Posted on Tuesday, 14th April 2015 by

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In parts 1 and 2 of this series we explored Petroleum Engineer and Archeologist positions with the BLM. In part 3 and final installment, we feature planning and environmental coordinator (GS-0301) and hydrologist (GS-1315) occupations.

Planning and Environmental Coordinator (GS-0301)

 

BLM Planning Coordination Meeting

BLM Planning Coordination Meeting

 

Kristy Swartz is a GS-0301-12/13 planning and environmental coordinator who is stationed at the BLM Fire & Aviation Directorate, which is at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, ID.

Swartz was previously a firefighter before moving into the fuels management program. She believes, “that the restoration work that we do before a fire starts is so important – both for the natural resources as well as for our human environment that we share.” Swartz enjoys being involvedin environmental planning and working collaboratively with stakeholders to reach consensus on how to move forward to achieve restoration objectives. She reveals that, “we can accomplish the work on the ground that will help protect and improve our natural and human environment.”

Swartz is excited about her career and relates, “we reach consensus on challenging topics and are able to initiate projects that move us towards our goals. I also love the challenges and diversity of issues that we work with and learning a little bit about the perspectives of each resource specialist and our stakeholders.”

Some of the baseline requirements on performing the job include    understanding policies, environmental laws and how the government works. She contends that you must be able to, “facilitate effective meetings (or find someone who can), listen and support the staff assigned to your project(s) so they can be effective in their work.”  You must understand your role and responsibilities.

In this position, you will need to interpret, provide guidance, develop, and implement planning on various programs such as Resource Management Plans (RMPs) and Environmental Impact Statements (EISs).  Additionally, ensure that the plans documentation meets all relevant prescribed quality standards and complies with all Federal Land Policy and other environmental and quality policies or programs.

Other required skills are writing of various issue papers, briefings and other public presentations.  Knowledge, principles, concepts, and techniques of land use planning.  Coordinating inventory and data collection, monitor budgets and act as technical liaison between Field Offices and other entities to include State and local governments and other external customers.

Both A GS-11 and GS-12 will need 1 year of specialized experience at the next lowest grade level.  Each can have specialized experience that includes planning and environmental specialist related work in Natural Resource Programs. Other specialized experience is in land use and multiple use and resource management planning, being a lead or a member of an interdisciplinary team tasked with review and analysis of various documents to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Assist in developing public land related planning and strategies.

The GS-12 grade level in addition to the above mentioned specialized experience should also have budget and programming, planning, professional writing, policy development and monitoring and perform program audits.  At this grade level there is no substitution for education.

You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for a planning and environmental coordinator position, and a GS-11/12 will earn $58,562.00 to $91,255.00 per year.

Michael Hildner, is a GS-301-12 planning and environmental coordinator located in the BLM Washington D.C. Office.

Hildner wanted to help manage public lands on behalf of the American people. He strives to ensure, “the best balance of uses and resource protections for America’s public lands. The BLM undertakes extensive land use planning through a collaborative approach with local, state, and tribal governments, the public, user groups and industry. The result is a set of land use plans – called Resource Management Plans (RMP) – that provide the framework to guide decisions for every action and approved use on over 245 million acres of surface land and 700 million acres of subsurface minerals.”

Hildner explains, “The BLM prepares RMPs for areas of public lands, called planning areas, which tend to have similar resource characteristics. RMPs are used to allocate resources and determine appropriate multiple uses for the public lands, develop a strategy to manage and protect resources; and establish systems to monitor and evaluate status of resources and effectiveness of management practices over time.”

Hildner comments that, “education requirements vary, however a background in science, and experience in leadership positions with effective communication skills will serve you well. Experience in leading teams of resource specialists in preparing land use plans for BLM resource areas is essential. Teams represent the full range of BLM programs such as range, forestry, minerals, lands, wildlife, hydrology, archeology, and recreation”.

Hydrologist (GS-1315)

 

BLM Hydrology Particle Sampling

BLM Hydrology Particle Sampling

 

Bryce 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 to, “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 wildland hydrology.”

The major duties of a hydrologist at the GS-09 level include planning, coordinating projects that involve analysis and evaluation of flow and transport of sediment and pollutants in stream channels and ground water. Give technical advice relevant to water rights applications and claims, review flood forecasts and apply flood forecasting procedures that will determine short-term flood risks and serve on various interdisciplinary teams. One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-07 level in hydrologic related work is required.

In addition to all the major duties at the GS-09 level a GS-11 hydrologist must also be able to perform a variety of hydrologic models to generate information on high flows, channel behavior, and sedimentation, calibrating hydrologic models to account for changes in land use patterns and modifying modeling procedures to model validity.  Serve as a subject matterexpert on water resources; perform negotiations for agreements for the use of federally owned water resources.  Make recommendations on the availability of water for BLM administration responsibilities. One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-09 level in hydrologic related work.

The education requirements include a degree in physical, natural science, or engineering.  You must have at least 30 semester hours in a combination of courses in hydrology, the physical sciences, geophysics, chemistry, engineering science, soils, mathematics, aquatic biology, atmospheric science, meteorology, geology, oceanography, or the management or conversation of water resources.  Additional course work can include 6 semester hours in calculus and physics.

The hydrologist has a specialized skill set and you must be a U.S. citizen to apply. A GS-09/11 earns $48,403.00 to $76,131.00 per year.

Ed Rumbold, is aGS-1315-12 hydrologist who works at the BLM Colorado State Office in Lakewood, CO.

 

BLM Hydrological Event at Big Wood River, ID

BLM Hydrological Event at Big Wood River, ID

 

Rumbold always has had an interest in water. He relates, “growing up I spent a lot of time fishing, skipping stones, swimming, skating, camping and participating in Boy Scouts in upstate New York. Closures of beaches along Lake Ontario due to Mercury always concerned me.”

Rumbold indicates, “the collection, analysis and reporting of surface and groundwater data is just one exciting part of being a hydrologist. It is particularly exciting to see new software, models and equipment make water resources analysis more efficient, and accurate I also greatly enjoy working with other stakeholders in accomplishing these types of efforts”.

Rumbold encourages those interested in entering this field to, “take advantage of opportunities to study aspects of streams, water and climate, or at least give it test run to determine whether or not it’s a good fit”.

The BLM offers many unique and varied programs.  Also, go ahead and explore the vast careers opportunities that the BLM has to offer.

Credits

  • Samantha Storms, Public Relations Officer, National Office of New Media, BLM Washington D.C.
  • The Bureau of Land Management’s public relations department supplied the photographs used in this article.
  • The BLM web site at http://www.blm.gov

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 Interviews, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies

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Posted on Wednesday, 8th April 2015 by

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In part 1 of this series we discussed the history and some of the important programs relevant to the BLM. In part 2 of this series, we will explore the Petroleum Engineer (GS-0881) career path.

Pinedale, WY Well, photograph provided by the Bureau of Land Management.

Pinedale, WY Well, photograph provided by the Bureau of Land Management.

Adrienne Brumley is a GS-0881-13, who works in the BLM New Mexico State Office in Santa Fe, NM. Brumley states, “I was always interested in science generally and for a career. Petroleum engineering requires knowledge of geology and includes designing wellbores that will be used to produce oil and gas”.

Brumley is excited because, “she is able to design wellbores and I get to see the results of that design immediately. I enjoy the dynamic nature of working in different areas geologically and in adapting wellbore design for individual circumstances. While some things can be predicted in oil and gas, there are aspects such as anomalies in geology, subsurface pressures, the nature of horizontal drilling, and the evolving technology of hydraulic fracturing that provide challenges (excitement!!) that keep my job interesting and rewarding”.

Brumley on the education aspects: “the field of study requires basic skills and knowledge in areas such as fluid dynamics, rock mechanics, geology, structural design, and principles of reservoir management. Some other areas of specialization include as reservoir management, drilling, production, pipeline and plant management, research, stimulation technology and law”.

Petroleum Engineers

This career path involves a unique set of skills. The petroleum engineer provides professional and technical support and makes recommendations relevant to oil and gas operations on both Federal and Indian lands. They are responsible for investigating accidents from drilling, blowouts, and fires to determine the cause and provide recommendations for issuance of safety alerts when required. Additionally, they will review applications for permits to drill, ensure that the designs will protect the environment and personnel from hazardous materials. The petroleum engineer makes sure that rigs and the equipment is safe and can stand extreme pressures, and that abandoned wells are properly plugged, to protect against subsurface formation sand and other issues.

The education requirement is at least a Bachelor’s degree in professional engineering. The courses required include differential and integral calculus, courses in at least 5 of the following 7 areas of engineering science or physics, statics, dynamics, strength of materials (stress-strain relationships), fluid mechanics, hydraulics, thermodynamics, electrical fields and circuits, nature and properties of materials or other comparable area of fundamental engineering science, physics, soil mechanics, or electronics.

Two employees were interviewed for this article. Their unique insight gives valuable information on what is it like to be a Petroleum Engineer.

 

Madden Deep Well Unit, Landen, WY. Photograph provided by the Bureau of Land Management.

Madden Deep Well Unit, Landen, WY. Photograph provided by the Bureau of Land Management.

William Tambekou, is a GS-0881-11, who works in the BLM Farmington Field Office in Farmington, NM. Tambekou points out, “As a teenager, I was really intrigued by the science behind the extraction of oil and natural gas. In addition, the influence that oil and natural gas had socially and politically was impressive to me and created an element of curiosity which led me to choose it as a career”.

Tambekou suggests, “The most exciting part of being a petroleum engineer is that the oil industry is regularly evolving; there is a constant emergence of new technologies, which gives one the opportunity to learn every day. It is very diverse, you have the opportunity to work is such areas as drilling, production, reservoir, etc”.

You must be a U.S. citizen to apply. The salary range for a GS-07/12 is $43,328.00 to $99,920.00 / Per Year. You must also have 1 year of professional engineering experience at the next lowest grade in Federal service

In the final installment of this series, we will examine the planning and environmental coordinator (GS-0301) and hydrologist (GS-1315) career paths.

Job Listings

Credits

  • Samantha Storms, Public Relations Officer, National Office of New Media, BLM Washington D.C.
  • The Bureau of Land Management’s public relations department supplied the photographs used in this article.
  • The BLM web site at http://www.blm.gov

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 Monday, 30th March 2015 by

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Explore careers and discover job opportunities with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Have you ever wondered what agency handles the Wild Horse and Burro Program, grazing, and leases on government land?  In part 1 of this 3 part series you will learn about this agency’s mission, its history, several of their unique programs, and the career path of the archeologist (GS-0193).

History

The BLM is part of the Department of the Interior and was established in 1946, by President Harry S. Truman.  The agency was created by the combination of 2 agencies, the General Land Office and the Grazing Service.  The BLM administers over 247.3 million acres of public lands, which is one-eighth of the landmass in the United States.  Additionally, the BLM manages the federal government’s 700 million acres of subsurface mineral estate that is located beneath federal, state and privately owned land located in 12 westerns states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming).

 

Historic Homestead Restoration, Near Lewistown, MT

Historic Homestead Restoration, Near Lewistown, MT

 

The mission of the BLM is “to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations”.

The agency handles approximately 18,000 land permits and leases for livestock grazing on 155 million acres of BLM public lands.  Additionally, there are 221 wilderness acres, 20 national monuments and over 636 other protected areas as part of the, National Landscape Conservation System which totals almost 30 million acres. The agency has more than 63,000 oil and gas wells on BLM public lands; with total energy leases that as of 2013 generated approximately $5.4 billion dollars and this divided among the Treasury, states, and Native American groups.

BLM Programs

The BLM handles many programs and I will discuss two, the Wild Horses and Burros, and Grazing programs. More information is available for the BLM’s many other programs and initiatives.

Wild Horse and Burro Program

The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 directs the BLM to both manage and protect wild horses and burros on public lands.  Horses and burros have no natural predators and they have a reproduction rate of more than 20 %.  There is the Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program helps to reduce the over population of these animals.  The program is administration in a 31 state jurisdiction and there are 25 adoption events to help find homes for approximately 1000 animals each year.

BLM also collaborates with the Mustang Heritage Foundation that offers trained horses to the public, at several different Mustang Makeover locations.  The Mustang Makeovers pair wild horses with trainers who have the horses up to 100 days and than there is an oral bid to find an adopter. For more information about this program see the following links:

Grazing Program

BLM administrators approximately 245 million acres of public lands, manages livestock grazing on 155 million acres as prescribed by federal law.  The relevant stipulations of the law for use and season of use are set for the permits and leases that are issued by the BLM to ranchers.  BLM has cognizance over 18,000 permits and leases issued to ranchers for grazing of the livestock (mostly cattle and sheep).  These permits and leases cover a 10-year period and are renewable only if the BLM determines that the terms and conditions are being followed.  Visit the BLM’s Grazing Program web site for additional information.

BLM Career Paths

The BLM offers many exciting job opportunities. The archeologist is featured in this article with other occupations covered in Part 2 and 3 of this series.

Archeologist (GS-0193)

Jenny Blanchard is a GS-0193-11 archaeologist working with BLM’s Anchorage Field Office in Anchorage, AL, “In college, I loved anthropology and archaeology classes.  As an undergraduate, you take field school, so I took 2 archaeological field school classes in Alaska.  I spent my study abroad in a semester doing Mayan archaeology in Belize.  There is so much to learn about past cultures, that I knew archaeology would never be boring”.

Blanchard points out that the most exciting part of her job is going to remote parts of Alaska, “I spend a lot of time in a helicopter in the summer, because there are literally no roads in the 17 million acres of BLM that she is responsible for.” Blanchard reveals that she has met great people, worked on interesting archaeological sites, and has seen a lot of natural resources along the way. “I’ve seen some of the rarest birds in North America, worked next to a fur seal rookery in the Pribilof Islands, and had muskox roaming over my project sites on two projects in Alaska.”

As a federal archaeologist Blanchard has the responsibility for managing the cultural resources on public lands including the cultural heritage, history, and prehistory that belongs to all Americans. Blanchard recommends that those who are interested in entering this field should get a good background in science. She suggests that archaeologists use chemistry, biology (zoology, botany, etc.), ecology, and geology regularly, so the more you know about those, the more you can dive into the field.

The archeologist is a very interesting career path. You must be a U.S. citizen to apply and the salary range for GS-09 level is from $48,403.00 to $62,920.00.

Archeologist Duties

 

Pueblo Ruin in Utah

Pueblo Ruin in Utah

 

Some of the duties include documenting and management of artifacts, collections and other relevant records.  Design and implement inventory strategies, resource planning, write and prepare cultural resources input for various environmental documents that include environmental assessments and planning documents.

For a GS-09 grade level, you must have met 1 year of specialized experience at the GS-07 level. There are education requirement that are quite specialized for this career path.  You will need a Master’s degree and some of the education requirements include 3 semester hours in history of archeology, archeology in a major geographical area such as North America or Africa, regional archeology, archeological cultures, theory and methods of archeology and archeological field school.  You will also need 6 semester hours of in related course work in geography, geology, history, historiography, environmental studies, scientific writing, and surveying.

This type of work has certain physical demands.  You will perform fieldwork, and will walk or ride vehicles or horses over rough terrain.  The duties require recurring bending, reaching, or lifting.  There will moderately heavy lifting of equipment and samples.  There maybe exposure to extremes in weather, temperatures and exposure to hostile wildlife, as well as, chemical and physical hazards.

Some of the duties include:

Knowledge of concepts, theories, and methods of history, archaeology, and cultural resource management.

  • Knowledge of the requirements of federal and state laws relevant to cultural resources.
  • Have the ability to independently design, implement, and document large-scale archaeological research projects.
  • Perform the operation of geographic information systems for data management and analysis.

There is the potential for promotion up to the GS-15 grade and those who wish to progress in the field would benefit from developing a comprehensive Career Development Plan (IDP).

Three archeologists are featured in this article to provide insight from those currently working and making a difference in this field. Their perspective and suggestions will assist anyone who wishes to learn more about archeology career opportunities.

Zane Fulbright is a GS-0193-11 archeologist who works at the Lewistown Field Office/Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Lewistown, MT.

Fulbright states, “The career field chose me. I went in to the local Forest Service ranger station looking for a firefighter position. They told me they had no openings except as an archaeology aid. I was working on my degree in history with a minor in anthropology so I was able to be hired. That was 25 years ago!”

Fulbright finds the recovery of artifacts in the field the most rewarding. Additionally, “federal archaeology has a good balance of archaeology and history. Learn how to research and write. Go hiking! Be comfortable outside by yourself.” He suggests taking advantage of professional conferences; present papers and interact with others in the field. Get to know different regions in the US and the unique nature of archaeology associated with the different cultures and environments.

 

College Class Field Trip, near Lewistown, MT

College Class Field Trip, near Lewistown, MT

 

Bryon Loolse, is a GS-301-15, division chief at the BLM Office in Washington, D.C. Loose in the early part of his career worked in the field, often outdoors. Loolse states, “The most satisfying and invigorating is the multi-disciplinary nature of archaeology. We need to know many things and are constantly learning new things”.

Loolse recalls an article he wrote about large scars found on ponderosa pine trees and argued the Ute created the scars years before to collect the tree sap and inner bark (cambium). A journal editor asked him to explain more about the fire ecology and natural history of the trees because the readers of the journal wouldn’t know those things. “I found that easy because I had already discussed the scars extensively with my forest ecologist, our foresters, and biologists. They explained ponderosa pine forests were evolved to be fire tolerant with thick bark.” Studies further showed that our forest had previously burned with low intensity fires every 20 to 30 years. You could differentiate between the natural scars called “cat faces” resulting from natural fires and those caused by wildlife like porcupine and elk. Loolse states that, “these were very different from the human caused scars I was investigating”.

Loolse suggests that archeology can be a challenging and difficult field to get a foothold as a permanent employee. “You need to be persistent and determined to make it a career.  You will need a master’s degree, and it is very important for documenting and preserving our past”.

In part 2 of this series we will discuss the career path associated with the Petroleum Engineer (GS-0881).

Credits

  • Samantha Storms, Public Relations Officer, National Office of New Media, BLM Washington D.C.
  • The Bureau of Land Management’s public relations department supplied the photographs used in this article.
  • The BLM web site at http://www.blm.gov.

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 Employees, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies

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Posted on Friday, 20th March 2015 by

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The United States Postal Service has many promotional opportunities for employees to advance in their postal careers.  Many employees will take advantage of the different training programs to become supervisors and managers and if your dream is to manage a large distribution center or post office, the training you need is available.

There are other opportunities as well, such as being “detailed” into a position, which is what I did.  I began my postal career in a large processing plant in Kansas City KS working as a PTF Distribution Clerk.  I was able to transfer to an associate office closer to home and was fortunate to have a Postmaster that encouraged me to learn more and allowed me to accept a detail in Personnel for 6 months.  Shortly after starting my detail a vacancy became available in Personnel for a Human Resources Specialist; I applied and was accepted for the position.  I loved working in Personnel and learned so much.  This position was supposed to be a temporary position; not-to exceed 2 years.  I was fortunate to be able to keep it for 5 years.

Most employees at the postal service begin their careers working as an hourly employee and most are able to move up the ladder.  The opportunities are there!  I had many co-workers that began when I did and are now supervisors and managers.  If you get a job with the postal service, ask your supervisor, Postmaster or Manager about detail opportunities or apply for one of the programs listed below.  Live your dream!

The postal service’s career development initiatives prepare employees to achieve their goals and turn their career dreams into realities.

National Center for Employee Development

The National Center for Employee Development (NCED) is the U.S. Postal Service’s national center for employee training. NCED oversees and conducts hands-on training for postal employees who manage and maintain major high-technology postal systems, vehicles, and mail processing equipment. Training offered at NCED supports postal automation efforts and national job skills training. NCED is a nationally recognized leader in the use of distance learning technology. NCED expands its reach from the resident classrooms by using national networks for live satellite broadcasts, audio teletraining, and computer driven audiographics courses, plus computer, video, and internet technology to deliver critical job skill training to postal employees.

Associate Supervisor Program

The Associate Supervisor Program (ASP) is designed to attract,  select, and train the best possible candidates for first-line supervisory positions. ASP will develop technical, operational, administrative, and leadership skills through its comprehensive classroom training and on-the-job assignments. Applicants who meet the requirements will learn the critical knowledge and skills necessary to become highly effective leaders of the U.S. Postal Service. ASP is a 16-week training program, combining classroom training and on-the-job assignments, to provide a practical hands-on experience. Coaching is an important aspect of the program. ASP trainees are assigned a coach who provides leadership and guidance throughout the program. If you like working with people, want to make a difference, and be associated with a winning team, then the supervisor position is the right job for you.

Managerial Leadership Program

The Managerial Leadership Program is a two week program based on the Managerial Competency Model. The curriculum spans a three month period: Week One is centered on the interpersonal and developmental aspects of leadership and includes an introduction to Lean Six Sigma, coaching, giving and receiving feedback, and effective messaging. Week Two contains interactive activities related to managing difficult business conversations, team development, and power & influence. MLP targets both Headquarters and Field employees, EAS Level 19 and above. MLP participants are high-potential managers who have demonstrated the ability to move into higher level EAS leadership roles; are not in Corporate Succession Planning (CSP); and have not attended the Advanced Leadership Program (ALP).

Advanced Leadership Program

The Advanced Leadership Program is a three week program based on the Executive Competency Model. The curriculum spans a 6-9 month period: Week 1: Business Foundations covers the essential information necessary to be an effective leader. Some of the topics include finance, strategy and transition, and project management; Week 2: Personal Development includes rich assessments and a one on one coaching session; and Week 3: Business Leadership and the Business Case presentation. Participants address an issue facing the Postal Service and present their findings and recommendations to an executive panel. The ALP participant must be a non-executive who has been identified as a potential successor in Corporate Succession Planning (CSP) and has not previously attended the program. These individuals must be nominated by a sponsoring Executive and approved by their Vice President.ir career.

A Career development Plan or Individual Development Plan (IDP) is an essential first step for those who desire promotions and career advancement. It doesn’t have to be a formal plan however you must at the minimum set short and long term goals to achieve your objective (a targeted position, upgrade, or transfer to another specialty). Discuss your career development options with your supervisor and consider lateral assignments, details, and the various training programs available to postal service employees at your location.

Also consider ways to improve your chances for postal service job promotions or new assignments by attending night school or taking classes at local universities online or through weekend programs. Use whatever is available and realistic to achieve your goals.

Take Charge of Your Federal Career: A Practical Action-Oriented Career Management Workbook for Federal Employee by Dennis V. Damp can be used as a primer to develop your personal Individual Development Plan (IDP). It was written for federal employees however it is also helpful to anyone wishing to advance in their career. You will discover how to identify positions in your organization based on your interests, education and training, set realistic short and long term career goals, and work with your supervisor to make it happen.

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, Post Office Jobs

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Posted on Monday, 16th March 2015 by

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The logistics management specialist’s job focus is being able to perform analysis and coordination of an organization’s supply chain. Additionally, you will manage the entire life cycle of a product, to include the acquisition, distribution, allocation, and delivery. They should have the ability to understand the different functions of planning, implementation, and integration. The most important ability is to be able to integrate the separate functions in planning or implementation in a logistics management program.

The logistics management specialist does not need to be an expert in these activities. They must understand the functional fields in logistical planning (requirements, capabilities, lead times, and costs) with enough depth, to enable proper analysis of the information that is obtained. Furthermore, the specialist must also have a broad knowledge of supply systems, procedures, and programs.

The logistics management specialist can perform the necessary work in variety of organizational structures, at various levels within the agency or department. In the military the work is in support of many different kinds of missions, defense related programs and weapon systems. There can be a wide range of logistics programs and their individual requirements will be unique to that agency or department.

The salary range for a GS-0346 (05-15) is from $31,628.00 to $149,333.00 / Per Year. You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this position and they are typically full time permanent positions. The education requirements are a bachelor’s degree, along with a minimum of at least 1 year of experience at the next lowest grade level or a combination of experience and education.

Charles Siebott is a retired GS-0346-11, logistic management specialist (logistics program coordinator) who worked for the Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Siebott states he choose this career path because “previous military testing indicated an aptitude for an administrative, career path vice engineering or mechanical.” The most exciting parts of being in logistics according to Siebott is the wide areas of involvement; i.e. acquisition, contracting, construction, real estate leasing, services (maintenance of elevators, grounds maintenance, etc.) transportation, government shipments (Government Bills of Lading), Inventory Control of property and equipment and more.” Siebott indicates, “A logistic management specialist is absolutely a great career, and my previous twenty year military logistical experience prepared me for a very successful twenty five year government career”. Siebott states, “Discover your aptitude and pursue it! Being a logistics management specialist exposes you to all facets of the business world.”

Ivy Scott is a current GS-0346-13 at Communications Electronics Command (CECOM). Scott cites, “I did not choose this career field it chose me. When I made the decision to return to the Government in July 2003 after a 10-year absence, the only option available with my experience and education was the Army Material Command (AMC) Fellows 5 year program. I applied, interviewed, and got accepted into the program. The program consisted of various career programs ranging from supply to comptroller with the generic grade series GS-0301 after I completed the program; I was assigned officially to the GS-0346 series. During the five year training period, fellows advance from GS-07 to GS-13, while obtaining their Master Degrees and rotational developmental assignments.”

Scott elaborates further, “When a solider signs up for active duty he/she has chosen to put their lives on the line for their country. Their lives are now in your hands when you ensure that the systems they are using to protect themselves are fully mission capable. My most exciting and challenging part of this job is working with the various teams and outside organizations (our counter partners) in procuring the necessary parts to keep these systems fully functional without encountering any downtime. As a logistics management specialist, you are part of an ongoing team that has the opportunity to see a program from inception to grave.”

Scott states, “Knowing that you were responsible for the safety of the war fighters and any other personnel in harms way allows you to appreciate what you are doing for your country stateside.”

The typical duties of logistics management specialists are:

  • Direct, develop or perform logistics management operations that involve planning, coordinating, or evaluating logistical actions that support a specified mission, weapons system or designated program.
  • Perform periodic independent systems evaluations and develop recommendations for system improvements after performing thorough studies and analysis.
  • Schedule and monitor funding milestone to include adequacy and timeliness.
  • Monitor both organizational and contractor compliance relevant to milestone and system performance criteria.
  • Collaborate and plan with various appropriate personnel to coordinate and/or integrate operations and interests of other organizations.
  • Responsible for planning, managing and the coordination of the total cradle-to-grave life cycle logistics for an assigned system or subsystems, integrating separate functions of supply, maintenance, procurement and quality assurance of logistics activities needed to sustain system fielding.
  • Gather facts and develop appropriate solutions to problems that require command attention due to their critical nature and are of high visibility.
  • Use conflict resolution leadership to obtain agreement on required actions, schedules concerning program or policy matters.

The employment prospects for logistics related jobs are expected to grow 22 percent from 2012 to 2022. The expected jobs, based on 2012 figures are 125,900 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This growth is due to the important role logistics has in the transportation of goods in our global economy.

The federal government employs 70,917 logistic management specialists including 968 overseas and they work in all cabinet level and large agencies in fairly large numbers. The Department of the Navy hires the most with 9,516 followed by the Department of the Air Force with 7,720. The VA employs 5,546 and the DOD 4,648.

Logistic management specialists are employed throughout the federal government. They provide an important role in making sure that our logistical needs are met in peacetime and when our country is at war.

For more information about GS-0346 job series:

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

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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 Employees, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies, Overseas Jobs

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Posted on Sunday, 8th March 2015 by

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In this final installment about the National Park Service (NPS), we will discuss the different types of fire fighter job opportunities. These can range from dispatchers, fire managers, safety specialists, and fire fighters in the Fire and Aviation Management Program. In the NPS fire program, there are 400 permanent and 600 seasonal employees. The fire prevention occupations that appear in this article are unique to the NPS.

Fire fighter jobs are not just limited to the NPS. Many other fire fighters are hired under the GS-0081 job series.  There are 9,005 total fire fighters employed nationwide in the GS-0081 series. The Department of Navy is the largest employer with 3,131, the Department of the Army (2,808), and the Air Force employs 2437. There are 224 fire fighters working overseas. The VA also employs 293, DOD 157, Homeland Security 95, HHS 31 and a few work for other agencies.

Wildland Fire Fighter (GS-0401/0455/0462)

Firefighter (GS-0455/0462)

There are various types of wildland fire fighter categories.

1. GS-02 trainee an entry level position. They receive training and perform simple tasks as part of the crew.

2. GS-03 level trainee and they perform tasks such developing a working knowledge of fire suppression, fuel management techniques, assist in backfire and burnout, and others.

3. GS-04 is considered a skilled wildland fire fighter. Their assignments are more specialized such as tree falling, backfire, and burnout operations. They must also be able to utilize a variety of specialized tools, equipment, and techniques while managing wildfires.

4. GS-05 is a senior wildland fire fighter that performs all aspects of wildland and prescribed fire operations. This will include preparation, ignition, monitoring, holding, and mop-up. Gathering of information on weather data, topography, fuel types, and fire behavior when responding to wildland fire incidents.

Different qualifications apply for GS grade level 2-5.

1. GS-02 requires 3 months of general work experience and graduated from high school or its equivalent.

2. GS-03 needs 6 months of general work experience, and at least 1 year of education above high school and should include at least 6 semester hours of a combination of the following courses, range management, agriculture, forestry, wildlife management, biology, and other natural or physical sciences.

3. GS-04 must have 6 months work experience, and specialized work experience at the GS-03 level. The employee must have 2 years of education beyond high school and at least 12 semester hours in a combination of courses that include forestry, agriculture, crop or plant science, range management, soil science or wildland fire science. They must also have 90 days of wildland fire experience.

4. GS-05 must have 12 months of specialized experience that is equivalent to the GS-04. They should have a bachelor’s degree that should include 24 semester hours in any combination of some the following courses, forestry, agriculture, range management, wildlife management, watershed management and civil or forest engineering. The GS-05 must also posses a National Wildlife Coordinating Group (NWCG) incident management qualification and training.Fire Fighter Type (FFT1) and successful completion of S-290 “Intermediate Wildland Fire Behavior”.

There are also physical requirements and testing. All must be able to pass an initial pre-employment examination. Pass a work capacity fitness test (must carry a 45 lb pack for 3 miles within 45 minutes).

The salary range for GS-02-05 is $20,419.00-$27,982.00 / per year. You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for any fire fighter position. The mandatory retirement age for fire fighters is 57.

Andy Hall is a GS-0462-07, Prescribed Fire/Fuels Technician at Grand Teton National Park. Hall indicates, “I really like physical labor and the fact that the job combines physical and mental challenges while getting paid to hike. I have an interest in land management. It is rewarding to be able to do what is right for the landscape. The job has taken me all over the country and world including Australia. Working on a team to solve complex problems is also very rewarding.”

Hall also states, “The wildland fire service offers many different options. One can have a career in logistics, information, finance, planning, safety… not just the person putting water on the fire or digging hand line (fire suppression). Recently I have switched from a pure suppression job to a prescribed fire and fuels job. I like this job because it combines my degree in forestry with my fire experience. It is a good challenge to try to put fire back on the landscape while trying to reduce the threat of fire on places where its effects would be catastrophic. It is a good mix of being inside at a desk planning and being outside running a chainsaw and working on fires.”

Fire Management Officer (GS-0401)

The employee is responsible for directing all the phases of the fire management program to include planning, program direction, coordination, and evaluation.
Analyze the current fire management plans, makes appropriate changes according to guidelines. They make sure that the fire management program is compliant with all environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Coordinates program activities with all federal, state, tribal, and local government entities and agencies. Manages unit aviation programs, operations, and ensures that all phases of fire and aviation management planning are complete. Directs and supervises budgets as required. Monitors fire season severity predictions, fire behavior, fire activity level, and ensures appropriate actions for safe and efficient operations.

A bachelor’s degree in any of the biological sciences, agriculture, natural resources, chemistry, or other related studies. Additionally, you will need 1 year of specialized wildland fire management experience equivalent to the GS-11 grade level. For a GS-12, the salary range is $76,667.00 to $99,672.00 / Per Year. You must be a U.S. citizen to apply.

John Cataldo is a GS-0401-13, Wildland Fire and Aviation Management Officer, at Yellowstone National Park. Cataldo cites, “I’ve wanted to be a firefighter since I was seven years old growing up in New York, but I didn’t even know that there was such a thing as wildland firefighters until I moved out West when I was 17. After high school, I chose to study wildlife management at Humboldt State University and learned that wildlife management was really all about habitat management. Managing wildland fire allows me to participate in habitat management on a larger scale in a single fire season than few ever have the opportunity to during their entire career. This career is the perfect nexus of those aspirations – Firefighting and wildlife management.

Cataldo indicates he, “Flies in helicopters, using fire to fight fire, using fire to maintain ecological processes and for habitat restoration, getting paid to exercise and stay in great shape, and hiking into and camping out in remote places that few people ever get to see. I encourage all prospective firefighters to make sure that they complete a college education in a Natural Resources related major such as biology, wildlife management, or forestry before looking for permanent employment in wildland firefighting. You will need a college degree related to Natural Resources management later on down the road to promote into managerial fire positions when your body starts to wear down from all the abuse that this career hands out. There are plenty of seasonal fire fighting jobs available. However, do not be discouraged if you cannot get a seasonal fire fighting job the first several times that you apply. Fire fighting is starting to become a very popular and competitive career choice.”
The national parks are wonderful places to visit, and enjoy with family and friends. It is even a greater place to work, so check out the fantastic jobs the NPS has to offer.

Careers featured in this article: (Includes job listings)

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 Employees, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies, Overseas Jobs

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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.

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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, Student jobs

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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.

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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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