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:

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, 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 

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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, Job Vacancies, Student jobs

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Posted on Monday, 1st December 2014 by

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The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) is an agency under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This new department was created after September 11, 2001, the day that changed the lives of all Americans. Out of this tragedy DHS was born.

History

President George W. Bush, stated,” A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America.”

Just eleven days after 9/11 occurred, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, was appointed as the first Director of the Office of Homeland Security. DHS is responsible for safeguarding the United States against terrorism and future attacks and in November of 2002, the Homeland Security Act formally created this new Department. It includes over 22 different federal agencies, and they all work in unison to defend our country against terrorist attacks.

The DHS Organization of Today

The DHS’s mission “includes preventing terrorism and enhancing security; managing our borders; administering immigration laws; securing cyberspace; and ensuring disaster resilience”.

Some of the more well-known components of DHS include:

  • United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP). This department is one of the largest and its primary mission is keeping out terrorists, defending our borders, enforce immigration, and drug laws.
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This agency is the first responder when disasters strike our country. They help in preparation, protection, recovery efforts, and mitigation of all hazards.
  • Transportation Security Administration (TSA). This agency protects the nation’s transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement of people and commerce.
  • U.S. Secret Service. The Secret Service is tasked in safeguarding the nation’s financial infrastructure, preserve the economy, and protect national leaders, visiting heads of state and government, designated sites.
  • There are 18 other agencies in the Department of Homeland (DHS).

The People of the DHS

DHS offers a vast variety of career choices due to its 22 different federal agencies.  This article, part 1 of a 3 part series, explores FEMA job opportunities.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

FEMA is divided into 10 specific regions around the country. They offer a variety of unique employment opportunities, and a candidate can be hired or placed in one of these regions based upon the job or a specific need.

Cadre of On-Call Response/Recovery Employees (CORE)

These employees are hired for a limited time that can be from 2 to 4 years. The positions are for on going disaster work only when the funding is available.

One example of this type of job is mitigation planning specialist. GS-0301-11/12, ($61,857 to $96,382). The applicant is responsible for developing, preparing and reviewing plans on projects. They do risk analysis and assessment, and understand various laws and regulations for the National Flood Insurance Program, as well as, policies and procedures.

To qualify for the GS-11or GS-12 level the candidate must have 1 full year of specialized experienced at the previous grade. This experience consists of development of community, land use or natural resource plans, ordinances at the local, state, or federal level that dealt with floodplain management.

See More about CORE for additional information.

FEMA Corps

This program was started in 2012, in partnership between DHS and FEMA. The FEMA Corps consists of 1,600 service corps members within the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps that is specific to disaster preparation, response, and recovery.

This program prepares 18-24 year olds in a variety of careers in the emergency management field. The program is 10 months in length with an option to extend for an additional term.

The focus of program is providing support for working directly with disaster survivors. They also work in disaster recovery centers, and provide the public with relevant disaster preparedness information.

Other FEMA job opportunities include environmental protection specialist, GS-0028, emergency management specialist (situation unit leader), AD-0089, and information technology specialist, GS-2210.

DHS is a vast agency that administers immigration laws, helps in the prevention of terrorism, enhancing our security, safeguarding and securing cyberspace, and our borders, and strengthening the security enterprise.

Check out the 22 different federal agencies, as well as, the amazing career possibilities with DHS.

In the next article, we will feature federal air marshals with the TSA and part three will cover Secret Service job opportunities.

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 Monday, 24th November 2014 by

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Jean Kapala Brown, Executive Director of the Chicago Federal Executive Board, advises that, “One way to hear about federal job openings FIRST is to have USA jobs send you email alerts.” She goes on to state, “this will be critical with the limited number of applications the system will now accept. As of December 2014, FEMA will limit the number of job applicants to 200 applicants per job announcement across all job categories, in order to expedite the hiring process.”

Previously most agencies accepted applications up to the closing date of the federal job announcement. To streamline and fast track the hiring process agencies are experimenting with closing the job announcement after receipt of a specific number of applications. A single job announcement can easily generate thousands of applications in today’s automated environment and the more applications you have the longer it takes to hire.

Agencies can achieve the same results by limiting the time the bid is open. Some announcements are only open, available, for a week or less. Whether or not they limit the number of applicants or choose to shorten the time a job announcement is advertised applicants must be prepared to reply immediately to any job announcement of interest. Sign up for www.USAJobs.gov email alerts as Jean suggests and visit the site frequently so you won’t miss out on a job opportunity in your area.

Some feel this is unfair and limits the application pool. My personal opinion is that it is generally a good thing because too often agency HR departments gets bogged down with the administrative burden of having to review, assess, and evaluate thousands of applications for a single opening. By limiting the number, the HR departments can thoroughly review and assess each application received so that the most qualified are properly identified. Without these limitations it can take months to fill a critical position.

I experienced this firsthand during my career. I was a certified rating official with the Federal Aviation Administration for technical specialties in the 2100 series. When announcements closed I would travel to the regional office in New York City to evaluate and rate applicant’s packages. It was tedious and very time consuming. Even with today’s advanced automation HR specialists still make the final determinations and with the new Category Rating System supervisors and staff must be more involved throughout the hiring process.

The old saying that the early bird catches the worm still applies and is true in most venues; you have to be prepared and with today’s automation it’s easy to do. I always recommend completing your federal resume/application off line on your desktop computer before you copy and paste it into the USAJobs’ resume builder. This gives you the opportunity to take your time and compose a thorough application that you can easily update as you gain new experiences, education, and complete new assignments. This applies to employees as well, not just to job seekers. I kept my application updated in real time on my desktop throughout my career so that I was prepared to apply for any job of interest that came my way.

When applying for a job, review the job announcement thoroughly. This document guides you through the application process, lists required experience and/or education, and provides an HR contact for you to call or email if you run into problems. You must tailor your application to each job announcement and many make the mistake of submitting the same application for all jobs they apply for. Even within the same job series qualification and required knowledge, skills and abilities can change and if you leave these out you more than likely will not make the best qualified list.

USAjobs allows you to store up to five resumes and ten candidate documents that you can use to submit for vacancies as they occur. You can easily revise any of them as needed before applying for your next job.

How to Get Started on USAJobs.gov

  • Visit www.USAJobs.gov
  • Click on “Create an Account” in the upper right-hand corner of the screen
  • Enter your email address (required)
  • Create a username
  • Agree to the USAJobs terms and conditions
  • Copy and paste your resume into their resume builder
  • Search, apply for jobs

Seek out all jobs that you qualify for in your area of consideration and apply. If you don’t find anything in your primary search look for related occupations that you can meet the qualifications for to get your foot in the door. One of the keys to success is finding viable openings to apply for and to do this today you have to be proactive and constantly searching available listings for opportunities. Sign up for job email alerts and visit USAJobs frequently to make a connection.

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, Civil Service Tests, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Employees, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies, Resumes / KSAs

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Posted on Monday, 17th November 2014 by

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Throughout my federal career, I was involved in acquisition functions. I was a Contract Specialist and a Program Analyst for the Department of the Army. Acquisition functions are found in all of the agencies and branches of the military.

Acquisition Functions

Congress is responsible for the passing of the federal budget and the appropriation of funds. Once these funds are appropriated, the federal government can acquire goods and services to include real property.

The procurement process is initiated through the use of contracts. Government contracting is heavily regulated and subject to many statues and other regulations including the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). All procurement activities must follow the FAR that deals with the federal contracting process.

Each branch of the military and all federal agencies have implemented additional regulations, which are derived from the FAR, and unique to that particular branch or agency’s procurement practices.

Government contracting agents are required to obligate funds, through contracts, for the procurement of goods, services, or real property. Federal employees are assigned agent responsibilities and many contract types and solicitations are used in the procurement process. The federal employee (agent) can negotiate contract terms and conditions and this is strictly controlled by the FAR and other statues.

Once a contract is negotiated, and awarded, the funds are allocated for payment. The contracting officer has signing authority as government contract agent. The agent’s authority is granted by a warrant and the agent cannot deviate from it in any way. The warrant gives the Contracting Officer authority to sign a contract up to a certain dollar amount.

Funds can’t be obligated unless funds are authorized. The Anti Deficiency Act, states that no one can obligate money to make payments on a contract unless the funds have already been authorized. The contracting officer must sign off that funds are available and authorized. They legally obligate the government for the expenditure of funds.

Acquisitions Careers

The contract specialist is the most prevalent job category in the Acquisition career field. The job classification is GS-1102. Other procurement jobs under the GS-1102 series include contractor administrator, contracting officer, and procurement analyst. The salary range for grades GS-05-15 is $31,628.00-$149,333.00. These salaries depend upon the grade level, location, and if it is a non-supervisor or a supervisory position. You can also explore several related occupations including Purchasing GS-1105 and Procurement Tech GS-1106 jobs.

Contract Specialist Requirements

The contract specialist acts a business advisor and assists in the planning to acquire needed goods and services. Contract specialists are in high demand, especially after 9/11. The majority of the procurement activities have become technically complex and of longer duration. Contract Specialists must constantly keep up-to-date with the laws that govern procurement processes.

The contract specialist prepares the proposal package, negotiates the contract if applicable, and awards the contract. Only the contracting officer is authorized to sign and administer the contract once it is awarded. You must be a U.S. citizen to be a contract specialist.

Typically, the entry grade is at the GS-5 level, which is considered a journeyman/training position. At the GS-5 level, you can have either a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience. Contract Specialists above the GS-5 level, have the same basic requirements of a Bachelor’s degree. Within that degree an applicant must have at least 24 hours in business-related courses in the following fields: accounting, business, finance, law, contracts, purchasing, economics, industrial management, marketing, quantitative methods, or organization and management. (This requirement can be obtained within the degree or in addition to the degree).

At the GS-07-15 levels, you will need additional specialized experience that includes providing business advice and performing all pre-award and post-award job functions. This additional job experience must be at least 52 weeks in length, is at the previous grade level, and depends upon what grade you are applying.

The contracting officer position starts at a GS-12 level and all the other specialized experience applies. An additional requirement for a contracting officer is a warrant. The warrant gives the contracting officer signing authority (at certain dollar thresholds) to obligate funds for contracts.

Review the related qualification standards for additional information.

Contract Administrator

The contract administrator starts at a GS-11 level and are assigned to the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA). DCMA is located all across the United States and overseas.

The main functions include monitoring of contractor’s performance and delivery schedules. Negotiate supplemental agreements for the contracting officer’s signature. Close out contracts once final delivery has been made. A contract administrator should have a broad knowledge of estimating costs, pricing systems, financial policies, and cost control procedures are monitored, analyzed, and evaluated in accordance with financial and contract administration requirements.

Procurement Analyst

The procurement analyst starts at the GS-12 grade level. They still must meet all requirements of the GS-1102 job series. The applicant requires good decision making and analysis skills. They must have customer service experience to resolve difficult contract issues and they often coordinate procurement management reviews. Additionally, they should have a mastery of acquisition concepts, principles, practices, laws, regulations, methods, and techniques.

Challenges of the Acquisition Professional

The acquisition professional is a very specialized job category. The contract specialist must have an understanding of procurement laws and acts as an agent for the federal government to obligate funds. The acquisition process can be very long and tedious due to complex regulations that must be followed. The federal government is constantly reviewing and addressing the acquisition process to make it more manageable.

The acquisition professional plays a vital role as steward of the taxpayer’s dollars. They work to get the best price, timely delivery of services, and ensure the integrity of the procurement process.

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, Civil Service Tests, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies

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Posted on Thursday, 13th November 2014 by

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There are over 2000 occupational codes in the Postal Service’s Position Directory. A number of these positions are in the maintenance field. I use to think of “maintenance” as just being the “cleaning crew”. But it is so much more than that. The USPS has area maintenance technicians, building equipment mechanics, thousands of custodians, electronics technicians, auto mechanics and technicians, and general maintenance mechanics just to name a few of the available maintenance positions.

Fortunately there are promotion opportunities in these departments. A person that works as an automotive mechanic for example could move up to a technician position. They could also be promoted to lead technician or a supervisory position if available and if they meet the qualifications for the promotion.

There are many opportunities for electronic technicians due to the considerable amount of electronic equipment that has to be in full working order 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In 1982, the Postal Service deployed its first flat sorting machine (FSM), the FSM 775. Previously, all flats had been processed manually. With four operators keying in part of the ZIP Code, the FSM 775 could sort about 6,200 flats per hour into 100 bins. The FSM 881, introduced ten years later in 1992, could sort about 10,000 flats per hour with four operators. These were the machines that I worked on at the Kansas City KS General Mail Facility, when I was a PTF clerk. The ET’s had to be available to keep these machines operational so the mail could keep moving and be ready for dispatch at 4:30 am. You can see why ET’s are so valuable to the postal service; the mail could come to a complete halt if the machines like the FSM and Delivery Bar Code Sorters were unable to operate.

I’ll cover a number of the maintenance positions in my column starting with electronic technician. The salary range for an Electronic Technician – PS 10 is $56,150 to $67,156.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Carry out all phases of maintenance, troubleshooting and testing of electronic circuitry used in equipment and systems requiring knowledge of solid-state electronics. Instructs and provides technical support on complex systems and on combinational (hardware/software) or intermittent problems.

  • Performs the testing, diagnosis, maintenance and revision work requiring knowledge of solid-state electronics.
  • Observes the various equipment and systems in operation and applies appropriate testing and diagnostic methods and procedures to ensure proper operation.
  • Locates source of equipment and system failures, rectifies trouble in involved cases or provides instructions to be used by maintenance employees performing repair work.
  • Makes or participates with contractor representative or electronic technician in installing or altering equipment and systems as required.
  • Makes reports of equipment and system failures, which require corrective action by contractor and follows up to see that appropriate action, is taken.
  • Makes preventive maintenance inspections to discover incipient malfunctions and to review the standards of maintenance.
  • Recommends changes in preventive maintenance procedures and practices as found to be necessary.
  • Programs scheme and/or scheme changes into memory units as requested by management.
  • Furnishes pertinent data to superiors and contract employees on operation and testing problems.
  • Participates in training programs: classroom, on-the-job, and correspondence, at postal facilities, trade schools and manufacturer’s plants as required. May assist in developing and implementing training programs. Instructs equal or lower level employees as required.
  • Observes established safety regulations pertaining to the type of work involved.
  • May drive vehicle or utilize other available mode of transportation to work site when necessary.
  • Provides technical support to other electronic technicians to resolve complex, combinational (hardware/software) and/or intermittent failures.
  • Performs such duties as may be assigned

If interested in any Maintenance position or any other position at the United States Postal Service visit our USPS Job Search Guide and follow the link at the end of the guide to the official USPS jobs site to find job vacancies in your area.

Good luck in your job hunting endeavors.

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, Civil Service Tests, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies, Post Office Jobs

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Posted on Thursday, 6th November 2014 by

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Over the past three decades, the expanding variety of available workplace flexibilities has provided potential applicants with an added incentive in seeking Federal agency positions. The Alternative Work Schedule (AWS) is the longest tenured flexibility initiative, tracing its origin to 1978. Since that time, the availability of AWS programs has become a key recruitment and retention tool along with the student loan repayment program that agencies can now offer to fill critical vacancies.  In addition to reviewing the available AWS options, this post will also seek to provide some insight into the current usage of AWS across the government.

Description of AWS

The term “Alternative Work Schedule” encompasses two general types of work schedules, flexible work schedules (FWS) and compressed work schedules (CWS), each representing a variation to the fixed-schedule 8-hour, 5-day work week.

A FWS consists of workdays with (1) core hours and (2) flexible hours. Core hours are the designated period of the day when all employees must be at work. Flexible hours are the part of the workday when employees may (within limits or “bands”) choose their time of arrival and departure. Within limits set by each agency, a FWS can enable employees to select and alter their work schedules to best fit personal needs and help balance work and family responsibilities. There are various types of FWS arrangements that provide different degrees of flexibility regarding starting/stopping times and core hours. These include flexitour, gliding, variable day, variable week, and maxiflex schedules. OPM’s Handbook on Alternative Work Schedules defines each of these terms and provides a detailed analysis of each option.

If authorized by agency policy or a collective bargaining agreement for unionized employees, an employee may have the option of earning credit hours. These are hours worked in excess of an employee’s basic work requirement (e.g., 40 hours a week), which the employee elects to work in order to vary the length of a workweek or a workday. An employee may carry a maximum of 24 credit hours from one pay period to the next.

As a result of the flexible start/stop times, the overtime rules under an AWS are slightly different from those that apply to a fixed work schedule. When working under an AWS, overtime work consists of hours of work that are officially ordered in advance and in excess of 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week. However, overtime does not include hours worked voluntarily, including credit hours, or hours an employee covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act is “suffered or permitted” to work that are not officially ordered in advance.

A CWS meets the basic work requirement of 80 hours in less than 10 work days. Arrival and departure times and non-workdays are fixed. There are no provisions for flexitime or gliding schedules under a CWS program, and credit hours are not permissible. Depending on the applicable agency policy or applicable collective bargaining agreement, employees may be able to select one of 3 CWS options:

  • 5-4/9 Plan: Employee works 8 9-hour days and 1 8-hour day each pay period.
  • 4-Day Workweek: Employee works 4 10-hour days each workweek.
  • 3-Day Workweek: Employee works 3 days of 13 hours and 20 minutes each work week.

A CWS cannot be established among non-unionized employees unless a majority of those employees vote to adopt it. In a unionized organization, only those employees in the bargaining unit are bound by the negotiations establishing the CWS program. Also, any employee for whom a compressed work schedule would impose a personal hardship may be excluded from the program.

AWS Participation

Despite a dearth of historical data, available reports indicate that as much as 40% of the Federal workforce has participated in some form of AWS. The recently issued Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey Results for 2014 indicates that AWS is the single most popular work/life flexibility: 33% of responding employees participate in AWS. Employees consistently cite the scheduling flexibilities that AWS programs facilitate as a primary reason for increased morale and job motivation. Moreover, the Obama administration recently reinforced its support for AWS and other workplace flexibilities by requiring agency heads to make them available to the “maximum extent practicable.”

From a personal perspective, as both a former Office of Personnel Management attorney exposed to numerous agency policies and long-time AWS participant, I found that some form of AWS is widely available to Federal employees in the Washington, D.C. area. Moreover, employees occupying a broad range of clerical, professional, and supervisory job categories take advantage of AWS options where available.

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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 Employees, Federal Jobs

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Posted on Wednesday, 29th October 2014 by

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How would you like to work for the Federal Government’s premiere spy agency? The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been in the spy business for 67 years and there are many lucrative job opportunities that await you.

History

The United States has used spies since this country’s inception. Even George Washington, our first president, used spies during the Revolutionary War. The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was the precursor to the CIA. The OSS was formed during World War II, and collected and analyzed information. Once World War II ended, the OSS was eliminated; other war agencies were transferred to the State and War departments.

President Harry Truman realized that a centralized intelligence organization was necessary. In 1947, he signed the National Security Act and the CIA was born. The CIA is responsible for the coordination of the nation’s intelligence activities, as well as, correlating, evaluating, and disseminating intelligence affecting national security.

In 2004, President George W. Bush restructured the CIA by signing the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act. This act established the position of Director of National Intelligence (D/CIA) and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) within the CIA. The DNI oversees the Intelligence Community and the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC).

The CIA of Today

The CIA is comprised of 4 main organizations. The CIA website states, “They carry out ‘the intelligence cycle,’ the process of collecting, analyzing, and disseminating intelligence information to top US government officials.”

Each of these 4 organizations provide the following unique support functions:

  • The National Clandestine Service (NCS) collects foreign intelligence, specifically human source intelligence (HUMINT). CIA officers live and work overseas to establish a network of human “assets” in the field.
  • The Directorate of Intelligence (DI) analyzes a variety of sourced material and provides reports, briefings, and papers on foreign intelligence issues. Their intelligence analysis helps in the formulation of policy that senior policy makers can use.
  • The Directorate of Science and Technology (DS&T) is responsible for using state of the art technology in the assessment and collection of information. They use the expertise from various disciplines that include computer programmers, scientists, and analysts for these assessments.
  • The Directorate of Support (DS) provides international clandestine. They are responsible for financial and medical services, logistics, and the security of CIA personnel. This directorate also offers support within the Intelligence Community.

The People Who Work for the CIA

The mission of the CIA is to “Preempt threats and further US national security objectives by collecting intelligence that matters, producing objective all-source analysis, conducting effective covert action as directed by the President, and safeguarding the secrets that help keep our Nation safe.”

The CIA has many exciting career opportunities from a variety of professions. These include Analysts (operations research GS-1515), Scientists (GS-1300), Engineers (GS-800 Series), cyber security, information assurance, logistics, and Medical services (GS-600). You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for any jobs in the CIA. The main headquarters is in Washington, D.C.

In the Clandestine Service, there is a Core Collector career path. This career path offers 2 entry-level programs, one for ages 21-25 and 26-35. A Core Collector works full time in the Washington, D.C. area and the salary range is from $53,508 to $82,019 depending on time in grade and experience.

The 21-25 year old group goes through the Professional Trainee (PT) Program. They have to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. The program gives a person the opportunity to gain valuable experience in different areas at the Washington D.C. headquarters. These assignments help in the training and field deployment.

The 26-35 year old group goes through The Clandestine Service (CST) Program. This is an 18 month long program. The applicant must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. In addition, they should also have several years of business and or military experience.

The Core Collector career path has 2 primary job categories. They are designated as either Core Collection Operations Officers (OO) or Collection Management Officers (CMO). In either category, the person is required to be fully engaged in all the activities relevant to clandestine operations while in overseas assignments.

Another unique and interesting career path is Counterintelligence Threat Analyst. This is a full time position, with a salary range from $50,861 to $98,305 and maybe paid higher depending upon a person’s level of experience. An applicant will need a bachelors or a master’s degree in such fields as security, electrical engineering, telecommunications field and a mix of international and technical areas.

The Counterintelligence (CI) analyst has to identify, monitor, and review foreign intelligence entities, who try to collect sensitive security information on U.S. persons, emerging technologies, and other areas of national interest. They collaborate with other intelligence counterparts, produce both long and short-term written assessments, and can brief U.S. policy makers.

The CIA is responsible for protecting our country and their mission is to provide information, insights, and actions that are in support of a tactical and strategic advantage for the United States.

So if you can keep a secret and want to work for the premiere spy agency, then check out the CIA.

Related Resources

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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, Job Vacancies, Law Enforcement jobs

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Posted on Wednesday, 15th October 2014 by

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the post office! It’s that time of year again. Time to start thinking of hiring temporary employees to help with the Christmas rush. The United States Postal Service will hire temporary clerks and mail handlers for a 21-day period to get them through the holiday season. These positions pay on average $11.00 per hour, no benefits; but can lead to a 360-day appointment.

Most of the employees that are hired for these positions will work in the Processing & Distribution Centers and Bulk Mail Centers, sorting the many, many packages that come in. The majority of the employees will work from the first week of December to around December 26. All three tours (shifts) will be available with most of the employees working Tour 1 (11:00 pm to 7:30 am). The majority of the mail comes in during the evening, so by working Tour 1, the mail can be sorted and distributed then delivered to the post offices around the country that same morning.

The job of a casual clerk and mail handler in the processing and distribution centers can be physically demanding. They will load and unload postal trucks and move mail around a mail-processing center with forklifts, small electric tractors and hand-pushed carts. These workers are usually on their feet, reaching for sacks and trays of mail or placing packages and bundles of mail into sacks and trays. The clerk and mail handler positions can be a very tedious, tiring and stressful job. The mail sacks can be very heavy, so you must be able to lift 70 pounds. You will have time restraints in getting the job done and you will be working in a fast pace environment.

Below are the duties and responsibilities of a clerk position listed on USPS.com:

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

  1. Makes one or more sortations of outgoing and/or incoming mail using the appropriate sort program or manual distribution scheme.
  2. On a rotation basis, performs all of the following duties: loads mail onto automated equipment, culling out non-processable items; enters sort plan and starts equipment; monitors flow of mail to ensure continuous feed; sweeps separated mail from bins/stackers; and stops equipment when distribution run or operations is completed. Runs machine reports, clear jam and contacts maintenance for assistance when required.
  3. Prepares work area, ensuring all necessary support equipment and materials, including labels, trays, and other containers are in place.
  4. Removes sorted mail from bins or separations and places into appropriate trays or containers for further processing or dispatch based on knowledge of operating plans and dispatch schedules, or at the instruction of supervisors or expediters; may riffle or verify mail to ensure sortation accuracy as needed.
  5. Follows established safe work methods, procedures and safety precautions while performing all duties.

Now is the time to apply for one of the 21-day appointments. The Local postal service’s offices in every District will be posting the positions on USPS.com to get everyone hired for the busy holiday season. If interested visit our USPS Job Search Guide and follow the links to the official USPS jobs site to search current job openings for the Christmas Casual or Casual position. Good luck!

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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, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies, Post Office Jobs

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Posted on Tuesday, 7th October 2014 by

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One of the dominant topics in the news these days is that the Ebola virus has come to the shores of America. Have you ever wondered how our country is protected from pandemics and other diseases? The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention is our frontline of defense against the spread of infectious diseases and they employ 10,222 workers with the majority located in Georgia. They also have offices in most states and overseas. There are employment opportunities available in the medical profession, natural and physical sciences, and most support occupations if you would like to work for this agency.

History

The CDC celebrated their 60th anniversary in 2006. This agency is part of the The Department of Health and Human Services. On July 1, 1946, the CDC was originally called the Communicable Disease Center and still today is located in Atlanta, GA.

Malaria was a major health issue in the United States in the 1940′s. The CDC’s primary goal early on, was to help prevent and eradicate the spreading of this disease. The CDC only had a $10 million dollar budget in 1946. They were able to procure trucks, sprayers and other equipment to control the mosquito population.

Over time, the CDC has become the premiere health organization for the education and prevention of diseases and they assist other agencies to control outbreaks. Globally, the CDC is considered the leading authority in public health issues.

Inside the Agency

According to the CDC, its mission is “to work 24/7 to protect America from health, safety, and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S.” (See more at this CDC link works 24/7).

This agency is responsible for conducting research, the investigation of infectious and chronic diseases, and in stopping bioterrorism. The CDC further states, “The CDC is now focusing on becoming a more efficient and impactful agency by focusing on five strategic areas: supporting state and local health departments, improving global health, implementing measures to decrease leading causes of death, strengthening surveillance and epidemiology, and reforming health policies.”
The CDC has personnel in over 25 countries to help in international disease prevention. Currently, to stop the further spreading of Ebola, the CDC has personnel in Africa and President Obama authorized the deployment of 3,000 U.S. troops to provide medical supplies, protective equipment, educate health workers, deploy mobile labs, and provide logistical support. For more information, read the White House press release on this subject.

Exciting Job Categories

The CDC has many exciting career opportunities from a variety of professions. These include scientists, healthcare workers, business, medical, and academia. You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for any jobs in the CDC.

Medical Officers

Medical Officer Series, GS-0602 requires,” Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathy degrees from a school in the United States or Canada approved by a recognized accrediting body in the year of the applicant’s graduation”.

Education requires Graduate Training,” Subsequent to obtaining a Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathy degree, a candidate must have had at least 1 year of supervised experience providing direct service in a clinical setting, i.e., a 1-year internship or the first year of a residency program in an institution accredited for such training.”

The salary range for a GS-12/15 is $71,674 to $129,674 per year. You can work in the headquarters in Atlanta, GA or where needed overseas. You also will need to have knowledge of public health and medical programs, knowledge and theories, principles, practices and objectives of disease and be able to analyze data from studies and projects.

Medical Officer Job Listings

Public Health Program Specialist Jobs

The Public Health Program Specialist jobs series is GS-0685.
Some of the specific jobs include a Public Health Analyst GS-0685-09/09 with a salary range from $50,077 to $65,097/Per Year. The candidate needs to have knowledge of the functions and be involved in the operations of a health organization and other public health programs. They also must understand the principles, practices, methodologies, and techniques in representing a health program.
A Public Health Analyst (Issues Management) A GS-0685-12/13 salary range is $72,620 to $112,261/Per Year. They must understand how to develop, initiate, and provide information to various units in public health activities. They should be able to provide senior leadership and develop programs, do analysis, formulate answers to Congressional requests and understand the mission of the CDC and public health activities.

Public Health Analyst Job Listings

Finally, other non-medical, technical, and administrative professional positions are available at the CDC.

The Future of the CDC

The CDC will always have critical issues such as Ebola and pandemics to evaluate and deal with globally. This agency is committed to protecting the public through health security initiates; cutting-edge technology, medical research, global initiatives, tracking of diseases, and reaching out to the appropriate agencies or other public health organizations when required.

The CDC’s mission states they work 24/7, Saving Lives, Protecting People.

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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 Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies, Overseas Jobs

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