Posted on Wednesday, 15th October 2014 by

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

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

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

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

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

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

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

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

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies, Post Office Jobs

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Posted on Tuesday, 7th October 2014 by

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

History

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

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

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

Inside the Agency

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

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

Exciting Job Categories

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

Medical Officers

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

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

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

Medical Officer Job Listings

Public Health Program Specialist Jobs

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

Public Health Analyst Job Listings

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

The Future of the CDC

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

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

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

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies, Overseas Jobs

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Posted on Monday, 29th September 2014 by

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Did you know that there are entire agencies paying their employees significantly higher than those with similar federal jobs in agencies paying pursuant to the General Schedule and Senior Executive Service salary scales? How do they do it and how can you get one of those jobs? Congress provided these agencies with the authority to establish their own pay and benefits programs. This article provides some insight into the amounts of pay and kinds of benefits/subsidies provided by Federal financial regulatory agencies as well as the most prevalent types of positions occupied at those agencies.

Who Are These Agencies?

Although there are a number of financial regulatory agencies, the largest and most well-known of these include the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Board (FRB), the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Through a series of Congressional actions beginning with the FIRREA in 1989 (link) and ending most recently with the Dodd-Frank Act in 2011 (link), each of these agencies, other than the FRB, either is charged setting employee compensation comparable to the others, or, in the case of the CFPB, comparable to the FRB. The impact of these statutory provisions has resulted in a steady escalation to, and enhancement of, compensation at these agencies over the past twenty years. Superimposed on this comparability mandate is the fact that the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) currently negotiates compensation provisions on behalf of employees at each of these agencies other than the FRB and the CFTC, where a petition for representation is pending (check on this).

How Do Salaries Compare to the General Schedule?

By way of illustration, let’s look at some relevant statistics at the largest of these agencies, the FDIC, as compared to the rest of the government. The negotiated compensation agreement between the FDIC and NTEU covering 2010-2013 provides that basic non-supervisory/executive pay will be at least 10% and no more than 40% above comparable GS pay grades. Stated another way, the 2013 salary for a GS-12 (average grade for a Washington, D.C. area employee), Step 10 employee at most executive agencies was $78,355, while the maximum salary of a CG-12 FDIC employee was $109,697. In terms of an overall comparison, the average GS salary for 2013, including locality pay, was $79,030 while the average 2013 FDIC salary, including locality pay, was $123,710, a 56% increase.
Are There Different Benefits?
In addition to the significantly higher salary scales, the following links are some examples of the generous benefit programs provided by the financial regulatory agencies: separate 401(k) plans with agency contributions; distinct agency insurance programs covering health, life, vision, dental, and long-term disability; annual physical exam subsidies; and generous relocation programs. All of these benefits exist independent of the insurance plans and benefits available to other federal employees. Of particular significance is the fact that, besides having its own 401(k) savings plan, the FRB has its own unique pension plan, in which employees of the CFPB may also participate.

What Kinds of Jobs Are Available?

The workforce at these financial regulatory agencies largely consists of: Bank Examiners, Financial Analysts, Economists, Accountants, Attorneys and IT professionals. However, there are also numerous administrative positions in areas such as Human Resources (including Benefits, Labor & Employee Relations, Policy and Training), Equal Employment Opportunity, Procurement and Budget Operations. These administrative positions generally require no financial prerequisites and, as indicated above, are significantly more lucrative than their counterparts at other executive agencies.

Please visit the websites of each of the referenced agencies, usajobs, and search all federal sector and for related jobs by occupation and agency in order to see the full range of available positions.

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

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

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Posted on Monday, 22nd September 2014 by

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There are many employment options available today in the private and public sectors. We hear so much about the traditional job market that it is easy to overlook some of the most lucrative job options. Have you consider working for the federal government? Federal jobs are plentiful and available nationwide if you know where to look.

I worked for Uncle Sam for 30 years retiring in 2012. I started in the acquisition field as a contract specialist and eventually transferred to an IT profession. My first IT job was as an Information Management Specialist and then I moved to an Information Specialist in policy and planning. Both jobs were in the Information Technology Management Series. I ended my career as a Program Analyst in the GS-0343 Series. My career took a few turns along the way, however, it was interesting and I learned quite a lot.

As my career progressed I was given greater roles and responsibilities. I enjoyed serving my country and for me that was one of the most enjoyable aspects of my work and was one of my reasons for getting up each morning.

It too can be your reason for getting up in the morning along with attractive benefits, good pay, and job security. The benefits are generous to say the least and include; life and health insurance, a 401k plan and a Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS), 13 days of sick leave each year, and vacation time, called annual leave in the federal sector, is accrued based on your length of service. You can also save up to 6 weeks of annual leave and sell that time back to the government when you retire.

Job security is another factor to consider and there are less layoffs, called a Reduction in Force (RIF), in the federal government. Promotion potential depends upon many factors including your motivation, credentials, willingness to relocate, and the agency you work for.

Working as a public servant can be very rewarding. How many jobs or careers for that matter, can you say are truly rewarding? There is a satisfaction in knowing that you are an integral part of something much bigger than you are. You are serving the American public and able to work in challenging environments across the country and in so many different occupations. Duty is a certain aspect of working for the Federal Government that goes beyond just showing up for the job each day.

There are many resources for you to explore federal jobs in your area. Start by visiting www.federaljobs.net, the companion web site for the 11th edition of The Book of U.S. Government Jobs. This book and website walk you through the hiring process and provide the information you need to find jobs, complete a professional federal resume, and prepare for the job interview. Also visit www.usajobs.gov, the official recruiting website for the federal government.
Many assume that the majority of federal employees work in the DC Metro area. Fewer than 15 percent of all federal employees worked in or near Washington, DC. You will find offices and federal jobs in all of the major metropolitan areas. Many smaller cities and rural areas have district or local facility offices that offer opportunities for employment across the country and internationally in over 200 countries.

The Federal Government offers tremendous opportunities with over 900 occupations to choose from! From administrative and management to general labor and trades. The baby boomers will be retiring in greater numbers in the next few years, and young people will be needed to fill these jobs. There are many opportunities to take advantage of if you take the time to seek them out. Start exploring the possibilities today.

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

 

 

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

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Posted on Monday, 15th September 2014 by

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I was so excited when I got the call to come to work for the United States Postal Service! I had recently been laid off from another job and this couldn’t have come at a better time. I had always heard that the USPS was a good place to work and I found out it was. The benefits were excellent; 5 weeks of vacation (when I retired), 10 paid holidays, 13 paid sick days, health benefits and good wages!

I began my postal career June 1, 1991 at the General Mail Facility (GMF) in Kansas City KS working as a Distribution Clerk. My duties included; sorting parcels, letters and flats, working in the registry cage, running the Flat machine and Bar Code Sorter.

One of my favorite things to do was work on the flat machine. This was a machine that sorted the flats (magazines and newspapers) by zip code. I would sit at a conveyer and the flats would come in front of me and I would have to key the last three digits of the zip code, then the machine would take the flat and dump it in a tub to be delivered to that particular post office. I liked to challenge myself on how fast I could key them in. I was scheduled on Tour 1, which is 10:30 pm to 7 am and I was surprised when I found out I would be working nights. I guess I never gave it a thought as to how the mail got to the post office for the carriers to deliver. I have to admit, it was an adjustment to work those hours and as soon as I could, I put in for a transfer to the Pleasant Hill MO Post Office.

I was able to transfer in August of 1993 and began working the window and sorting mail. I would arrive at the post office around 5:45 am and began sorting the mail for the carriers. We had to sort it by route. It took a little while to learn all the different street names and which route they went on, but doing it day after day, I learned it pretty quickly. We had two city routes and 5 rural routes. The clerks in offices like this usually do a split shift, we come in early to sort the mail and then come back in the afternoon to get all the mail ready for dispatch.

One of my other duties while working at Pleasant Hill was as a substitute City Carrier. I would carry the mail every other Saturday. I’m not much of an “outdoor” person, so this job wasn’t one of my favorite things to do. You had to carry mail in the rain, snow, hail, etc. I liked the days where it was 70 degrees and mail was light! This route was 4 miles long, so it wasn’t that bad compared to the other route, which was 18 miles. I met a lot of nice people along the route and some of them were very good to me including giving me something cold to drink on those hot days. That was so appreciated! That’s one of the nice things about the postal service; there are many, many different jobs. There is one out there for you!

I transferred in 1995 to the Greenwood MO Post Office where I also worked the window and sorted mail. This was a smaller office than Pleasant Hill; we didn’t have any city routes and only 3 rural routes. No more carrying mail! I liked that! I stayed at this post office until 2000, when I transferred to the Bates City MO Post Office. That is one of the nice things about the post office, you are able to transfer and get closer to home. Bates City was only a few miles from my home, which made it so nice. I was the only clerk in Bates City. Whenever the Postmaster was out of the office, such as on annual or meetings at the District Office, I would be the Officer In Charge or Acting Postmaster.

In October of 2003, I was fortunate to be “detailed” in the Personnel Department at the District Offices in Kansas City MO. I learned so much in that position and loved that job. I was responsible for the hiring of career and non-career employees in 700+ post offices, stations and processing plants in Kansas and Missouri. My two-year “detail” turned into 5 years! It was a very rewarding position, because I got to see the excitement on new employees faces just like I had in 1991. The USPS has been very good to me; I had excellent pay, health benefits and now a good retirement. If you are looking for the same things, I strongly urge you to visit http://www.postalwork.net to explore the opportunities and for direct links to the official USPS employment site. Search for any positions that are now available and apply. I don’t think you will be sorry that you did. Good luck to you!

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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 Career Exploration, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies, Post Office Jobs

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Posted on Monday, 8th September 2014 by

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It’s no surprise that many people interested in Federal jobs often are discouraged by the amount of time it can take to complete the hiring process. Following the closing date of a job announcement, the hiring timeline is affected by the rating and ranking process including the application of various hiring preferences, the interview process, reference checks, and the necessary background investigation. Despite efforts by the Obama administration, through the issuance of a Presidential Memorandum, and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to streamline the process, it may still take several months from the submission of an application until the first day of work.

A Direct-Hire Authority (DHA) is perhaps the most effective tool currently available to agencies seeking to expedite the hiring of qualified people in positions that must be filled quickly. The following discussion provides information on current government-wide authorities; outlines the nature of a DHA; indicates what an agency must do to obtain the authority; and explains what applicants should do in order to take advantage of a DHA.

Current Government-Wide Direct-Hire Authorities

At this time, agencies may take advantage of government-wide DHA related to the following occupations:

  • Medical positions (Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist, Medical Officer, Nurse, Pharmacist)
  • Veterinary Medical Officer
  • Information Technology Management (Information Security) positions
  • Federal Acquisition positions covering a broad range of contracting and purchasing jobs
  • Iraqi Reconstruction positions requiring fluency in Arabic or other Middle Eastern languages

Description of Authority

Under a DHA, an agency must demonstrate a severe shortage of candidates or critical hiring need. If one of these conditions applies, the agency is free to hire any qualified applicants into a competitive service position without regard to:

  • the normal rating and ranking process,
  • the application of veterans’ preference, or
  • the “rule of three” selection requirement, under which managers may only select from among the three highest-scoring applicants.

Although OPM may independently authorize a DHA for certain positions/locations, it is more common for individual agencies to submit a request based on their own unique sets of circumstances.

Required Information

In making a Direct-Hire request, an agency must be as specific as possible about the positions it seeks to fill in particular locations, as well as define the time-frame needed for use of the authority.

When making a request based on a severe shortage of candidates, the relevant regulation provides detailed guidance as to how an agency can demonstrate that the position(s) are difficult to fill. OPM finds the following to be the most significant types of evidence: documented results of relatively recent recruitment and training efforts including the use of other hiring authorities and incentives; reports from government organizations and trade associations regarding employment trends and skill shortages; and unique position requirements such as security clearance and medical training.

Under a critical hiring need request, an agency must document the basis for the need and submit evidence as to why the use of existing hiring authorities is impracticable or would be ineffective. Specifically, an agency must point to a provision of law, Presidential directive/initiative, declaration of national emergency, or other unforeseen circumstance that requires the immediate filling of vacancies. OPM also requires the agency to fully describe why other hiring authorities, or options such as transfers, details, or reassignments, cannot meet the immediate need.

Finding a Direct-Hire Position

Don’t be discouraged If you do not qualify for one of the available government-wide Direct-Hire positions. There are likely to be many more positions available as a result of specific agency grants of authority. Agencies must post all Direct-Hire vacancies on usajobs.gov. A recent search revealed over 300 Direct-Hire job postings. In order to insure that you’ve captured the full range of available positions, you should also visit the job postings portal on the website for any agency that hires people with your qualifications and is located in your geographic area(s) of interest.

By way of caution, the use of DHA is not free from controversy. As indicated above, its application negates veterans’ preference, and Congress recently scrutinized HHS’s filling of approximately 1800 Direct-Hire positions in connection with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

For detailed information regarding DHA, please see the fact sheet on OPM’s website.

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

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

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Posted on Monday, 1st September 2014 by

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Information Technology is a constantly growing field and IT Professionals have many options today at their disposal. Explore private sector and federal IT jobs to expand your employment options .

Private Sector IT Professionals versus Public Sector IT Professionals

The private sector employs network administrators, security, and systems analysts. The benefit packages including health insurance, 401k for retirement, sick time, holidays, and vacations can differ greatly from company to company. You must also consider the risk of a layoff, and the promotion potential at a particular company. Certifications and educational requirements are similar for both the private and the public sector.

The federal sector assigns job categories for each occupation and the 2210 job series is specifically for IT jobs. The benefits that the Federal Government offers are generous including health insurance, Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) (a 401k plan), Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS), sick and annual leave is accrued based on how long you work for the government. There are less layoffs, called Reduction in Force (RIF), in the federal government and promotion potential depends upon many factors including your credentials, willingness to relocate, and the agency you work for.

2210 Job Series

The Information Technology Management series (2210) is covered by a Job Family Standard (JFS). This article will explore 2 of these federal jobs, the education requirements, and other qualifications.

The Network Services (NETWORK) includes network administrators, LAN/WAN administrator and others. The required education includes High School and experience or a BS degree or higher for an entry-level job. Network administrators can further distinguish themselves with various certifications, such as CompTIA’s Network+, and Cisco’s CCNA. They have to be able to work in various operating systems and computer platforms, as well as do program, design and modify commercial software. The Occupational Outlook Handbook describes the Network and Computer Systems Administrator in detail.

The Systems Administration (SYSANALSIS) includes system administrator, site administrator or UNIX/Windows administrator. The required education is a Bachelors Degree or higher. Systems administrators include more advanced certifications in Microsoft. The Project Management Institute (PMI) has a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. The systems analyst should have knowledge of hardware systems and software applications. The Occupational Outlook Handbook link to this career field provides insightful information about job outlook, working conditions, pay and more.

This is just a small sample of the tremendous opportunities that the Federal Government has to offer in IT. Various agencies can offer the IT professional exciting and challenging jobs. Below is a list of agencies that require highly skilled IT processionals.

U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM)

The U.S. Cyber Command or USCYBERCOM is located in Fort Gordon, GA and is one of the premier places for IT professionals to work. The mission of “USCYBERCOM is to plan, coordinate, integrate, synchronize, and conduct activities to direct the operations and defense of specified DOD information networks. They also prepare to, and when directed, conduct full-spectrum military cyberspace operations in order to enable actions in all domains, ensure US/Allied freedom of action in cyberspace and deny the same to our adversaries.” Here is the link for more information, U.S. Army Cyber Command.

U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM)

NETCOM was realigned in 2014 to a subordinate command under the U.S. Army Cyber Command/2nd Army and their mission is to operate and defend computer networks of the United States Army. Their headquarters are in Fort Huachuca, AZ and they provide direct and indirect support to Army and Joint Coalition forces. Here is the link for more information NETCOM | Home – U.S. Army .

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

DHS is comprised of 22 agencies and was formed after the attacks of 9/11 in 2001. Their mission is to ” prevent terrorism and enhance security; managing our borders; administering immigration laws; securing cyberspace; and ensuring disaster resilience.” DHS is unique because it impacts all sectors, from across the federal government, state, local, tribal and territorial governments, non-governmental organizations and the private sector all help to carry out this mission. Here is the link for more information U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

What the future holds for IT professionals

All agencies across the federal government will have an increased need for IT professionals to keep our networks properly functioning, protect our infrastructure, and defend against cyber attacks.

The Bureau of Labor statics indicates that the estimated job growth (through 2018) in the field of information technology will add approximately 785,700 new jobs. Moreover, it is projected to grow twice as fast as other occupations. According to the Bureau of Labor (BLS), the average wage of a Network Administrator with a Bachelors Degree is about $77,910 and for a Computer Systems Analyst with a Bachelors Degree is about $85,320.

The future for IT professionals in the federal government is excellent. Agencies continue to expand their automation footprint. Having the right education and certifications will make an IT professional stand out. Our infrastructure and computer networks are under constant attack, there will always be a need for good IT professionals to keep it safe. View all IT job listings for your area.

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

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

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Posted on Monday, 25th August 2014 by

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In part one of this series, we discussed a brief history of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and its role in protecting our America’s borders. In addition, the U.S. Border Patrol Agent was featured, today in this final part of this two part series, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer will be discussed. I interviewed two CBP Officers for this second article.

The CBP Officer’s role is different from that of the U.S. Border Patrol Agent. The CBP Officer enforces laws that secure our borders and fight terrorism. They work in airports and seaports examining cargo and passengers at border stations. On the other hand, U.S. Border Patrol Agents track illegal immigration and smuggling primarily along the Mexican and Canadian borders. Both the Border Patrol Agent and the CBP Officer together help to fight domestic and foreign terrorism.

Economics play an integral role in the security of our borders. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Field Operations, they “help drive our Nation’s economic engine by facilitating lawful international trade and travel through the enforcement of hundreds of U.S. laws and regulations ranging from agriculture to intellectual property rights”.

Natalia Papachoris, Chief CBP Officer, GS-13 wanted to become a CBP Officer because it offered her the opportunity to do something that she knew would be a challenge. She stated, “I also knew it would be very rewarding. I knew I would receive invaluable training, and that this career would allow me the opportunity to positively impact many people’s lives. As an officer, I am able to interact with hundreds of travelers every day, and I work with some of the most amazing people from all parts of the country.”

Officer Papachoris gets satisfaction from knowing that all of the work the agency does has a great impact on the nation. She states, ” Of course, everyone hears about the very exciting enforcement work we do, which is outstanding; but we also do so much more! A big part of our job entails facilitating trade and tourism into the Unites States. It is very rewarding to know that the work we do not only keeps bad things and bad people out of the country, but it also has a positive impact on the US economy every day.”

The most rewarding part of her job is that she sees the clear outcomes of her work. Natalia explains that, “whether apprehending and denying entry to a traveler with nefarious intentions or seizing harmful contraband, I know my efforts make a difference. I enjoy the constantly varied challenges that are put in front of me and the ability to be flexible and adaptable to solve the problems. I am motivated by the encouragement I receive to think outside the box and be creative.”

Officer Papachoris would advise people entering the field that, “this job has unlimited opportunities. Not only do we have officers working in most every part of the country, but we have international positions as well. The work we do entails so many different jobs; a new officer will have so many possibilities.”

She further states, “We are the first line of defense on our borders! We are responsible for protecting against terrorists, apprehending individuals who attempt to enter the US illegally; for interdicting illegal drugs and other contraband, and we also protect our agricultural and economic interests from harmful pests and diseases. Most importantly, what other job can offer so much? ”

Tommy Sutton, CBP Officer/Program Manager, GS13 applied to CBP out of a fascination with international travel and the desire to be part of one of the greatest missions in protecting our homeland. He stated that, ” whether returning from an international flight or walking across an international border, I would take notice of the CBP officers performing their various functions and be interested in their work. It was clear that they were applying sharp thinking and expert problem solving to quickly make determinations and follow up possible issues with people and things that might not have been lawful. Further, I liked the thought of being part of an agency and tradition that was nearly as old as our country itself. I felt that being part of CBP would be an exciting career.”

Officer Sutton finds his working for CBP rewarding because he can see the clear outcomes of his efforts. He advises those pursuing employment with CBP that, ” you only live once. You owe it yourself to choose an exciting, fun and challenging career. CBP offers limitless opportunities to pursue throughout your career. Whether you chose to stay here at home or venture out to locations throughout the world, you will be met daily with interesting and important work. You will know that you have tangibly and relevantly had a big part in protecting our homeland and the American people.”

The roles of the CBP Officer and the U.S. Border Patrol Agent are our first line of defense in securing our borders and for our fight against terrorism. The goal of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection is to provide the best possible security, this agency will have a lasting impact by protecting our country. According to the a recent announcement, CBP will hire 2,000 additional officers by the end of fiscal year 2015 to enhance security, help reduce wait times and facilitate growing volumes of legitimate goods and travelers that are critical to the health of our Nation’s economy.

Additional resources:

The economic benefit of a single CBP officer
Law Enforcement Jobs

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

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

 

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies, Law Enforcement jobs, Overseas Jobs

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Posted on Monday, 18th August 2014 by

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Every time we turn on the news today border control and immigration is a hot news topic. Tens of thousands of unaccompanied children are crossing our border monthly and flooding the already overtaxed customs and border protection services. Major immigration overall is a legislative priority as the new arrivals and the 11 million or so undocumented residents must be dealt with. There are many border patrol job opportunities currently available and many more to come as necessary funding is approved to improve border security.

Have you ever wondered what a U.S. Border Patrol Agent really does?  This article will explore various facets of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) service. With over 60,000 employees, CBP, is one of the largest law enforcement organizations in the world. It’s missions is to keep terrorists and their weapons out of the U.S. while facilitating international trade and travel within the guidelines of our laws. Border Patrol is a department within CBP.

In part one of the series; we will cover what it is like to work for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection service, featuring U.S. Border Patrol Agents. Part two of the series will cover the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer.

Prior to1921 border control was not an apparent priority for the U.S. Government.  Things changed when on January 16, 1920, the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, prohibiting the making, importation, and distribution of alcohol beverages became effective. Additionally, the U.S. Government was limiting the number of immigrants coming to the United States.

Because of these two events, protecting the U.S. border was becoming more important and in 1924, the U.S. Border Patrol was established. Its mission is to be “guardians of our nation’s borders”.  Initially the U.S. Border Patrol only staffed  inspection stations and in 1925 seaports were added. Their role has expanded over the years and today, it is called U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection service is the guardian of our nation’s borders and safeguard the American homeland at and beyond our borders. While living in Arizona, in the Sierra Vista area, (60 miles from the Mexico border), whenever I would travel to Tucson, I encountered several U.S. Border Patrol Agents.  They would inspect underneath the vehicle and ask to see my ID. I was grateful for what they were doing to protect our nation.

A U.S Border Patrol Agent must be a U.S. citizen, have a valid driver’s license, and pass the CBP Border Patrol examination. They must also either know or learn to speak Spanish, and their application is assessed for relevant job-related experiences and achievements.  Review the GS-1896 Qualification Standard for  complete information on how to qualify for positions from entry level to higher grade positions.

Additionally, U.S. Border Patrol Agents must be under 37 years of age, the pay grades go from GS-1896-05 to GS-1896-12, the education can range from high school to a masters degree depending upon the job.  Agents must pass a thorough background check, medical examination, drug test, and fitness test.  New hires are sent for 55 days of training at the CBP Border Patrol Academy in Artesia, N.M. The training includes immigration and nationality regulations and laws, Spanish, physical fitness and marksmanship.  There is an additional 40 days for those who need to master Spanish.

U.S. Border Patrol Agents must work overtime and shift work hours often under very harsh conditions and they are subject to random drug tests. Their assignments can be for a short duration or permanent reassignments to any duty location. Every Agent starts their assignments along the Southwest border. They are ultimately responsible for preventing illegal immigrants from crossing the U.S. border, and can confiscate various items that maybe smuggled into our country.

For this article, I interviewed three U.S. Border Patrol Agents from varied backgrounds; all were GS-12s and they replied to the following questions:

  1. Name of Agent, job title and grade.
  2. Why did you join the Border Patrol?
  3. What is the most rewarding part of your job?
  4. What would you say to a young person that would make them want to      work for the Border Patrol?

Here are the interviewee’s answers:

1.  Name of Agent, job title, and grade.

Jacopo Bruni, Border Patrol Agent, GS-12

2.  Why did you join the Border Patrol?

I always had an interest in Law Enforcement. As a recent college graduate with a degree in Criminal Justice, I was looking for a career that would bring adventure, challenges, and satisfaction. The Border Patrol gave me the opportunity to work in my field of study, to see and live in a new part of the country, and to be part of something bigger: the agency responsible with protecting America at the frontline.

3.  What is the most rewarding part of your job?

There are many challenges in the environment we work in. I have found that if you want to be successful, you must work as a team.  The most rewarding part of my career is taking on a difficult task with a team of hard working individuals with different backgrounds to overcome challenges and accomplish goals.

4.  What would you say to a young person that would make them want to work for the Border Patrol?

If you are an ambitious, hardworking, and persistent person, you are off to a good start, because you will need all these traits to be successful.  Our core values are Integrity, Vigilance, and Service to Country. If these align with your own personal values, you will find this career very rewarding.

1.    Name of Agent, job title and grade.

Michael Scappechio, Border Patrol Agent, GS-12

2.    Why did you join the Border Patrol?

Ever since I was a young kid, I knew, and was told by others, that I would work in public service. I had always considered law enforcement, but began to pursue a path in Emergency Medical Response and firefighting.  When I was 18, I began volunteering for a city fire department. Within the department, I met a Border Patrol Agent who explained his career to me. The pride he exuded for the work he did, and the stories that he told made the United States Border Patrol an instant attraction.

3.    What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Simple. Every day is different, and every day is spent with professionals who share a common goal and passion for their work. I am confident that this career will continue to provide this type of work environment for the long haul. In addition, the laws that we enforce and the strategies that deploy are designed to protect America at the first line of defense. Being a part of the effort to protect this country gives me great pride.

 4.    What would you say to a young person that would make them want to work for the Border Patrol?

I was young when the Border Patrol accepted me into their work force. The agency has provided me invaluable skills such as interpersonal, organizational, leadership and public speaking skills. They trusted me, and judged me by my performance, not my age. They provided me premier training, and continue to do so on a regular basis. Through our valuable mentorship program, and career-growth resources, advancement opportunities continue to present themselves. The sky’s the limit. For these reasons, I feel an overwhelming sense of loyalty and appreciation for my agency. They’ll have to kick me out.

1.    Name of Agent, job title and grade.

Matthew Trombley, Border Patrol Agent, GS-12

2.    Why did you join the Border Patrol?

I wanted to join the Border Patrol because every Border Patrol Agent I ever spoke with really enjoyed their job. The wide range of opportunities the Border Patrol offered really interested me. For example, the average Border Patrol Agent has opportunity to perform a vast array of duties such as line watch duties, checkpoint duties, boat patrol, bike patrol, horse patrol, ATV patrols, sensor duties, prosecutions duties the list goes on.

3.    What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Each day as a United States Border Patrol Agent will present itself with various unknown challenges. Overcoming these challenges and gaining experience how to deal with the next challenge while completing the mission of the Border Patrol is very rewarding.

4.    What would you say to a young person that would make them want to work for the Border Patrol?           

I really enjoy my job with the Border Patrol. The Border Patrol is more than a  job it will be a job you will want as a career and a job that will become a way of life.

Part two of this series is about CBP Officers. Here are several links, one is to a vacancy announcement specifically for CBP Officers, and the other talks about their hiring initiatives:

The men and women of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection are our first defense against our borders from terrorists and others whom may want to do harm to the United States.  Their dedication, loyalty, and integrity are unsurpassed in the fight against enemies both foreign and domestic.

If you are interested in a border patrol job you should explore your options and also consider  related federal law enforcement jobs in your area. Seek out all federal job announcements and apply for any vacancy that you meet the basic qualifications for.

Additional Resources

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

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

 

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

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Posted on Monday, 11th August 2014 by

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You want to be a carrier in the post office, but which position is best for you?

Rural Carriers all begin their career as Rural Carrier Associates (RCA).  These positions are part-time, every Saturday and any time the regular carrier needs off work. In most offices, you will have to provide your own vehicle, in which you get paid an Equipment Maintenance Allowance (EMA) on top of the hourly wage.  The average hourly wage is $16.00 per hour.  RCA’s do not receive health benefits, but they elect to pay for their own health benefits after one year of employment.  RCA’s are eligible for annual and sick leave.  RCA’s are eligible to “bid” on regular rural carrier positions in their office when an opening is available.  Sometimes, it can take a long time to become a regular rural carrier. Once you become a Regular Rural Carrier, then you will begin receiving health benefits, annual, sick leave and can contribute to the Thrift Savings Plan.  Rural Carriers are not paid an hourly wage.  The routes are evaluated; this is determined by a yearly mail count, your pay will be based on the evaluation of the route.

In some cities/towns, the rural carrier can drive as much as 100 miles per day.  You will have to drive on the right hand side of the vehicle, so you would need an appropriate car.  Some offices provide their rural carriers with a postal vehicle, but in most cases you would need your own.  As a carrier, you are out in all types of weather; ice, snow, rain, etc. You have to be prepared for any type of weather. Rural Carriers usually spend about 2-3 hours in the office casing their mail and 4-5 hours out on the street.  Of course, every day is different; it all depends on the mail volume.  Mondays and the day after a holiday are usually high volume mail days.  If you like driving a vehicle and being outside, this is the job for you.

City Carriers for the most part, do not drive a vehicle to deliver their mail.  They may drive a postal vehicle to carry their mail and then do what is called a “Park and Loop”.  They will park the vehicle and then get out and walk for several blocks delivering the mail house to house.  One of the offices I worked in, we had two city carriers; one of them walked 18 miles a day and the other walked 4 miles a day.   You carry your mail in a mail sack that can weigh up to 40 pounds, it’s always nice to get to that last neighborhood, the mailbag is much lighter.  Being a City Carrier, you also will be working in all types of weather; snow, ice, hot, humid, etc.  You will need to be prepared for all types of inclement weather.

City Carriers have to wear a uniform and will receive a uniform allowance every year to purchase the clothes that are required.  Full-time City Carriers receive health benefits, annual, sick leave and can contribute to the Thrift Savings Plan.

The Postal Service hires City Carrier Assistants (CCA), which is a part-time position.  The average pay for a CCA is $15.00 an hour.  They are hired to work 365 days and then can be reappointed provided they are performing well.   CCA’s earn 1 hour of annual leave for every 20 hours worked.  They also qualify for health benefits after the 90-day probation.  Unlike the RCA’s, CCA’s are not eligible to bid on City Carrier positions, if a City Carrier position is posted on eCareer, CCA’s would have to apply on eCareer and compete with everyone else.

Both positions would require taking the 473 Entrance Exam.  See http://postalwork.net/eCareer_Guide.htm for a step-by-step process for applying and taking the exam. A postal exam study guide titled Post Office Jobs, the 5th edition, helps you prepare for the exam and it is available at bookstores or check out a copy from your local library.

For more information on rural mail carrier and city post office jobs, including the latest postal pay scales, visit www.postalwork.net.

Good Luck to all on your endeavors to work for the United States Postal

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, Job Vacancies, Post Office Jobs

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