Posted on Thursday, 1st December 2016 by

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The U.S. Mint was created in 1792 and is charged with the production and circulation of coinage, paper money is produced by the U.S. Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing.  U.S. coins are used to conduct trade and commerce. The Mint is also responsible for the storage and movement bullion.  The U.S. Mint produces coins at four located in Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco and West Point.

History of the U.S. Mint

Once the Constitution was ratified, the Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, prepared plans for a national Mint.  On April 2, 1792, Congress passed The Coinage Act, creating the Mint.

The Mint was originally under the State Department and was made an independent agency in 1799.  The passage of The Coinage Act of 1873 placed the U.S. Mint under the Department of the Treasury.

United States Mint Facilities

There are five United States Mint facilities functioning today including a United States Bullion Depository, whose functions are to fill the United States’ need for circulating coins, comply with the Congressional mandate for numismatic products and to safeguard and store bullion reserves.

Each facility performs many different functions to ensure that all needs are met and all Congressional mandates are accomplished. The United States Mint headquarters, located in Washington, D.C., is responsible for policy formulation, administrative guidance, program management, research and development, marketing operations, customer services and order processing.

The United States Mint at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is the oldest functioning facility. It is responsible for engraving and manufacturing coins and medal dies and the production of circulating and some commemorative coins. This facility and the United States Mint at Denver also conduct public tours.

The Denver facility, like the one in Philadelphia, primarily produces circulating coins. The United States Mint at San Francisco, California is responsible for producing proof coins for numismatic collectibles as well as some commemorative coins.

The United States Mint at West Point, located in New York, is responsible for manufacturing gold, silver, and platinum bullion, proof and uncirculated coins and also strikes some commemorative coins.

The United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox, located in Kentucky, is not a production facility—it stores precious metal bullion reserves for the United States.

Functions

The Mint manages extensive commercial marketing programs. The product line includes special coin sets for collectors, national medals, American Eagle gold, silver and platinum bullion coins, and commemorative coins marking national events such as the Bicentennial of the Constitution. The Mint’s functions include:

  • Producing domestic, bullion and foreign coins;
  • Manufacturing and selling national commemorative medals;
  • Designing and producing the congressional gold medals;
  • Designing, producing, and marketing special coinage;
  • Safeguarding and controlling the movement of bullion;
  • Disbursing gold and silver for authorized purposes;
  • Distributing coins from the various mints to Federal Reserve Banks.

United States Mint Police

The U.S. Mint Police occupation was established in 1792 and is one of the oldest federal law enforcement organizations in the country.  Mint police protect over $100 billion in Treasury and other Government assets that are stored in facilities located in Philadelphia, PA, San Francisco CA, West Point, NY, Denver, CO, Fort Knox, KY and the Washington D.C. headquarters.  Their primary mission is to protect life, property, preventing, detecting, and investigating criminal acts, collecting and preserving evidence, making arrests and enforcing Federal and local laws.

Police Officer (GS-0083) Occupation

The federal government employs 14,087 police of which 230 work overseas. The Veterans Administration employs 3,378 followed by the Department of the Navy with 2800 civilians employed in this series. Over half of the cabinet level agencies hire police officers and security guards. There are also 4,717 security guards employed in the federal service. Most work for the Department of the Army.  Health and Human Services employs 237, while the Department of the Interior employs 182. The DOD, Navy, Air Force and others employ small numbers of security guards.

Occupational Interview 

 

Officer Connie Rupp, U.S. Mint

Officer Connie Rupp, U.S. Mint

 Connie Rupp is a police officer (GS-0083) with the U.S. Mint and is stationed at Denver, CO.

Why did you decide to become a police officer?

I started as a Law Enforcement Officer in the US Air Force and knew I had found my place. After my tour of duty with the Air Force I sought a degree in Criminalistics and have continued with a Masters in Criminology. The field continues to fascinate me. I’ve been fortunate to work many aspects of the law enforcement field, from thecrime lab to dispatching and security to Police Officer. Police Officers have a special bond and sense of being part of an elite team. I cannot imagine doing anything else.

What is a typical day in the life of a police officer?

I think it’s important to point out that being a Police Officer isn’t an eight hour a day job, it is a 24/7 job. There’s a level of vigilance and an awareness of your surroundings that is always there. However, when I put on the uniform I know I represent the United States and all that makes it great. Working at the Mint is unique, not only in what we produce everyday but, that we welcome the public to observe and learn about it. I interact with the public as well as the employees on a daily basis. Most people have no idea that the U.S. Mint Police have been around for 224 years and are the third oldest federal law enforcement agency.  We keep the people and the assets safe. That’s a very important job!

Do you face any dangers as a police officer?

I believe there are more dangers now than ever before. It’s not just a local threat but, a global threat. That’s precisely why we should be vigilant and aware of everything going on around us.

What is the most rewarding experience of being a police officer?

Anytime I can do something to make someone’s day just a little bit better. Even if it is as small as giving directions or letting someone in the tour who didn’t know they needed reservations.

Would you recommend this as a good career option?

Absolutely, what we do here every day is unique and rewarding. I love my job! There are opportunities to advance and new skills to acquire. The Mint Police encourage both personal and professional growth. I am grateful for the opportunity. An example of this is that each year we fill out an individual development plan (IDP) where we set short term and long term goals. When the training goals benefit the Officer and the Division, they are willing to invest in the Officer. The Mint is the only job where I’ve experienced this type of support. In addition, the benefits are good and retirement attainable.

Duties of a Police Officer

  • You must be a U.S. citizen to apply.
  • Salary is $36,069.00 to $46,888.00 per year.

Information from opm.gov on experience for a GS-0083 series:

Experience

General Experience (for positions at GS-4 and below): Qualifying general experience includes experience in administrative, clerical, technical, or military work that involved protecting property, equipment, data, or materials; or that involved making judgments based on the application of directions, rules, regulations, or laws.

Specialized Experience (for positions at GS-4 and above): Experience that provided knowledge of a body of basic laws and regulations, law enforcement operations, practices, and techniques and involved responsibility for maintaining order and protecting life and property. Creditable specialized experience may have been gained in work on a police force; through service as a military police officer; in work providing visitor protection and law enforcement in parks, forests, or other natural resource or recreational environments; in performing criminal investigative duties; or in other work that provided the required knowledge and skills.

Grade Education / Training
 GS-2 Graduation from high school may be substituted for the required experience.
 GS-3  One year of successfully completed study at an accredited school above the high school level with at least 6 semester hours of study pertinent to police work.
GS-4 Two years of successfully completed study at an accredited school above the high school level with at least 12 semester hours in police administration, police law and evidence, police investigation, criminology, law enforcement, general law, or similar subjects closely related to police work.
GS-5 Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study leading to a bachelor’s degree in Police Science or a comparable degree program related to the work of the position.

Successful completion of a Federal, State, county, or municipal police academy or comparable training course that included at least 40 classroom hours of instruction in police department procedures and methods, and local law and regulations, may be substituted for a maximum of 3 months of specialized experience or 6 months of general experience.

No substitution of education or training may be made for the required specialized experience at GS-6 and above.

Medical Requirements

The duties of these positions require moderate to arduous physical exertion and/or duties of a hazardous nature. The following medical requirements apply to all applicants: good near and distant vision, ability to distinguish basic colors, and ability to hear the conversational voice. Agencies may establish additional, job-related physical or medical requirements if the specific position(s) involves the arduous or hazardous duties to which the physical requirements relate.

Information from ooh.gov on the police officer:

Qualities

  • Communication skills. Police, detectives, and fish and game wardens must be able to speak with people when gathering facts about a crime and to express details about a given incident in writing.
  • Empathy. Police officers need to understand the perspectives of a wide variety of people in their jurisdiction and have a willingness to help the public.
  • Good judgment. Police and detectives must be able to determine the best way to solve a wide array of problems quickly.
  • Leadership skills. Police officers must be comfortable with being a highly visible member of their community, as the public looks to them for assistance in emergency situations.
  • Perceptiveness. Officers, detectives, and fish and game wardens must be able to anticipate a person’s reactions and understand why people act a certain way.
  • Physical stamina. Officers and detectives must be in good physical shape, both to pass required tests for entry into the field, and to keep up with the daily rigors of the job.
  • Physical strength. Police officers must be strong enough to physically apprehend offenders.

Credit

  • Michael White, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Mint, Washington, D.C.
  • www.usmint.gov 
  • Photos provided by the U.S. Mint

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

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

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

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Posted on Friday, 11th November 2016 by

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In this article on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) we interview James Watts, an Airway Transportation Systems Specialist (FV-2101). The FAA hires most of this group to maintain the communications, navigation, surveillance, and automation equipment for the Federal Aviation Administration.  Employees are located throughout the country at airports, air traffic control centers, training centers, and related faculties.

The federal government employs 8,573 transportation specialists of which 152 work overseas. The Department of Transportation is the largest employer with 6,619 followed by the Department of the Air Force with 952 and the Department of the Army with 330.  Most cabinet level agencies and a few large independent agencies hire in this category. The FAA uses a Core Compensation Pay Band System instead of the General Schedule system that most are familiar with.

 Jamal Watts Interview

 

Jamal Watts ATSS

Jamal Watts ATSS

Jamal Watts, is a Supervisory Airway Transportation Systems Specialist, J Band, FV-2101 and works at the John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Why did you become an Airway Transportation Systems Specialist?

A lot of people joke about starting their jobs when they were just a kid, but for me it is true! I started working for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) at the age of 16.  At the time I was only looking for a summer job. My Mom wanted me to keep busy over the summer. I contacted the Cooperative Education office at my high school, August Martin in Jamaica, NY and they helped me get a job with an FAA program that hired high school students during the summer. The program was designed to give high school students a window into different FAA careers. I worked with FAA’s Aviation Education Department as an Office Clerk. Our office did outreach to high school and college students to get them interested in careers in aviation.

Some of my duties consisted of sending schools and organizations literature about careers in aviation including Pilots, Flight Attendants, Air Traffic Controllers and Electronic Technicians. The literature on the Electronic Technicians jobs got my attention. I always had an interest in fixing things and working with electronics. As I continued working with the summer program I requested a transfer to FAA’s Technical Operations organization which employed the Electronics Technicians that I had read so much about. So then I became an Electronic Technician Co-op Student. This group is responsible for installing new equipment at FAA facilities like Instrument Landing Systems (ILS), Runway Visual Range (RVR), Ambient Lighting System (ALS), and Communication Equipment just to name a few. I continued in the Co-op program until I graduated high school. After a couple of semesters at Queensborough Community College, Bayside, New York, I applied to the FAA’s Electronic Engineering Program. This program provided on the job training which I successfully completed and I was able to join the FAA as a full time Electronics Technician. My first position was as a Maintenance Electronics Technician at Newark Liberty International Air Traffic Control Tower.  The position is now called an Airway Transportation System Specialist (ATSS).

What is the most demanding part of being an Airway Transportation Systems Specialist?

The most demanding part of being an Airway Transportation System Specialist is keeping up with the Federal Aviation Administration’s vast and complex network of electronics systems required for the world’s largest air traffic control and navigation system. Our mission is to provide the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world.

What is a typical day like as an Airway Transportation Specialist?

A typical day as an Airway Transportation System Specialist can vary depending upon what is happening in the National Airspace System (NAS).  If there are any system equipment outages of course that is the priority. The FAA maintains over a 99 percent reliability in all of our systems nationwide, but equipment problems do occur and it is our job to get those systems back to 100 percent operation. Each system we maintain has a preventative maintenance schedule that must be followed which can be necessary daily, weekly, quarterly, semi-annually, annually or bi-annually.

What is unique about being an Airway Transportation Systems Specialist?

The most unique thing about being an Airway Transportation System Specialist is that we are the people behind the scenes playing a vital role to make sure the NAS runs smoothly. We work hand in hand with our partners, the air traffic controllers. It is a real source of pride for me to know that my work keeps the flying public safe.

Would you recommend an Airway Transportation Systems Specialist as a good job occupation?

I would definitely recommend an Airway Transportation System Specialist as a good job occupation. There are five different specialty areas that you can go pursue: Environmental, Navigational Aids, Communication, Radar, and Automation. It could be the start of a great career. The Federal Aviation Administration continually looks to the future by identifying, recruiting, and training a workforce that will ensure the U.S. keeps the world’s safest airspace.

Occupational Requirements

  • You must be a U.S. citizen to apply.
  • The average salary is $92,145.

Education

Undergraduate and Graduate Education: Major study or at least 24 semester hours in any combination of the following: computer science, mathematics, electronics, physical sciences, information management, engineering, telecommunications, or other fields related to the position.

Experience

General Experience (for GS-5 positions):Experience that provided a basic knowledge of the principles of electronics, mathematics, computers, aeronautics, or related areas, or an understanding, both theoretical and practical, of automated systems operation, integration, management, and maintenance. Experience may have been gained in occupations such as computer specialist, electronics technician, telecommunications specialist, engineer, or other work related to the position to be filled.

Specialized Experience: For GS-7 and GS-9: Experience that provided the opportunity to acquire and the need to apply practical and theoretical knowledge of the principles, functions, and processes associated with electronics and electricity concepts; computer systems and information management concepts telecommunications concepts; and system management and integration methods.

For GS-11 and above: Experience that demonstrated an extensive knowledge of and experience in the technology, system interrelationships, and management of civilian or military automated aviation, navigation, and electronics systems.

The FAA has many job opportunities so go today and explore what they have to offer.

Credits

  • Arlene Salac, Public Affairs Officer, Washington, D.C.
  • FAA website: http://www.faa.gov
  • Photos provided by the FAA

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

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

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Posted on Tuesday, 1st November 2016 by

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In today’s world it is imperative for all workers to continue updating their skills and expanding their job knowledge and expertise. Technology is responsible for the rapid pace at which our jobs evolve making continuing education a lifelong process.

CONTINUING YOUR EDUCATION IN A JOB TRAINING OR APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM

The workforce expects all workers to continue their education. It makes no difference if you have a high school diploma or a PhD. All workers in every conceivable job must continually update their knowledge and skills in order to remain productive…and employed. Those who think they have arrived because they hold a college degree and no longer need to continue their education are living in a dream world. Job requirements change and workers must grow with this change.

Where do you start? The short answer is to continue where you left off in the military or in your pre-military civilian life. If you have a high school degree, aim for the next level, an AA degree from a community college or a BA from a four-year college or university. If you have a BA, consider moving on towards a MA. If you have a MA consider working on a PhD or professional degree. All the data indicate that the higher your level of education, the more money you will make, and the greater your job security will be.

What if you are not inclined to pursue formal college level education? That is understandable because college courses are not for everyone. If that is where you are, pursue training programs for jobs in a market niche that offers continual opportunities.  Many veterans will find these opportunities in the skilled trades.

Working in the Skilled Trades

Jobs in the skilled trades are plentiful in the three major survival industries; food, shelter, clothing. Let’s focus on the shelter industry. If you want to pursue a career in one of the home/commercial trades, one option is to focus on heating and air conditioning systems by taking a HVACR certified training program. You will find HVACR training schools by going on line and Googling, “HVACR training.” Your chances of finding employment in this field with a reputable contractor will be greatly enhanced if you have training and certification.

The Construction Trades. The same applies for those seeking employment in other building trades: plumber, electrician, painter, bricklayer, mason, boilermaker, plasterer, carpenter, roofer, ironworker, wood flooring/carpet installer, etc. All are noble career paths and if this is where your interest lies, go for it. Even veterans who have military experience in one of these trades should seek civilian training and certification because it will increase your chances of finding work with a reputable employer.

You will find brick and mortar trade schools and online courses in every area across the country. Just Google “trade and training schools”, and add your area of interest. The trades offer incredible opportunities for satisfying lifetime employment. Ask any carpenter who worked on a $2 million home what the rewards are in addition to money and the response will be something like this, “Pride in creating something functional and beautiful and knowing there’s a little piece of me standing there.”

Transportation Jobs. These jobs are in demand by companies both large and small  and veterans with military transportation experience have an advantage. For example, I noted a Walmart posting for truck drivers that carried a base salary of $75,000 plus excellent benefits. Other  large corporations, like Lowes are also military friendly, they pay similar wages to their transportation workers. However, you do not just walk into a company and expect to find a job with an ordinary driver’s license.

Working in the commercial transportation business requires completion of tests for certification and a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation, is a useful destination for learning about the various types of certification required for driving commercial vehicles of all types. Check out the website, www.FMCSA.gov, to learn about all of the rules and regs governing this line of work.

Apprenticeship Programs

Another approach to finding the right training program is to contact trade unions in your area to explore apprenticeship programs. Several years in an apprenticeship program taking classroom courses and working with a master-level worker almost guarantees a full time, high paying job in a particular skilled trade. Make no mistake about it, though. You must put in your time to reap the reward you are seeking, a career job that will make you self-sufficient.

Sources of Information for the Skilled Trades

Where do you go to learn more? Here are some online sources to get you started.

  • AFL-CIO,www.aflcio.org. On the home page, enter “training and apprenticeships” which will take you to a number of locations to explore your area of interest. I did just that and found the following articles: “Helping Women Veterans Find Sheet Metal Apprenticeships” and “Meet the Veterans Who Rebuilt the World Trade Center”
  • Union Apprenticeship, www.jobsgalore.com. This site will direct you to many nationwide apprenticeship programs in different trades. Plan to spend a few hours here to explore all of the information.
  • Women and Apprenticeship. The International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) (www.iuoe.org/jobs/women-and-apprenticeship), offers programs incorporating both classroom instruction and hands-on learning in a variety of settings for both women and men.Successful completion of an IUOE apprenticeship program virtually guarantees a job paying excellent wages and offering comprehensive benefits.
  • Federal Wage Grade (WG) Trades Jobs:  The federal government employs just under 200,000 workers in a broad cross section of  blue-collar trades occupations.
  • The United States Department of Labor (DOL)www.dol.gov. The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the DOL operates the Registered Apprenticeship program to help veterans in transition to the civilian workforce. The ETA works in conjunction with all states so you will always be training in your local area. Here is a description of the program from the DOL website.

The Registered Apprenticeship Program

The Registered Apprenticeship system has been utilized to meet the needs of America’s skilled workforce for over 75 years. It is a unique, flexible training system that combines job related technical instruction with structured on-the-job learning experiences. Registered Apprenticeship is a leader in preparing American workers to compete in a global 21st Century economy because the system keeps pace with advancing technologies and innovations in training and human resource development.

The Registered Apprenticeship system is designed for workers seeking high-skilled, high- paying jobs, and for employers seeking to build a qualified workforce. In this regard, the Registered Apprenticeship system effectively meets the needs of both employers and workers.

Registered Apprenticeship is active not only in traditional industries such as construction and manufacturing, but also it is instrumental in the development of fast growing industries such as healthcare, energy, and security. The program has trained more than 130,000 apprentices each year. It is an effective program and veterans so-inclined should review this site for exciting job opportunities. It is there for the asking. Don’t pass it up.

In addition, this program offers special opportunities for veterans under the Post Nine-Eleven GI Bill Apprenticeship Program, which offers many attractive benefits like allowances for housing.

BEGINNING OR CONTINUING COLLEGE LEVEL COURSES

Veterans who chose to work toward a BA, MA or PhD will find much support from military friendly colleges and universities and from professional schools like Fordham Law School in New York City and The Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, OH.

There is an interesting body of data regarding college graduates. For example, only 35 percent of the US population of 320 million men and women has a college degree. The unemployment rate for those holding a BA or higher is always lower than it is for those without a college degree. In addition, over a lifetime of work, college grads generate total income that is higher than the non-degreed population.

However, it is not all good news for those with a college degree, particularly recent college grads. During the past five years, over 65% of recent college graduates have not found a job nine months after receiving their diplomas.  The reason is that most college grads have no experience with the adult world of work and have no idea about how the job hunting process works.

Strategies for Pursuing a College Degree

Here are a number of strategies to insure that your college experience will be a productive venture and lead to a productive job opportunity.

  1. Pursue a college major aligned with your interests and abilities. If your interest is teaching, pursue a degree in education. If business is your thing, major in business administration or finance. If you wish to pursue a degree in science or technology select one of the STEM majors; science, technology, engineering, mathematics.
  1. If you are not yet sure where your true interests lie, pursue an Associate’s degree at a community college. Here you will learn about many academic disciplines. Surely, one of them will appeal to your interests.
  1. Avoid going into debt. Going to college with financial help from a student loan or veteran’s loan has an inevitable consequence; you will be obligated to repay all or some of that loan after graduating. There are many government tuition reimbursement plans available for veterans. Take advantage of all of them before tapping into the student loan program.
  1. Begin your job search as soon as you enroll in a college degree program. Many students wait until they graduate to begin job hunting. However, job hunting is a continuing operation, which should begin immediately. You cannot expect to walk away with your diploma one fine day and have a job the next. It does not work that way. I suggest that the first resource to explore in your beginning year is my book titled, WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD, A Complete to Job Hunting for the Recent College Grad. The book provides career education and job hunting rubrics.
  1. State colleges and universities offer academic programs on par with private institutions. The value of attending an undergraduate Ivy League school (or similar) has been greatly exaggerated.  For a ranking of the colleges and universities across the country, consult US News and World Report, www.usnews.com/best-colleges. The annual rankings include tuition costs and other useful data.
  1.  Explore the Military Friendly list of colleges and universities, which you can find online at www.militaryfriendly.com/school-list.  These colleges and professional schools offer preferential terms for veterans.

CERTIFICATIONS

Written certifications frequently are required to work in the skilled trades and in corporate jobs. Whatever your specialty is, or whatever you are aspiring to become, go online and Google that specialty and add “certifications.” For example, enter “bus driver certifications,” or “physical therapy certifications.” You will find nonprofit and for profit organizations that offer various certification for your field of interest.

Many corporate level management positions now require Project Management Professional Certification (PMP). This important certification is offered through the Project Management Institute (PMI). For details go to the PMI website: www.PMI.org.

Also, the VA offers reimbursement for certifications tests and licensing for veterans. Check it out at www.benefits.VA.gov.  In addition Google “certifications for military veterans” and you will find many online and bricks-and-mortar facilities offering free or low cost certification programs.

INDUSTRTY SPOTLIGHT: THE SECURITY INDUSTRY

The security industry is growing exponentially and welcomes military veteran candidates. The range of jobs seems to have no end as security firms and government agencies struggle to meet the demand, particularly in cyber security. Some security jobs are highly visible, like TSA workers at airports, but most others work behind the scene. Here are several of our favorites.

Raytheon,www.raytheon.com. This American icon is noted for development and manufacture of weapons like the Tomahawk Cruise Missile and other defensive systems. However, it has a division know as Raytheon Cyber, www.raytheoncyber.com. When you go to the website click on “Working with Us” and then click on “Veterans.”  It has no less than twenty-one separate engineering and business divisions offering entry level and highly specialized positions for veterans. The firm is located in the Boston area but has facilities throughout the U.S. and abroad. Raytheon is noted for its veteran friendly culture.

Caveonwww.caveon.com. This company, headquartered in Midvale Utah, specializes in preventing cheating on academic and corporate examinations. Among its many clients are: College Board; Atlanta Public Schools; HP, IBM, Microsoft and a host of others. Caveon does not advertise its open positions so you must complete and submit a form to get on their list for notification of openings. However, I know from my recruiting experience that there are jobs available there, frequently. I suggest that you send your resume and a cover letter directly to the founder, CEO and Chairman, Dr. David Foster. For best results, send these items by FedEx or UPS rather than by email.

National Security Agency (NSA),www.nsa.gov. NSA is a part of the U.S. Department of Defense and as such offers a wealth of job opportunities spanning a multitude of operations. Needless to say, NSA welcomes military veterans.  This is a comprehensive website with much to explore.  Begin, by going to the website and clicking on Careers and Programs. Then click on the link, www.IntelligenceCareers.gov/nsa , where you will find a wealth of information. On that site, click on Careers and go from there. Note, too, the virtual job fair listings.

National Law Enforcement Jobs with the Federal Government.  The federal government employs several hundred thousand in law enforcement and security jobs. Homeland Security is the third largest federal department, employing over 154,000 federal workers. Federal law enforcement jobs are abundant and available nationwide.

There is a protocol that must be followed exactly when applying for government jobs. The best resource to keep you on track is a book by Dennis Damp, The Book of U.S. Government Jobs, listed below. Be sure to review Chapter Seven, Veterans and Military Dependent Hiring.

Takeaways

  • Continuing education is required to remain competitive in today’s workplace.
  • Certifications are required for most jobs in the skilled trades.
  • PMP certification is fast becoming a requirement for corporate level management jobs.
  • Employers in the security business value the training and experience of military veterans.

Veteran’s Resources

Dennis V. Damp. The Book of U.S. Government Jobs. Bookhaven Press. 2011.
John Henry Weiss. OPERATION JOB SEARCH; A Guide for Military Veterans Transitioning to Civilian Careers. Skyhorse Publishing Inc., 2016.
John Henry Weiss. WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD; A Complete Guide to Job Hunting for the Recent College Grad. Skyhorse Publishing Inc., 2014.
Federal Government Jobs. www.federaljobs.net. This is your most comprehensive site for information about jobs with the federal government.
University of Maryland and University College,  www.umuc.edu/cybersecurity.  Review this site for information about online certifications and BA degrees in cyber security.

RESOURCES

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

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

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Veterans Preference

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Posted on Monday, 24th October 2016 by

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The United States Postal Service (USPS) offers many great job opportunities  especially during the holidays when it is critical for them to deliver mail, packages, and parcels on time. The city carrier assistant (CCA) and the rural carrier associate (RCA) are two of the most in demand jobs each holiday season.

All applicants must apply online to be considered for employment and have a valid email address. All communication regarding employment opportunities, examinations, interviews and background checks are sent by email. Add the following list of email domain addresses to your contact list or check you spam folder for these email extensions:

  • @usps.gov
  • @psionline.com
  • @geninfo.com
  • @uspsis.gov

Dennis Damp, host of PostalWork.net reports that many applicants miss out on opportunities because they don’t print out a copy of the Postal Service job announcement. The job announcement includes detailed application guidance. It also provides contact information in case you have a problem with the application process, need to reschedule an exam, or to confirm receipt of documents.  Damp frequently receives questions from applicants that don’t know who to contact after applying for postal positions because they didn’t print out a copy of the job announcement.

City Carrier Assistant (CCA)

Generally CCAs are appointed for periods not-to-exceed 360 days. Subsequent appointments after a 5 day break in service may be offered but are not guaranteed.  If your work performance is satisfactory there may be opportunities to apply for a permanent position.  City Carrier Assistants must be U.S. citizens to apply, take an on line assessment and pass the 473 Postal Exam. The starting salary is $16.06 per hour paid bi-weekly.

Duties

  • Routes or cases all classes of mail in sequence of delivery along an established route. Rearranges and re-labels cases as required.
  • Withdraws mail from the distribution case and prepares it in sequence for efficient delivery independently or by another carrier along an established route. Prepares and separates all classes of mail to be carried by truck to relay boxes along route for subsequent delivery.
  • Handles undeliverable mail in accordance with established procedures.
  • Delivers mail along a prescribed route, on foot or by vehicle, on a regular schedule, picking up additional mail from relay boxes as needed. Collects mail from street letter boxes and accepts letters from mailing from customers; on certain routes may deliver mail that consists exclusively of parcel post, or the collection of mail.
  • Uses portable electronic scanner as instructed.
  • Delivers and collects charges on customs, postage-due, and C.O.D. mail matter. Delivers and obtains receipts for registered and certain insured mail. Signs for such matter, except insured mail, at the post office before beginning route and accounts for it upon return by payments of the amounts collected and delivery of receipts taken.
  • Deposits in the post office mail collected on the route upon returning from the route.
  • Checks, and corrects if necessary, mailing cards from advertisers bearing names and addresses of customers or former customers on the route.
  • Furnishes customers with postal information and provides change of address cards and other postal forms as needed.
  • Reports to supervisor all unusual incidents or conditions relating to mail delivery, including condition of street letter boxes and centralized delivery equipment.
  • Becomes proficient, when assigned to a route, in the casing of mail on other routes as assigned.
  • Works professionally with other employees in the office.
  • May as a CCA, perform clerical duties and be required to pass examinations on scheme of city primary distribution.
  • In addition, may perform any of the following duties: check hotels and other establishments to ensure that mail for residents undeliverable as addressed is not improperly held; deliver stamps or other paper supplies to contract or classified stations and other designated delivery points; serves at carriers’ delivery window; receive and register where practical, all letters and packages of first-class matter properly offered for registration; case mail and make deliveries on other routes as assigned.

Physical Requirements

You must be physically able to efficiently perform the duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation. CCA duties require arduous exertion involving prolonged standing, walking, bending and reaching, and may involve handling heavy containers of mail weighing up to the allowable maximum mailing weight.

Additional Requirements

CCAs must work their assigned tour and days of work.  CCAs must follow Postal Service policies and procedures for personal conduct at work, including adhering to rules and regulations.

CCAs are required to provide service to the public.  They must maintain a neat and professional appearance and demeanor in such interactions. May be required to wear uniform items.

Applicants must have a valid state driver’s license, and demonstrate and maintain a safe driving record.

Associate Rural Carrier (ARC)

  • Must be a U.S. citizen to apply.
  • On line assessment and a written Exam Required: Postal Exam 473 is required.
  • $17.02 per hour paid bi-weekly.

Duties

  • Loads packages in delivery sequence in vehicle.
  • Delivers packages to customers along a prescribed route.
  • Sorts mail in delivery sequence for the assigned route.
  • Receives and signs for accountable mail.
  • Loads mail and packages in vehicle.
  • Delivers mail and packages to customers along a prescribed route or as an auxiliary assistant by a vehicle; collects monies and receipts for accountable mail; picks up mail from customers’ roadside boxes.
  • Furnishes routine information concerning postal matters to customer.
  • Returns mail collected, undeliverable mail, and submits monies and receipts to post office.
  • Prepares appropriate time records.
  • Provides for mail security at alltimes.
  • May be required to provide a vehicle for delivery if an employer provided vehicle is not assigned.

They are non-career employees who provide customers along a rural route services which includes delivering and collecting mail.

Work is performed indoors and outdoors in all types of weather. Carriers may be required to load and unload trays and containers of mail and parcels weighing as much as 70 pounds.

For more information, review our step-by-step guide for applying for and taking the exam. A postal exam study guide titled Post Office Jobs, the 6th edition, can help you prepare for the exam.

Additional Information from the OOH website

Postal service mail carriers deliver mail to homes and businesses in cities, towns, and rural areas. Most travel established routes, delivering and collecting mail. Carriers cover their routes by foot, vehicle, or a combination of both. Some mail carriers collect money for postage due. Others, particularly in rural areas, sell postal products, such as stamps and money orders. All carriers must be able to answer customers’ questions about postal regulations and services and, upon request, provide change-of-address cards and other postal forms.

All applicants must pass a written exam that measures speed and accuracy at checking names and numbers and the ability to memorize mail distribution procedures. Jobseekers should contact the post office or mail processing center where they want to work to find out when exams are given.

When accepted, applicants must undergo a criminal background check and pass a physical exam and a drug test. Applicants also may be asked to show that they can lift and handle heavy mail sacks. Mail carriers who drive at work must have a safe driving record, and applicants must receive a passing grade on a road test.

Other Qualities

Customer-service skills

Postal service workers, particularly clerks, regularly interact with customers. As a result, they must be courteous and tactful and provide good client service.

Physical stamina

Postal service workers, particularly carriers, must be able to stand or walk for long periods.

Physical strength

Postal service workers must be able to lift heavy mail bags and parcels without injuring themselves

Union Membership

Most postal service workers belonged to a union in 2014.

These were just two of the many wonderful job opportunities offered by the USPS.

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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, Civil Service Tests, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Jobs, Job Vacancies, Post Office Jobs

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Posted on Tuesday, 4th October 2016 by

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The personal interview is an important step in the job hunting process, one that could lead to a job offer or result in a rejection. It really is a make or break situation. With guidance and preparation you will ace the interview and become a happy new recruit when you hear the hiring manager say, “You’re hired!”

INTERVIEW PREPARATION AND PROCESS

Every successful outcome presupposes preparation. Interviewing is no exception. It is not merely an event that takes place on a moment’s notice. Thoughtful preparation includes a thorough review of the job in question and the company, which will enable you to convey to the interviewer that you really want that specific job with that specific company. There is nothing that will kill an opportunity quicker than having the hiring manager conclude that you want just any job as long as it provides a paycheck. Companies hire candidates who show a passion for a specific job with that particular company.

While learning about the company, remember that it exists to make money or for the federal government to provided services. With companies, when they make more  money its business grows and more workers are hired. Learning about the employer’s finances is key or for federal government what services are provided. You can find this information on company or federal agency websites, in its annual report, and thorough a variety of online reports. Items you need to learn are: annual revenues for the past three to five years; the increase or decrease in the quarterly revenue for this particular quarter; and the increase or decrease in the price of the company’s stock if it is publicly traded. In addition, learn the number of company employees and the number of main competitors for the company’s products or services. For the federal sector determine the number employed, the largest employers, and the location of their facilities in your area. You can find this government information online. Having this information will help you through the interview process.

Proper Attire for an Interview

What to wear for an interview is something that troubles every female and male job candidate, military veterans and non-veterans, experienced workers or entry level workers. In fact, just today, I was prepping a candidate for a National Sales Director position and he asked what he should wear for an upcoming personal interview. This was an experienced worker in mid-career who had held several managerial positions. He had learned that the company was populated primarily with millennial-aged employees and that the culture was casual. I directed him to wear nothing less than upscale business-casual attire, which includes creased dress trousers, a blazer, a conservative shirt and tie, and leather shoes. If this had been an established conservative company I would have suggested a business suit.

You will never go wrong wearing business attire to an interview. This rule applies to both men and women. However, women have to put more thought into the process because there are more clothing choices for them. If in doubt about what to wear, google. “Attire for a personal job interview” and you will find all the information and pictures you will need to dress appropriately.  For more on attire, please review Chapter 27 of my book, Operation Job Search; A Guide for Military Veterans Transitioning to Civilian Careers. Female applicants can find helpful information on page 333 under the heading: Fail-Safe Dress for Female Veterans; Listen to Linda.

Using Civilian-Speak during Interviews

You may have heard this many times over, even in your TAP classes, but it is worth mentioning again. Speak using civilian language and avoid using military or local acronyms.  Research this beforehand and translate your military occupation specialty (MOS) if you are a veteran into civilian language. If you use military-speak, the majority of company interviewers will not understand because they lack military experience.

Controlling the Interview. Interrogation or Conversation?

Many interviews deteriorate into a Q-A session because the candidate believes the interviewer is holding all the aces. That is an erroneous assumption. The company is interviewing you because it needs workers to be productive, and you are interviewing because you need their job to make money to become self-sufficient.  Both the candidate and the interviewer are holding the aces.  Both have a critical need that needs to be resolved.

After the introductory pleasantries, most interviewers will throw this question at you. “Could you tell me something about yourself?” Answer that question in business terms, not personal terms. The interviewer is really not interested in knowing where you attended elementary school, where you took basic training or whether you like a cappuccino better than a latte. Your answer should go something like this. “I’m the kind of person who takes complete responsibility for my life. My career plan includes working in a position like the one stated in your job description and with a company in the transportation industry, like yours. By the way, I’m impressed with your job title and rank and would appreciate your telling me how you worked your way into your present position. Could you tell me something about your background and experience?”

What this response does is level the playing field. It lets the interviewer know that this will be a conversation, not an interrogation. Follow up by handing the interviewer a list of questions you have about the job and the company. Handle it this way. “I’ve prepared a list of questions for you indicating my interest in the job and company. My first question is: What do you consider the most important attribute for this job?”

Once the interviewer realizes that you have a plan and are not intimidated by the formal interview setting, you will be able to converse as equals. Above all, remember that the company is interviewing you because it has a critical need; to find a worker to fill an important job.

When the interview comes to an end, do not just say “thank you” and leave the premises. Ask for the job saying, “I’ve really enjoyed learning about the job, the company, and your personal background and experience. I would like to move forward to the next step in your process, which I hope will be a job offer. Can we schedule a follow up meeting to discuss compensation and a starting date?”

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT: TRANSPORTATION

The broadly defined transportation industry includes employers involved in moving people and things from one place to another. Included in this industry are companies like FedEx, UPS, General Motors, Delta Airlines, Uber and United Van Lines. The industry employs millions of workers in the USA and abroad and offers many attractive, necessary and well-paying jobs. Contrary to the popular stereotype that transportation jobs are limited to driving a truck or piloting an airplane, this industry offers everything from hands-on jobs to IT management to President. It offers a variety of jobs for every worker. For example, truck driver jobs with Walmart command a starting salary of approximately $80,000 plus comprehensive benefits.

The interesting thing about transportation is that is ranks up there with the three basic survival industries; food, shelter and clothing. Every day the majority of workers need and use something from the transportation industry. Stop for a minute and ask yourself how you got to work today or how you plan to reach a company for an interview. Yes, the transportation industry will be one of the basic needs for as long as we live. So who are some of the best players in this industry? We have three favorites. Fed Ex, Southwest Airlines, and Union Pacific Railroad, all military friendly companies.

FedEx  

Federal Express Corporation, now referred to as FedEx, has become a household word. It is divided into three separate divisions each serving a specific need: FedEx Ground, FedEx Express and FedEx Freight. It is the world’ largest delivery service and 2016 revenue will be over $50 billion.  It is based in Memphis and has offices around the globe. It is a military friendly company and is noted for initiatives relating to diversity and inclusion in its workforce. FedEx was founded in 1971 by Fred Smith an Army veteran. When he separated and was looking for a job, he decided that someone needed to move packages from one place to another more quickly than the US Postal Service. He started an overnight delivery service in Memphis and the rest is history.

FedEx has something for everyone regardless of MOS or level of education. Check out the website now as I just did. I found jobs in different cities for dockworkers, technicians, drivers, arrival and departures clerks, and senior operations managers.  Remember to review the career pages dealing with military veterans.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest continues to be one of the most profitable airline companies. It is noted for its customer friendly service and a unique company culture. Employees like working there and customers like traveling Southwest, an unbeatable combination for sustained growth. The company is based in Dallas but has offices throughout the country and provides every imaginable type of job for workers at every level, entry through senior. Southwest is noted for its charitable giving and community outreach. When I checked the website, I found a wide array of jobs in airport operations and call centers, and for flight attendants, aircraft maintenance technicians, and pilots.

Union Pacific Railroad

Railroad companies are often overlooked by workers seeking long term careers in the transportation industry. One of the best is Union Pacific Railroad, which employs over 43,000 workers and generates annual revenue in excess of $20 billion. At Union Pacific you will find job opportunities that go well beyond those with high visibility like train conductors and ticket sellers. Behind the scene, Union Pacific employs workers in sales, marketing, technology, maintenance, engineering and human resources just to mention a few. UP offers special training for transitioning veterans and over 20% of its workers are military veterans. In addition, it has donated over $200,000 to Wounded Warriors over the past two years. Its recruiters sponsor job fairs and are in contact with all military transition and education offices.  Union Pacific is hard to beat when you are looking for a military friendly employer.

Association of American Railroads (AAR)

MOVING FORWARD

Interviewing is an important part of the job hunting process. There is much to learn beyond our abbreviated discussion and I suggest that you review Chapters 27-31 in my book OPERATION JOB SEARCH, listed below. In addition we suggest that you read all of Part Four, The Interview Process, in the The Book of U.S Government Jobs by Dennis Damp.

In our November article we will discuss continuing education at bricks and mortar schools and online schools. Our INDUSTRY SPOLIGHT will focus on the robust security industry.

TAKEAWAYS 

  • Control the interview.  Do not let it become a Q-A session.
  • You and the company need each other to be successful.
  • Present a written list of questions and concerns to the interviewer.
  • Use civilian language during the interview and avoid military acronyms.
  • Always wear business attire for personal interviews.

RESOURCES

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, Job Interviews, Job Vacancies

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Posted on Monday, 3rd October 2016 by

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There are abundant opportunities for employment at more than 31,600 Postal facilities nationwide. The Postal Service has annual revenue of $69 billion and it’s responsible for delivering 47 percent of the world’s mail. There are over 617,000 employees and the Postal Service is one of the largest employers in the nation. The benefits are outstanding and on par with the Federal workforce. They include excellent pay, job security, a generous pension with a 401K, and Social Security.

 

Jobs Hunt Hiring

The Postal Service was created during the beginning weeks of the Revolutionary War at the meeting of the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia in May 1775. To thwart the threat of British aggression against the colonies, Ben Franklin and others formed a committee. This committee determined that a postal system was needed for the conveyance of letters and other intelligence for the cause of liberty. Ben Franklin was named as the first Postmaster General and served in the position until November 1776. The postal system task was to carry letters to Congress and the armies.

Today’s Postal Service is an independent agency that funds its operation through the sale of postage, products and services. It is the only delivery service that reaches every address within the United States, which is approximately 155 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes.

History

The official United States Post Office by a decree of the Second Continental Congress was created on July 26, 1775. Officially, the Post Office was created in 1792 and was referred to as the Post Office Department (USPOD) based on Constitutional authority empowering Congress “To establish post offices and post roads”.

As the West expanded so did the postal system services. It provided a fast and convenient communication system. Letters provided settlers information and encouraged western migration. In addition, businesses and merchants were provided opportunities to develop commercial relationships that helped factories back east. The Postal Service assisted the Army in the control of the Western expansion and the newspapers sent by mail increased their circulation and disseminated information nationwide.

During the 19th century the postal service expanded its delivery routes via railroad, steamboat and eventually waterways where no roads existed. The volume of mail increased during the 20th century by the use of Parcel Post and Rural Free Delivery (RFD). These helped to promote more efficient postal transportation systems.

Currently, the USPS operates one the largest fleets of vehicles in the world, with an estimated 211,264 vehicles. The Department of Defense and the USPS jointly operate a postal system that delivers mail to the military known as the Army Post Office (APO). The Fleet Post Office delivers to the Navy, Marine Corps and the Coast Guard postal facilities.

In 1971 the Post Office Department was reorganized and became the United States Post Office. It was an independent establishment of the executive branch of the Government of the United States. The mission of the Postal Service remained the same, as stated in Title 39 of the U.S. Code:

“The Postal Service shall have as its basic function the obligation to provide postal services to bind the Nation together through the personal, educational, literary, and business correspondence of the people. It shall provide prompt, reliable, and efficient services to patrons in all areas and shall render postal services to all communities”.

Some Interesting Facts about the USPS

  • The Postal Service has the country’s largest retail network — larger than McDonald’s, Starbucks and Walmart combined, domestically.
  • Through the Carrier Alert Program, Postal Service letter carriers help monitor the well-being of elderly and disabled customers. If carriers notice an accumulation of mail that might indicate an accident or illness, they notify emergency personnel. In addition, each year postal employees go beyond the call of duty, some even risking their own safety to save the lives of the customers they serve. In 2015, the Postal Service recognized 318 employee heroes for going above and beyond.
  • The Postal Service embraces the heroic service of the United States’ armed forces. More than 113,000 veterans are employed with the organization, and more than 140 stamps have been issued that reflect the nation’s military history, including the current Medal of Honor series. (As of Jan 2015).
  • The Postal Service is the only organization in the country that has the resources, network infrastructure and logistical capability to regularly deliver to every residential and business address in the nation.
  • The Postal Service can and does compete with the private sector — and it collaborates with it, too. UPS and FedEx pay the Postal Service to deliver hundreds of millions of their ground packages to residences, taking advantage of the Postal Service’s expansive delivery network. The Postal Service pays UPS and FedEx for air transportation, taking advantage of their comprehensive air networks.
  • Mail is reliable, trusted and secure — more than 200 federal laws protect the sanctity of the U.S. Mail. These laws are enforced by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, one of the oldest law enforcement agencies in the country. U.S. Postal Inspectors are federal agents, mandated to safeguard the nation’s mail — including the people who move it and the customers who use it.
  • The U.S. Postal Service is the core of the $1.4 trillion mailing industry in this country that employs more than 7.5 million people.

Postal Careers

The U. S. Postal Service (USPS) employs over 617,000 workers in 300 job categories for positions at 31,600 post offices, branches, stations, and community post offices throughout the United States. Thousands of post office jobs are advertised each year to backfill for retirements, transfers, deaths and to replace employees who choose to leave the Postal Service. The Postal Service also hires many temporary workers (casual temporary positions) during peak mail periods. Mail carrier, clerk, and mail handlers must take and pass the 473 Postal Exam when they apply for these positions. The corporate positons do not require this exam.

Most Postal Service jobs are mail carrier and clerk positions. However, like most large corporations the Postal Service employs workers for everything from janitors to engineers; technicians, mechanics, accountants, program managers, Postal Inspectors and administrative and logistics occupations of all types.

Here are a few of the many USPS job occupations:

In our next article we will discuss job occupations that the Post Office needs to fill for the upcoming busy holiday season.

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

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Posted on Monday, 5th September 2016 by

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In this final article covering the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) we interview Michael L Ramirez, a research chemist (GS-1320) for the Bureau of Printing and Engraving. According to the Bureau of Labor Statics (BLS) chemists research and solve a wide range of problems and are employed in a similarly wide range of industries. About a third of all chemists are employed in chemical manufacturing industries; the remainder work at colleges and universities, in government, and for independent testing and research laboratories.

The federal government employs 5,665 chemists of which 24 work overseas. The Department of Health and Human Services is the largest employer of chemists with 2,057, followed by the Department of the Army with 623 civilian employees, and the Department of the Navy with 567. The EPA employs 464 and the Department of the Treasury 58. Small numbers work for other cabinet level and large independent agencies. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing is under the Treasury Department.

Some chemical manufacturing industries, such as pharmaceutical manufacturing, increasingly may be outsourcing their R&D activities, rather than doing the research in-house. This outsourcing strategy is likely to cause faster growth in the employment of chemists in small, independent research-and-development firms than in the more traditional large manufacturers.

Interview with Michael L. Ramirez

 

Michael L. Ramirez BEP Research Chemist

Michael L. Ramirez BEP Research Chemist

Michael L. Ramirez is a research chemist (GS-1320), and works for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington, DC.

Why did you become a chemist?

I was always into science as a kid. I had a microscope and many science kits. I wanted to study medicine. When I went to college I discovered that my passion was research. As a chemist, I have completed projects in the fields of Biology, Chemistry, and Polymers.

What is the most interesting project you have worked on as a chemist?

Chemistry is always interesting. I have worked in the development of fire resistant materials for aircrafts, detection of explosives in the environment, and now I support the manufacturing of U.S. currency at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. What can be more interesting than that; millions of people know our products.

What is a typical day for a chemist?

In my current position I support many projects related to the characterization and testing of materials we use to print U.S. paper currency. A typical day starts by visiting the laboratories and discussing with other chemists the requests that we have for the day. I attend multiple meetings to discuss properties of new materials and the development of specifications and test methods.

Would you recommend a chemist as a good occupation to pursue?

Yes. I would recommend chemistry as a good profession; chemistry opens doors for careers in many fields.

Note: All Occupations (includes all occupations) in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics

The median annual wage for chemists was $71,260 in May 2015. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $41,110, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $125,450.

In May 2015, the median annual wages for chemists in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Federal government, excluding postal service $104,660
Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences 83,140
Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing 69,920
Basic chemical manufacturing 68,700
Testing laboratories 56,080

Employment of chemists is projected to grow 3 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations. Many chemists are employed in manufacturing industries that are projected to decline.

Employment of chemists is projected to grow 3 percent as they continue to be needed in scientific research and development (R&D) and to monitor the quality of products and processes.

Chemists research and solve a wide range of problems and are employed in a similarly wide range of industries. About a third of all chemists are employed in chemical manufacturing industries; the remainder work at colleges and universities, in government, and for independent testing and research laboratories. Some chemical manufacturing industries, such as pharmaceutical manufacturing, increasingly may be outsourcing their R&D activities, rather than doing the research in-house. This outsourcing strategy is likely to cause faster growth in the employment of chemists in small, independent research-and-development firms than in the more traditional large manufacturers.

Duties, Qualifications and Education

The following information is excerpted from the Bureau of Labor Statics website.

Duties

Chemists typically do the following:

  • Plan and carry out complex research projects, such as the development of new products and testing methods
  • Direct technicians and other workers in testing and analyzing components and the physical properties of materials
  • Instruct scientists and technicians on proper chemical processing and testing procedures, including ingredients, mixing times, and operating temperatures
  • Prepare solutions, compounds, and reagents used in laboratory procedures
  • Analyze substances to determine their composition and concentration of elements
  • Conduct tests on materials and other substances to ensure that safety and quality standards are met
  • Write technical reports that detail methods and findings
  • Present research findings to scientists, engineers, and other colleagues

Some chemists work in basic research. Others work in applied research. In basic research, chemists investigate the properties, composition, and structure of matter. They also experiment with combinations of elements and the ways in which they interact. In applied research, chemists investigate possible new products and ways to improve existing ones. Chemistry research has led to the discovery and development of new and improved drugs, plastics, and cleaners, as well as thousands of other products.

Chemists often specialize in a particular branch of the field. The following are examples of types of chemists:

Analytical chemists determine the structure, composition, and nature of substances by examining and identifying their various elements or compounds. They also study the relationships and interactions among the parts of compounds. Some analytical chemists specialize in developing new methods of analysis and new techniques for carrying out their work. Their research has a wide range of applications, including food safety, pharmaceuticals, and pollution control.

Inorganic chemists study the structure, properties, and reactions of molecules that do not contain carbon, such as metals. They work to understand the behavior and the characteristics of inorganic substances. Inorganic chemists figure out, how these materials, such as ceramics and superconductors, can be modified, separated, or used in products.

Medicinal chemists research and develop chemical compounds that can be used as pharmaceutical drugs. They work on teams with other scientists and engineers to create and test new drug products. They also help develop new and improved manufacturing processes to produce new drugs on a large scale effectively.

Organic chemists study the structure, properties, and reactions of molecules that contain carbon. They also design and make new organic substances that have unique properties and applications. These compounds in turn, have been used to develop many commercial products, such as pharmaceutical drugs and plastics.

Physical chemists study the fundamental characteristics of how matter behaves on a molecular and atomic level and how chemical reactions occur. On the basis of their analyses, physical chemists may develop new theories, such as how complex structures are formed. Physical chemists often work closely with materials scientists, to research and develop potential uses for new materials.

Theoretical chemists investigate theoretical methods that can predict the outcomes of chemical experiments. Theoretical chemistry encompasses a variety of specializations itself, although most specializations incorporate advanced computation and programming. Some examples of theoretical chemists are computational chemists, mathematical chemists, and chemical informaticians.

Education

A bachelor’s degree in chemistry or in a related field is needed for entry-level chemist jobs. Many jobs require a master’s degree or a Ph.D. and also may require significant levels of work experience. Chemists with a Ph.D. and postdoctoral experience typically lead basic- or applied-research teams.

Many colleges and universities offer degree programs in chemistry that are approved by the American Chemical Society. High school students can prepare for college coursework by taking chemistry, math, and computer science classes.

Undergraduate chemistry majors typically are required to take courses in analytical, organic, inorganic, and physical chemistry. In addition to chemistry coursework, they take classes in mathematics, biological sciences, and physics. Computer science courses are essential, because chemists and materials scientists need computer skills to perform modeling and simulation tasks, manage and manipulate databases, and operate computerized laboratory equipment.

Laboratory experience, either at a college or university, or through internships, fellowships, or work–study programs in industry, is also useful.

Graduate students studying chemistry commonly specialize in a subfield, such as analytical chemistry or inorganic chemistry. For example, those interested in doing research in the pharmaceutical industry usually develop a strong background in medicinal or organic chemistry.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Chemists carry out scientific experiments and studies. They must be precise and accurate in their analyses, because errors could invalidate their research.

Communication skills. Chemists need to communicate with team members and other scientists. They must be able to read and write technical reports and give presentations.

Critical-thinking skills. Chemists carefully evaluate their own work and the work of others. They must determine if results and conclusions are based on sound science.

Interpersonal skills. Chemists typically work on interdisciplinary research teams and need to work well with others toward a common goal. Many serve as team leaders and must be able to motivate and direct other team members.

Math skills. Chemists regularly use complex mathematical equations and formulas, and they need a broad understanding of mathematics, including calculus, algebra, and statistics.

Organizational skills. Chemists scientists need to document processes carefully in order to conform to regulations and industry procedures. Disorganization in the workplace can lead to legal problems, damage to equipment, and chemical spills.

Problem-solving skills. Chemists research and develop new and improved chemical products, processes, and materials. This work requires a great deal of trial and error on the part of chemists and materials scientists before a unique solution is found.

Time-management skills.Chemists usually need to meet deadlines when conducting research. They must be able to manage time and prioritize tasks efficiently while maintaining their quality of work.

The Bureau of Printing and Engraving use chemists to help in the development and manufacturing of U.S. monetary currency. Chemists will always be needed, because research never stops and there are always new discoveries to be made.

Credit

  • Lydia Washington, Public Affairs Officer, Bureau of Engraving and Printing – DC Facility (Washington, DC)
  • www.bep.treas.gov
  • Photos provided by the Bureau of Printing and Engraving

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

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

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

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Posted on Thursday, 1st September 2016 by

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This article applies to anyone seeking employment even though it is written to assist veterans. The process of finding a job will be an exciting venture for veterans because the marketplace is overflowing with jobs. However, it takes more than crafting a dynamite resume to accomplish the mission. It is a matter of knowing how and where to find potential employers which is part of the job hunting operation.

It all begins with a plan. First, you define the objective and then devise strategies to complete the mission. All veterans know how that works. First, decide what you really like to do and assess what you are good at doing, your aptitude. This is an essential first step that will save you time and focus your efforts.

Hunting for just any job could be discouraging and a waste of time. Based on my experience working in the executive recruiting business, I have learned firsthand how workers find jobs. The three best methods are:

  1. Networking.
  2. Cold calling on potential employers.
  3. Attending conventions and job fairs.

Networking

This tried and true strategy yields results not only for the immediate job search, but also for staying employed throughout your working life. The process is simple; contact your friends and acquaintances in person (best) or by phone, email, or social media. Tell them that you are seeking a certain kind of job in a certain industry and ask for their guidance and referrals. Your approach could go something like this. “Hi, Bob. I just want to let you know that I’m looking for a job in sales with a life insurance company. I’m focused on securing a long-term job in insurance sales because of my interests and abilities. I would appreciate your guidance and any referrals you might have to hiring authorities in that business.”

Cold Calling

A cold call is contacting a potential employer without an appointment. Some call it knocking on doors. This method of finding employers is sometimes considered “so yesterday” but do not believe it. The most productive way to use this method is to focus on companies in industrial parks or office centers, which are located in and around all metropolitan areas. Usually these centers focus on one industry. One might house only medical offices. Another could focus on technology companies. And, others might cater to insurance companies.

The process is easy. Go to the company receptionist and identify yourself as a veteran seeking a sales job in insurance, and ask to speak with the sales manager. This method really does work. Here is an example. Recently, I went to see my doctor for an annual checkup. His office is located in an office park that houses twenty-five doctor’s offices. My doctor’s nurse was new and I asked how she found the job. She said that she was looking for a nurse’s position and went to the office park and knocked on doors. When she cold called at my doctor’s office, she learned that his nurse had resigned just a few days ago. She was hired the next day.

Attending Conventions and Job Fairs

When you attend a major conference or job fair at a convention center like the Javits Center in New York City or McCormick Place in Chicago, you will find hundreds of companies displaying their products. For example, in February 2016, I attended the New York Times Travel Show at the Javits Center in New York City. Six hundred companies were on the exhibit floor displaying their products. Many of the workers staffing the various exhibit booths were managers, directors, and vice presidents, just the people you need to know to land a job. I met the owner/president of a cruise company based in Florida, who told me that being a Marine veteran, he recruits military veterans for his company and gives them a twenty percent discount on the purchase of a franchise. Attending conventions and job fairs is the most productive use of your time for job hunting. Circle the exhibit floor, introduce yourself to the representatives on call, and state your business. Always take a dozen resumes and one hundred business cards to each convention or job fair. You will make numerous contacts.

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT

The job market continues favorable for veterans seeking civilian jobs. According to the most recent survey of executive recruiters by ExecuNet, www.execunet.com, here are five industries showing the greatest potential for growth:

  1. Healthcare
  2. Technology
  3. Pharmaceuticals and medical devices
  4. Business Services
  5. Manufacturing

The top five jobs ticketed for growth by the same ExecuNet survey are:

  1. Business Development
  2. Sales
  3. IT
  4. Operations Management/Supply Chain Management
  5. Engineering

Our industry spotlight for September falls on the healthcare and education industries. Both are fertile avenues to explore for entry level and advanced level jobs.

Healthcare

The healthcare industry includes a wide variety of sectors but here we will concentrate on hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and medical device companies. Our favorites, all military friendly are: Cleveland Clinic; Johnson and Johnson, Pharmaceutical Co.; and Medtronic.

Cleveland Clinic,www.my.clevelandclinic.org, is a military friendly medical treatment center located in Cleveland, Ohio. The Clinic is one of the top ranked hospitals in the country for cardiac care. For job opportunities, check out the special category titled Hero Experience Veteran Program JIC.

John and Johnson Pharmaceutical Co., www.jnj.com, is a military friendly employer, whose CEO, Alex Gorsky, is an Army veteran and a West Point graduate. He completed his military service with the rank of Captain and earned the Ranger Tab and Airborne Wings. J & J has a reputation for helping veterans transition to the civilian workplace. When you go to the website, enter Honoring Veterans in the search box to learn more.

Medtronic, www.medtronic.com, is the world’s largest medical device company and employs over 50,000 workers. It produces life saving devices like heart stents and defibrillators. Medtronic is based in Minneapolis and has regional offices across the USA and abroad.

Education
The education industry has two parts: 1. Public and private K-12 schools, colleges and universities; 2. Companies that produce products and provide services for K-12 and higher education. These companies produce textbooks, technology products (both hardware and apps) and provide services such as professional development courses at bricks and mortar facilities and online.
Online Colleges and Universities

Many accredited online universities provide a wide range of job opportunities such as Administrative Assistant, Financial Counselor, Admissions Counselor, Student Recruiter and Professor. These jobs are location specific because most online universities have only one central location. For example, Phoenix University is located in Phoenix AZ and all of their jobs are based there. Drexel Online University is located in Philadelphia, PA and that is where job opportunities are located. (Incidentally, Drexel is one of the best military friendly online universities. Check out the website for job and learning opportunities. www.online.drexel.edu )

Public and Private K-12 Schools, College and Universities

Jobs in this sector are primarily academic…teachers, administrators, professors, and researchers. If you are certified, look for academic jobs on your local school district website and on your State Department of Education (DOE) website. There are, however, non-academic jobs available as well. For example, at the K-12, college and university levels there are jobs in transportation, maintenance, administrative support, finance and marketing that do not require teaching certification.

Educational Testing Service (ETS),www.ets.org

ETS produces testing and assessment products for the K-12 and higher education market. It is noted for developing the SAT exam. It is based in Princeton, New Jersey, and has regional offices throughout the country. This $1 billion company offers many jobs in sales, marketing, product development, human resources, finance and information technology.

Scholastic,www.Scholastic.com

This is a K-12 publisher of instructional materials and library books. The company publishes worldwide best sellers like the Harry Potter series of books. Scholastic is based in New York City and has regional offices throughout the country.

Consortium for International Education Exchange (CIEE) www.ciee.org

This is one of the most interesting companies in the education business. It administers study-abroad programs for college and high school students. It is based in Portland Maine and has an energetic staff of youthful employees who are mission driven and who love coming to work each day. Many employees have bilingual skills and have studied abroad.

Moving Forward

Read Chapters 17 – 22 in my book Operation Job Search, listed below, to learn more about how and where to find jobs. As you move forward to put into practice all that you have learned about job hunting, remember that jobs do not come to those who sit at a computer and send our resumes by the hundreds to job sites and company career pages. The best methods to find a job are to leave the house to attend conferences, andto make cold calls on prospective employers. Veterans who hit the street to build personal relationships will find jobs. Guaranteed!

Our October article will focus on a topic that is critically important for job hunters; interviewing techniques. In our Industry Spotlight, we will discuss two robust industries; transportation and security.

Veterans who wish to comment or seek visit the guest writers page for my bio and email address.

Takeaways

  • Job Hunting goes beyond crafting a resume.
  • The best place to look for a job is at major convention centers, which host national and regional conferences and job fairs.
  • Cold calling is still alive and well…and very productive.
  • Networking is not a one-time initiative. It is a career long practice to ensure continued employment.

Visit our job openings directory for more information on current federal employment opportunities.

Veteran’s Resources

Operation Job Search, A Guide for Military Veterans Transitioning to Civilian Careers. John Henry Weiss. c 2016. Skyhorse Publishing Inc.

Federal Government Jobs,www.federaljobs.net . Check this site frequently for federal job listings in healthcare and education…and many other occupations as well.

LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com, is the best online networking site for all workers. Be sure to check out the veteran’s user group, which will help you connect with colleagues making the transition to the civilian workplace.

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

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

 

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

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Posted on Saturday, 27th August 2016 by

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The deputy program administrator for USAJOBS announced upgrades to their system that assists applicants with their accounts. A new streamlined account allows applicants to easily view the status of their applications, saved jobs, and searches. Each application is listed as either advancing, paused, or no longer being considered. All of the applicant’s resumes and other documents now reside under the “Documents Section” and they added helpful tips and color coded completion indicators.

There are more changes coming as the program administrator addresses user feedback to improve and streamline the application system for anyone searching for federal jobs. Since USAJOBS was launched it is now much easier to apply for and know the status of your applications and improvements are evident throughout the application process.

The first step for applying for a federal job is to search for federal jobs of interest, printout and review the job announcement, register on USAJOBS and prepare a comprehensive and professional federal style resume and application. USAJOBS helps you throughout the process. View OPM’s video that announces these changes.

Applying for Federal Jobs

Visit our other informative site

 

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Jobs, Job Vacancies

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Posted on Wednesday, 24th August 2016 by

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Printing Jobs

This article features the engraver (WG-4413) and platemaker (WG-4416) Printing Family occupations that are responsible for how money is actually made.

There are 1,051 federal workers employed in the WG-4400 Printing Family of which 560 work for the Government Printing Office according to OPM’s Employment Data Base of March 2016. The Department of the Treasury employs an additional 434 employees in the WG-4400 Family. Small numbers are also employed by the Department of Agriculture, Department of Justice, Social Security and a few others. There are a small number of engravers and a total of 16 plate makers currently employed in these occupations.

The majority of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) jobs are located in Washington, D.C. or Fort Worth Texas. The BEP is under the Department of the Treasury.

Other printing occupations include: (The number of employed is listed in parentheses after the occupational title)

  • Bindery Work WG-4401 (173)
  • Miscellaneous Printing and Publishing WG-4402 (206)
  • Letterpress Operating WG-4403 (176)
  • Offset Photography WG-4410 (4)
  • Offset Press Operating WG-4417 (80)
  • Bookbinding WG-4441 (61)
  • Electrolytic Intaglio Plate Making WG-4449 (21)
  • Intaglio Press Operating WG-4454 (144)

In this article we interviewed three highly skilled Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) employees;  William Fleishell, a picture engrave, Kenneth Kipperman, a journeyman picture engraver, and Kenneth Garner, a platemaker, all three work in Washington, D.C. You can learn more about how money is made on the Bureau of Printing web site.

Q&A with William Fleishell

William Fleishell,is a picture engraver for the Bureau of Engraving & Printing located in Washington, DC.

 

William Fleishell, BEP Picture Engraver

William Fleishell, BEP Picture Engraver

Why did you become an engraver?

In 1988 I applied and interviewed for the job of Apprentice Picture Engraver with an art portfolio review. Previously, I had been to art school and was working as a free-lance artist helping my father with his own art business. I was also going to school to study medical illustration. Being a printmaking major, as well as a painter and sculptor in art school, I had an understanding of line drawing and had always worked on intricate and highly traditional drawings that were very similar to engravings. I had done etching and had even had experience with gravers before starting at BEP, but nowhere near the level of bank note engraving. It seemed to be a perfect fit for my abilities and background. In addition to this, I came from a family where familiarity with printing arts was common and seen as a viable occupation.

What is the most interesting project you have worked on as an engraver?

That is hard to say. I suppose, over the years, working on the various portraits of dignitaries has been the most interesting work I have done. I’m trained as a portrait artist and making engraved portraits is what I feel I that can do best. Over the past 28 years I have had the opportunity to engrave many bank note style portraits of living people, and have had all sorts of experiences working on these projects. One of the most interesting projects was working on the portrait of Chief Justice John Roberts. It was an arduous process and it took a long time to make this project happen; but in the end, the hard work and efforts were justified and the result worked to his satisfaction.

What is a typical day for an engraver?

Throughout the day I work on various traditional and digital engraving projects and stock work. When required, I also work on plate inspection and repair, conduct specialized tour visits, do training, and, at times, assist the apprentices with their work.

Would you recommend an engraver as a good occupation to pursue?

It all depends on the personal temperament of the person and their ability as a professional artist. This is not a business that just anyone can walk into. You have to bring to the table an already established set of sophisticated skills that are seldom seen even in traditional art schools. Therefore, finding a candidate for this type of work can take years. If an aspiring artist has the ability to focus and concentrate, the ability and patience to sit with the same art job for months and months on end, an inherent ability to be critical with extremely high standards, and a sense of stability whereby one would be capable of staying in the same place and job for many decades—then yes, indeed I would recommend this job to that artist. But through the years, I have met only a very tiny handful of people of who fit that description.

Q & A with Kenneth Kipperman

Kenneth Kipperman is a journeyman picture engraver for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing located in Washington DC.

 

 

Kenneth Kipperman, BEP Engraver

Kenneth Kipperman, BEP Engraver

Why did you become an engraver?

In my early years I won a number of art scholarships. I was then trying to find anything in the field of art. I answered an ad in the New York Times newspaper. The American Banknote Company, the leader in Security printing around the world, was interested in interviewing people for the Picture Engraving apprenticeship. I submitted my portfolio and was accepted for the 10-year picture engraving apprenticeship.

What is the most interesting project you have worked on as an engraver?

The most interesting project I’ve worked on was the portrait of Alexander Hamilton that appears on our $10 bill.

What is a typical day for an engraver?

Currently I’m working on an engraving of a naval battle scene. At a moment’s notice, I may also be asked to inspect and repair master plates, altos, and printing plates. I also help my coworkers any way I can in traditional hand engraving, plate repair, and tool making.

Would you recommend an engraver as a good occupation to pursue?

Yes. There are many styles of engraving, but I find hand engraving, as an occupation, to be the most rewarding and challenging in this digital age.

Qualifications of an engraver

The standard for engravers is at one grade level which is a WG-10, and the salary is $62,011.00. You must be a U.S. citizen to apply to be an engraver.

The following information from the Federal Wage System Job Grading Standard for Negative Engraving, 4413 is just a partial list of skills necessary to be an engraver.

  • Grade 10 negative engravers perform the full range of tasks of engraving. They interpret job specifications and instructions and organize work assignments such as engraving a complete map or chart, making extensive corrections or modifications to existing charts or reviewing the completed work of other negative engravers as a cross-check against errors or omissions.
  • The negative engravers receive hand compiled manuscripts, including overlays, and plan the procedures to be followed. They analyze and order or prepare photographic manuscript images on scribecote and photographic copy of master projections and grids. They plot and engrave the layout of master projections and grids when required and engrave map or chart features on scribecote to form the final negative.
  • Knowledge of a number of United States and foreign systems of symbology such as topographic and hydrographic symbols to describe a wide range of manmade and natural features in order to select the appropriate symbols for the material to be produced or transcribe publications of foreign origin for United States issuance. Knowledge of various systems of nautical or aeronautical navigation aids, typical positioning of these aids and appropriate symbology.
  • Knowledge of Federal and international agency specifications governing such things as layout of products, line weights required for various purposes, typefaces to be used, and tolerances allowable, in order to comply with the requirements of the various types of projects.
  • Skill in the use of measuring instruments such as dividers, protractors, English and metric scales, and microscopes with calibrated scales in order to accurately position base and overlay negatives for exact registration, assure exact positioning of navigation aids, or check the accuracy of line width.

Our next Question and Answer is with a platemaker Kenneth A. Garner.

Q&A with Kenneth A. Garner

Kenneth A. Garner is a platemaker for the Bureau of Printing and Engraving and located in Washington D.C.

 

Kenneth Garner, BEP Platemaker

Kenneth Garner, BEP Platemaker

Why did you become a platemaker?

As a BEP Machinist, I didn’t have direct involvement in the currency printing process and I was eager to be a part of that process. So, I devoted a number of additional hours to assist with grinding plates, which sparked my interest to become a Plate Maker.

What is the most interesting project you ever worked on as a platemaker?

My most interesting projects were recreating the 1986 State Department (Great Seal) die and working on the new design layout moving from 32-subject plates to 50-subject plates.

What is a typical day like as a platemaker?

A typical day as a Plate Maker is to complete plates from the production order provided in a timely manner. (A full description of plate production can be found at http://www.bep.gov/hmimplatemaking.html).

Would you recommend the job of platemaker as a good career to pursue?

I would definitely recommend obtaining a job as a Platemaker. The pay is great and the high demand to produce currency ensures job security.

Qualifications for Platemaker

The typical grades for a platemaker are from WG-5 to WG-8. You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this position.

The following information from the Federal Wage System Job Grading Standard for Offset Platemaking, 4416 this is just a partial list of skills necessary to be a platemaker.

Grade 5

  • The grade 5 platemaker follows established procedures to produce line and halftone offset plates (when halftone quality is not a critical requirement) by superimposing photographic negatives or positives onto presensitized or machine coated plates through single flat exposures. The offset plates are used in press operations to produce a variety of printed materials.
  • The grade 5 platemaker must be familiar with the basic techniques and procedures to produce offset plates requiring single flat exposures of halftone and/or line film negatives or positives.

There is no Grade 6 information cited.

Grade 7

  • The grade 7 platemaker uses established procedures for superimposing line, halftone and other images from photographic negatives or positives onto presensitized or machine coated plates through single and double flat exposures to produce offset plates. The offset printing plates are used in subsequent press operations to produce a variety of printed materials.
  • The grade 7 platemaker performs platemaking operations such as single and/or double exposures, which require skill in the alignment of flat(s) to plate, variation in lengths of exposure, the use of screen tints, masking, step and repeat procedures, exposing and developing the plate.

Grade 8

  • In comparison with the single and double-exposure type of platemaking performed by the grade 7 platemaker, the grade 8 platemaker performs single, double and multiple flat exposures requiring hairlines [plus or minus .008 cm (.003 inches)] or critical [plus or minus .003 cm (.001 inches) or finer] alignment tolerances of several separate line and halftone negatives (flats), symbol and tint screens, and film masks and traps to a single plate.
  • Grade 8 platemakers have the ability to read and interpret work orders and the trade knowledge to select proper type of plate, processes, solutions, and equipment to be used.

The engraver and platemaker jobs are very technical and require specialized skills in order to make our paper currency properly. In our final article we will discuss the job occupation of the Research Chemist (GS-1320).

Credit

  • Lydia Washington, Public Affairs Officer, Bureau of Engraving and Printing – DC Facility (Washington, DC)
  • www.bep.treas.gov
  • Photos provided by the Bureau of Printing and Engraving

Helpful Career Planning Tools

Visit our other informative site

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

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

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