Posted on Monday, 23rd May 2016 by

Print This Post Print This Post

Astronauts are probably the most recognized occupation at NASA. Since the beginning of the space program, they have provided an opportunity for people who wanted to explore the galaxy.

Astronauts are recruited in the GS-0801 job series and NASA has selected more than 300 astronauts to fly on its increasingly challenging missions to explore space and benefit life on Earth. More will be needed to crew future ISS missions, as well as, the missions beyond low earth orbit.

In this final article in this series, we interviewed Barry E. “Butch” Wilmore, a Navy Captain, who is an aviator and astronaut assigned to the Johnson Space Flight Center, in Houston, TX. The name “Butch” is his Navy Call sign which followed him to NASA.

 

Astronaut Barry Wilmore

Astronaut Barry Wilmore

According to the NASA website, “The term “astronaut” is derived from the Greek words meaning “space sailor,” and refers to all who have been launched as crew members aboard NASA spacecraft bound for orbit and beyond.”

The next class of astronauts may fly on any of four different U.S. spacecraft during their careers: the International Space Station (ISS), two new commercial spacecraft being built by U.S. companies, and NASA’s Orion deep-space exploration vehicle. NASA is in the midst of an unprecedented transition to using commercial spacecraft for its scheduled crew and cargo transport to the ISS. For the last 15 years, humans have been living continuously aboard the orbiting laboratory, expanding scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies. Future crewmembers will continue this work.

Additionally, the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft, now in development, will launch astronauts on missions to the proving ground of lunar orbit where NASA will learn to conduct complex operations in a deep space environment before moving on to longer duration missions on the journey to Mars.

Q&A with Barry E. “Butch” Wilmore

Why did you become an astronaut?

I joined the U.S. Navy with a desire to do my part for my Country and eventually attained sufficient qualifications to apply to NASA as a Shuttle Pilot Astronaut. With a desire to continue to serve this great nation while continuing to fly, it was obvious that you can’t fly any higher or faster than a Space Shuttle … so I decided to apply and was eventually selected.

What is the most exciting event as an astronaut?

There can be no one most exciting event as spaceflight is filled with continuous “WOW” moments on almost a daily basis. Just realizing that for a time you’ve left the confines of earth and are no longer a member of that global family is daunting in and of itself. Of course the initial moments of weightlessness following a thrilling Shuttle launch, hand flying the Space Shuttle around the International Space Station (ISS) and spending 25 ½ hours outside the ISS during 4 spacewalks are certainly some of the highlights I’ll always remember.

What is most challenging about being an astronaut?

Balance. As an Astronaut one has so many responsibilities and expectations that maintaining the necessary balance of life is always a challenge. As an Astronaut I somewhat jokingly say that we’re expected to know everything and perform it well. With those expectations we also have greater responsibilities as Husbands, Wives, Fathers and Mother and to our Lord in service within His church. Maintaining that appropriate balance continually on my mind and is continually a challenge.

What was the most dangerous event as an astronaut?

NASA is filled with dedicated, talented and passionate individuals that make spaceflight and everything else we do appear to be routine when it’s actually all but routine. Everything we do from preparations for launch, the launch itself, on orbit operations, and entry and landing are all so very dangerous. What a terrific blessing to work with professionals whose combined efforts make things so dangerous appear to be routine.

Would you recommend this as a good career choice?

If you seek a position where service to your country is at the top of the list and you’re passionate about being a part something great that has been and will continue to be of great benefit to all mankind, then the choice of Astronaut is the position for you.

What else would you like to add about being an astronaut?

The views of earth from space are literally out of this world !!!!!

General Program Requirements

In the article on the recruitment of astronauts for the Mars program, we discussed qualifications, and education that is required to be an astronaut. Here are some additional requirements to be aware of.

Selected applicants will be designated astronaut candidates and will be assigned to the Astronaut Office at the Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas.  The astronaut candidates will undergo a training and evaluation period lasting approximately 2 years, during which time they will participate in the basic astronaut candidate training program, which is designated to develop the knowledge and skills required for formal mission training upon selection for a flight. Astronaut candidates (with jet piloting backgrounds) will maintain proficiency in NASA aircraft during their candidate period.

As part of the astronaut candidate training program, astronaut candidates are required to complete military water survival before beginning their flying syllabus, and become SCUBA qualified to prepare them for the EVA training.  Consequently, all astronaut candidates will be required to pass a swimming test.

Applicants should be aware that selection as an astronaut candidate does not ensure selection as an astronaut.  Final selection as an astronaut will depend upon satisfactory completion of the training and evaluation period. Graduation from the astronaut candidate program will require successful completion of the following: International Space Station systems training, Extravehicular Activity skills training, Robotics skills training, Russian language training, and aircraft flight readiness training.

Being an astronaut is one of many great job opportunities, but it is not the only one. Go and explore what NASA has to offer!

Credits

  • Angela D. Storey, Public Affairs Officer, Marshall Space Flight Center
  • Photos provided by NASA
  • NASA website: www.nasa.gov

Other Career Information

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

Comments (0)| Print This Post Print This Post

Posted on Wednesday, 18th May 2016 by

Print This Post Print This Post

When we hear about delays at airports more often than not the delays are due to the airlines not meeting their scheduled arrival and departure times for a multitude of reasons. The delays are caused by weather, mechanical breakdowns, and other factors. Today’s delays are due to insufficient staffing of Transportation Safety Officers, SV-1802 job series positions, at airport choke points across the nations such as O’Hare airport in Chicago. The TSA is hiring hundreds of Transportation Security Officers nationwide to fill the gap. These TSA job openings will be crucial in handling these long delays.

 

Airport Metal Detector

Airport Metal Detector

The Transportation Security Agency (TSA) was transferred from the Department of Transportation to the Department of Homeland Security after the September 11th attack. I was a manager at the Greater Pittsburgh International Airport’s air traffic control tower when the TSA was transferred and I felt the move premature.

Regardless of who is managing the program the fact of the matter is that over 700 new Transportation Security Officers are needed and the TSA is hiring. They have numerous job announcements open now until the end of May and throughout the year as vacancies occur. This is a job that requires a high school education for the most part and the officer’s starting salary ranges from $15.13 to as high as $23.66 per hour with generous benefits. These TSA jobs will be available nationwide.

Selectees are required to travel a minimum of two (2) weeks in a full-time duty status to attend TSA’s New Hire training. New Hire training and travel requirements vary by duty location and may require up to six (6) weeks of full-time duty status travel. This training will occur away from the employee’s airport of record and employees are paid for compensable hours and reimbursed for authorized travel expenses. While employed with TSA, other occasional travel may be required.

Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) provide security and protection of air travelers, airports and aircraft in a courteous and professional manner. This includes:

  • Operating various screening equipment and technology to identify dangerous objects in baggage, cargo and on passengers, and preventing those objects from being transported onto aircraft.
  • Performing searches and screening, which may include physical interaction with passengers (e.g., pat-downs, search of property, etc.), conducting bag searches and lifting/carrying bags, bins, and property weighing up to 70lbs.
  • Controlling terminal entry and exit points.
  • Interacting with the public, giving directions and responding to inquiries.
  • Maintaining focus and awareness while working in a stressful environment which includes noise from alarms, machinery and people, crowd distractions, time pressure, and disruptive and angry passengers, in order to preserve the professional ability to identify and locate potentially life threatening or mass destruction devices, and to make effective decisions in both crisis and routine situations.
  • Engaging in continuous development of critical thinking skills, necessary to mitigate actual and potential security threats, by identifying, evaluating, and applying appropriate situational options and approaches. This may include application of risk-based security screening protocols that vary based on program requirements.
  • Retaining and implementing knowledge of all applicable Standard Operating Procedures, demonstrating responsible and dependable behavior, and is open to change and adapts to new information or unexpected obstacles.

Key Requirements

  • Be a U.S. Citizen or U.S. National at time of application submission
  • Be at least 18 years of age at time of application submission
  • Pass a Drug Screening and Medical Evaluation
  • Pass a background investigation including a credit and criminal check
  • No default on $7,500 or more in delinquent debt (but for some bankruptcies)
  • Selective Service registration required

Qualifications

Applicants must meet these qualifications in order to be further evaluated in the TSO hiring process:

  • Have a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) credential OR at least one year of full-time work experience in the security industry, aviation screening, or as an X-ray technician
  • Be proficient in the English language (i.e., able to read, write, speak, and comprehend)

Current Job Openings

Job announcements are now open from 5/18/ to 5/31/2016 so you have to act NOW. Click on the following link to learn more about TSA jobs and to find job vacancy announcements. Positons can be advertised at any time as vacancies occur.  Check for open job announcements frequently.

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

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

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

Comments (0)| Print This Post Print This Post

Posted on Friday, 13th May 2016 by

Print This Post Print This Post

NASA Engineering Jobs

One of the most important job occupations at NASA are their engineers. They use professional engineering theories, principles, practices and techniques to coordinate and manage professional engineering projects. In this article I interviewed Melvin McKinistry, who is a general engineer and a master planning team lead at the Facilities Management Office for the Marshall Space Flight Center.

 

Melvin McKinistry, General Engineer, NASA

Melvin McKinistry, General Engineer, NASA

 

This series covers positions managing, supervising, leading, and/or performing professional engineering and scientific work. This series is applicable when the work of the position:

  • requires knowledge and skills in two or more professional engineering series within the Engineering and Architecture Group, 0800, and no one discipline is paramount; or
  • is consistent with engineering work in this occupational group, but is not covered by an established series.

The federal government employs 25,661 general engineers or interdisciplinary engineers of which 400 work overseas. The Department of the Army, Air Force and Navy are the largest employers with 13,677 civilians followed by NASA with 3,123 and the Department of Defense with 1,495. All cabinet level agencies except for the Department of Education and some large independent agencies employ general engineers.

Q&A Melvin McKinistry

What does a Master Planner actually do?

The master planner is responsible for developing, communicating, and implementing the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Master Plan. The Master Plan is Marshall’s concept for the strategic management and future development of the Center’s real property assets, and infrastructure. The master planner is responsible for developing, communicating, and implementing the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Master Plan. The Master Plan is anchored by the objective that the Center will right size its assets and have high performing facilities and infrastructure to support current and future missions. The master planner accomplishes this task by leading the right studies that produce technical reports and solutions to guide decision-making about infrastructure.

What is the most challenging project you have had to work on?

The master planning process itself is very challenging. One of the master planner’s primary task is to engage multiple stakeholders. Each stakeholder may have their own objectives, and desired outcomes. It is the job of the master planner to connect with each stakeholder and find a common trajectory that is aligned with the Agency’s mission and goals. Although challenging, the rewards and outcomes are worth it!

What was the most dangerous project as a Master Planner?

As the Master Planner, you are primarily a strategic thinker and planner. The most dangerous project for a master planner is not to have a master plan! The master plan is the result of a vision supported by strategic planning that provides a pathway to meet current and future challenges yet unknown. Without a master plan that is supported by key stakeholders, an organization’s future is left only to chance. NASA’s mission is much too important to be left only to chance, fortunately our leadership understands the value of visioning and strategic planning.

Would you recommend the job occupation of General Engineer?

I would highly recommend the job occupation of Engineer. It will take talented engineers to solve the world’s problem and continue to propel the human race forward. There will continue to exist numerous technological challenges, and problems that must be solved to improve and sustain life on earth as we know it. This realization will present great opportunities for future engineers and scientist. These opportunities and possibilities will only be limited by our visions, dreams, aspirations, and most of all our compassion for all mankind!

What else would you like to add about being a Master Planner for Marshall Space Flight Center?

It is a privilege, and an honor to work at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center as the Master Planner. It is a great feeling to know that you are working with a talented and diverse workforce that is responsible for engineering and building the spacecraft that will take man to Mars and beyond. It is part of my job to make sure the next generation inherits the right facilities, and infrastructure to continue this bold mission.

Engineering & Architecture Group (GS-0800)

The GS-0801 General Engineer Series is included in the GS-0800 group which includes all classes of positions, the duties of which are to advise on, administer, supervise, or perform professional, scientific, or technical work concerned with engineering or architectural projects, facilities, structures, systems, processes, equipment, devices, material or methods. Positions in this group require knowledge of the science or art, or both, by which materials, natural resources, and power are made useful.

There are 129,130 federal engineers and architects employed in the GS-0800 Engineering and Architectural Group within most Executive Branch departments and large independent agencies including the EPA (1,994), NASA (10,602), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (1,768), and the SBA (494). The largest employers are the Department of Navy and Army which employs over 66,000 civilians in this group. All of the cabinet level agencies with the exception of the Department of Education employ workers in the GS-0800 group with mechanical and civil engineers employing over 11,000 each. The majority of Nuclear Engineers work for the Department of the Navy, Department of Energy, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Don’t overlook any agency in your search for engineering jobs as there are small numbers employed in this group spread throughout government.  For example, the Federal Communications Commission employs 268 from this group while as few as 6 are employed by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Additional Information on the GS-801 General Engineer Series

  • You must be a U.S. citizen to apply
  • GS-12 salary range is from $71,012.00 to $92,316.00 / Per Year

BASIC REQUIREMENTS:

A.  Bachelor’s or higher degree obtained from an accredited college or university, which included a major in engineering. To be acceptable, the curriculum must: (1) be in a school of engineering with at least one curriculum accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) as a professional engineering curriculum; or (2) include differential and integral calculus and courses (more advanced than first-year physics and chemistry) in five of the following seven areas of engineering science or physics: (a) statics, dynamics; (b) strength of materials (stress-strain relationships); (c) fluid mechanics, hydraulics; (d) thermodynamics; (e) electrical fields and circuits; (f) nature and properties of materials (relating particle and aggregate structure to properties); and (g) any other comparable area of fundamental engineering science or physics, such as optics, heat transfer, soil mechanics, or electronics.

B.  Combination of education and experience — college-level education, training, and/or technical experience that furnished (1) a thorough knowledge of the physical and mathematical sciences underlying professional engineering, and (2) a good understanding, both theoretical and practical, of the engineering sciences and techniques and their applications to one of the branches of engineering. The adequacy of such background must be demonstrated by one of the following:

1.  Professional registration — Current registration as a professional engineer by any State, the District of Columbia, Guam, or Puerto Rico. Absent other means of qualifying under this standard, those applicants who achieved such registration by means other than written test (e.g., State grandfather or eminence provisions) are eligible only for positions that are within or closely related to the specialty field of their registration. For example, an applicant who attains registration through a State Board’s eminence provision as a manufacturing engineer typically would be rated eligible only for manufacturing engineering positions.

2.  Written Test — Evidence of having successfully passed the Engineer-in-Training (EIT) examination, or the written test required for professional registration, which is administered by the Boards of Engineering Examiners in the various States, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico.

Applicants who have passed the EIT examination and have completed all the requirements for either (a) a bachelor’s degree in engineering technology (BET) from an accredited college or university that included 60 semester hours of courses in the physical, mathematical, and engineering sciences, or (b) a BET from a program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) may be rated eligible for certain engineering positions at GS-5. Eligibility is limited to positions that are within or closely related to the specialty field of the engineering technology program. Applicants for positions that involve highly technical research, development, or similar functions requiring an advanced level of competence in basic science must meet the basic requirements in paragraph A.

Because of the diversity in kind and quality of BET programs, graduates of other BET programs are required to complete at least 1 year of additional education or highly technical work experience of such nature as to provide reasonable assurance of the possession of the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for professional engineering competence. The adequacy of this background must be demonstrated by passing the EIT examination.

3. Specified academic courses — Successful completion of at least 60 semester hours of courses in the physical, mathematical, and engineering sciences and in engineering that included the courses specified in the basic requirements. The courses must be fully acceptable toward meeting the requirements of a professional engineering curriculum as described in paragraph A.

4. Related curriculum — Successful completion of a curriculum leading to a bachelor’s degree in engineering technology or in an appropriate professional field, e.g., physics, chemistry, architecture, computer science, mathematics, hydrology, or geology, may be accepted in lieu of a degree in engineering, provided the applicant has had at least 1 year of professional engineering experience acquired under professional engineering supervision and guidance. Ordinarily there should be either an established plan of intensive training to develop professional engineering competence, or several years of prior professional engineering-type experience, e.g., in interdisciplinary positions. (The above examples of related curricula are not all-inclusive.)

The general engineer plays a vital role in helping NASA accomplish their mission of space exploration. In our final article in this series we will have a Q&A with Barry E. “Butch” Whitmore, Navy Captain, Aviator and Astronaut assigned to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX and “Butch” is his Navy Call sign which followed him to NASA.

Credits

  • Angela D. Storey, Public Affairs Officer, Marshall Space Flight Center
  • Photos provided by NASA
  • NASA website: www.nasa.gov

Other Career Information

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 Interviews, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies

Comments (0)| Print This Post Print This Post

Posted on Monday, 2nd May 2016 by

Print This Post Print This Post

NASA is more than astronauts exploring our galaxy. This agency has many extraordinary job occupations such as the exhibit specialist (GS-1010).

In this article we interview Christopher Todd Cannon, an Exhibit & Artifacts Manager, GS-1010, who works at Marshall Space Flight Center, located at Redstone Arsenal, AL.

There are 323 federal workers employed in the GS-1010 series according to FEDScope, OPM’s Federal Human Resources Data Bank. The largest employer is the Smithsonian Institute with 114 followed by the Departments of the Air Force, Army and Navy with 88. Small numbers are also employed by the VA, Department of Agriculture, NASA, and the National Records and Archives Administration.

 

Todd Cannon, NASA Exhibit Specialist

Todd Cannon, NASA Exhibit Specialist

Overview of the Exhibit Specialist Series (GS-1010)

According to the Position Classification Flysheet (TS-103, May 1991) for exhibit specialist series, GS-1010 states, “This series includes positions which supervise or perform work involved in planning, constructing, installing, and operating exhibits, the preparation of gallery space for exhibits, the preservation of historic buildings, or the restoration or preparation of items to be exhibited. The work requires a combination of artistic abilities, technical knowledge and skills, and ability to understand the subject matter concepts which assigned exhibits projects are intended to convey.”

Q&A with Christopher Todd Cannon  

What does an Exhibits Manager actually do? 

A large part of the excitement of working for NASA is educating and informing the American public about space exploration. Important to that process is communicating through many different methods. Marshall Space Flight Center has a communication organization focused on the public and NASA employees. Our Exhibit Shop is part of that capability at the Center. As manager, I work with a staff of graphic artists, exhibit technicians and model makers to design, produce and maintain exhibit components that tell the story of NASA. An exhibit can contain high fidelity models, specialized video presentations, large images of NASA technology and chairs & counters for staffers to hold discussions.   Our Exhibit Shop is capable of metal and wood work, graphic design and printing, packaging items for shipping to events. My daily activities can include fielding requests for loan of our exhibit inventory to an event like a student science week at an elementary school along with filling needs for designing new exhibits for new NASA missions. I also listen to our experts in our Shop to understand what tools and supplies they need to support the requests we have agreed to support.

What is the most unique exhibit you have ever had to work on?  

One of the more unique exhibits was displayed at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. 2008 marked the 50th anniversary of the existence of NASA. The exhibit required displaying to the public the entire spectrum of work at the agency, which includes 10 field centers and many milestones of human history. I was part of a team responsible for exhibits crossing many sciences and other aspects of aeronautics, human and non-human exploration. Displays included NASA history as well as work happening at the time of the event. The scope and scale of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival makes it one of my memorable experiences. 

What is the most challenging part of being an Exhibits Manager?  

Managing a limited budget that can impact the size of our staff. We have talented craftsmen whose careers can be at risk if we don’t handle our funding and work load correctly.

Would you recommend an Exhibits Manager as a good career choice?  

Yes – I never have a dull day and the rewards of working with such talented people are a great benefit.

What else would you like to add about the job as an Exhibits Manager? 

When the right topic and NASA staffers are matched, no other method of communication educates and inspires like an effective exhibit.

Occupational Information from the Position Classification Flysheet (TS-103) for the Exhibits Specialist Series 

This series covers positions involved in the production of models or exhibits for cultural, educational, informational, scientific, or technical purposes.

Exhibits specialists:  

(1) construct and operate museum or educational exhibits and galleries for displays;

(2) construct informational exhibits or models used as training aids;

(3) construct exhibits and accurate scale models used as evidence in the courts or as special equipment items in support of scientific experiments or other operating activities of an agency; and

(4) construct informational exhibits and models for public events or special programs.

Generally, the work of exhibits specialists is governed by the following considerations:

– Exhibits must attract and maintain the attention of the viewer.

– Exhibits must be constructed to withstand vandalism and weathering, and be reinforced at points of wear and strain to reduce the need for maintenance.

– Exhibits must be adequately and aesthetically lighted.

– Susceptible items must be protected from damage caused by temperature changes or chemical reactions.

– Valuable items must be secure from loss.

– Exhibits must be designed to allow an orderly traffic flow and accessibility by the disabled and viewers of varying heights.

– Portable exhibits must be designed and built for sturdiness and for ease of disassembly, packing, shipping, and reassembly.

– Drawings must be maintained on the original design and any changes made so that repairs may be made quickly and accurately.

Occupational Outlook Handbook Information about Archivists 

The Occupational Outlook Handbook also included information relevant to curators and museum worker. The information below is about the archivist only.

  • Median Pay in 2015: $46,710 per year or $22.46 per hour
  • Number of jobs as of 2014: 31,300
  • Job Outlook for 2014-24: 7% (as fast as average)

Education Requirements (Archivist)

Archivists will need a Master’s degree in history, library science, archival science, political science, or public administration.

Licenses, Certifications and Registrations(Archivist) 

Currently few employees require any certification for archivists. There is The Academy of Certified Archivists that offers the Certified Archivist credential. To earn certification, candidates must have a master’s degree, have professional archival experience, and pass an exam and must renew this certification on regular basis.

Other Experience and Additional Training(Archivist) 

Marketable experience can be gained by working part time, internships, volunteering, on or during getting education requirements. Additional experience in collection management, research, exhibit design, or restoration, and database management skills is necessary for full-time positions. Some large organizations, such as the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, DC, offer in-house training.

Top museum positions are highly sought after and are competitive.

Skills Required (Archivist)

  • Analytical skills are needed to determine the origin, history, and importance of any of the objects they work with.
  • Computer Skills are necessary for use in developing complex databases related to the materials that stored and require access.
  • Organizational skills are for storage and easy retrieval of records and documents.
  • Technical skills are used in historical objects that need to be analyzed and preserved.

Exhibitors and archivists have a unique skill set that helps to promote and educate the public on what exciting areas NASA is involved in.

Our next article will be a Q&A with Melvin McKinstry, (GS-0801), a Master Planner at Marshall Space Flight Center, located at Redstone Arsenal, AL.

Credits

  • Angela D. Storey, Public Affairs Officer, Marshall Space Flight Center
  • Photos provided by NASA
  • NASA website: www.nasa.gov

Other Career Information

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 Interviews, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies

Comments (0)| Print This Post Print This Post

Posted on Monday, 25th April 2016 by

Print This Post Print This Post

Good times are here again for all veterans seeking employment opportunities. This year is off to a roaring start with the unemployment rate standing at an astounding 5%. Economists consider an unemployment rate of 5% to be full employment after factoring out seasonal and structural unemployment. In addition, a look at the monthly jobs report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that we are adding in excess of 225,000 jobs each month. It does not get much better than that!

Puzzle pieces concept for employment within the United States of America.

Reinforcing the promise of employment are the statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau about the steady flow of legal immigrants into the United States, which at last count numbered one million per year. They are coming to the USA for one reason, jobs.

What kinds of jobs are available? The short answer is everything from entry-level positions to jobs in senior management. Airlines are seeking entry-level customer services reps and reservationists. Big Box retailers, like Walmart are seeking experienced truck drivers at a starting salary of about $75,000 plus excellent benefits. Investment companies like BlackRock, an asset management firm, have postings on their career pages for a variety of finance related positions. Posted jobs include Web Infrastructure Engineers. A quick look a Craig’s List reveals a wide variety of local jobs. And, there are numerous federal government jobs available, which you can find on this website. There is no reason why any veteran should be out of work in these good times.

Companies in most industries, particular those considered “military friendly companies” are seeking veterans to fill many jobs cutting across all functional lines throughout the entire United States. Who are these companies? What opportunities are they offering? Let’s consider companies in just three industries; food, shelter, and defense.

The Food Industry

All people need food to survive regardless of the economic cycle. This robust industry includes companies like Walmart, Acme, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Costco, McDonalds and Chipotle. They are always seeking employees for a variety of jobs across the USA. We are not talking about the stereotypical “store floor” jobs like shelf stockers, but behind the scene jobs like sales reps, marketing managers, and human resources managers. You never see these people on the store floor. For example, I just reviewed the Career pages for one of our favorite military friendly employers, Costco. I found jobs not only at hundreds of store locations, but also at the home office in Issaquah Washington, and at many regional offices scattered throughout the country. The jobs spanned every imaginable occupation from Pharmacist to Customer Service Representative to Lawyer and Accountant. Costco is a community conscious employer, noted for treating its employees with dignity and respect. When you are on the Costco website, go to the Jobs page and click on “Costco and Veterans. And, when you are in a Costco store check out the hot dogs at their food counter. For a buck-fifty, you get a huge hot dog and a 16 oz. soft drink. That’s the reason why Costco sells in excess of 150 million hot dogs each year. Costco operates its own hot dog manufacturing facility because no one supplier could produce that many in any one year. It’s the same for rotisserie chickens; 150 million sold each year. This smooth marketing giant is looking for job candidates with a long-term career horizon.

The Shelter Industry

This industry includes everything from residential and commercial construction to the manufacture and sale of products found in the finished buildings, like doorknobs, windows, floor tile, and appliances. Some of the companies in this flourishing industry are the upscale homebuilder, Toll Brothers, and home goods retailers like Lowes and Home Depot. Residential and commercial building is booming and this industry offers hands-on jobs in the construction trades for carpenters plumbers, painters and electricians, structural steel workers, and many others. In addition, there are jobs in corporate infrastructure for supply chain managers, information technology managers and human resources directors.

One of our favorites is Home Depot, a military friendly company. I reviewed their website and found many excellent job opportunities. Some of them are: Sales Consultant, Roanoke VA; Installation Services Manager, Raleigh NC; IT Developer, Atlanta GA; and Security Officer, Tempe AZ. Go to their website for more job listings and be sure to read what Home Depot does for veterans.

The Defense Industry

Companies in this huge industry are constantly seeking veterans for a variety of technical and non-technical positions. Military friendly leaders in Defense are: General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney, and Raytheon. GE, one of our all-time favorites, is moving its corporate headquarters from Connecticut to Boston and that move alone will create hundreds, if not thousands of new jobs for veterans in the Bay State.

A favorite in this sector is Pratt & Whitney. Air force veterans will know why. Pratt has a very successful record of obtaining government contracts for all types of military aircraft and aircraft components. Their latest win from the Department of Defense was a $1.4 billion contract for F135 aircraft engines. To meet the completion deadline, Pratt will hire thousands of new employees to fill a wide range of technical and non-technical jobs. The company values the discipline and skills veterans have, and actively recruits candidates with military experience.

On Tuesday, April 12, 2016, Pratt & Whitney released the following statement on their webpage: F-35 Joint Program Office Awards Pratt & Whitney LRIP 9 Contract for F135 Engines. Go to the website for more information about this contract and remember to look for job openings. You will find them listed under United Technologies, Pratt’s parent company, Under Careers, look for U.S.Military and note what they have to say about veterans. They even provide a Military Skills Translator to help veterans translate their military skills into civilian terms. You will find a wide array of job opportunities that include the following: Financial Planning Analyst, Hartford, Ct; MBA Intern, Rockford, IL; F135 OT&E Field Service Representative, Edwards Air Force Base, CA; and, Server and Storage Specialist, Rockford, IL.

Moving Forward

In our June article, we will focus on the process of job-hunting for veterans. It is more than just crafting a dynamite resume. Also, we will list more of our favorite industries, and companies in those industries offering jobs for veterans. Stay tuned!

Takeaways

This is a very robust job market. All veterans will find well-paying and meaningful jobs if they follow the guidelines for civilian job hunting. You can find them in my book, OPERATION JOB SEARCH, A Guide for Military Veterans Transitioning to Civilian Careers. It is available in paperback and eBook from Amazon, B&N and Skyhorse Publishing Inc.

Veteran’s Resources

Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Department of Labor, c 2016, JIST Publishing Co.

This helpful resource lists thousands jobs by industry. It describes each job, the required qualifications, the approximate salary, and the number of anticipated job openings for the next five years. It is available in paperback and eBook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Jist Publishing.

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 Vacancies, Veterans Preference

Comments (0)| Print This Post Print This Post

Posted on Friday, 8th April 2016 by

Print This Post Print This Post

NASA Jobs – What It’s Like To Work For NASA

Space the final frontier as the TV show “Startek” so aptly states. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has been around since 1958 and has been going where no man has dared to go and that includes the Moon.

NASA’s vision is to reach for new heights and reveal the unknown for the benefit of humankind. They have been around for more than 50 years and this agency is constantly looking for new ways to explore space, as well as, use what they learn here back on Earth.

 

International Space Station

International Space Station

This large independent agency employees 17,176 professionals, technical staff, administrative, and other support personnel at 10 regional centers. The largest occupational group ─ engineers in the GS-0800 series ─ employs 9665 as of December 2015 according to FEDSCOPE, the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM’s) data center. They employ 4,222 aerospace engineers in the GS-0861 series, 120 mechanical engineers GS-0830, 805 GS-0855 electronics engineers, and a cross section of other engineering, technical and administrative support staff.  Astronauts are classified under the GS-801 general engineering occupational series and there are 2,985 employed under the GS-0801 series at NASA. Not all GS-0801 positons are astronaut positions.

To get a better perspective about this fascinating agency historian, Brian Odom, who works at Marshall Space Flight Center, located on Redstone Arsenal, AL was interviewed for this article.

Q & A with Brian Odom

How and why did NASA get started?

NASA was started on October 1, 1958 on the order of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. NASA was created to ensure a peaceful, civilian program dedicated to exploring space. The spur for the program was the US participation in the International Geophysical Year (IGY) from July 1, 1957 to December 31, 1958. During this time, the Soviet launch of the first satellite, Sputnik I and later the US satellite, Explorer I, increased the popular interest in space exploration. NASA grew out of concerns of national security that were characteristic of the Cold War.

What is the history on the Saturn, Apollo and Moon Programs?

The Saturn program (Apollo was the payload for the Saturn Launch Vehicle) developed out of President John F. Kennedy’s goal of “landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth” before the end of the decade. The Saturn V Launch Vehicle that was designed to fulfill that goal was 364 feet tall with a booster stage capable of producing 7.5 million pounds of thrust. Marshall Space Flight Center, then under the direction of Dr. Wernher von Braun, was tasked with overall management of the vehicle. On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 became the first manned spacecraft to land them on Moon. Five more landings would follow from 1969 to the final trip by Apollo 17 in December 1972. These missions served as a demonstration of technological development in the US, a program for scientific exploration of the Moon, and developed a feasible program for living and working in space.

Current NASA Programs to include the International Space Station, Mars and others?

The International Space Station (ISS) serves as a working laboratory in space where research not possible on Earth is performed. Orbiting 240 miles above Earth and travelling at 17,500 miles per hour, the ISS has been continuously occupied since November 2000 and serves as a blueprint for the further exploration of space. The ISS is a truly international effort with support from five space agencies representing 16 nations.

Information about Marshall Space Flight Center?

Marshall is home to four National Historic Landmarks including the Redstone Test Stand, Propulsion and Structural Test Facility, Saturn V Dynamic Test Stand, and Neutral Buoyancy Simulator. Constructed by the Army in the early 1950s, the Redstone Test Stand was the first test stand in the United States to accommodate an entire launch vehicle and is the oldest landmark at the Center. The Redstone Test Stand was used for testing the Jupiter-C vehicle that launched our first satellite, Explorer I in 1958 and the Mercury-Redstone launch vehicle that launched the United States’ first astronaut into space.

The NASA Organization

NASA Headquarters, in Washington, provides overall guidance and direction to the agency, under the leadership of the administrator. Ten field centers and a variety of installations conduct the day-to-day work, in laboratories, on air fields, in wind tunnels and in control rooms.

NASA conducts its work in four principal organizations, called mission directorates:

  • Aeronautics: manages research focused on meeting global demand for air mobility in ways that are more environmentally friendly and sustainable, while also embracing revolutionary technology from outside aviation.
  • Human Exploration and Operations: focuses on International Space Station operations, development of commercial spaceflight capabilities and human exploration beyond Low-Earth orbit.
  • Science: explores the Earth, solar system and universe beyond; charts the best route of discovery; and reaps the benefits of Earth and space exploration for society.
  • Space Technology: rapidly develops, innovates, demonstrates, and infuses revolutionary, high-payoff technologies that enable NASA’s future missions while providing economic benefit to the nation.NASA does more than space exploration, they use their technology for other organizations to take advantage. Its mission is “Bringing NASA technology down to Earth”.The job occupations that will be featured in our next articles are all employees that work at Marshall Space Flight Center located on Redstone Arsenal, AL.

Technology Transfer Program

NASA does more than space exploration, they use their technology for other organizations to take advantage. Its mission is “Bringing NASA technology down to Earth”.

This program pursues the widest possible applications of agency technology to benefit US citizens. They partner with industry through the use of licensing agreements, in supporting the economy and create jobs. The Technology Transfer Program website is http://technology.nasa.gov./

The job occupations that will be featured in our next articles are all employees that work at Marshall Space Flight Center located on Redstone Arsenal, AL.

Our next Q&A will be with Christopher Todd Cannon, an Exhibit & Artifacts Manager, GS-1010 located at Marshall Space Flight Center.

Credits

  • Angela D. Storey, Public Affairs Officer, Marshall Space Flight Center
  • NASA website: www.nasa.gov

Other Career Information

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

Comments (0)| Print This Post Print This Post

Posted on Thursday, 10th March 2016 by

Print This Post Print This Post

Leaving military service creates many challenges for veterans especially when confronted with finding viable and rewarding careers that compliment their active duty work experience.  I know only too well about the trials and tribulations associated with this often traumatic move.  My number was called for the draft during the Vietnam War in 1968. I passed my physical and was advised to report for duty in two weeks if I didn’t join another branch of service. I immediately crossed the hall at the Federal Building and joined the U.S. Air Force for a four year tour.  I served a total of 10 years, just over three years active and the remaining time with the Air National Guard.

I was fortunate, the Air Force trained me to be an avionics technician and my skill set was transferable to the private sector.  In my case I was hired by the Air National Guard as an avionics technician under the Palace Chase early out program as the Vietnam War wound down.  Others that entered the service at the same time were not as fortunate and most were left to their own devises to find and secure employment.  Many leaving the service at the time were out of work for a year or more and most had to be retrained. This also happened after 9/11 and according to David Henry Weiss, author of Operation Job Search, “Among post-9/11 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, 33 percent have been unemployed for longer than one year and 17 percent have been unemployed for more than two years.“

This doesn’t have to be your story. The truth of the matter is that no matter what duties you performed on active duty many facets of your service will enhance your private sector job search. None of the least is the disciplined life you led while serving, your attention to detail, and your ability to follow orders and not question everything that comes your way. Employers benefit from these skills and seek them out. Therefore, you are already ahead of the game if you know the rules to follow that will get you there.

Operation Job Search; A Guide for Military Veterans Transitioning to Civilian Careers by John Henry Weiss provides the game plan all veterans need to find their path in life. This new book is what I consider to be the job guide Bible for anyone leaving the military and for veterans who haven’t found their niche yet.  This new book outlines the process you will need to take, how to develop a viable and realistic job search plan, and you will learn about all opportunities including private sector and government jobs to considering starting your own business.  You will discover how to prepare for the job interview, what clothes to wear, and review numerous training and job apprenticeship programs with many companies nationwide.

 

Operation Jobs Search  by John Henry Weiss

Operation Jobs Search
by John Henry Weiss

This indispensible guide will improve your chances and help you obtain not just a job but the career of your dreams. Another advantage is that you don’t have to read the entire 466 pages. You can go direct to the areas of interest no matter where you are at in your search and get the help you need to succeed. There are also sections devoted specifically to female veterans.

This excellent reference is available at all bookstores and on Amazon.com. It may also be available at your local library.

In your search don’t ignore opportunities with the federal government. According to the Office of Personnel Management’s report titled Employment of Veterans in the Federal Executive Branch, Fiscal Year 2014,” 30.8 percent or 612,661 current federal employees are veterans.  The Veteran’s Preference Program gives veterans a distinct advantage when applying for federal jobs.

Helpful Federal Career Planning Resources 

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Civil Service Tests, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Employees, Federal Jobs, Job Interviews, Job Vacancies

Comments (0)| Print This Post Print This Post

Posted on Tuesday, 8th March 2016 by

Print This Post Print This Post

Federal Meteorologist Jobs Overview:

The meteorologist (GS-1340) has to have knowledge in very specialized areas such as meteorology/atmospheric sciences and advanced mathematics (calculus).  This job series falls under the Physical Science Group. This group includes all classes of positions, the duties of which are to advise on, administer, supervise, or perform research or other professional and scientific work or subordinate technical work in any of the fields of science concerned with matter, energy, physical space, time, nature of physical measurement, and fundamental structural particles; and the nature of the physical environment.

There were 31,566 federal workers employed in Physical Science Group within all Executive Branch departments, and in many large and small independent agencies with 261 employed overseas. The largest employer is the Department of Interior with 5,850 followed by the Department of Commerce with 5,534 and the Department of the navy with 4,195 civilians employed. A number of large independent agencies hire in this group including the EPA with 2,750 employed.

Phillip Manuel is a meteorologist who is a senior forecaster (GS-1340) with the NWS located at Blacksburg, VA.

 

NOAA Phillip Manual

Phillip Manuel specializes as a National Weather Service Incident Meteorologist (IMET), assisting Federal and State Incident Management Teams on large wildfires.  This picture was taken at the Stouts Creek Fire in southwest Oregon in August 2015.  IMETs Phillip Manuel and Scott Weishaar are getting ready to launch a weather balloon to gather weather information to help them make weather forecasts for the incident.

Manuel served as a general forecaster and is currently a senior forecaster and he explains that “Both positions are listed as being a “Forecaster,” but as a Grade 13 you assume more Supervisory Controls.  The GS-13 position requires you to serve as the shift leader, routinely supervising at least one GS-12 full performance level meteorologist (General Forecaster) and one GS-11 Hydrometeorological Technician.   As the shift supervisor, you are ultimately responsible for all NWS products, warnings, and advisories produced on that shift, and for their coordination with other NWS offices.   Senior Forecasters lead and coordinate staff efforts and provide direction, guidance, instruction, and assistance to the shift staff.”

Q&A with Phillip Manuel

What were your reasons for becoming a Forecaster?

Public service. I enjoy forewarning people about the weather, especially extreme weather. I also get an adrenalin rush during high impact weather events and it is important for me to predict when these events are going to occur.

Forecasting has always been a passion. As far back as I can remember, I have been captivated by the weather. As a child, I loved being outdoors and would spend countless hours staring at the sky. Thunderstorms were my favorite and I would risk life and limb for the thrill of being outside during the storm to watch the cloud formations, see the lightning, and hear the thunder.

Extreme weather such as hurricanes and the crippling ice storms from the 1970s had similar effects on my psyche. It was nothing unusual for these storms to knockout the power for weeks at a time, forcing my family to use oil lamps for lighting and wood stoves for heating and cooking.  This sort of living forced us to pay special attention to the weather. For whatever reason, I felt a need to warn my family and neighbors when these events were about to occur.  As a teenager I became obsessed watching weather reports on television and would then relay this information to others.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job as a Forecaster?

The biggest challenge is working rotating shifts. Demand for weather data, forecasts, and warnings is a “24/7” sort of business. The vigilance and situational awareness required to do the job is only effective if I can get enough sleep to remain alert.  There is no fun in forecasting if I can’t stay awake. The shifts and work deadlines are typically out-of-sync with the rest of the working world which means there are times I have to be awake when everybody else is sleeping.  In addition, in order to remain proficient and relevant as a Senior Forecaster, I need to work both day and night shifts in order to provide the best direction, guidance, and instruction to better serve the staff and external customers.

What is the most interesting part of your job as a Forecaster?

The daily interaction with people and the variety of forecast challenges.  The job never gets boring.

Being a forecaster is kind of like being an emergency room doctor, you are exposed to everything imaginable and every shift is different.  The weather is constantly changing, which keeps the job interesting. In addition, you get to interact with people that need help.  People need weather information in order to make decisions. Their level of need is different. This makes it interesting for me because I have to communicate my forecast in a way they can understand.

What is unique about your job as a Forecaster?

The cool thing about being a forecaster is that you can specialize in a particular interest or field of study.  Within each forecast field office there are approximately 10 forecasters. Each forecaster may specialize in a particular forecast interest, such as severe weather, marine weather, winter weather, radar, aviation, hydrology, etc.  You become the “focal point” or “program leader” within the office for that field of study.  The other forecasters within the office will then seek you for advice or training concerning your expertise.

I am the fire weather program leader for my office. This is unique for me because I interact with other partner agencies, such as the U.S. Forest Service and similar land management agencies, supporting their need for weather forecasts to help them when suppressing wildfires or conducting prescribed burns. What is really unique about my job is I also serve as an Incident Meteorologist (IMET). I travel nationwide in support of Federal and State Incident Management Teams for incidents which may involve large wildfires, HazMat, or disaster cleanup. This requires that I keep a bag packed at home ready for travel at all times. When deployed I may remain away from home for weeks at a time.

Would you recommend being a Forecaster as a good job to pursue?

I highly recommend this position to anyone who likes the science of meteorology, loves to interact with people, and is open-minded to feedback, especially when your forecast does not go as planned. People are critical with respect to weather forecasts, and you must be willing to use this feedback to make the needed adjustments to improve your job performance.

Here is another way to look at it.  Making a good forecast is like a Field Goal kicker on a football team kicking the ball through the uprights (the fans cheer).  If you make a bad forecast, it’s like the same kicker missing the uprights.  Your job evaluation and satisfaction will become based on how consistent you are at getting the ball through the uprights (a good forecast), and especially when the game is on the line in order to win the game (a forecast warning which may save lives).

The GS-1340 seriesincludes positions that involve professional work in meteorology, the science concerned with the earth’s atmospheric envelope and its processes. The work includes basic and applied research into the conditions and phenomena of the atmosphere; the collection, analysis, evaluation, and interpretation of meteorological data to predict weather and determine climatological conditions for specific geographical areas; the development of new or the improvement of existing meteorological theory; and the development or improvement of meteorological methods, techniques, and instruments.

The federal government employs 2,966 meteorologistsof which 34 work overseas. The Department of Commerce is the largest employer with 2,558 followed by the Department of the Air Force with 1`51 and the Army with 96. About half of the cabinet level agencies employ small numbers of meteorologists along with several large independent agencies including 19 with NASA.

Positions in this occupation require full professional knowledge and application of meteorological methods, techniques, and theory.

Mary Beth Gerhardt is a meteorologist forecaster (GS-1340) with NWS and located at College Park, Maryland.

 

NOAA Mary Gerhardt

NOAA’s National Weather Service meteorologist Marybeth Gerhardt being interviewed about winter weather for CBS News affiliate from Pittsburgh. October 2015. (Photo: NOAA)

Q&A with Mary Beth Gerhardt

What were your reasons for becoming a Forecaster?

A sheer passion for the weather steered me towards a career in meteorology, and the idea of forecasting for an agency whose mission involves providing forecasts for the “protection of life and property” is what motivated me to specifically apply for a forecasting position with the National Weather Service.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job as a Forecaster?

Attempting to predict a chaotic atmosphere will always be my biggest challenge as a forecaster.  Although forecasting can be stressful due to the heavy responsibility of the National Weather Service mission, the satisfaction of delivering a spot on weather forecast that people received, understood and heeded, which saved lives, is a satisfying feeling.

What is the most interesting part of your job as a Forecaster?

Everything!  Honestly, everything from learning about the latest advances in the science and technology to actually forecasting a major winter storm and then watching it unfold across the nation continues to intrigue me.

What is unique about your job as a Forecaster?

The people I get to work with are probably the most unique aspect of my job as a forecaster.  We are such an eclectic group, and yet our shared fascination with the weather allows us to work extremely well together.

Would you recommend being a Forecaster as a good job to pursue?

I would recommend being a forecaster to anyone who is passionate about weather, but with the warning that NWS forecasters are often required to work weekends, holidays, and night shifts.  Also, because forecasting jobs are highly sought after even securing an entry level position can be extremely competitive.

Job Requirements of a Meteorologist (GS-1340)

  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • $92,145.00 to $119,794.00 / Per Year
  • Degree in meteorology, atmospheric science, or other natural science major.
  • At least 24 semester hours in meteorology/atmospheric science.
  • There is a prerequisite or corequisite of calculus for course work in atmospheric dynamics and thermodynamics, physics, and differential equations.
  • For the GS-13 Grade level -you have to have least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the next lower grade/ band level (GS-12) that includes: performing a wide range of assignments in forecasting, or techniques development, or real-time support and monitoring of meteorological data and models; Knowledge of computer programming languages such as FORTRAN and C;  knowledge of a variety of UNIX and LINUX operating systems, and an understanding of supporting operational real-time data flow and data processing.

The federal meteorologist job occupation is both a greatly complex but very rewarding. You will get both real job satisfaction and be on the forefront of leading technology advancements.

Credits

  • Maureen O’Leary, NOAA Communications and External Affairs at the National Weather Service.
  • Photos by the National Weather Service.
  • National Weather Service website:Weather.gov

Other Career Information

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 Interviews, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies, Overseas Jobs

Comments (0)| Print This Post Print This Post

Posted on Friday, 26th February 2016 by

Print This Post Print This Post

Have you ever dreamed of forecasting the weather, studying and surveying the geography of our coasts or exploring the oceans, or coral reefs? If so, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is the agency for you.  NOAA is part of the Department of Commerce, and was formed in 1970. There are 6,773 NOAA scientists and engineers. NOAA has a total of 12,000 personnel worldwide.

NOAA’s mission is Science, Service, Stewardship. To understand and predict changes in climate, weather, oceans and coasts. To share that knowledge and information with others and to conserve coastal and marine ecosystems and resources.

 

NOAA Ship

NOAA Ship

History of NOAA

NOAA’s history dates back over 200 years and it is one of the oldest federal agencies. In 1807 President Thomas Jefferson formed the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey (as the Survey of the Coast) to provide nautical charts to the maritime community for safe passage into American ports and along our extensive coastline.  The Weather Bureau was formed in 1870 and one year later the U.S. Commission of Fish and Fisheries was created.

In 1970 to better handle the growing responsibility of predicting changes to both the ocean and atmospheric environments and living marine resources NOAA was formed. Today NOAA is in every state and is considered an international leader on scientific and environmental matters. It is considered America’s environmental intelligence agency.

For more NOAA history visit their site at http://celebrating200years.noaa.gov/.

Programs under NOAA

National Status and Trends Program

In 1984 The National Status and Trends Program was started.  It is one of the largest and most comprehensive monitoring programs of costal marine environmental quality in the United States.  The objective of the program is to determine the existing status and the long term trends of the environmental quality of coastal areas throughout the United States.  Additionally, this program measures the levels of toxic chemicals in bottom-feeding fish, mussels and oysters, and sediments.

NOAA Seafood Inspection Program

NOAA oversees fisheries management in the United States.  Under authority in the 1946 Agricultural Marketing Act, the NOAA Seafood Inspection Program provides inspection services for fish, shellfish, and fishery products to the industry.

The NOAA Seafood Inspection Program offers a variety of professional inspection services on a fee-for-service basis which assures compliance with all applicable food regulations.  The program offers sanitation inspection as well as system and process auditing in facilities, on vessels, or other processing establishments in order to be designated as participating establishments.

The National Coastal Zone Management Program

The National Coastal Zone Management Program works with coastal states and territories to addresses coastal issues, that includes climate change.

This program is a voluntary partnership between the federal government and United States coastal and Great Lakes states and territories authorized by the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) of 1972 to address national coastal issues.

National Weather Service

In our next article we be featuring two employees that work for the National Weather Service (NWS).  The NWS was established in 1870. It was originally called the Weather Bureau and was part of the War Department. Twenty years later it became a civilian agency, under the Department of Agriculture, and in 1940 was switched to the Commerce Department.

NWS Mission

Provide weather, water, and climate data, forecasts and warnings for the protection of life and property and enhancement of the national economy.

NWS Vision

A weather-ready nation: society is prepared to respond to weather-dependent events.

NWS Organization

The headquarters of the NWS is located in Silver Spring, Maryland, with regional headquarters located in Kansas City, Missouri; Bohemia, New York; Fort Worth, Texas; Salt Lake City, Utah; Anchorage, Alaska; and Honolulu, Hawaii. The NWS has 5,000 employees in 122 weather forecast offices, 13 river forecast centers, 9 national centers, and other support offices around the country, and provides a national infrastructure to gather and process data worldwide.  Every year, the NWS collects some 76 billion observations and issues approximately 1.5 million forecasts and 50,000 warnings. For more information about the NWS you can view their website at Weather.gov.

The two employees that will be featured in our next article are Mary Beth Gerhardt, meteorologist (GS-1340) and Phillip Manuel, meteorologist (senior forecaster), GS-1340.

Credits

  • Maureen O’Leary, NOAA Communications and External Affairs at the National Weather Service.
  • Photos from NOAA website: Learn more about our work

Other Career Information

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

Comments (0)| Print This Post Print This Post

Posted on Wednesday, 17th February 2016 by

Print This Post Print This Post

The GS-1811 series includes all classes of positions, the duties of which are to advise on, administer, supervise, or perform investigation, inspection, or enforcement work primarily concerned with alleged or suspected offenses against the laws of the United States, or such work primarily concerned with determining compliance with laws and regulations.

There are 192,929 federal workers employed in the GS-1800 Investigation Group working within all Executive Branch departments, and in many large and small independent agencies with 3,800 employed overseas. Even small agencies employ investigators including the Federal Maritime Election Commission (3), and 15 with the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board.

Keith Toomey, is a special agent in charge, with the Fish & Wildlife Service’s Professional Responsibility Unit, in Shepherdstown, WV.

 

Keith Toomy, Special Agent in Charge (FWS)

Keith Toomy, Special Agent in Charge (FWS)

The largest employers of the Investigative Group are the Department of Homeland Security (130,343), 28,541 with the Department of Justice, the Department of Agriculture employs 8,126, and there are 3,802 employed with the Department of Transportation. All of the cabinet level agencies employ workers in the GS-1800 group with 34,265 in the GS-1801 general inspection, investigation, enforcement and compliance series, 42,442 in the GS-1811 criminal investigation position, over 20,000 in border patrol enforcement GS-1896, and 21,038 in the GS-1985 customs and border protection.

Don’t overlook any agency in your job search as there are positions available in most agencies.

Q and A with Keith Toomey

Why did you want to become a Special Agent in Charge? I felt it was a great responsibility and challenge to lead this office. It provided stability to the office and has allowed our program to continue to develop and evolve. I was lucky to have many great mentors at the county, state and federal level as my career progressed like Danny James and Nick Susalis to name a few. This position has allowed me to share some of that experience, but as General Gray said when I joined the Marine Corps years ago “you are first and foremost a rifleman, everything else is secondary.”  I still consider myself a working agent and handle a case load.  I think it’s important to stay current and connected to those investigative skills.

What is the most challenging part of your job? The most challenging part of this particular position is trying to balance the caseload against the amount of time our PRU agents are traveling away from their families handling cases nationwide and the stress that results from that time away.

What is the most dangerous part of your job? This profession at any level has been and will always be inherently dangerous. I constantly remind our officers and agents they need to have the courage to take decisive action when required and not worry about the current level of anti-police rhetoric in the public or press.  We were called to be and the Service employs us to be law enforcement officers which at times means things will not always be pretty or easy.  We need to be safe and go home when the work is done.

What is the best part of being a Special Agent in Charge? The best part of this position is the daily diversity.  We handle a variety of cases for the Service besides traditional Internal Affairs issues and we teach at many levels within the Service and to outside agencies as well.  We are also very lucky being located within Jefferson County, WV to have a great working relationship with the local Sheriff’s Office and State Police.

Would you recommend this job occupation? I would recommend this position but it is not for everyone.  I think the same goes for the profession as a whole.  This occupation is dangerous, challenging and requires a ton of common sense along with communication skills.  There will be internal and external political frictions each requiring your attention and tactful handling. At the end of day, it is also a very satisfying and rewarding career as long has you have the moral courage for it.

Office of Law Enforcement

The Fish and Wildlife Service’s Office of Law Enforcement is responsible for focusing on threats to wildlife that are detrimental.  These threats involve illegal trade, unlawful commercial exploitation, habitat destruction, and environmental contaminants. They will investigate wildlife crimes, regulates wildlife trade, helps Americans understand and obey wildlife protections laws, and works in partnership with international, state, and tribal counterparts to conserve wildlife resources.

The work of this office includes:

  • Breaking up international and domestic smuggling rings that target imperiled animals.
  • Preventing the unlawful commercial exploitation of protected U.S. species.
  • Protecting wildlife from environmental hazards and safeguarding critical habitat for endangered species.
  • Enforcing federal migratory game bird hunting regulations and working with states to protect other game species from illegal take and preserve legitimate hunting opportunities.
  • Distributing information and outreach materials to increase public understanding of wildlife conservation and promote compliance with wildlife protection laws.
  • Inspecting wildlife shipments to ensure compliance with laws and treaties and detect illegal trade.
  • Working with international counterparts to combat illegal trafficking in protected species.
  • Training other federal, state, tribal, and foreign law enforcement officers.
  • Using forensic science to analyze evidence and solve wildlife crimes.

When fully staffed, the Office of Law Enforcement includes 261 special agents and some 140 wildlife inspectors. Most are “officers on the beat” who report through eight regional law enforcement offices. A headquarters Office of Law Enforcement provides national oversight, support, policy, and guidance for Service investigations and the wildlife inspection program; trains Service law enforcement personnel; fields a special investigations unit; and provides budget, management and administrative support for the Office of Law Enforcement.

The Office of Law Enforcement has the Clark R. Bavin National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory which conducts scientific analyses that support federal, state, and international investigations of wildlife crime. They also maintain a National Wildlife Property Repository, which supplies abandoned and forfeited wildlife items to schools, universities, museums, and non-government organizations for public education, and operates the National Eagle Repository, which meets the needs of Native Americans for eagles and eagle feathers for religious use.

Job Requirements of a GS-1811

  • Must be a U.S. citizen to apply
  • Salary ranges from $87,263 to $113,444.00 per year.
  • Provides expert technical advice, guidance, and recommendations concerning tactical field operations and the application and use of criminal investigative techniques to subordinates, other law enforcement partners
  • Plans and oversees tactical field operations, case administration, and the supervision and management of the criminal investigative unit.
  • Directing a comprehensive criminal investigative program that has handled all aspects of the criminal investigative process.
  • Directly managing/supervising law enforcement agents and analysts.
  • Maintaining liaison with other local, state, and federal law enforcement counterparts.

The GS-1811 job series covers positions which supervise, lead, or perform work involving planning, conducting, or managing investigations related to alleged or suspected criminal violations of Federal laws. The federal government employs 42,442 in this occupation. The work involves:

  • recognizing, developing, and presenting evidence to reconstruct events, sequences, time elements, relationships, responsibilities, legal liabilities, and conflicts of interest;
  • conducting investigations in a manner meeting legal and procedural requirements; and
  • providing advice and assistance both in and out of court to the U.S. Attorney’s Office during investigations and prosecutions.

Work in this series primarily requires knowledge of criminal investigative techniques, rules of criminal procedures, laws, and precedent court decisions concerning the admissibility of evidence, constitutional rights, search and seizure, and related issues in the conduct of investigations. Criminal investigators conduct investigations of alleged or suspected criminal violations of Federal laws. The Federal statute or law which may have been violated does not determine whether a position should be classified in this series. The actual process and the knowledge and skills used to investigate crimes determine the appropriate series of the position. Classification into the 1811 series should not be an automatic process but should be based on the work of the individual position. Work primarily requires knowledge of:

  • pertinent statutes, regulations, policies, and guidelines, including the Code of Federal Regulations or the Uniform Code of Military Justice;
  • Federal Rules of Criminal Procedures, Federal Sentencing Guidelines, and Federal guidelines on the conduct of criminal investigations;
  • criminal investigative techniques, such as protective surveys and assignments, surveillance, and undercover work;
  • the evidence required to prove a crime was committed;
  • the jurisdiction of various agencies;
  • sources of information and how to develop them (e.g., informants, surveillance, and undercover work);
  • electronic countermeasures and the latest technological advances used by criminals and investigators; and
  • decisions and precedent cases involving, but not limited to, rules of evidence, search and seizure, and detention and arrest.

Criminal investigative work is characterized by the types and scope of crimes investigated and the organization and sophistication of the criminals. Additional characteristics of criminal investigative work include: planning and conducting investigations extending over protracted periods of time; assignments made primarily on a referral or case basis; and an emphasis on identifying and apprehending individuals for criminal prosecution. During the course of their careers, criminal investigators may rotate through various assignments to include protective details, asset forfeiture investigations, and multi-jurisdictional task forces.   Some criminal investigators perform or oversee undercover assignments as a regular and recurring part of their assigned duties. Criminal investigator positions will normally be found in organizations whose primary purpose includes functions typically performed by criminal investigators, such as organizations responsible for performing inspection, compliance, enforcement, prevention, or deterrence functions.

Medical Requirements

  • The duties of positions in this series require moderate to arduous physical exertion involving walking and standing, use of firearms, and exposure to inclement weather.
  • Manual dexterity with comparatively free motion of finger, wrist, elbow, shoulder, hip, and knee joints is required. Arms, hands, legs, and feet must be sufficiently intact and functioning in order that applicants may perform the duties satisfactorily.
  • Sufficiently good vision in each eye, with or without correction, is required to perform the duties satisfactorily. Near vision, corrective lenses permitted, must be sufficient to read printed material the size of typewritten characters.
  • Duties of these positions are exacting and responsible, and involve activities under trying conditions, applicants must possess emotional and mental stability.
  • Any physical condition that would cause the applicant to be a hazard to

The special agent in charge is a very specialized job series.  It involves skills such as problem solving, use of fire arms, knowledge of various law enforcement regulations, tactical field operations, criminal investigation and analysis. This is a job occupation worth checking out.

Credits

  • Anita Noguera, Manager, BPHC Marketing Communications, Falls Church, VA
  • Photos were provided by the Fish and Wildlife Service

Other Career Information

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, Law Enforcement jobs

Comments (0)| Print This Post Print This Post

Home Blog Intro Job Lists Apply Exams FAQ Terms of Use