes professional positions concerned with applying the laws of physics to a wide range of topics dealing with the state and condition of matter in space;
  • Radio Astronomer-This title includes professional positions using radio telescopes with various techniques to detect and investigate radiation in the radio region of the electromagnetic spectrum; or
  • Space Scientist-This title includes professional positions concerned with investigations of solid bodies within the solar system, with the effect of solar radiation on those bodies and the space environment, and with subjects not included in the other specializations.

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.

USAJOBS GS-1330

 

Meteorology GS-1340

 

This series includes positions that involve professional work in meteorology, the science concerned with the earth*s atmospheric envelope and its processes. The work includes basic and applied research into the conditions and phenomena of the atmosphere; the collection, analysis, evaluation, and interpretation of meteorological data to predict weather and determine climatological conditions for specific geographical areas; the development of new or the improvement of existing meteorological theory; and the development or improvement of meteorological methods, techniques, and instruments.

Phillip Manuel was interviewed for an article on our federal jobs blog titled Meteorologist GS-1340, Working for NOAA & the NWS.  Mr. Manuel is a GS-1340-13 with the National Weather Service and stationed at Blacksburg, VA. He stated that the unique characteristics of his job was that, "The cool thing about being a forecaster is that you can specialize in a particular interest or field of study. Within each forecast field office there are approximately 10 forecasters. Each forecaster may specialize in a particular forecast interest, such as severe weather, marine weather, winter weather, radar, aviation, hydrology, etc.  You become the “focal point” or “program leader” within the office for that field of study.  The other forecasters within the office will then seek you for advice or training concerning your expertise.

I am the fire weather program leader for my office. This is unique for me because I interact with other partner agencies, such as the U.S. Forest Service and similar land management agencies, supporting their need for weather forecasts to help them when suppressing wildfires or conducting prescribed burns. What is really unique about my job is I also serve as an Incident Meteorologist (IMET). I travel nationwide in support of Federal and State Incident Management Teams for incidents which may involve large wildfires, HazMat, or disaster cleanup. This requires that I keep a bag packed at home ready for travel at all times. When deployed I may remain away from home for weeks at a time."

Phillip further states that, "I Highly I highly recommend this position to anyone who likes the science of meteorology, loves to interact with people, and is open-minded to feedback, especially when your forecast does not go as planned." Read the article to explore this career field more thoroughly and to read the entire interview.

The federal government employs 2,966 meteorologist of which 34 work overseas. The Department of Commerce is the largest employer with 2,558 followed by the Department of the Air Force with 151 and the Army with 96. About half of the cabinet level agencies employ small numbers of meteorologists along with several large independent agencies including 19 with NASA.

Positions in this occupation require full professional knowledge and application of meteorological methods, techniques, and theory.

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.

USAJOBS GS-1340

 

Meteorological Tech GS-1341

This series covers one-grade interval technical positions that supervise, lead, or perform nonprofessional work in weather forecasting, observation, documentation, research, or other areas of meteorology. Meteorological technicians observe and analyze weather elements or predict the effects of weather in the atmosphere and on the earth’s surface. This requires practical knowledge of meteorological equipment, principles, and methods, as well as skill in collecting data, making observations, forecasting weather, and verifying data. Work in this series does not require full professional knowledge equivalent to that represented by completion of a bachelor’s degree in meteorology.

The federal government employs 554 meteorological technicians. The Department of Commerce is the largest employer with 256, the Department of the Air Force with 244, and the Department of the Navy employs 27.

Meteorological technicians perform technical work in weather forecasting, climatology, and research support. Their work is primarily concerned with observing and analyzing weather elements or predicting weather’s effect in the atmosphere and on the earth as it relates to practical concerns such as flight conditions, water craft safety, and potentially hazardous weather.

Many meteorological technicians provide weather observation and forecasting services to the public, as well as to civilian government and military organizations. These services typically require knowledge of forecasting and weather analysis procedures. Services include providing aviation briefings, severe weather warnings, local weather advisories and forecasts, and other meteorological support. Meteorological technicians make observations through several types of instrumentation, such as radar, satellite and other sensory and telemetry devices and instruments. Quality control of forecasting and meteorological data requires knowledge of micrometeorology, particularly the effect of the local environment on atmospheric parameters. Meteorological technicians acquire senior-level knowledge through study, training, and years of on-site observation of the nuances of localized weather phenomena in relation to the larger meso scale features.

Meteorological technicians perform many different types of assignments. In addition to typical forecasting, which has become increasingly automated, they perform a variety of support duties in meteorological research. Some meteorological technicians participate with senior professional program officials to establish, operate, and improve data acquisition programs, systems, and instrumentation. Others collect, analyze, interpret, and archive climatological or other historical weather data. They record meteorological data on maps, charts, and in databases. Certain other meteorological technicians specialize in verifying and correcting meteorological data and records in order to ensure their quality, accuracy, and utility.

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.

USAJOBS GS-1341

 

Geology GS-1350

This series includes professional scientific positions applying a knowledge of the principles and theories of geology and related sciences in the collection, measurement, analysis, evaluation, and interpretation of geologic information concerning the structure, composition, and history of the earth. This includes the performance of basic research to establish fundamental principles and hypotheses to develop a fuller knowledge and understanding of geology, and the application of these principles and knowledge to a variety of scientific, engineering, and economic problems.

The federal government employs 1,511 geologists of which5 work overseas. The Department of Interior is the largest employer with 887 employed followed by the Department of the Army with 295 and the Department of Agriculture with 145. Over half of the cabinet level agencies employ small numbers of geologists along with several large independent agencies including 67 with the EPA.

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.

USAJOBS GS-1350

 

Oceanography GS-1360

This series includes professional scientific positions engaged in the collection, measurement, analysis, evaluation and interpretation of natural and physical ocean phenomena, such as currents, circulations, waves, beach and near-shore processes, chemical structure and processes, physical and submarine features, depth, floor configuration, organic and inorganic sediments, sound and light transmission, color manifestations, heat exchange, and similar phenomena (e.g., biota, weather, geological structure, etc.). Oceanographers plan, organize, conduct, and administer seagoing and land-based study and research of ocean phenomena for the purpose of interpreting, predicting, utilizing and controlling ocean forces and events. This work requires a fundamental background in chemistry, physics, and mathematics and appropriate knowledge in the field of oceanography.

The federal government employs 571 oceanographers. The Department of Navy is the largest employer with 243 employed followed by the Department of Commerce with 220 and the Interior Department and NASA with 15 each.

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.

USAJOBS GS-1360

 

Navigational Information GS-1361

This series includes all classes of positions involving the acquisition, collection, evaluation, selection, and preparation of vital aeronautical or marine information for dissemination in official publications concerning safe navigation and related operations, requiring the technical and practical knowledges of air or marine navigation and operations.

The federal government employs 270 Aeronautical Information Specialist and Marine Information Specialist. The Department of Transportation is the largest employer with 232 followed by Homeland Security with 29.

The GS-1361 series covers positions responsible for producing air and marine navigational and related operational information which requires substantial technical knowledge of the principles, techniques, methods, procedures, rules, directives, and regulations affecting navigation, and of closely related aeronautical or marine subject matter concerned with air, sea or submarine operations. Knowledge of the occupational subject matter and practices and knowledge of the technical language of air or marine navigation and operations is of primary importance in producing these technical data and communications. Knowledge of the manner, style or format of presentation, or of different informational or illustrative media is secondary to the knowledge of the substantive content of technical information on air and marine navigation, such as data on tides, anchorages, marine or air hazards, harbors, aerodromes or airport facilities, electronic communications, special navigational systems, airways, various aids to navigation, air traffic control, special corridors, visual aids, airspace restricted areas, and so forth.

The stand for this position covers the work of personnel who acquire, collect, receive and process such highly critical information or data from any and all domestic and foreign sources, including intelligence sources, and who select and verify items for inclusion in official publications of the Federal Government. Publications in the marine field include sailing directions, lists of lights and fog signals, radio navigational aids, pilot charts and navigational articles, oceanic route information and distances, printed and radioed notices to mariners, daily memoranda, hydrographic bulletins, and so forth. Information essential to those concerned with air navigation and operations is included in notices to airmen (NOTAM), flight information publications (FLIP) and supplements, memos for aviators, textual and graphic descriptions of landplane and seaplane facilities (having both immediate and long-term planning and intelligence significance) and established airways or routes, approach and landing information, terminal landing and enroute publications, navigational aids information ranging from visual to electronic data, air traffic control practices and procedures, civil and military airport procedures in domestic or foreign areas, and other similar information vitally essential to aircraft operations.

Since this occupation, as it exists in the Federal Government, deals with keeping operational and planning personnel and others informed on the current conditions that affect safety in air or marine navigation, it is important to consider the data acquisition, receiving and evaluation process. Navigation data are collected by instruments or by trained observers and forwarded to those involved in processing and interpreting the information. Trained personnel screen, evaluate and decide what to do with such information and how it should be presented for private or public use. It may be necessary in evaluation of the data to determine reliability of the source (a person or observer) and the validity, authenticity or accuracy of the information. Assignments within the occupation are made by dividing the work into geographical regions or areas, or by assigning personnel to subject-matter areas or to certain publications, such as high altitude and long-range data, navigational lights or radio beacons, etc. In the first type of assignment the specialist is responsible for receiving and reviewing all information related to air or marine navigation in a given geographical area, which may be a segment of a country, an entire country, or a group of countries. Similarly, the subject-matter specialist may be assigned responsibility for reviewing data on a part of the country, a region, or the entire world area covered by a particular technical publication.

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.

USAJOBS GS-1361

 

Cartography GS-1370

This series includes positions requiring the application of professional knowledge and skills in mapping and related sciences, and relevant mathematics and statistics to plan, design, research, develop, construct, evaluate and modify mapping and charting systems, products, and technology.

Kari Craun is a GS-1370-15 supervisory cartographer at Rolla, MO and she was interviewed for an article on our federal jobs blog titled Geographer (GS-0150) and Cartographer (GS-1370) Career Paths (USGS Part 3). Craun has also held physical scientist and  geographer positions. She leads a national center that acquires, processes, manages, and distributes all kinds of geospatial data to a variety of users, including the public. They create topographic maps and other cartographic products, and provides other related services. Craun relates, “there is an interdisciplinary aspect that is inherent to cartography. You need to know something about the subject you are portraying. This includes topography, population demographics, biological such as habitat, geology, transportation, etc. Maps are one of the most effective ways to communicate a large amount of information.” Craun recommends “that you take computer classes and the basic cartography classes. This will help you understand the science behind projections, geoids, and coordinates.”

The federal government employs 620 cartographers of which 4 work overseas. The Department of Interior is the largest employer with 236 employed followed by the Department of Commerce with 158 and the Department of Agriculture/a> with 100. Over half of the cabinet level agencies employ small numbers of geologists along with one large independent agency, 2 with the EPA.

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.

USAJOBS GS-1370

 

Cartographic Technician GS-1371

This series covers one-grade interval technical positions that supervise, lead, or perform nonprofessional work that requires a practical knowledge of the processes, practices, methods, and techniques involved in constructing new or revised maps, charts, and related cartographic products. Cartographic technicians supervise or perform precompilation tasks such as reviewing source materials, extending basic geodetic control networks, and providing input for plotting map projections and collars. In addition, they perform drafting, digitizing, integrating, and editing/reviewing in connection with cartographic products, and may carry out stereoscopic photogrammetric and/or monoscopic compilation. Work within this series does not require full professional knowledge equivalent to that represented by completion of a bachelor’s degree in cartography or a related science.

The federal government employs 444 Cartographic technicians. The Department of Agriculture is the largest employer with 163  followed by the Interior Department with 117, the Department of Commerce with 71, and the Department of the Army with 55 civilians employed.

New technology enables cartographic technicians to shift from stereo analog mapping instruments to digital methods conducted at computer workstations. This change requires the technician to know how to access and organize computer files, and to structure digital data. Skill in drafting and scribing is seldom required. Cartographic technicians use computers to convert digital data into maps and other graphic forms. Digital data is stored in large databases, on digital tapes, and/or on computers. Cartographic technicians compile new and revised digital data at computer workstations to produce cartographic products using software designed specifically for that purpose. In addition to knowing how to portray information on topographic maps, today’s cartographic technician must also know how to combine soft-copy and digital methods.

Digital based mapping allows greater accuracy of image interpretation. Using multi-temporal digital satellite imagery, cartographic technicians can compare images to identify changes over time such as crop-land pasture, summer fallow, and permanent pasture. Using various data layers it is possible to even identify crop-specific land areas.

Advances in the capability of computers to process and hold larger amounts of data will continue to expand the ways to present and transmit data. Cartography is moving away from standard products and toward developing user-defined products. The types of cartographic products are evolving through the use of computers, advanced software, and techniques associated with the Geographic Information System (GIS), the Global Positioning System (GPS), and advances in remote sensing technology.

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.

USAJOBS GS-1371

 

Geodesy GS-1372

This series includes professional positions requiring primarily application of the principles and techniques of geodesy. The work includes determining the size and shape of the earth and its gravitational field, measuring the intensity and direction of the force of gravity, and determining the horizontal and vertical positions of points on the earth and in space, where consideration of the curvature of the earth is required.

The federal government employs 66 geodesist. All work for the Department of Commerce.

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.

USAJOBS GS-1372

 

Land Surveying GS-1373

This series includes positions that involve professional work in land surveying, which is concerned with establishing, investigating, and reestablishing land and property boundaries, and with preparing plats and legal descriptions for tracts of land. The work requires application of professional knowledge of the concepts, principles and techniques of surveying, including underlying mathematics and physical science, in combination with a practical knowledge of land ownership laws

The federal government employs 34 land surveyors. The Department of Agriculture employs 16 and the Commerce Department employs 12.

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.

 

USAJOBS GS-1373

 

 

Geodetic Technician GS-1374

This series covers one-grade interval technical positions that supervise, lead, or perform nonprofessional work that involves analyzing, evaluating, processing, computing, and selecting geodetic survey data. These positions require a practical knowledge of the principles and techniques of geodesy particularly as they relate to the identity, reliability, and usefulness of geodetic control data. Work in this series does not require professional knowledge equivalent to that represented by completion of a bachelor’s degree in geodesy.

The federal government employs 342 geodetic technicians. The Interior Department is the largest employer with 199, the Department of Agriculture has 80, the Department of the Army employs 35, and the Energy Department employs 12.

Geodetic technicians collect and process data that they obtain by measuring distances, elevations, areas, angles, and other characteristics and phenomena of the earth’s surface. They use data to develop the geometric description of areas of the earth used in cartography, engineering, and navigation. The work requires an understanding of mathematical methods and survey processes.

Geodetic technicians categorize coordinates by the level of accuracy referred to as the “order” of a point. Orders are often subdivided further by a “class” designation. Geodetic technicians assign an order and a class to the data coordinates for a station (a defined reference point) based on the accuracy of measurements of the reference or control point.

Geodetic technicians must make precise measurements in order to establish control networks that relate to identifiable control points. The combination of survey design, instrumentation, adjustment procedures, observation techniques, and data reduction methods is known as a measurement system. When a technician submits a survey for inclusion into the national network, the survey measurements are processed using quality control procedures that lead to their classification of accuracy and storage in the National Geodetic Survey database.

The rapidly growing use of the Global Positioning System (GPS) for geodetic surveying has changed the field of geodetic measuring. GPS satellite surveying is based on observations of the radio signals of the NAVSTAR Global Positioning System. The GPS observations are processed to determine station positions in Cartesian coordinates (X, Y, Z) which can be converted to geodetic coordinates (latitude, longitude, and height-above reference ellipsoid). While GPS is rapidly becoming one of the primary tools, GPS does not work under certain environments such as in buildings, under trees, in steep canyons, and near tall buildings. Under these types of conditions, traditional, line-of-sight technology must be used.

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.

USAJOBS GS-1374

 

Forest Products Technology GS-1380

This series includes professional positions concerned with the development, improvement, and utilization of wood or wood products, including the study of preservation and treatment methods, the processing and production of wood products, the properties and structure of wood, and the production of lumber.

The federal government employs 21 Forest Products Technologists. All work for the Agricultural Department.

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.

USAJOBS GS-1380

 

Food Technology GS-1382

This series includes positions that involve professional work concerning the application of science and technology to food product research, development, improvement, evaluation, production, processing, preservation, and packaging. The work requires knowledge of the biological, physical, and engineering sciences that make possible safe and wholesome food products; of food industry facilities, methods, processes, equipment capabilities and limitations; and of relevant laws, regulations, and agency programs.

The federal government employs 125 food technologists. The Department of Agriculture is the largest employer with 71 followed by the Department of the Army with 28 and Health and Human Services with 14.

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.

USAJOBS GS-1382

 

Textile Technology GS-1384

This series includes classes of professional positions involving scientific and technological work with textile or fibers, including investigation, development, production, processing, evaluation, and application.

The federal government employs 342 geodetic technicians. The Interior Department is the largest employer with 199, the Department of Agriculture has 80, the Department of the Army employs 35, and the Energy Department employs 12.

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.

USAJOBS GS-1384

 

Photographic Technology GS-1386

This series includes professional positions requiring interdisciplinary knowledge and skills in those scientific and engineering fields that comprise photographic technology. This includes planning, research, design, development, modification, instrumentation, testing, and evaluation of photographic equipment and techniques

The federal government employs 16  photographic technologists. A few are employed at several agencies.

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.

USAJOBS GS-1386

 

Document Analysis GS-1397

Use the Group Coverage Qualification Standard for Administrative and Management Positions for this series in conjunction with the Individual Occupational Requirements described below.

The federal government employs 84 document analysts. The Department of Justice employs 35 and Homeland Security employs 34.  

Education Undergraduate and Graduate Education: Major study - physical and biological sciences, graphic arts, police science, criminology, or law.

or

Experience
General Experience (for GS-5 positions): Experience in one or more of the following:

  • Microscopic examination of materials (such as bullets and cartridge cases, tools and tool marks, hairs and fibers) or the conduct of laboratory tests and experiments that provided a knowledge of scientific techniques, procedures, and instruments. Such experience may have been gained as a physical science aid or technician, laboratory aid, or quality control inspector.
  • Investigation or law enforcement work that provided a familiarity and working knowledge of document identification and detection procedures and techniques.
  • Photography where the purpose was to show accurate details of objects or to show information not available to the unaided eye. Such experience may have been gained in such fields as scientific, engineering, technical, or medical photography.
  • Work that provided a technical knowledge of the graphic arts, printing, illustrating, and other recording and duplicating processes and of the related materials, equipment, instruments, and machines.

Specialized Experience (for positions above GS-5): Examples of qualifying specialized experience include:

  • Examination and comparison of handwriting, printing, typewriting, and other mechanical impressions in order to make determinations of identity or genuineness.
  • Analysis of inks, papers, and other recording instruments and materials by chemical, microscopic, and other methods in order to develop information useful in determinations of genuineness, integrity, security, origin, validity of date, or for restoration of mutilated or obliterated matter.
  • Specialized document photography and preparation of photographic exhibits to be used for court demonstration purposes, or supervision of such work.

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.

USAJOBS GS-1397