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 

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 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.

Careers featured in this article

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 Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies, Student jobs

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Posted on Sunday, 1st February 2015 by

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

Veterans Recruitment Appointment (VRA) Authority

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

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

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

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

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

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

30 Percent or More Disabled Veterans

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

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

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

Spousal Appointment Authority

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional Resources

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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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Posted on Wednesday, 28th January 2015 by

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

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

History

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

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

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

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

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

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

Types of Parks within the NPS

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

Divisions within the NPS

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

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

Great Job Opportunities Offered by NPS

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

Job Categories under Resources Related Computer Systems (GIS)

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

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

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

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

Biologist (GS-401)

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

Physical Scientist (GS-1301)

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

Cartographer (GS-1370)

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

Technical Information Specialist (GS-1412)

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

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

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

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

 Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

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

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

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Posted on Saturday, 17th January 2015 by

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

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

Vehicle maintenance positions include the following:

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

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

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

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

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

Sample 943 Exam Questions

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

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

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

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

Answers: 1 – B, 2 – C

Automotive Technician Job Duties and Responsibilities

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

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

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 Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies, Post Office Jobs

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Posted on Monday, 12th January 2015 by

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U.S. Secret Service Jobs

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

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

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

Special Agent

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

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

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

Administrative Support Positions within the Secret Service

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

Administrative Officer

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

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

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

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

Investigative Support Assistant

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

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

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

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

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

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



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For additional Information see:

Related Resources

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

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