Posted on Wednesday, 10th June 2015 by

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The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has a vast array of career paths available including all health care occupations and many support, administrative, and management opportunities.

We will be doing a 6 part series about the VA and the tremendous opportunities that are available. The VA is the largest employer of medical specialties. However, there are other agencies that hire medical workers including Health and Human Services (HHS) Federal Prison Jobs with the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), and the Department of Defense (DOD).

 

VA Medical Facility

VA Medical Facility

The Veteran’s Administration staffs 153 medical centers, 135 nursing homes, over 900 ambulatory and community-based outpatient clinics, Veterans centers at 232 locations, 47 counseling centers, and 108 home-care programs. These facilities are located nationwide including the District of Columbia, and U.S. Territories. They are also the largest employer of Federal Nursing Jobs in this country. The VA states that. “over 7.9 million Veterans, family members, and survivors are enrolled in the VA health system, with more than 6.3 million seeking treatment each year. Currently, annual treatment involves 773,600 inpatient visits and 60 million outpatient visits. About 250,000 full-time employees and 90,000 health professional trainees work in interdisciplinary care teams to deliver those patient services daily.”

The VA employs 239,299 workers and operates programs to benefit veterans and their families. Benefits include disability compensation payments or death related to military service; education; pensions; rehabilitation; home loan guaranty; burial; and medical care programs incorporating nursing homes, clinics, and medical centers. The VA employs physicians, and all medical specialties under the VA’s excepted merit system. This does not require civil service eligibility.

Mission of the VA

To fulfill President Lincoln’s promise “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan” by serving and honoring the men and women who are America’s veterans.

History  

The U.S. has the most comprehensive system of assistance for Veterans of any nation in the world. As early as 1636, the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony were at war with the Pequot Indians. The Pilgrims passed a law that stated that disabled soldiers would be support by the colony.

During the Revolutionary War the Continental Congress of 1776 supported providing pensions for disabled soldiers. As the Republic continued, the individual states and communities provided medical and hospital care to Veterans. In 1811, the federal government authorized the first domiciliary and medical facility for Veterans. During the 19th century, the Veterans assistance program was expanded to include benefits, pensions to both the Veterans and for widows and dependents.

As our country entered into World War I, Congress established a new system of Veterans benefits to include disability compensation, insurance for service personnel and Veterans, and vocational rehabilitation for the disabled.

In the 1920′s, there were 3 different federal agencies that were administering various benefits. In 1921, Congress authorized the first consolidation of Veterans programs. The second consolidation was in 1930, and President Herbert Hoover signed Executive Order 5398 and this elevated the Veterans Bureau to a federal administration, and thus created the Veterans Administration.

The VA was elevated to a cabinet-level executive department by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. The Veterans Administration was renamed to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Administration Programs in the VA

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is America’s largest integrated health care system with over 1,700 sites of care, serving 8.76 million Veterans each year.

It the largest of their three administrations and it continues to meet Veterans’ changing medical, surgical, and quality-of-life needs. It provides new programs for treatment of traumatic brain injuries, post-traumatic stress, suicide prevention, women Veterans and more.

The VA has opened outpatient clinics, and established telemedicine and other services to accommodate a diverse Veteran population, and continues to cultivate ongoing medical research and innovation to improve the lives of America’s patriots. VHA operates one of the largest health care systems in the world and provides training for a majority of America’s medical, nursing, and allied health professionals.

Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)

The Veterans Benefits Administration(VBA) administers the VA programs that provide financial and other forms of assistance to Veterans, their dependents, and survivors. Major benefits include Veterans’ compensation, Veterans’ pension, survivors’ benefits, rehabilitation and employment assistance, education assistance, home loan guaranties, and life insurance coverage.

These programs include the Compensation and Pension programs, Education Program, Insurance Program, The Loan Guaranty Program, and The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) Program

National Cemetery Administration (NCA)

The National Cemetery Administration(NCA) has 147 national cemeteries in all, with new cemeteries in development. Through NCA, VA administers 131 of them. There are 2 national cemeteries, Arlington and the United States Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery are still maintained by the Department of the Army. Fourteen national cemeteries are maintained by the Department of the Interior. More than 3.7 million people, including Veterans of every war and conflict, from the Revolutionary War to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are honored by burial in the VA’s national cemeteries.

Today more than 22 million living Veterans have earned the honor of burial in a national cemetery, including the more than 350 Medal of Honor recipients buried in VA cemeteries. More than 19,000 acres of land are devoted to the memorialization of those who served this nation.

In part 2 of this 6 part series, we will be covering the Registered Nurse (GS-0600) occupational series.See Nursing Jobs for additional information.

Other career information

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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, Veterans Preference

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Posted on Friday, 5th June 2015 by

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The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) recently announced that a cyber security incident affecting its systems and data may have compromised the personal information of over 4 million current and former Federal employees.

OPM partnered with the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), and the FBI to determine the impact to Federal personnel. OPM immediately implemented additional security measures to protect the large amount of sensitive information it manages.

OPM states that “beginning June 8 and continuing through June 19, OPM will be sending notifications to approximately 4 million individuals whose Personally Identifiable Information was potentially compromised in this incident. The email will come from opmcio@csid.com and it will contain information regarding credit monitoring and identity theft protection services being provided to those Federal employees impacted by the data breach. In the event OPM does not have an email address for the individual on file, a standard letter will be sent via the U.S. Postal Service.”

OPM is offering affected individuals credit monitoring services and identity theft insurance with CSID, a company that specializes in identity theft protection and fraud resolution. The coverage includes a 18-month membership including credit monitoring, credit report access, identity theft insurance, and recovery services. This service is available immediately at no cost to affected individuals identified by OPM.

Additional information will be released starting at 8 a.m. CST on June 8, 2015 on www.csid.com/opm, and by calling toll-free 844-222-2743 (International callers may call collect at 512-327-0700).

OPM suggests taking the following steps to monitor your identity and financial information:

  • Monitor financial account statements and immediately report any suspicious or unusual activity to financial institutions.
  • Request a free credit report at www.AnnualCreditReport.com or by calling 1-877-322-8228. Consumers are entitled by law to one free credit report per year from each of the three major credit bureaus – Equifax®, Experian®, and TransUnion® – for a total of three reports every year. Contact information for the credit bureaus can be found on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website, www.ftc.gov. (NOTE: You will be asked to provide your Social Security Number in order to receive a free report.)
  • Review resources provided on the FTC identity theft website, www.identitytheft.gov. The FTC maintains a variety of consumer publications providing comprehensive information on computer intrusions and identity theft.
  • You may place a fraud alert on your credit file to let creditors know to contact you before opening a new account in your name. Simply call TransUnion® at 1-800-680-7289 to place this alert. TransUnion® will then notify the other two credit bureaus on your behalf.

Take precautions to avoid becoming a victim and learn how to protect your personal information. OPM will be providing more information soon and those potentially impacted will be notified by mail.

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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 Federal Employees

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Posted on Wednesday, 27th May 2015 by

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In the first part of this series we featured the USGS history, programs, and the economist (GS-0110) careers. In part 2 the ecologist (GS-0408) and chemist (GS-1320) careers were featured. In the final part of this series we will discuss the geographer (GS-0150) and cartographer (GS-1370) career paths.

Geographer (GS-0150) Career Path

This series includes positions the duties of which involve professional work in the field of geography, including the compilation, synthesis, analysis, interpretation and presentation of information regarding the location, distribution, and interrelationships of and processes of change affecting such natural and human phenomena as the physical features of the earth, climate, plant and animal life, and man’s settlements and institutions.

 

Geographer USGS Career Brochure Photo

Geographer USGS Career Brochure Photo

The federal government employs 1,481 in this occupation. You can review the geographer Job Series Definition for additional occupational information and to discover the largest employers of this group with links to geographer job vacancies.

Roger Sayre, is a GS-15 ecosystems geographer at the USGS in Reston, VA. He maps the distribution of terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems globally. Sayre indicates that “ecosystems geography is knowing the types, distributions, and condition of the ecosystems that are on the landscape and the seascape because ecosystems give humans the goods and services that are critical for our survival.” Sayre states, “I would rather hire an employee with a science background. The science background is more important than proficiency in using tools such as GIS and remote sensing. It is easier to train GIS specialists with a science background than without.”

Geography is an interdisciplinary study of the spatial aspects of the surface of the Earth. The work of geographers encompasses a number of the sciences including climate and land-use changes, geology, meteorology, soil sciences, hydrology, biology, and much more.

USGS geographers collect and analyze spatial and hydrologic data, plan and develop geospatial and geographic information databases to facilitate scientific analysis, and enhance communications of results through reports and maps.

Duties

The duties include:

  • Performing data reconciliation between GIS (systems) and organizational or other data storage systems.
  • Creating symbology comprehensive map products (e.g. disaster assessment maps, jurisdictional mapbooks, utility mapbooks by commodity) to support organizational initiatives.
  • Performing geospatial analysis to identify inconsistent information.

Experience and Education

The qualifications are based on education and experience that will vary for each of the different grade levels. A bachelor’s degree or higher in geography or a related physical or social science such as geology, meteorology, economics, statistics, sociology, anthropology, political science, history, cartography, computer science, urban studies, or planning that include at least 24 semester hours in geography or related fields. You will need to have worked at least 1 year at the next lowest grade level. You must a U.S. citizen to apply.

A GS-0150-9/11 can earn $48,403.00 to $80,427.00 per year or more depending on the Locality Pay Area you work in.

Cartographer (GS-1370) Career Path

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

 

Cartographer USGS Career Brochure Photo

Cartographer USGS Career Brochure Photo

The federal government employs 620 in this occupation. Review the cartographer Job Series Definition for additional occupational information and to discover the largest employers of this group with links to cartographer job vacancies.

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

Combining both science and art, today’s cartographers design and produce maps using geographic information systems, incorporating satellite data, aerial reconnaissance, and field surveys to produce datasets used by both scientists and everyday people.

Besides map design, today’s cartographers are working with geographic information systems, incorporating satellite data, aerial reconnaissance, and field surveys to produce datasets used by both scientists and everyday people. Cartographers create both paper and digital products that help define our surroundings, enabling us to gain a more accurate view of the world—past, present, and future.

Duties

The duties include:

  • Use of Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CAD) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software in developing maps.
  • Perform complex cartographic computations.
  • Analyze real estate plat records, electronic data files from federal agencies to develop project-reporting tools.
  • Review engineering documents and drawings, such as design memoranda, construction plans, and specs to determine real estate and location requirements for projects.
  • They may provide legal testimony relevant to boundary determination, Real Estate mapping procedures and land area calculations.
  • Serve as a technical point of contact for cartographic and GIS interests.

Education and Experience

Basic qualifications include a Bachelor’s degree with at least 30 semester hours of cartography, related physical science, computer science, or physical geography.

You will be required to have 1 year of specialized experience that is equivalent to the next lowest grade level. Some of the specialized experience can include:

  • Prepare and compile cartographic products using GIS, surveying, CAD mapping techniques and remote sensing.
  • Developing geospatial digital databases and other products
  • Experience reading, interpreting, reviewing, and preparing legal land descriptions.

You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this career path. The salary range for a GS-11 is $58,562.00 to $76,131.00 per year or more depending on the Locality Pay Area you work in.

The USGS has remarkable career paths. Go and explore the great opportunities that the USGS has to offer.

Credits

  • Diane Noserale, USGS Public Affairs Officer, Reston, VA
  • Photos are from the USGS website and career brochures
  • USGS Web Site: http://www.usgs.gov

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

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

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

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Posted on Sunday, 17th May 2015 by

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In the first part of this series we featured the USGS history, programs, and the economist (GS-0110) career path. In part 2 the ecologist (GS-0408) and chemist (GS-1320) career paths are featured.

Ecologist (GS-0408) Career Path

This series covers positions that manage, supervise, lead, or perform professional, research, or scientific work involving the study of the relationships of organisms with each other, with their physical and chemical environments, and with society.

The federal government employs 1,351 in this occupation. Review the ecologist job series definition for additional occupational information and to discover the largest employers of this group with links to ecologist job vacancies.

 

Ecologist USGS Career Brochure Photo

Ecologist USGS Career Brochure Photo

Kristen Marie Hart is a GS-0408-14, Ecologist, stationed at the Southeast Ecological Science Center in Gainesville, FL.

Hart is a research ecologist and leads a large reptile research program. She designs, plans and leads in the sampling of turtles (both marine and brackish water), crocodilians, and Burmese pythons. Hart deals with rare, threatened, endangered, and invasive species of animals. Hart indicates, “this work is important because we’re often dealing with trying to plan and execute studies to determine vital rates (survival, growth, abundance) for either imperiled populations (such as sea turtles and crocodiles) or invasive species (such as Burmese pythons). This data is critical for assessing population trends and trajectories.”

Hart has to educate the public about the importance of her work and the findings. Hart comments, “I really enjoy the field work, but the discovery of what the data means is very exhilarating!”

Hart relates that you have to “do well in math and science, and learn how to write and know how to do accounting. We have to keep track of our funds, budgeting of projects, and deliverables. There are many scientific papers so writing that is both concise and clear is very important. Finally, take courses in statistics that is used to show the importance or significance of our findings.”

Ecologists may study the distribution and density of organisms that live in ecosystems. Studying changes in the distribution and density before and after specific human activities enables ecologists to model the ecosystem impacts of human activities. Factors in ecology studies including:

  • Quantitative attributes of population, such as population density, birth rate, spatial distribution, age structure, and resource demands;
  • The structure and interactions of populations of species in a community:
  • Environment factors, such as tide pools, salt marshes, grasslands, deciduous forests, rangelands, deserts, vernal pools, and fens, and the interactions between them;
  • Pesticide testing and control;
  • Energy sources; and
  • Air and water quality and flows in urban areas.

Duties

The duties of an ecologist can include:

  • Gather, organize, and interpret ecological, biological, physical, public use or other information pertinent to research studies and/or investigations.
  • Plan the approach and data collection. Lead field crews of 1-3 people to carry out complex ecological studies.
  • Utilize established ecological simulation models to evaluate scenarios of potential future climatic and vegetation conditions.
  • Use GIS to assemble layers, run spatial models, and analyze patterns.
  • Write reports or scientific papers including, conducting literature reviews, reporting results, and preparing graphs and tables.
  • Perform data analysis including data summarization and complex statistical analyses of large datasets.

You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this job. A GS-09 needs to have at least 1 year of experience at the next lowest level. For example, a GS-09 can earn from $48,403.00 to $62,920.00 per year or more depending on the locality salary rate for the area where they work.

Kevin Lafferty is a GS-0408 Ecologist at the Western Ecological Research Center.

Lafferty reveals the best part of the job is “making a discovery that changes the way people think about the natural world.” He suggests that “you need to have very strong quantitative skills. If you are analytical, understand graphs, and have a skeptical attitude, you can develop the scientific skills to excel in Ecology. You also need strong skill areas such as physics, chemistry, mathematics, GIS, computer programming, and good writing skills.”

Chemist (GS-1320) Career Path

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

There are 5,493 chemists employed in the federal government with 61 working overseas. Review the chemist job series definition for additional occupational information and to discover the largest employers of this group with links to nationwide and overseas chemist job listings.

 

Chemist USGS Career Brochure Photo

Chemist USGS Career Brochure Photo

Dr. Keith A. Loftin is a GS-1320-13, Research Chemist, located at the USGS KS Water Science Center, Lawrence, KS.

Loftin works on interdisciplinary research teams, and conducts research independently to provide solutions and expanded understanding on understudied environmental issues of public and ecological health concern.

Loftin is a research chemist, this gives him the opportunity to identify and work on solutions to environmental problems with human and ecological health relevance. He relates, “chemistry is used to understand, make, or enhance the quality of agriculture, clothing, building materials, clean drinking water, manufacturing of a full range of luxury items, as well as medications.”

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

Experience and Education

For all grades in this series, you will need at least 1 year of experience at the next lowest grade. The salary range for a GS-12 is$75,333 (Step 01) to $97,938 (Step 10). You have to be U.S. citizen to apply for this career path. Review the qualification standards to determine the requirements for each grade level. Also review the job announcement for the specific education and experience required for each grade level.

Geographers (GS-0150) and Cartographers (GS-1370) will be featured in Part 3.

Credits

  • Diane Noserale, USGS Public Affairs Officer, Reston, VA
  • Photos are from the USGS website and career brochures
  • USGS Web Site: http://www.usgs.gov

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

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

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

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Posted on Wednesday, 6th May 2015 by

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The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) tracks earthquakes, geological phenomenon, provides civilian mapping, and many other important functions. Part one of this three part series explores their history, programs, and the economist (GS-0110) job series. Three economists were interviewed for this article.

About the USGS

 

Seismological Device

Seismological Device

The USGS agency is a science organization that provides,” impartial information on the health of our ecosystems and environment, the natural hazards that threaten us, the natural resources we rely on, the impacts of climate and land-use change, and the core science systems that help us provide timely, relevant, and useable information.”

The mission of the USGS is to serve “the Nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.”

The USGS has over 10,000 scientists, technicians, and other support staff that work in over 400 locations nationwide.

The USGS is the largest water, earth, biological science, and civilian mapping agency. They collect, monitor, analyze, and provide scientific understanding about natural resource conditions, issues, and problems. This agency provides diverse scientific expertise and can carry out large-scale, multi-disciplinary investigations, and provides impartial scientific information to resource managers, planners and other customers.

History

The USGS was formed on March 3, 1879 and President Rutherford B. Hayes signed a bill appropriating money for sundry civil expenses for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1879.

The sundry civil expenses bill included the establishing of the USGS, and charging it with a unique combination of responsibilities: “classification of the public lands, and examination of the geological structure, mineral resources, and products of the national domain.”

The USGS is 110 years old and this agency stills fulfills its original mission in the classification of public lands, the examination of the geological structure, mineral resources, and the produces of the national domain. The USGS conducts research on the cutting edge of science that effects on the economy, and helps to develop and apply innovative means in solving problems in resource management.

USGS Programs

The USGS has many varied programs that focus on science, climate ecosystem among others. Here is a sampling of 2 of their more prominent programs.

Core Science System

The Core Science System is a new mission for the USGS. The role of this program is the understanding of the Earth’s complex ecosystems. Ecosystems exist all over the world. By using an ecosystem-based approach, the USGS can use all science themes that will provide specific data and other information that can be utilized by the USGS and its partners. “The vision for Core Science Systems builds on core strengths of the USGS in characterizing and understanding complex Earth and biological systems through research, modeling, mapping, and the production of high quality data on the Nation’s natural resource infrastructure.”

Through research, activities will provide a foundation for ecosystem-based approaches from geologic mapping, topographic mapping, and biodiversity mapping. The framework is designed to improve the efficiency of scientific work. This will enable a way to preserve and recall data for future applications, organizing existing scientific knowledge and data to facilitate new use of older information. This will help with the integration of new data, applications, and other science products to make interdisciplinary research easier and more efficient within the USGS.

Ecosystem Science

The Ecosystem Science program is about how to make well-informed decisions about how to use our national resources wisely and to help sustain our Nation’s economic and environmental well-being.

This program utilizes basic and applied science criterion. From the local, regional and national levels there are issues that affect our Nation. Resource managers and other policymakers face a variety of issues that include renewable and nonrenewable energy development, agriculture, forestry, water supply, and resource allocations in both the urban and rural environments.

Ecosystem science is the study of systems of organisms interacting with their environment and the consequences of natural and human-induced change on these systems. The USGS helps to develop policies that enable decision makers, to better adapt to the changes that occur in these ecosystems.

The USGS provides the necessary information to help decision makers on the matters involving our environment. The USGS uses science to provide managers with options and decision-support tools in resources sustainability.

Here are is great USGS links to their other programs and science topics: Our Programs and Science Topics

Economist (GS-0110) Career Path

This series includes positions that require application of a professional knowledge of economics in the performance of duties that include: research into economic phenomena, analysis of economic data, and the preparation of interpretive reports; advice and consultation on economic matters to governmental officials and private organizations or citizens; and the performance of other professional work in economics including supervision and the direction of economists engaged in the various economics programs of the Federal Government

The federal government employs 4,411 economists including a number that work overseas. All cabinet level agencies and many large independent agencies employ economists.

Grecia R. Matos, is a GS-0110-13 economist and works in Reston, Virginia, in the National Minerals Information Center.

Matos always wanted to make a difference and her economics background helped her succeed in the job.  She suggests that you need a “systems approach not just mathematical, but adding a human/social dimension to a holistic vision a country and the world.” Matos states, “her job as economist provides insights into many challenging and relevant issues, such as to know the dollar value of resources we produce and the physical quantity needed to keep up with our standard of living.”

Matos has many responsibilities as an economist. One of these is to provide information to the public, and policy makers regarding the current use and flow of minerals and materials in the United States and the world. Additionally, she helps to identify areas where there are adverse impacts of using materials, and identifies efficiencies in reuse, recycling and in waste management.

Matos indicates, “working in a science agency such as USGS, economists provide science to decision makers for environmental policy, study the effects of global climate change, the green economy, provide science to help protect public health, the environment, and to restore ecosystems.”

Duties

This specialization includes (1) positions which analyze and interpret relationships incorporating economic factors which cut across all sectors of the economy, (2) positions which specialize in methodology, (3) positions which are not appropriately classifiable to any other specialization in this series, and (4) all positions at the GS-5 and GS-7 levels. Positions in this specialization may be characterized by a variety of assignment patterns.

At all grade levels there are economists who analyze, interpret, synthesize, and project the movements and relationships among the many forces playing upon the economy. Typically, such economists use secondary sources and depend on their colleagues in the various branches of economics to collect and distill primary data. Frequently (though not necessarily), their work results in publication, sometimes in the “learned paper” tradition, but more typically in regular periodic publications of the Government.

Education and Experience

For all grade levels you need at least 1 year of experience at the next lowest grade. Additionally, a bachelor’s degree is required that includes at least 21 semester hours in economics and 3 semesters hours in statistics, accounting, or calculus.

The GS-05 to GS-09 grade levels, you not only need a bachelor’s degree and the experience may include:

  1. Developing detailed plans for economic studies in accordance with established specifications and other requirements.
  2. The collecting and compiling of economic data from primary or secondary sources following detailed and exact procedures and regulations.
  3. The preparation of preliminary interpretive reports, or portions of such reports following precise instructions.

The GS-11 to GS-14 grade levels, in addition to the basic education requirement as stated above, applicants must have 1 year of appropriate professional experience in economics that is equivalent to at least the next lowest grade level  The additional experience may include:

  1. The performance of collecting data from primary sources necessary for a project, such as employment statistics or marketing data. The procedures are exact and well defined and adjusted as necessary.
  2. The planning and preparing an interpretive report on the productivity capacity of a particular industry, and use the data for a comprehensive industry analysis.
  3. Assignments include the full scope of the research process, from the initiation of investigations and planning of methods, through the interpretation of finding and the preparation of final reports.
  4. Other experience can include initiating, planning, formulating, and executing major special studies or continuing projects.

The salary range for a GS-12 is $76,378 (Step 01) to $99,296 (Step 10). A

GS-13 salary range is $90,823 (Step 01) to $118,069 (Step 10). You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this position.

Carl Shapiro, is a GS-0110 Economist. Shapiro works in the USGS Science and Decisions Center, Reston, VA.

Shapiro was looking for a field that provided structure to complex societal issues. He cites, “economic concepts provide an objective and structured way of considering the issues to form many types of decisions.”

Shapiro does studies in ecosystem services, which are beneficial to nature. He states, “economists work with biological and physical scientists to understand how ecosystem services are produced and with natural resource managers to understand how ecosystem services in making informed decisions.”

Shapiro recommends a career in economics because, “it has a clear and analytical methodology and addresses issues ranging from natural resources, to labor productivity, to policies relating to the money supply.  Economists are needed in a wide range of diverse fields.”

Shapiro suggests, “you should narrow your field to a specialty. Economics provides an analytical framework for considering the consequences of scarcity, alternative decisions, and tradeoffs, but it is not always a stand-alone discipline. Its value can be enhanced by connecting its approach with a broad set of societal challenges.”

Stephen R. Gillespie, is a GS-0110-14 economist. He works in the Director’s Office in Reston, VA.

Gillespie states the most exciting part of my job is getting to work with scientists in all sorts of different fields. He suggests that you take math courses in high school. As an economist you will spend a lot of time working with numbers.”

Credits

Economist Career Path

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

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

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

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Posted on Friday, 24th April 2015 by

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The administrative officer position is utilized in most executive department agencies and with military units such as the National Guard. The federal government employs 9,285 administrative officers in all cabinet level agencies and most large independent agencies. There re 340 working overseas. The largest employer is the Veterans Administration with 1,809 followed by Health and Human Services with 1,301. The Departments of the Army, Navy and Air Force employ a combined 2,272. This article covers the relevant duties, qualifications, and education requirements for this position.

Administrative Officer (GS-0341) (Military Unit)

Eric Brenner, is a GS-0341-11, administrative officer who is stationed at HQ/41 Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) in Clackamas, OR.

Brenner was originally hired as a training specialist stationed at state headquarters in Salem OR. He transferred to Clackamas as a way to broaden his current assignment. Brenner is involved in day-to-day operations of a brigade and he has direct influence over plans and policies for the betterment of the brigade.

 

Major Eric Brenner and Wife

Major Eric Brenner and Wife

Brenner remarks that, “the job is ideal for someone that enjoys operational planning and execution at the brigade level, understands National Guard personnel budgets, and can manage multiple projects at the same time. They must understand fiscal law, budgeting practices, the Army’s force generation model, and Army training priorities and make recommendations to the commander and senior staff members.” 

Brenner serves as an administrative officer in a military unit, and he cites “that it is considerably different than other governmental positions. My duties as an administrative officer mostly resemble those of a staff major in the operations section of an IBCT headquarters. It is a rewarding career that carries the potential for upward mobility and compliments my National Guard career.”

An administrative officer is associated with a military unit is considered a civilian employee and is placed in an Excepted Service position. It requires membership in a state’s National Guard or Reserve component and is a requirement for employment. The employee will be required to wear a military uniform and this is a condition of employment.

They are the officer in charge and serve as the principal staff officer and primary advisor to the Commander for providing leadership, oversight, information, analysis, guidance, and recommendations on readiness and day-to-day matters of the command.

Major Duties

The administrative officer is a full-time representative of the commander and there are numerous responsibilities involved. They ensure goals are in accordance with higher headquarters directions. Oversee the development and execution of both long and short-range plans and programs. Provide instructions and guidance to staff sections in conducting daily activities. They are responsible for making day-to-day decisions for the commander relevant to personnel and equipment assignments, instructions to staff members. Directs, coordinates, trains and oversees the work of employees.

The administrative officer has oversight in the development of unit goals, provides readiness reports. Evaluates organizational readiness reports and will provide recommendations for improvement or modifications to the organizational priorities based upon the ever-changing needs of the organization. Finally, they make sure that the National Guard armories and facilities under the control of the command are properly utilized and cared for. Arranges for repair, upkeep, and custodial services for the facilities.

General Experience

The employee is responsible for providing a variety of management services that is essential to the direction and operation of the organization. The most important qualifications are an extensive knowledge and understanding of management principles, practices, methods and techniques, and skill integrating management services with the general management of the organization.

Specialized experience

At the GS-12 level, either you must have a Bachelors Degree or must have 3 years of general and specialized experience. This can include education or training in analyzing problems, identifying significant factors, gathering relevant data and providing solutions. You will need to have experience in preparing reports, plans, policies, and various correspondence. You should be able to evaluate objectives and develop appropriate plans. Understand the utilization of the organization, its mission, and the organizational staff procedures. Experience in the use of quantitative and qualitative techniques for analyzing and measuring effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity of administrative and technical programs. Finally, have experience in both analytical and investigative techniques. You must be able to lead, direct, and assign work to personnel.

You must be a U.S. citizen to apply. The salary range for a GS-0341-12/12 is $73,265.00- $95,243.00 per year.

LTC Kotz, is a GS-1102/12 administrative officer, assigned to HHD, Joint Force Headquarters, and Oregon Military Department.

 

LTC Dominic Kotz

LTC Dominic Kotz

Kotz indicates, “the most exciting thing about being an administrative officer is the flexibility within the series to conduct different types of jobs. He would recommend this to any officer early in their career. Finally, I would tell a young officer to make sure that they have a plan “B” and continue to diversify their work experience”.

Administrative Officer (GS-0341) (Non-Military)

The administrative officer in the competitive service isn’t associated with a military unit and they do not have to report to a commander, nor wear a uniform.

Duties

The employee assists a supervisor, other office personnel, or managers in providing various management activities. The activities generally include Federal operations management, human capital management, contract administration, property and space management and other functional areas. Other additional functions and responsibilities include assisting in research and investigating new ways to improve programs, employee recruitment, performance management, employee recognition, contract initiation, office moves, evacuation planning/emergency preparedness, and team building.

Maintains complete files on employees, contracts and recruitment programs. Serves as a liaison on various matters such as recruitment, placement, payroll, performance appraisals, awards, initiating personnel actions and collaborates with personnel specialists in personal related matters. Can advise management on such topics as contract administration, acquisition, recruiting operations, social media strategy, web content and branding, effective performance management and workplace diversity. They can also serve on various task forces.

Qualifications

At a GS-09 level, you must have at least 1 year of specialized experience at the GS-07 level or a Masters Degree or equivalent degree. At the GS-11 level you must have 1 year of specialized experience at the GS-09 level. The specialized experience can include performing a variety of management and administrative services in the operation of an office. This includes professional and support staff recruitment, operations and management reports, property management issues, organizational practices, procurement, and human resource allocation. You must have 3 full years of progressively higher-level graduate degree.

You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this position. A GS-0341-09/11 salary range is $52,668.00 to $82,840.00 per year. 

Credits

  • Christopher L. Ingersoll, Public Affairs Specialist, Oregon Military Dept.
  • The Oregon Military Dept. public relations department supplied the photographs used in this article.

Administrative Officer Job Description & Vacancy list

Administrative Officer

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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

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Posted on Tuesday, 14th April 2015 by

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

Planning and Environmental Coordinator (GS-0301)

 

BLM Planning Coordination Meeting

BLM Planning Coordination Meeting

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hydrologist (GS-1315)

 

BLM Hydrology Particle Sampling

BLM Hydrology Particle Sampling

 

Bryce Bohn, is a GS-1315-13 hydrologist, who is located at the BLM Idaho State Office in Boise, ID.

Bohn was interested in becoming a hydrologist when he participated in the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) program in high school. He states, “I became interested in being a hydrologist when a Forest Service hydrologist came to talk about his job.From that moment on, all of my education and career planning was directed towards being a hydrologist.  Since entering federal service, I have been the forest hydrologist on four National Forests before becoming the state hydrologist for BLM-Idaho.”

Bohn is excited about his career because, “I use my training and education to make a difference in the quality of the environment. I love being responsible for the protection, restoration and monitoring of aquatic resources on public lands in the west. It is a job that allows me to make a difference in the quality of people’s lives as well as the quality of the environment that persists long into the future”.

Bohn suggests that individual interested in becoming  a hydrologist to, “talk to as many people as you can. Read books and professional literature to see what the current research topics are. Never forget that the success of any science hinges upon the effective communication of your findings and making it relevant to the public. Develop your people skills with the same focus and urgency as you develop your scientific skills.  Hydrology is a field of engineering that you can specialize in any number of sub-disciplines such as groundwater, dams and irrigation, snow hydrology or wildland hydrology.”

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

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

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

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

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

 

BLM Hydrological Event at Big Wood River, ID

BLM Hydrological Event at Big Wood River, ID

 

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

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

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

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

Credits

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

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

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

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

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Posted on Wednesday, 8th April 2015 by

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

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

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

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

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

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

Petroleum Engineers

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Job Listings

Credits

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

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

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

 

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

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Posted on Monday, 30th March 2015 by

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

History

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

 

Historic Homestead Restoration, Near Lewistown, MT

Historic Homestead Restoration, Near Lewistown, MT

 

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

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

BLM Programs

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

Wild Horse and Burro Program

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

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

Grazing Program

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

BLM Career Paths

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

Archeologist (GS-0193)

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

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

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

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

Archeologist Duties

 

Pueblo Ruin in Utah

Pueblo Ruin in Utah

 

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

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

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

Some of the duties include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

College Class Field Trip, near Lewistown, MT

College Class Field Trip, near Lewistown, MT

 

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

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

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

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

Credits

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

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

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

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

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Posted on Friday, 20th March 2015 by

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

Working For the Postal Service

Working For the Postal Service

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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