The U.S. Department of State is developing a rank-ordered list of eligible hires for a limited number of Foreign Service Security Technical Specialist (STS) vacancies based on the needs of the Department. Learn more about a career in the Foreign Service and about the Bureau of Diplomatic Security.
Joining the Foreign Service is more than just salary. Refer to the Benefits section for more information on total compensation.
This is a 2560 position equivalent to the 0086 Civil Service series.Learn more about this agency
Security Technical Specialists (STS) provide support for and assist in worldwide technical security programs to maintain and provide protection for Department of State personnel and facilities from technical espionage, acts of terrorism, and crime.
The duties of a Security Technical Specialist (STS) vary according to the size of the post and the requirements of the specific diplomatic mission. The following are examples of the types of duties and responsibilities assigned to an STS at posts around the world, or in domestic locations. This list is neither exhaustive, nor in priority order:
- Install, maintain, repair, and troubleshoot a multitude of technical security systems to include alarms, access control systems, locks, vehicle arrest systems, security video systems, explosive detection systems, X-ray machines, computer networking equipment, and forced entry ballistic resistant doors.
- Assist with and/or perform technical surveys, system specifications, and equipment installations.
- Conduct technical security design evaluations based on government regulations and standards.
- Prepare formal updates to architectural drawings according to government regulations and standards.
- Apply IT best practices to monitor and troubleshoot networking equipment, workstations, servers, and applications.
- Plan technical support trips, coordinate logistics, and travel to overseas embassies and consulates.
- Use sophisticated electronic test equipment: oscilloscopes, time domain reflectometers, etc.
- Manage equipment supply chain logistics– shipping, receiving, Bill-of-Materials (BOM) preparation using a Computerized Maintenance Management System.
- Oversee and supervise the X-ray and explosive detection programs, to include repairing and performing radiation checks. Maintain/repair electro-mechanical systems using electronic test equipment.
- Organize and maintain shops, storerooms, shop tools, equipment, parts, and supplies.
- Work with or supervise host country personnel (locally employed staff) when required.
- Test new-generation technical security equipment.
- Provide technical security support to high level USG officials and foreign dignitaries.
- Manage training programs for various technical security systems.
- Train security personnel at posts as required.
- Take coursework to maintain and upgrade technical skills.
- Write technical reports, including project proposals, equipment and/or system evaluations, maintenance and/or installation activity reports, technical field notices, trip reports, and other documentation as required.
- Assist in the project management of security contracts. Serve as Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) and as Government Technical Monitor (GTM).
- Supervise regional security technicians as assigned.
- Mentor and supervise junior STS personnel and write employee evaluations when assigned.
- Learn department hiring and management best practices to apply them as a supervisor or when assisting in hiring processes.
50% or less - A Foreign Service Specialist generally spends the majority of his/her career assigned to the Department of State’s overseas missions and at times, lives away from family and/or in difficult or isolated conditions. Selected applicants will be notified of an Oral Assessment (OA) requirement in Washington D.C. For selected applicants, all travel and other expenses incurred in connection with the OA are the sole responsibility of the applicant.
Job family (Series)
Conditions Of Employment
- Be a U.S. citizen and available for worldwide service.*
- Be able to obtain a Top Secret Security Clearance.
- Be able to obtain an appropriate Foreign Service Medical Clearance.
- Be able to obtain a favorable Suitability Review Panel determination.**
- Be at least 20 years old and at least 21 years old to be appointed.
- Be appointed prior to age 60 (preference eligible veterans excepted).***
Official or unofficial transcripts may be submitted with your application. Please refer to the Education Requirements section for more information.
Driver's License: A valid U.S. driver's license is required.
A physical examination of each applicant offered a position is required to ensure that the candidate meets the essential physical and medical requirements necessary to perform the essential functions of the job and can meet the standards required for a worldwide medical clearance. Candidates must have vision that is correctable to 20/20 in one eye and 20/40 in the other, no color blindness, adequate night vision, and good peripheral vision. In addition, candidates must have good hearing with no loss of greater than 30 decibels at 500, 1000, or 2000 Hz level. The musculoskeletal system should have no deformities, diseases, or limiting conditions that would interfere with the performance of duties. The standards for STS can be found at https://careers.state.gov/downloads/ in the Three Conditions of Diplomatic Security Employment Section.
Note: The medical examination is required only after a candidate has successfully passed the written and oral assessments. It is not part of the initial application package.
Applicants must have at least two years of specialized experience, which demonstrates the ability to troubleshoot and repair electronic, electrical, and/or electro-mechanical systems and equipment, and is supported by work experience in this discipline.
Examples of experience include, but are not limited to the following:
• Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of AC power distribution systems, motor-generators.
• Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of motors, motor controls, disconnects, relays.
• Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of low voltage DC electronic systems.
• Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of low voltage DC electro-mechanical systems.
• Use, repair, and/or calibration of electronic test equipment – meters, oscilloscopes.
• Bench repair of electronic, electrical, and electro-mechanical equipment to the component level.
• Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of mechanical and electro-mechanical locking systems – electronic strikes, locks.
• Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of pedestrian and vehicular access control systems – door controls, vehicle barriers /arrest.
• Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of security video systems and supporting network components.
• Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of metal detectors – hand held, walk through.
• Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of radio communications systems, voice and digital communications networks.
• Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of Intrusion Detection Systems – alarms, detectors, sensors.
• Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of Public Address Systems – emergency notification systems, intercoms.
Knowledge, Skills, and Other Characteristics
1. Knowledge of technology to include electronics technology, National Electrical Code (NEC), networking basics, information technology, installation practices, risk analysis techniques, basic cost analysis, basic statistical analysis, scientific method and characteristics of materials.
2. Knowledge of security systems to include knowledge of technical security systems (TSS), current industry trends, quality assurance process, and knowledge of safety standards and practices.
3. Knowledge of the logistics process and practices.
4. Technical skills in reading and interpreting building plans, interpreting schematic diagrams and electrical drawings, performing technical surveys and evaluating existing conditions, use of tools, various technical trades, use of fiber optics, fabricating use of computer software and technical guidance.
5. General skills in project management, team leading, reporting, customer service, development and implementation of training programs, evaluating, rating and reviewing the performance of others, being adaptable and resilient, maintaining awareness of working environment and self-development.
6. Superior oral and written communication skills: must consistently meet a high standard for English, both written (overall structure as well as grammar, spelling and punctuation) and spoken (overall structure as well as delivery, clarity and succinctness).
7. Color vision: ability to distinguish between all colors of the spectrum in order to read resistor color codes, identify colored wires, and distinguish between warning lights of different colors.
8. Other requirements: cross-cultural awareness, tolerance of travel and being on call, tolerance for working overseas, tolerance of varying work environments, world-wide availability, tolerance of living away from family, attention to detail, dependability, integrity and willingness to perform other duties.
Essential Physical Requirements:
Some of the essential functions of the Security Technical Specialist (STS) job have a physically demanding component. In the execution of the duties and tasks listed above, an STS may be required to:
1. See objects that are near, far, or at night.
2. Hear speech or other sounds including sufficient sensitivity to hear sounds of low volume or in noisy environments.
3. Speak clearly enough so others will understand, including speaking to groups.
4. Lift, push, pull, carry, climb ladders, or balance. Move heavy objects, such as crates, building materials, motor generators that may be oversized and weigh in excess of 70 lbs.
5. Manipulate small objects with hands or fingers. Perform manual installation operations to include hammer drilling, core drilling, pulling wire, installing conduit and terminating cable.
6. Perform movements repeatedly or continually including ability to stand for extended periods, bend and stretch to reach equipment for prolonged periods, and take frequent extended trips by plane or car.
7. Exhibit the mental endurance to concentrate for long periods, learn complex information and procedures, and think effectively after extensive travel and jet-lag.
8. Tolerate extreme environmental conditions, i.e. heat, cold, noise and pollution. Travel and work in hostile environments such as war zones, areas of civil and political strife and in regions of the world having extreme climates.
9. Climb stairs, ladders and other inclines. Work from heights to include rooftops, ledges, bucket trucks, scaffolding and extension ladders.
10. Crawl under, around or over objects. Work in confined areas such as crawlspaces, attics, utility pits, tunnels, manholes and other confined space.
Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent.
Applicants may substitute educational achievements for Specialized Experience. Please see Qualifications section for Specialized Experience requirements.
Applicants may substitute qualifying educational achievement (12 semester hours or 18 quarter hours is equivalent to one year) for specialized experience as follows:
For one year of specialized experience: One full academic year of education in any electronics or electro-mechanic specialty, or the equivalent amount of vocational, military, and/or formal job-related classroom training.
For two years of specialized experience: Completion of all requirements for an associate’s degree in any electronics or electro-mechanic specialty, or the equivalent of two full academic years of vocational, military, and/or formal job-related classroom training.
Official or unofficial transcripts may be submitted with your application. Your transcript must include your name, the school’s name, and, if applicable, the degree and date awarded. A transcript missing any of these elements will not pass the minimum qualifications and your candidacy will not continue. Copies of diplomas may not be submitted in lieu of transcripts for education above high school level.
Education from a program or institution within the United States must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation.
Education completed in foreign high schools, colleges or universities may be used to meet the education requirements if you can show that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence when applying. Only accredited organizations recognized as specializing in the interpretation of foreign education credentials that are members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or the Association of International Credential Evaluators, Inc. (AICE) are accepted. If documentation from an accredited organization is not provided, your candidacy will not continue.
For further information on the evaluation of foreign education, please refer to the Office of Personnel Management and the U.S. Department of Education. The U.S. Department of State neither endorses nor recommends any individual evaluation service.
*EMPLOYMENT ELIGIBILITY VERIFICATION PROGRAM (E-Verify) – Verification of employment eligibility in the United States is required.
U.S. law requires organizations to employ only individuals who may legally work in the United States – either U.S. citizens, or foreign citizens who have the necessary authorization. This agency utilizes E-Verify to compare information from the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) records to confirm employment eligibility. If the employee’s information does not match DHS and/or SSA records, the employee is given an opportunity to resolve the problem. If eligibility cannot be verified, employment will be terminated.
**The Department of State Suitability Review Panel and standards are defined in Chapter 3 of the Foreign Affairs Manual. For more information please visit: https://fam.state.gov/.
***For more information about Veteran’s Preference and how it is applied in the selection process, please visit: http://careers.state.gov/faqs/faqs-wiki/are-veterans-given-hiring-preference-
No applicant will be considered who has previously been separated from the Foreign Service under sections §607, §608, §610 or §611 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, or who resigned or retired in lieu of separation under these provisions. In addition, no applicant will be considered who has previously been separated for failure to receive a career appointment under section §306 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, or who resigned or retired in lieu thereof.
A Foreign Service Specialist separated for failure to receive a career appointment under section 306 may not re-apply to be a Foreign Service Specialist in the same skill code but may apply for another skill code or to be a Foreign Service Generalist.
Executive Branch agencies are barred by 5 US Code 3303 as amended from accepting or considering prohibited political recommendations and are required to return any prohibited political recommendations to sender. In addition, as mandated by 5 US Code 3110, relatives of federal employees cannot be granted preference in competing for these employment opportunities.
It is the policy of the Federal Government to treat all employees with dignity and respect and to provide a workplace that is free from discrimination whether discrimination is based on race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity or pregnancy), national origin, disability, political affiliation, marital status, membership in an employee organization, age, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors.
The Department of State provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodations for any part of the application or hiring process should so advise the Department at ReasonableAccommodations@state.gov , within one week of receiving their invitation to the oral assessment. Decisions for granting reasonable accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis.
How You Will Be Evaluated
Applicants will be evaluated on their total background including experience, education, awards, training, and self-development as it relates to the position. Selection for this position will be made only from among applicants possessing the best qualifications. Part-time work experience will be prorated.
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Background checks and security clearance
Drug test required
It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure all required documents are uploaded and the application is complete before the closing deadline of this announcement. Any missing required documents or incomplete applications will result in the application not being considered further.
- Résumé from USAJobs Résumé Builder, the only résumé format accepted for this Vacancy Announcement.
- Complete online application, including the required Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest narratives.
- All required supporting documentation, including proof of educational achievements, certifications, professional licenses, or completed forms as required in this Vacancy Announcement.
- Veteran’s Preference documentation for applicants aged 60 to 65. If claiming a 5 pt. Veteran’s Preference, you must submit a copy of your DD-214 or Certification of service at the time of your application. If claiming a 10 pt. Veteran’s Preference, you must submit your VA letter and SF-15, in addition to your DD-214 or Certification of service at the time of your application. A Certification must be from the armed forces certifying the service member is expected to be discharged or released from active duty under honorable conditions within 120 days after the Certification is submitted by the applicant and should include military service dates, date of expected discharge or release, and character of service and disability rating, if applicable.
Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest
These required questions provide an opportunity to describe examples and accomplishments from your education, life, and/or work experience that demonstrate your qualifications for becoming a Foreign Service Specialist. Examples can be drawn from any part of your professional or personal experience. Each response is limited to 300 words or fewer (maximum length 2,000 characters) for each item. You should compose your replies carefully, as one of the skills necessary to succeed as a Foreign Service Specialist is the ability to write clearly and concisely. Answers to all of the items in the Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest are required and must be completed in the online application.
1. Substantive Knowledge: Using your knowledge of technical security programs, give what you consider to be the best example of a situation where you found a solution to a practical problem. Indicate the nature of the problem, who was affected by the problem and in what way, and the results or benefits of your solution.
2. Intellectual Skills: Describe a time when you had to analyze a situation and make a quick decision. What process did you follow for making the decision and were you satisfied with the results?
3. Interpersonal Skills: Please provide an example that demonstrates you are good at working with others in difficult situations. What exactly did you do that shows you have this skill?
4. Communication Skills: Describe a situation in which you used your communication skills to describe a technical issue to a non-technical audience.
5. Managerial Skills: Describe a project you managed or helped to manage and how you sought to achieve the project’s goals. What techniques and tools did you use?
6. Leadership Skills: Describe a time when you identified a serious problem that required immediate action. How did you take the lead in solving the problem?
Statement of Interest
Required narrative Statement of Interest which discusses your:
- Motivation for joining the Foreign Service,
- Relevant work experience, including any unique strengths not described elsewhere, such as special skills (e.g. computer), current licenses, certifications, honors, awards, special accomplishments, and/or training (with date completed) relating to this position,
- Experience living or working in a multicultural environment, overseas or in the United States.
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.
A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding.
Benefits include health and medical coverage, federal retirement benefits, and paid leave. Overseas benefits include tax-free housing overseas, tax-free education allowance for dependent children between K-12 overseas, and an unrivaled opportunity to see the world and experience different cultures.
Additional Salary Information
The salary listed is from the FS Overseas Pay scale and the FS Washington DC Pay scale. For more information on Foreign Service salary, visit https://careers.state.gov/faqs/faqs-wiki/foreign-service-salary-matching-pay-tables-danger-pay-overseas-moving-expenses-and-taxes
Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.
How to Apply
Submit your application early, not waiting for the deadline, as application packages must be complete, submitted, and received by the closing date to be considered. There are no exceptions.
1. From this Vacancy Announcement, click on “Apply.” Go to the USAJobs Log In screen and log in to your USAJobs account or follow the link and instructions to create an account.
2. Follow the USAJobs Application Process and provide your required USAJobs federal online resume.
3. USAJobs will transfer you to the State Department agency online application site, Monster Government Service (MGS). Follow the instructions to answer the online questions. Your Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest responses must be completed in the online application. You may save your work and can return to the application from USAJobs at any time prior to the deadline.
4. Submit required documentation using one of the three methods the application system allows: Transfer documents from a USAJOBS portfolio; upload documents from your computer; or, resubmit documents from a previous application.
5. After attaching all required supporting documentation, answering all required application questions, and completing the application steps, review the entire application packet, including the links for submitted documents.
6. Confirm and submit your application package, which will be used to evaluate your qualifications for this position.
The application submission deadline is 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date of this announcement.
It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure all required documents are submitted and the application is complete before the closing deadline. Any missing required documents or incomplete applications will result in your application not being considered further. There are no exceptions.
Submit your application early and verify that your documents are attached. You may make changes as often as needed, up until the closing date of the announcement.
If you are having technical difficulty with the application process, please contact the Monster Help Desk by calling 1-866-656-6830 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The Monster Help Desk is available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern Time.
For more information on Foreign Service Specialist hiring processes, please visit our FAQs at http://careers.state.gov/faqs. If you have any questions regarding Foreign Service careers, visit careers.state.gov and post your question(s) on the appropriate Forum in the Connect section: http://careers.state.gov/connect/forums.
Agency contact information
AddressU.S. Department of State
2401 E Street NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20522
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After the close of the announcement, the application status in USAJobs should say "Reviewing Applications." This status on USAJobs will not be updated further. You can click on "Track this application" for more information. Applicants will be notified by e-mail from the U.S. Department of State about the outcome of the initial application review and if they will be further considered for this Foreign Service position. We recommend adding the Department of State domain (@state.gov) as an approved sender.
Due to the high volume of applications, we ask all applicants to remain patient and await communication. It is not uncommon for several months to pass before you are informed of the results of your applications.
For more information, please visit https://careers.state.gov/ds/ and http://careers.state.gov/work/foreign-service/specialist/selection-process, or post your questions on the Diplomatic Security Forum.
Fair & Transparent
The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.
Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy And gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.
Reasonable Accommodation Policy
Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.
Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:
- An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.
You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Legal and regulatory guidance
This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/603191800. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.