Posted on Saturday, 28th February 2015 by

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In part one we talked about the history of the National Park Service (NPS), some of the operating divisions in each park, and the difference between urban parks and western national parks. We featured information management jobs, which included information technology (GS-2210), biologist (GS-401), physical Scientist (GS-1301), cartographer (GS-1370), and technical information specialist (GS-1412). In part two of this series, we featured the park ranger (GS-025) and forestry technician (GS-462). In this third part we turn our attention to wildlife management (GS-0482/0486). Part 4 will feature fire fighters (GS-0401/0455/0462).

Wildlife Management (GS-0482/0486)

Wildlife management jobs focus on conducting research or scientific work that is involved in conserving, protecting, and administration of wildlife species. The work involves oversight and assistance in such areas as biology or fisheries. They are responsible for the management of any surrounding ecology, behavior, and conservation of the wildlife habitat. This includes wildlife management programs along with other natural resources activities, and programs for land, forest, and range management.

Wildlife Biologist (GS-0486)

One of the more interesting jobs in the field of wildlife management is wildlife biologist. Some of the main responsibilities include working with other supervisors and field managers in coordinating issues with local interest groups, Tribal Councils, and other federal agencies on biological, habitat conservation, laws and regulations.

Serves as an information liaison between State Offices (this includes State Office Lead Biologist and other employees on issues specific to Special Status Species, Threatened and Endangered Species and other wildlife matters).

Can serve on district level/field level teams that are responsible for writing and reviewing multi-field biological input to environmental and biological assessments, and develop protective and resource management plans.

They also help design and implement habitat improvement and restoration projects. Coordinate on other programs, and other federal agencies, state representatives and other non-governmental agencies.

The education requirements is the completion of a bachelor’s degree in biological science that includes, 9 semester hours in such areas as mammaology, ornithology, animal ecology, wildlife management, or research courses in the field of wildlife biology. They must also have at least 12 semester hours in zoology and 9 semester hours in botany or other related plant sciences.

For the GS-09 to GS-11 level, you must have at least 1 year of experience at the next lowest grade. The pay range for a GS-09 to GS-11 is from $48,403.00 to $76,131.00 / Per Year. You must be a U.S. citizen to apply.

For additional opportunities with other agencies review the Wildlife Biologist Series Definition that is available on our site. Other agencies hire in this series.

Fish Biologist (GS-0482)

Fish biologist is another great job in wildlife management.

The responsibilities of a fish biologist include the planning and execution of fishery biological studies. Perform established, standardized tests and analysis using a broad range of biological samples. Conduct fishery biological studies using established fact finding procedures.

Other responsibilities include planning and conducting studies on invasive species. Plan and conducts field/laboratory experiments independently. Plans, develops, and modifies studies, performs analysis, and writes comprehensive reports, publications, and can serve as a technical resource on fishery biological issues.

You will need a bachelor’s degree with a major in biological science that includes at least 6 semester hours in aquatic subjects in fishery biology, aquatic botany, oceanography, or fish culture. An additional 12 semester hours in animal sciences such as general zoology, cellular biology, genetics, or research in these fields is required.

For a GS-11 to GS-12 level, you need at least 1 year of experience at the next lowest grade level. The pay range is from $58,562.00 to $91,255.00 / per year. In order to apply for this position you must be a U.S. citizen.

Joe Yarkovich is a GS-0486-11, wildlife biologist at the Great Smoky National Park. Yarkovich indicates, “I always loved the outdoors and knew I wanted to do something that involved working outside. When I was 17 I took a backpacking trip to the Smoky Mountains and met one of the wildlife management folks in the backcountry, and after talking with him, I knew immediately that was what I wanted to do. It involved working outdoors in some of the most beautiful places in the country and let me work directly with wildlife species that I had always taken an interest. I just could not think of anything better than capturing bears for a living, and I still can’t, I love my job”.

Yarkovich emphasizes, “The most exciting part for me is actually working directly with large mammals, because you never know what they’re going to do next and they always find ways to surprise you with their ingenuity, curiosity, and adaptability. This field also involves large amounts of time and energy dealing with the public, and in many ways the reactions you get from people experiencing their first bear or elk in the wild is just as rewarding. He suggests spending a lot of time developing their communication and public relations skills. Being good at the people aspect can prove more challenging, and is a large part of the career”.

Sarah Dewey is a GS-0486-12, supervisory fish and wildlife biologist with the responsibility of overseeing, the wildlife program in Grand Teton National Park, and involved in wolf monitoring and research and bear management. Dewey states,” I chose the wildlife profession because it allowed me to combine my two passions – science and wildlife. As important, it also offered an opportunity for me to be a voice for the silent constituents of the ecosystem”. For me there are really two things that have been really exciting about being a part of wildlife management – the science or discovery aspect and then taking what you learn about a species and applying it to their management and conservation.”

Dewey further emphasizes, “The wildlife field is very competitive, but if you are passionate, persistent, and focus on developing your experience base doors will open for you. Potential employers are looking for education, experience, good observational and communication skills, and a strong work ethic. Volunteer positions provide great practical experience, demonstrate that you are committed, and allow you to get a foot in the door and show what you can do. Take time to find out what qualifications are required for the type of position you are interested in and then get the education you need. These days many wildlife professionals have advanced degrees. Develop skills that make you an asset – these could be skills in geographic information systems, photography, statistics, database management, or others.”

Matt Kulp is a GS-0486-12, in fisheries management and is a Supervisory Fishery Biologist at the Great Smoky National Park. Kulp states, “I was inspired as a child by my love of aquatic systems and then solidified my desire to do this for a career after a working on stream water quality and fish surveys as part of a High School AP Biology class and able to work with a state fish biologist.”

Kulp recommends, “Try to volunteer and/or work at several parks, state/federal agencies and/or related jobs before you make your decision to do this for a career. Also, be sure to match your education with your job choice. Secondary degrees may be necessary, but experience may be all you need for some jobs as well. Talk with folks in your field of choice and find out what they recommend for the job you’d like.”

For additional opportunities with other agencies review the Fish Biologist Series Definition that is available on our site. Other agencies hire in this series.

The NPS has opportunities that are as wide open as the vastness of its parks. So, if you like the great outdoors, than you should try the NPS.

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies

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Posted on Thursday, 12th February 2015 by

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Labor Custodians play a major role in the United States Postal Service. They are responsible for the daily manual labor in connection with maintenance and cleaning of the buildings and grounds of a postal facility. The job is physically demanding, requiring both indoor and outdoor responsibilities. They are responsible for such duties as clearing sidewalks and driveways of snow and ice to mopping floors and dusting furniture and fixtures. Applicants must be able to perform the duties of the position with or without accommodation. Labor Custodians are used in the processing and distribution plants as well as some of the larger post offices.

Hundreds of Custodians are employed by the USPS. The starting pay is $13.25 an hour and they are paid under the APWU pay schedule. The Mid-America district office in Kansas City, MO, is located in their Western Region and they employ 197 career custodians to service facilities in their area. The Mid-America district office is one of 67 nationwide.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Makes or assists in making minor maintenance repairs to building and equipment.
  • In smaller buildings assist the fireman-laborer in firing the boiler; in firemen-laborer’s absence fires and clean the boiler.
  • Operates a variety of power driven equipment such as floor scrubbers, floor sanders, waxers, and wall washers; adjusts brushes, buffers, and other attachments on machines; uses wax, polish, and other protective agents appropriate for the various; surfaces; washes walls and ceilings from scaffolding.
  • Performs general laboring duties such as uncrating and assembling furniture and fixtures using bolts and screws for assembly, loading and unloading supplies and equipment.
  • Performs janitorial duties such as cleaning, scrubbing, waxing, and polishing floors; washes walls and ceiling; dusts furniture and fixtures; cleans hardware and toilet fixtures; washes windows; cares for lawns and shrubs; cleans sidewalks and driveways and removes ashes, snow and ice.
  • In addition, may: operate elevator, stack supplies in storage rooms and on shelves; move furniture and equipment.

Applicants must successfully complete Postal Service Test 916. This custodial exam is made up of 60 multiple-choice questions. There are four parts:

  • Vocabulary
  • Safely basics
  • General Cleaning
  • Following Instructions

Sample questions could include the following: (More sample questions are provided in the 6th edition of Post Office Jobs.)

1. Avoid breathing caustic product fumes. Caustic most nearly means:

A. Harmful
B. Cleaning
C. Safety
D. Helpful
E. Degenerative

2. Which of these would you use to clean a concrete floor?

A. Mop
B. Scraper
C. Wire Brush
D. Detergent
E. All of the Above

3. What must you do when working in an area with high dust levels?

A. Hold your breath while cleaning the area
B. Put a handkerchief over your nose and mouth
C. Wait until the dust settles
D. Wear an approved protective mask provided by your employer
E. Wear gloves to keep dust off your hands

This position is restricted to applicants eligible for veterans’ preference.

Note: Applicants who are not entitled to veterans’ preference may be considered only when preference eligible applicants are not available for appointment.

Not all veterans receive preference for federal civilian employment, and not all active duty service qualifies for Veterans’ Preference. Only veterans discharged or released from active duty in the Armed Forces under honorable conditions are eligible for Veterans Preference. Preference eligible vets must have been discharged under an honorable or general discharge. There are two types of preference eligible; those with a service-connected disability and those without.

Vets without a Service Connected Disability (5-point Preference) entitles you to be hired before a non-veteran whose application is rated in your category. To meet this criterion, your service must meet one of the following conditions;

  • 180 or more consecutive days, any of which occurred during the period beginning September 11, 2001 and ending on a future date prescribed by Presidential proclamation or law as the last date of Operation Iraqi Freedom, OR
  • Between August 2, 1990 and January 2, 1992 OR
  • 180 or more consecutive days, any part of which occurred after January 31, 1955 and before October 15, 1976, OR
  • In a war, campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized or between April 28, 1952 and July 1, 1955.

Vets with a Service Connected Disability (10-Point Preference) – You are a 10-point preference eligible if you served at any time and you:

  • Have a service connected disability
  • Received a Purple Heart
  • Are the spouse, widow, widower or mother of a deceased or disabled veteran.

If interested in custodian position or any other positions at the United States Postal Service, please visit http://www.postalwork.net to begin your job search. Good luck in your job-hunting endeavors. Use our Postal Job Guide to familiarize yourself with the application process and for links to the official Post Office recruiting web site.

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Jobs, Job Vacancies, Post Office Jobs, Veterans Preference

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Posted on Tuesday, 10th February 2015 by

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 Park Rangers and Forestry Technicians 

In part one we talked about the history of the National Park Service (NPS), some of the operating divisions in each park, and the difference between urban parks and western national parks. We featured information management jobs, which included information technology (GS-2210), biologist (GS-401), physical Scientist (GS-1301), cartographer (GS-1370), and technical information specialist (GS-1412). Today our focus will be on the jobs of the park ranger (GS-025) and forestry technician (GS-462).

Park Rangers (GS-025)

The term park ranger can be misinterpreted. All the employees who wear the NPS uniform are considered “park rangers.” However, there is a specific job series titled park ranger. Park rangers can be generalist, law enforcement rangers, interpretation rangers, and resource management rangers. Several park ranger occupations are featured in this article.

Park Ranger (Backcountry)

This park ranger is responsible for patrols via horseback and by foot. They will patrol backcountry on, off trail areas, and in some cases in remote wilderness areas. The work includes trail maintenance, fence monitoring, and its repair, checking of backcountry permits and educating the public about park facilities and available resources. The ranger will have to hike or ride over steep, rocky and slippery terrain, at elevations above 3,000 feet above seal level. Occasionally, will have to perform canoe patrols on flat-water surfaces, and may include overnight stays in the backcountry.

The work is physical and will involve extensive periods of standing, walking, and can include the carrying of backpacks, tools and various forms of rescue equipment. Additionally, you maybe exposed to extremes in temperature, confined spaces and other weather conditions.

You must be a US citizen to apply and possess a valid driver’s license. The education requirements are either undergraduate or graduate in studies such as natural resource management, natural sciences, earth sciences, history, anthropology, park and recreations management and other related courses.

Most of the jobs are seasonal, full time temporary, and cannot exceed 1039 hours in a 12-month period, with a pay of $31,944 per year at a GS-5 level. You will have to have 1 year of experience at the GS-4 level.

Park Ranger (Protection)

This park ranger serves as a Law Enforcement Commissioned Ranger. They are responsible for law enforcement duties that include detection, investigation, apprehension, prosecution to ensure protection and safe use of National Park resources. The primary duty of this park ranger is the enforcement of the criminal laws of the United States.

They work independently in patrolling roads, and trails within park boundaries. Assist in the preliminary investigation of felonies and other violations of park rules and other laws. Will participate in emergencies as required, provides guidance to seasonal, and volunteers working on various projects.

A bachelor’s degree is required with major studies in natural sciences, earth sciences, history, archeology, anthropology, park and recreation management, criminal justice and other relevant subjects.

There is a minimum and maximum entry age. Since this position is covered under law enforcement provisions, you must be at least 21 and no older than 37. The mandatory retirement age is 57.

For a full time permanent position at GS-07 level, the pay is $53,090.00 to $67,138.00 per year. You will need to have at least 1 year of experience at the GS-05 level. You must be a U.S. citizen to apply and have a valid driver’s license.

Caitlin Worth 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.”

Another park ranger, Christine Hoyer, located at Great Smoky Mountain NP is a park ranger – backcountry management specialist – GS-11. Hoyer states, “I was an avid National Park visitor/adventurer from an early age. I hoped to find a way to channel my passion for the outdoors into a productive career with the National Park Service. I wanted to serve the special places and the visitors that enjoy them – as well as the mission of the National Park Service.” She goes on to say, “There are many different kinds of Park Ranger positions. My specialty is backcountry and wilderness management and with such a dynamic resource with such high visitation, no two days are alike! I am fortunate enough to be responsible for managing the backcountry at GRSM, which requires that I spend a good portion of my time immersed in the resource and planning of backcountry projects. The miles that I get to spend on trails in the backcountry are certainly a benefit of my position.”

Ms. Hoyer remarks, “It is fulfilling to work to protect amazing resources and do something that has far-reaching implications, namely the experience of future generations. As a park ranger you become part of the park family and the greater network of the National Park Service”. Finally, Hoyer says, “that anyone who wants to become a park ranger should explore the different types of ranger positions, be willing to gain relevant experience both inside and outside the National Park Service, and be persistent. Park ranger positions in the NPS can be highly competitive and valuable experience can be gained as a volunteer, intern or seasonal worker.”

Forestry Technician (GS-0462)

A forestry technician has responsibilities that can include serving as a crew member who conducts fieldwork in surveying and monitoring exotic plant populations, controlling weed infestations using a variety of chemical, biological, or other types of treatments. You may also take part in tree hazard surveys and corrective actions of tree and debris removal.

Some of the specialized experience required is based upon grade level and can include, engineering, range or soil conversation, farming or ranch work and basic understanding of land use, herbicides application in weed eradication, safe use of chainsaws and hazard tree identification and removal.

While outdoors, you must be able to perform manual labor and weather conditions can be unpredictable. The lifting and packing of moderately heavy items over rough terrain is required. There is foot travel both on and off trail, over mountains, dense brush, forest, and rocky slopes. You may also encounter grizzly bears and other wildlife that is often dangerous.

Education varies upon grade level, at a GS-04 you will need 2 years of study, to include 12 semester hours in a combination of courses in forestry, agriculture, crop or plant science, range management, wildlife management, soil science, civil and/or forest engineering, and wildland fire science. GS-05 level requires a bachelors degree with a major in forestry, range management, agriculture, and 24 semester hours that is similar to the GS-04 level. The GS-06 grade requires either a graduate degree or an internship that meets the specialized experience at the GS-05 grade.

You must be a U.S. citizen to apply and have a valid driver’s license. The GS-04 starting salary is $28,553 per year, GS-05 is $31,944 per year, and GS-06 is $35,944 per year. These jobs are seasonal and full time temporary and cannot exceed 1039 hours during a 12-month period.

Jason E. Watson is a GS-07 forestry technician who is located at Great Smoky Mountain NP. Watson states, “My love of the outdoors and forestry background led me straight to the forestry technician position. Each new day brings something different. Nature is so dynamic that the same trail has something new to reveal on a daily basis. There is also a nice balance of meeting new people. It is a real pleasure to meet folks on vacation who have a sincere interest in how we are managing our resources.

Watson states further, “If you like adventure and don’t mind the occasional unforeseen rainstorm, this is the place for you. You will meet some passionate people and find yourself in some of the most beautiful places in our great country. When applying for these positions it is very easy to think, you will never land a job. Persistence pays off. Volunteer and try to learn as much as you can to make yourself a better candidate. It is worth the wait!”

Kenneth Culbertson is a GS-06 forestry technician located at Great Smoky Mountain NP Culbertson states, “I have a belief that we as a human population need to preserve portions of our world fauna and flora which the National Park Service attempts to do while trying to meet the needs of all those that visit our National Parks”. Culbertson remarks,” Simply going into the woods, in the backcountry where somebody may not have been to in long time and seeing old growth forests. He recommends, “being a forestry technician, especially if you like the outdoors, challenging work, and good company. Have a good background in forestry and botany, learn GIS, camping techniques in challenging weather, and be fit.”

In the third and final installment, we will discuss wildlife management (GS-0482) and fire fighters (GS-0455/0462) and their roles in serving in the NPS.

Careers featured in this article

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies, Student jobs

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Posted on Sunday, 1st February 2015 by

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In my last article, we looked at the types of hiring preferences available to veterans, how one becomes eligible for a preference, and how that preference is applied in the recruitment of Federal competitive and excepted service positions. This article describes special hiring authorities under which veterans, and their spouses, may be hired by the Federal government without competition. These are unique authorities and, if eligible, you should not hesitate to contact an agency’s hiring office and inquire as to the availability of such an appointment when conducting your job search.

Veterans Recruitment Appointment (VRA) Authority

The VRA authority permits any agency to appoint, without competition, a qualified and eligible veteran to any position at any grade level up to and including GS-11 or equivalent. A VRA is an excepted service appointment to a position that would otherwise be in the competitive service.
After two years of satisfactory service, the agency must convert the veteran to a career or career-conditional appointment, as appropriate.

A veteran is eligible for a VRA appointment if he or she:

  • is disabled; or
  • is in receipt of a campaign badge for service during a war or in a campaign/expedition; or
  • received an Armed Forces Service Medal for participation in a military operation; or
  • is a recently separated (within three years of release/discharge) veteran, and separated as a result of an honorable or general discharge

Although these criteria are similar to those required for a veterans’ preference, they are not identical. For example, a veteran who served during the Gulf War from August 2, 1990, through January 2, 1992, would be eligible for veterans’ preference solely on the basis of that service. However, service during that timeframe alone does not confer VRA eligibility unless one of the criteria listed above is met.

The distinction between VRA eligibility and veterans’ preference is particularly significant once an agency decides to fill a position through a VRA appointment and considers more than one eligible candidate, at least one of which has a veterans’ preference. In this instance, the agency must apply the applicable regulatory veterans’ preference procedures.

Finally, as with veterans’ preference, it is essential that you properly document your eligibility when seeking a VRA appointment. Proper documentation entails submission of the number 4 copy of your DD214, “Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty;” completion of an SF-15 if claiming a 10 point preference; and, if applicable, documentation of the relevant campaign badge or medal.

30 Percent or More Disabled Veterans

Pursuant to statutory and accompanying regulatory provisions, an agency may give a non-competitive, temporary appointment of more than 60 days or a term appointment to any veteran who:

  • retired from active military service with a disability rating of 30 percent or more; or
  • since 1991 was rated by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), or any branch of the Armed Forces at any time, as having a compensable service-connected disability of 30 percent or more

There is no grade level limitation for this authority, but the appointee must meet all qualification requirements. As a general matter, the agency may convert the employee to a career-conditional appointment at any time during the employee’s temporary or term appointment. Following conversion, and upon completion of the probationary period, the individual acquires competitive status.

Spousal Appointment Authority

In an effort to enhance the recruitment and retention of skilled members of the military, and to further honor those killed or disabled while serving their country, the Obama Administration issued a 2008 Executive Order authorizing the non-competitive appointment of certain military spouses to competitive service positions.

If you are a military spouse qualified for the position in question, you are eligible under this appointment authority if your active duty spouse:

  • received permanent change of station (PCS) orders; or
  • has a 100% disability rating from a military department or Department of Veterans Affairs; or
  • was killed while on duty and you, as the widow/widower, have not remarried

Agencies may use this authority to fill temporary, term or permanent positions without grade level restriction. This authority does not entitle spouses to a hiring preference and is subject to the agency’s clearance of applicable reemployment priority lists.

In order to meet the eligibility requirements, active duty spouses with PCS orders also must be authorized to, and actually relocate to, the new duty station. Spouses can only receive appointments to positions located within a reasonable commute of the new duty station. The appointment must also occur within two years of the relocation order. The geographic limitation does not apply to spousal appointments based on the service member’s death or 100% disability rating. Finally, although a spouse can receive an unlimited number of temporary or term appointments during the two-year window, he or she may only receive one permanent appointment through the use of this authority.

The spousal appointment authority can prove to be a very useful option, particularly when military families are uprooted and need the financial support of two jobs. As with veterans’ preference and other hiring authorities, it is important that you submit all relevant documents when seeking an appointment, such as a marriage certificate, the PCS orders, a DD214, and documentation establishing disability or death.

For detailed information regarding this authority, see the applicable regulations and the Office of Personnel Management’s Questions & Answers on the subject.

Additional Resources

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Veterans Preference

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Posted on Wednesday, 28th January 2015 by

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— Information Management (GIS), Biologist, Physical Scientist, Cartographer and Technical Information Specialist Jobs 

Where can you find majestic mountains, rushing waterfalls, abundant wildlife, and expansive views? All this can be found at our national parks. This is part 1 of a 3 part series about the National Park Service (NPS). The National Park Service offers exciting jobs for those who appreciate nature.

History

The NPS is part of the Department of Interior. On March 1, 1872, Congress established Yellowstone National Park in the Territories of Montana and Wyoming. It was considered “as a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people” and placed it “under exclusive control of the Secretary of the Interior”.

In subsequent years after Yellowstone, other national parks and monuments were established. The Department of the Interior administrated the various parks and monuments. On the other hand, the War Department and the Forest Service (part of the Department of Agriculture) had oversight of other monuments, natural and historical areas. The various federal parklands at the time were not under a single unified management.

On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law, under the National Park Service Organic Act, the creation of the National Park Service. This formed a new federal bureau within the Department of the Interior, which would manage and protect, at that time 35 national parks and monuments and those yet to be established.

In 1933, Executive Order 1066 transferred 56 national monuments and military sites from both the Forest Service and the War Department to the NPS. There are more than 400 areas, that cover over 84 million acres in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Saipan, and the Virgin Islands.

Congress has the authority to make additions to NPS. However, the President has the authority under the Antiquities Act of 1906 to proclaim national monuments or lands already under federal jurisdiction. The Secretary of the Interior, if asked by Congress can suggest additions to the park system.

More than 20,000 NPS employees have the care and oversight of 401 national park units (59 are designated as national parks) alongside communities across the United States to help preserve local history and provide recreational opportunities.

Types of Parks within the NPS

There are both urban parks and the western national parks such as the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone. The urban parks are closer to where people live. Examples of some of the big urban parks include Gateway in New York, Golden Gate in San Francisco, and national park units in the National Capital Region in DC.

Divisions within the NPS

Within each national park, there are various divisions responsible for park operations. Some of these divisions are Visitor & Resource Protection Division, which include law enforcement rangers, EMT, firefighters (wildland and structural) and park dispatch functions. Department of Interpretation facilitates educational services for both adults and children. This department runs the visitor centers and provide guided hike tours, as well as, other park ranger led activities. Another interesting department is the Science and Resource Management Division, where all the biologists and other scientific disciplines that monitor and study wildlife, vegetation, aquatic resources, and other cultural resources of a park.

The larger parks such as Yosemite or Grand Teton really operate like a city. They contain their own teachers, firefighters, and police. These parks also contain facilities such as water systems, sewer systems, roadways, etc. that are like any town. The larger parks have to accommodate millions of visitors every year and this adds to the level of complexity these parks have to handle.

Great Job Opportunities Offered by NPS

For part 1, we will first focus on information management jobs. The NPS has subdivided these jobs into three areas, computer and communications technologies, resources related computer systems (GIS), and technical information storage and retrieval.

Job Categories under Resources Related Computer Systems (GIS)

Job listings for resources related computer systems (GIS) include:

Pay for the the GS-0401/1301/1370 is $48,403.00 to $62,290.00 per year at the GS-09 level.

You must be a U.S. citizen to apply. For each of these job categories you must have at 1 year of specialized experience at a GS-7 level to be able to apply for the GS-09 level.

An applicant must be able to design, develop, and manage GIS databases and database management systems. Use of integrated computer models, along with biological and physical scientific knowledge. Manage and integrate various GIS and database management software. Implements data documentation procedures. Designs and develops GPS data dictionaries, and ensures software and data structure are compatible.

Biologist (GS-401)

You will need a bachelor’s degree relevant to biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, and other related fields.

Physical Scientist (GS-1301)

A bachelor’s degree is required in any of the following disciplines of physical science, engineering, or mathematics. This includes 24 semester hours in physical science or related engineering sciences such as mechanics, dynamics, properties of materials and electronics.

Cartographer (GS-1370)

An applicant must have a degree in cartography (the making of maps or charts), or a major with at 30 semester hours in cartography or other related sciences or mathematics. The course work should include but is not limited to cartography, astronomy, computer science, land surveying, physical geography, and remote sensing. The 30 semester hours must have at least 6 but no more than 15 hours of college level non-business mathematics or statistics.

Technical Information Specialist (GS-1412)

A technical information specialist is categorized under the technical information storage and retrieval area. You must be a U.S. citizen to apply. A GS-1412 earns $63,722 to $82,840 for a GS-11 grade level. For the GS-11, you must have at least 1 year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-09 grade level.

A technical information specialist maintains NPS information management systems, databases and information digests. They must have knowledge of practices, principles, and methods of photo research and image acquisition. You must know about copyright laws pertaining to published and unpublished artwork and photographs, original letters, memoirs and official papers. Be able to negotiate with historians, collections managers, photographers, artists, galleries, museums, and print and photography departments.

The NPS will be celebrating their centennial all throughout 2016. In part 2 of this series, we will explore the jobs of the park ranger (GS-025) and forestry technician (GS-460). In part 3 we will look at the jobs of the wildlife manager (management) and fire fighters.

Links to jobs for the following job series that are covered in this article:

 Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies

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Posted on Saturday, 17th January 2015 by

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Have you ever thought about who keeps all the postal vehicles in running order? The USPS has 211,654 vehicles (one of the largest civilian fleets in the world) and someone has to be able to maintain them and keep them up and running. What would they do without Vehicle Maintenance positions? These positions include: Lead Automotive Technician, Automotive Technician and Automotive Mechanic. These are very important positions in the USPS, because without them – the mail would come to a stand still. There are over 4000 Vehicle Maintenance positions. They are responsible for the maintenance and repair of light and medium delivery vehicles, tractor-trailers, service vehicles and automobiles that cover over a billion miles on our nation’s highways and byways. Below you will find more details on these Postal Service automotive technician jobs.

Most new employees are hired in as PTF (Part-time Flexible) employees. As a PTF, you are paid an hourly rate and work a flexible schedule as required by the workflow needed to maintain the postal fleet. Automotive technicians and mechanics work in a vehicle maintenance facility noted for a clean and safe environment, state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment, tools and shop equipment and environmentally friendly materials. The postal service has over 320 vehicle maintenance facilities and auxiliary garages that are located in all major metropolitan areas across the country.

Vehicle maintenance positions include the following:

LEAD AUTOMOTIVE TECHNICAN: Serves as a working group leader at a maintenance facility or an auxiliary garage without direct supervision. Personally performs the most complex automotive maintenance and repairs on all types of vehicles.

AUTOMOTIVE MECHANIC: Troubleshoots, diagnoses and performs routine repairs and scheduled maintenance on all types of vehicles.

AUTOMOTIVE TECHNICIAN: They are responsible for maintaining and repairing all types of motor vehicles used in the postal fleet, troubleshoot and diagnose more complex vehicle malfunctions using a variety of computerized test equipment; may provide assistance to lower level employees.

The salary range for Automotive Technician is $41,185 to $59,245 annually. This job requires applicants to take and pass the Automotive Mechanic and Technician 943 Exam.

The following sample test questions provide examples of the types of questions that you will find on the 943 Exam. Additional automotive technician exam questions are included in Chapter Four of the all new 6th edition of Post Office jobs: The Ultimate 473 Postal Exam Study Guide and Job Finder. The exam takes 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete.

Sample 943 Exam Questions

1. Which one of the following answers represents another way to open an Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) valve other than with vacuum?

A. Spring Action
B. Electricity
C. Manually
D. Hydraulic Pressure

2. What engine defect will a wet compressions test detect?

A. Head gasket leaking
B. Valve seals are worn
C. Worn piston rings
D. Worn valve seats.

Answers: 1 – B, 2 – C

Automotive Technician Job Duties and Responsibilities

1. Diagnoses operating difficulties on a variety of vehicles and performs operational checks on engines; its major supporting systems, parts, components, assemblies; including emissions systems, electrical, computer and electronic controlled components.
2. Performs various computerized and electronic diagnostic tests using specialized equipment; interprets trouble codes and other information from electronic scanners and test analyzers; uses reference materials such as service manuals and wiring
schematics to determine operational difficulties, drivability problems and evaluates performance efficiency.
3. Conducts visual and auditory vehicle inspections, road calls and road tests before and after maintenance and repairs; annotates vehicle problems on work orders.
4. Provides technical guidance and instructions to mechanics and technicians on more difficult repairs and in the use of specialized computer-aided diagnostic equipment.
5. Performs maintenance and repairs resulting from normal preventive maintenance inspections.
6. Prepares and updates vehicle records, maintains vehicle records; annotates labor time, parts and/or equipment and other pertinent data on work orders.
7. Performs engine tune-ups; removes, replaces, adjusts, cleans parts, components, assemblies and accessories; uses a variety of specialized test equipment to adjust systems and components to prescribed operating tolerances.
8. Troubleshoots malfunctioning vehicles resulting from road calls and identifies improperly functioning part(s) and repairs or replaces.
9. Repairs and replaces major components including transmissions, differentials, brake systems, power assist units, steering and suspension assemblies.
10. Performs other job related duties and responsibilities in support of primary duties.
11. Follows all established safety practices and procedures; complies with all postal, local, state and federal environmental regulations and policies.

If interested in any maintenance position or any other positions at the United States Postal Service, please visit http://www.postalwork.net to begin your job search. Good luck in your job-hunting endeavors.

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The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

 

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies, Post Office Jobs

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Posted on Monday, 12th January 2015 by

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U.S. Secret Service Jobs

This is the final installment of part 3 part of this series about the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). We will finish up with the U.S. Secret Service. The Secret Service was originally part of the U.S. Department of Treasury. It was put under DHS in 2003. The Secret Service was initially responsible for investigating counterfeiting of U.S. currency, which very prevalent after the Civil War. It eventually became the first domestic intelligence and counterintelligence agency.

The Secret Service is the oldest investigative law enforcement agency. Their dual mission is to “safeguard the nation’s financial infrastructure and payment systems to preserve the integrity of the economy, and to protect national leaders, visiting heads of state and government, designated sites and National Special Security Events”.

The Secret Service headquarters are in Washington, D.C., with over 136 field offices around the country. This agency is mandated by Congress to carry out their dual mission of protection and criminal investigations. One of their most important roles is to protect the President, Vice President, former presidents, visiting heads of states and major presidential and vice presidential candidates.

Special Agent

One of the more exciting careers is that of the special agent, GS-1811, and are hired at either the GL-7 level ($48,177 to $59,516), or GL-9 level ($53,728 to $67,589).

All secret service positions require a top-secret security clearance. Additionally, the applicant must meet specific suitability criteria. You must be a U.S. citizen, and there are age, vision, and physical condition requirements. You must be at least 21 years of age, and under 37 years of age to apply. A bachelor’s degree is required for the GL-7 level. The GL-9 level you must have a Master’s degree or 1 year equivalent to the GL-7.

There are 10 weeks of training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), Basic Criminal Investigator Training in Glycol, GA, and 17 weeks of Special Agent Basic Training at James J. Rowley Training Center. An agent must show proficiency in the handling of firearms, and maintain that proficiency.

Administrative Support Positions within the Secret Service

The following list of administrative positions involve knowledge of principles and concepts that are applicable to a variety of fields to include research, critical thinking, writing, and judgment.

Administrative Officer

The administrative officer, GS-0341-11/12 salary ranges from $60,212 (GS-11) with a promotion potential to $93,818 (GS-12) U.S. citizenship is a requirement for this position. To qualify for a GS-11 or GS-12 position you must have 1 year of specialized experience at the next lowest grade level (GS-09 or GS-11 respectively).

There is a wide range of duties that include planning, forecasting, presenting, tracking, and monitoring administrative and associated management services that are essential for effective operations.

An administrative officer has oversight over various program activities that are both short and long-range in duration. They must be able to estimate expenditures, coordinate, and track the expenditures associated with procurements of equipment, space, and supplies.

Other duties include initiating personnel actions and managing and assigning work to other administrative personnel. They participate in strategic planning, and serve as a key advisor to management on a wide range of administrative policies and procedures.

Investigative Support Assistant

The investigative support assistant, GS-1802, has a starting salary of $36,612 (GS-06) and a promotion potential to $58,576 (GS-08). You must be a U.S. citizen to apply and must have a top-secret clearance. To qualify for the GS-06 or GS-07 level you must have at least 1 year of experience at the next lowest grade (GS-05 or GS-06 respectively).

Responsibilities include preparation of correspondence, time, and attendance records, answer phones, process incoming and outgoing mail. Open and maintain case files, process and track evidence, and provide the necessary administrative support to special agent’s investigations, which include counterfeit and financial crimes.

They also conduct preliminary searches and input relevant data into criminal databases to help in the development of background information and compile criminal history statistics and reports.

Assist agents in preparing surveys, compile information for various reports and act as a liaison to local, state and other federal law enforcement agencies and share information and provide assistance as required.

Other interesting jobs include, polygraph support assistant, GS-303, investigative support assistant, GS-1802 and fingerprint specialist, GS-0072.

The Secret Service has over 136 field offices around the country and offices in such countries as Brazil, Canada, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands/The Hague, to name just a few. This agency offers an array of unique employment opportunities for applicants.



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The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies, Law Enforcement jobs, Overseas Jobs

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Posted on Friday, 2nd January 2015 by

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If you are a veteran who recently left or are about to leave military service, the Federal government is a great option for you to consider in your civilian job search. In further recognition of their sacrifice to our nation, the Obama administration issued a 2009 Executive Order designed to promote employment opportunities for veterans. Since that time, government-wide hires of veterans have risen from 24 percent to 31 percent for FY 2013. In addition to enhancing the recruitment of veterans, the government applies a long-standing preference for many veterans when assessing their job applications in relation to similarly qualified applicants. This article describes the types of preference and the circumstances under which they are applied. My next article will describe special hiring authorities under which veterans may be hired without competition.

Types of Preference

Only veterans discharged or released from active duty in the Armed Forces under an honorable or general discharge may receive a preference. If you are retired from the armed forces you are not eligible for a preference unless you are a disabled veteran or retired below the rank of major or equivalent.

Note that not all active duty service qualifies for veterans’ preference. Along with the required application materials, it is critically important that you document your preference eligibility with the member 4 copy of your DD214, “Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.” If you do not yet have a DD214 because you are still in the military, you may request and submit an official statement of service with the dates and type of discharge you will receive. This allows for the application of a tentative preference pending receipt of your formal discharge document. Failure to include this documentation may result in the agency’s denial of your preference in the particular recruitment action.

In order to receive a preference, you must also meet one of the eligibility requirements of the two categories detailed below.

Non-Disabled

You are a 5 point preference eligible if your active duty service meets any of the following:

  • During a “war” (those declared by Congress) ; or
  • During the period April 28, 1952 through July 1, 1955; or
  • For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred after January 31, 1955, and before October 15, 1976; or
  • During the Gulf War from August 2, 1990, through January 2, 1992; or
  • For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred during the period beginning September 11, 2001, and ending on August 31, 2010, the date prescribed by Presidential proclamation as the last day of Operation Iraqi Freedom; or
  • In a campaign or expedition for which a campaign medal has been authorized. Any Armed Forces Expeditionary medal or campaign badge, including El Salvador, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Southwest Asia, Somalia, and Haiti, qualifies for preference.

Disabled

You are a 10 point preference eligible if you served at any time and you have:

  • A service connected disability, or
  • Received a Purple Heart

When claiming a 10 point preference, you must also submit a SF-15 in order to receive appropriate consideration.

Application of Preference To A Hiring Action

Entitlement to a veterans’ preference is an extremely valuable job search asset. Your preference applies when applying for permanent and temporary positions in both the competitive and excepted services of the executive branch. The preference does not apply to positions in the Senior Executive Service or positions requiring Senate confirmation. Additionally, the preference does not apply in the event an agency determines to fill a job through merit promotion, reassignment, transfer or reinstatement of a former Federal employee.

Although the preference does not apply when an agency determines to fill a position through a merit promotion action, veterans’ preference holders should be aware that they have the right to apply for these positions pursuant to the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA) as long as the announcement is open to Federal employees outside the agency advertising the vacancy. Bear in mind that an agency has the discretion to recruit for the same job through both a competitive examination, or all sources, announcement and a merit promotion announcement, and to make a selection from either announcement. In this case, the individual with veterans’ preference should apply under both announcements to insure consideration depending on the method of selection.

Preference Groups

Assuming you’ve applied for a position through a competitive examination announcement, are determined as qualified for that position, and have properly established your preference, you are placed into one of the following groups for ranking your application:

  • CPS – Disability rating of 30% or more (10 points)
  • CP – Disability rating of at least 10% but less than 30% (10 points)
  • XP – Disability rating of less than 10% (10 points); this group also includes the “derived preference” applicable to qualified spouses, widows/widowers and mothers of veterans who otherwise meet the applicable preference requirements
  • TP – No disability rating (5 points)

Category Rating

Pursuant to a 2010 Presidential Memorandum, agencies are currently required to assess and select job applicants for positions filled through competitive examining by use of a category rating approach rather than requiring the selecting official to select from the three highest scoring applicants, otherwise known as the “rule of 3.” Under this rating system, qualified candidates are placed in one of at least two predefined categories, e.g., Highly Qualified and Qualified, rather than ranking by a numeric score.

When using the category rating process, veterans’ preference is applied as follows:

  • Qualified preference eligibles with a compensable service-connected disability of 10% or more (CPS and CP preference groups) are placed at the top of the highest category on the referral list in all jobs other than scientific or professional positions at the GS-9 level or higher.
  • Qualified XP or TP preference group eligibles are placed ahead of non-preference eligibles within the same rating category.

The process for determining and applying veterans’ preference can be complicated. If you pursue Federal employment and believe you are entitled to such a preference, make sure you have included all the documents relevant to your preference and do not hesitate to contact the hiring office throughout the recruitment action in order to insure that your application is properly considered.

Additional Resources

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Jobs, Job Vacancies, Veterans Preference

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Posted on Monday, 15th December 2014 by

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Working for the Department of Homeland Security (Part 2)

Higher levels of security are now a way of life at airports. On the front lines in this effort is the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Here is a sampling of the employment opportunities that TSA has to offer.

Federal Air Marshal Jobs

TSA employs federal air marshals, and this job category is part of the Office of Law Enforcement/Federal Air Marshal Service. The federal air marshals help to protect the flying public, but also work closely with other law enforcement agencies.

Federal air marshals fly on an average of 181 days per year, which is almost 900 hours and equates to 5 hours per day in the air. They must evaluate and discern suspicious activity, conduct investigations in order to protect the flying public and crew from terrorist violence. They also work with other law enforcement agencies.

The job series is GL-0082, and the pay is based on pay bands, that are different from other law enforcement in other agencies. Pay band G, ranges in salaries from $39,358 to $60,982, band H, ranges from $48,007 to $74,390, and band I, ranges from $58,495 to $90,717.

You must be a U.S. citizen and at least 21 to apply and no older than 37 years of age. You need at least three (3) years of general experience, one (1) year of which is equivalent to the F Band (or GS-4 grade level) or a bachelor’s degree and 1 year of work experience equivalent to a GS-4 to qualify for the position.  You can also qualify with a combination of both experience and education. Recruits attend a residential training course at Artesia, NM that is 7 weeks in length. There is additional training at the Federal Air Marshal Training Academy in Atlantic City, NJ.

Air marshals are used to staff other organizations such as the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces, National Counterterrisom Center, and the National Targeting Center.

Transportation Security Specialist Jobs

The transportation security specialist, (SV 1801-J) is part of the General Inspection, Enforcement, and Compliance job series. The salary range is from $89,535 to $138,776. You must either be a U.S. citizen or be U.S. National to apply for the position. This position is in a SV-J pay band, which is equivalent to a GS-14. To qualify for SV-J pay band you must have specialized experience at the SV-I pay band or at GS-13.

A transportation security specialist can serve in many capacities, such as a liaison for the Office of Security Operations. The liaison office for TSA is at the National Targeting Center – Cargo (NTC-C). Personnel from several agencies such as Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation staff the NTC-C.
At NTC-C, the transportation security specialist would be involved in securing air cargo. One example is identifying high-risk cargo shipments in the Air Cargo Advanced Screening (ACAS) program. This program provides tools necessary to enable risk-based, intelligence-driven approach to be applied to transportation security.

A transportation security specialist is considered part of the Office of Law Enforcement, Office of Security. The primary duties include monitoring, coordinating criminal and administrative investigations of non-TSA personnel. These types of investigations could lead to possible criminal, civil, or administrative actions in protecting and securing TSA facilities.

Transportation security specialists are also involved in policy development. This includes writing new policies, to revising exiting ones. They are responsible in the coordination from various branches, agencies, managers and other stakeholders relevant to written policies. Another important aspect of their duties is to ensure that documents are clear and concise; addressing risks and is from a sound regulatory framework.

The TSA has a responsibility to protect the nation’s transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement of people and commerce. There many great job opportunities such as security specialist, SV-0080/G-H, program analyst,
SV-0343/H-I, and transportation security officer (TSO), SV-1802/D.

In part 3 of this series on DHS, we will look at the Secret Service and the interesting role this agency plays in protecting our country.

For more information see:

Job Vacancy Lists:

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Visit our other informative site

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies, Law Enforcement jobs

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Posted on Monday, 8th December 2014 by

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Are you a current high school, undergraduate or graduate student thinking about your post-education work opportunities? The Federal government’s Pathways Program (Pathways) can not only provide you with the training and exposure you need to decide whether a government career is right for you, but also with the opportunity for permanent employment. The Obama administration authorized Pathways in a 2010 Executive Order that, in part, replaced the Federal Career Intern Program (FCIP). The administration discontinued the FCIP largely as a result of successful legal challenges based on a lack of public notice and application of veterans’ preference concerning intern positions.

Pathways consists of the following three components more fully discussed below: Internship Program, Recent Graduates Program, and Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program. Access to these programs depends on your current academic or professional status.

Internship Program

This program replaces the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) and Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP) and is open to current students attending high school, college, trade school, or graduate school. Agencies are required to post information regarding available intern positions and application information on USAJOBS and a recent visit to the site indicated the availability of almost 100 positions, many of which include multiple vacancies.

Student interns become eligible for conversion to a permanent position at any Federal agency upon meeting the following conditions:

  • Completion of at least 640 hours of work experience
  • Completion of degree or certificate requirements
  • Receipt of a favorable recommendation for appointment by an official at the agency served
  • Met the qualification standards for the position to which the intern will be converted
  • Met agency-specific requirements as specified in the Participant’s Agreement
  • Successful job performance

Recent Graduates Program

This is a full-time, one-year developmental program designed for individuals who have received an undergraduate or graduate degree from a qualifying educational institution or program. Candidates must apply within two years of graduation, with the exception of veterans, who may have up to six years to apply due to their military obligations. Consistent with the Internship Program, agencies must post available positions and application information on USAJOBS. There are currently over 40 Recent Graduate job announcements, several of which contain multiple vacancies. Each agency determines how many recent graduates they will hire.
Upon completion of the Program, recent graduates become eligible for conversion to a full-time competitive service position in their employing agency if the following conditions are met:

  • Successful completion of at least one year of continuous service in addition to all requirements of the Program
  • Successful job performance
  • Met the qualifications for the position to which the Recent Graduate will be converted

Presidential Management Fellows Program

The PMF Program has been the Federal government’s showcase leadership development program for over thirty years. Many PMF alumni have gone on to notable careers in academia, politics, and government service.

The above-referenced Executive Order adjusted the existing program by expanding the eligibility window, aligning the deadlines with academic calendars, and eliminating the requirement that applicants submit school nominations. Eligibility for the Program is now based either on the applicant receiving a qualifying advanced degree within the preceding two years, or meeting the degree requirements by August 31st of the year following application. PMF finalists selected by a participating agency receive a two-year appointment and have at least one four to six month developmental assignment. Upon successful completion of the Program, PMFs are eligible for conversion to a competitive service position in their employing agency.

Beginning with the Class of 2014, the PMF program added a pilot STEM track specifically for those interested in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. As STEM PMFs, individuals engage in meaningful work on high-visibility federal research and development projects. These assignments will allow fellows to network with STEM professionals in different fields and locations, as well as to travel to locations where innovative STEM personnel solve national problems.

Unlike the Intern and Recent Graduates Programs, the PMF Program is centrally administered by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The application window for the PMF Class of 2015 was open from October 1-15, 2014. Following receipt of applications, OPM conducts a comprehensive written and in-person assessment process and ultimately notifies agencies of the candidates eligible for selection in April of each year. Once selected, PMF finalists have up to twelve months to obtain an agency appointment. Each PMF appointment is two years in duration. Although an appointment is not guaranteed, OPM hosts numerous job fairs and workshops designed to find the right agency fit for the finalists. Please see the PMF website for extensive information regarding the application, assessment, and appointment process.

If you think you may be interested in one of these Pathways Programs, please visit the referenced sites, as well as the information on each program provided on OPM’s website. Also, explore other private sector student job opportunities in your area.

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies, Student jobs

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