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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Physical Science Technician
Department:  Department Of Health And Human Services
Agency:  Food and Drug Administration
Job Announcement Number:  HHS-FDA-ORA-MP-12-558521

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$51,576.00 to $67,043.00 / Per Year
Friday, November 16, 2012 to Monday, September 16, 2013
Full Time - Permanent
1 vacancy - Detroit Metro Area, MI United States
Status Candidates (Merit Promotion and VEOA Eligibles)


Become a part of the Department that touches live of every American! At the Department of Health and Human Services you can give back to your community, state, and country by making a difference in the lives of Americans everywhere. Join HHS and help to make our world healthier, safer and better for all Americans.

Who May Apply:  Open only to current Food and Drug Administration, Office of Regulatory Affairs Federal employees with career or career-conditional appointments in the competitive service.  YOU MUST SUBMIT YOUR SF-50.


Applicants outside of the area of consideration will not be considered.


This position is located in the Detroit District Office Laboratory, Central Region, Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in Detroit, MI.


Current FDA Commissioned Corps Officers interested in performing the duties of this position may also apply under this announcement.


  • U.S. Citizenship Required
  • Must be a current FDA/ORA employee
  • A valid dirivers license is required
  • Resume and supporting documents (See the "How to Apply") section
  • Travel requirement up to 25%
  • This is a bargaining unit position


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As a Physical Science Technician, you will perform the following duties:

  • Perform the calibration of a variety of radiation detection instruments using X-ray sources.
  • Participate in the development of new calibration procedures.
  • Perform electrical recalibration measurements on the ionizing radiation instruments.
  • Maintain and update computer databases for calibration results and quality assurance procedures.
  • Work with both ionizing radiation for routine work and specialized research projects.
  • Serve as the Property Custodial Officer for all accountable field equipment for the ionizing Radiation Measurements Laboratory.
  • Analyze data through the operation of a computerized radiation calibration facility using complex scientific apparatus.
  • Decide on the modes of calibration, recognizes when subtle anomalies in equipment operations are significant and interprets data.
  • Work with a variety of highly complex scientific and electronic equipment and collects, organizes and interprets data, generates quality control charts and reports on the findings.
  • Participate in the review of laboratory protocols, instrumentation calibration procedures, quality assurance and quality control procedures.
  • Evaluate the condition and and operation of radiation measuring instruments submitted for calibration and performs necessary repairs.
  • Serve as a member of a Quality Circle responsible for developing the long-range strategy the Ionizing Radiation Measurements Laboratory uses to ensure the quality of laboratory calibrations.
  • Work closely with technical staff of NIST, the FDA Office of Regulatory Affairs, State radiation control programs, the CDRH Office of Communication, Education, and Radiation Programs, and Divsions outside of the Division of Imaging and Applied Mathematics that are within the Office of Science and Engineering Laboratories with regard to special and unique measurement problems associated with the precision calibration of ionizing radiation measuring instruments.
  • Assist in the development of special calibration procedures necessary to enforce X-ray requirements placed on electronic products by PL90-602.
  • Write summary reports of problems encountered during data analysis and makes recommendations when necessary.
  • Prepare technical memos and reportss on calibration procedures, quality control procedures and radiation dosimetry metrology.
  • Contribute to comprehensive technical reports prepared by Branch staff reflecting the results of calibration and instrument testing data reports of interest to other Federal agencies calibrating instruments.


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You must have one (1) year of specialized experience that has equipped you with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the work of the position to be filled.  To be creditable, specialized experience must have been equivalent to at least the GS-08 level in the Federal government, using complex radiation producing equipment, electrical calibration equipment and computer systems.


Examples of qualifying specialized experience include work in the fields of astronomy, physics, geophysics, chemistry, hydrology, health physics, engineering, electronics, geology, oceanography, and metallurgy.


Experience as a laboratory mechanic or in a trade or craft may be credited as general or specialized experience when the work was performed in close association with physical scientists or other technical personnel and proveded intensive knowledge of appropriate scientific principles, methods, techniques, and precedents.



Foreign Education:  If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualifications requirements, you must show that the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretations of foreigh education programs and such education has been deem equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university.  For further information, visit:


Conditions of Employment:


1.  Security and Background Requirements:  If not previously completed, a background security investigation will be required for all appointees.  Appointment will be subject to the applicant's successful completion of a background security investigation and favorable adjudication.  Failure to successfully meet these requirements may be grounds for appropriate personnel action.  In addition, if hired, a background security reinvestigation or supplemental investigation may be required at a later time.  Applicants are also advised that all information concerning qualifications is subject to investigation.  False representation may be grounds for non-consideration, non-selection and/or appropriate disciplinary action.


2.  E-Verify:  If you are selected for this position, the documentation that you present for purposes of completing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Form I-9 will be verified through the DHS "E-Verify" System.  Federal law requires DHS to use the E-Verify System to verify employment eligibility of all new hires, and as a condition of continued employment obligates the new hire to take affirmative steps to resolve any discrepancies identified by the system.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is an E-Verify participant.


3.  Direct Deposit:  All Federal employees are required to have Federal salary payments made by direct direct to a financial institution of the choosing.


4.  All qualification requirement must be met by the closing date of the announcement.


5.  Financial disclosure statement may be required.


6.  One-year probationary period may be required.


7.  Travel, transportation, and relocation expenses will not be paid.


8.  Bargaining Unit Position:  Yes


9.  Drug Screening Required:  No


10.  Recruitment Bonus may be authorized:  No


11.  Time in Grade (TIG) must be met by closing date of the announcement.






Once the application process is complete, a review of your application will be made to ensure you meet the job requirements. To determine if you are qualified for this job, a review of your resume and supporting documentation will be made and compared against your responses to the occupational questionnaire. The numeric rating you receive is based on your responses to the questionnaire. The score is a measure of the degree to which your background matches the knowledge, skills and abilities required of this position. If, after reviewing your resume and or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience your score can and will be adjusted to more accurately reflect your abilities. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating.


Your qualifictions will be evaluated on the following competencies (knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics):


1.  Skill in the operation and maintenance of specialized physical science equipment and instruments.

2.  Ability to collect, analyze and summarize data.

3.  Abililty to communicate orally.

4.  Ability to communicate in writing.


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The Federal government offers a number of exceptional benefits to its employees.  This link provides an overview of the benefits currently offered to Federal employees.


1. If you are an eligible Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) applicant you may apply for special selection over other candidates for this position. To be well-qualified and exercise selection priority for this vacancy, displaced Federal employees must be rated at 85 or above on the rating criteria for this position. ICTAP eligibles must submit one of the following as proof of eligibility for the special selection priority: a separation notice; a "Notice of Personnel Action" (SF-50) documenting separation; an agency certification that you cannot be placed after injury compensation has been terminated; an OPM notification that your disability annuity has been terminated; OR a Military Department or National Guard Bureau notification that you are retired under 5 U.S.C. 8337(h) or 8456.

2. If you are a current career or career-conditional Federal employee or former Federal employee who has reinstatement eligibility, you must submit a copy of your latest SF-50 "Notification of Personnel Action" and/or a copy of the SF-50 that reflects career or career-conditional tenure, or you will not be considered under the merit promotion process. Also, you should submit your most recent performance appraisal.

3. If you are a veteran with preference eligibility and you are claiming 5-point veterans' preference, you must attach a copy of your DD-214 or other proof of eligibility. If you are claiming 10-point veterans' preference, you must attach an SF-15, "Application for 10-Point Veterans' Preference" plus the proof required by that form.

4. If you are a male applicant who was born after 12/31/59 and are required to register under the Military Selective Service Act, the Defense Authorization Act of 1986 requires that you be registered or you are not eligible for appointment in this agency.

5. You can apply for a non-competitive appointment if you meet the basic eligibility requirements and you are eligible for special appointment such as those authorized for the severely disabled; certain Vietnam era and disabled veterans; returned volunteers from the Peace Corps or Vista, etc. Please indicate the type of special appointment you are seeking, if any, on your application and follow all other instructions for applying shown in this announcement.

6. All qualification requirements must be met within 30 days after the closing date of this announcement. Additional information on the qualification requirements is outlined in the OPM Qualifications Standards Handbook of General Schedule Positions. It is available for your review in our office, in other Federal agency personnel offices, and on OPM's web site at .


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To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:


1. Your Résumé
2. A complete Occupational Questionnaire
3. Additional Required Documents (see Required Documents section below)

The complete Application Package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Monday, September 16, 2013.

To begin the process, click the Apply Online button to create an account or log in to your existing USAJOBS account.  Follow the prompts to complete the occupational questionnaire. Please ensure you click the Submit My Answers button at the end of the process. 
Note: To check the status of your application or return to a previous or incomplete application, log into your USAJOBS account, select Application Status, and click on the more information link under the application status for this position.

To fax supporting documents you are unable to upload, complete this cover page using the following Vacancy ID  558521.  Fax your documents to 1-478-757-3144.

If you cannot apply online:

1. Click the following link to view and print the occupational questionnaire View Occupational Questionnaire ,
2. Print this 1203FX form to provide your response to the occupational questionnaire, and
3. Fax the completed 1203FX form along with any supporting documents to 1-478-757-3144. Your 1203FX will serve as a cover page for your fax transmission.


Submitting Documents


If you upload your documents using Application Manager, DO NOT FAX the same documents. To verify uploaded documents have been processed, please wait one hour to ensure they have cleared the virus scan. You can verify that your uploaded documents are attached to your application by checking the Details tab of your Application Manager account for this vacancy announcement. Your documents will display under the Details tab in the Document area.


Faxed documents will take 2-3 business days to process. To fax documents, you MUST use the special cover page. Print the pre-populated cover page on the upload documents screen of Application Manager. Or, you may click this link to print a copy of the cover page. When faxing documents, follow the procedures outlined below.  


  • Include the 8-character Vacancy Identification Number 558521,
  • Provide your Social Security Number and full name in the spaces provided or we will not be able to associate your document(s) with the rest of your application.
  • You may submit multiple documents for the same vacancy announcement using one cover page.
  • Fax your cover page and documents to 1-478-757-3144.

Faxed documents submitted with missing information will not be processed. The following will prevent your documents from being processed:  


  • Not using the special cover page mentioned above.
  • Missing, incomplete, or invalid Vacancy Identification Number
  • Missing or incomplete Social Security Number or name

Note: If you have documents in your Application Manager account from a previous vacancy announcement they can be opened, copied and saved then reused as an upload file for this vacancy. Uploading your documents will speed the processing of your application for this announcement.

Your resume, curriculum vitae, the Optional Application for Federal Employment (OF 612), or any other written format you choose to describe your job-related qualifications can be submitted electronically using the document upload process, fax, mail or by hand-deliver. Please be sure to include all of the following information in your resume:

Job Information:
-Vacancy Identification Number, title, grade and location for which you are applying.
Personal Information:
- Full name, mailing address (with zip code) and day/evening telephone numbers (with area code).
- Country of Citizenship.
- If ever employed by the Federal Government, please show the highest Federal civilian grade held, job series, and dates of employment in grade.
- High School name, city, state and zip code, date of diploma or GED.
- Colleges and/or Universities attended, city, state and zip code.
- Major field(s) of study.
- Type and year of degree(s) received. If no degree received, show total credit hours received in semester or quarter hours.
Work Experience for each paid or non-paid position held related to the job for which you are applying (do not provide copies of job descriptions):
- Job title.
- Duties and accomplishments.
- Number of hours per week.
- Employer's name and address.
- Supervisor's name and phone number.
- Starting and ending dates of employment (month and year).
- Salary.
- Indicate if your current supervisor may be contacted.
Other Qualifications:
- Job-related training courses (title and year).
- Job-related skills (e.g., other languages, computer software/hardware, tools, machinery, typing speed, etc.)
- Job-related certificates and licenses.
- Job-related honors, awards, and special accomplishments. (e.g., publications, memberships in professional or honor societies, leadership activities, public speaking, performance awards, etc.) Do not send copies of documents unless specifically requested.


Bethesda Center Helpdesk
Phone: (888)478-4340
Fax: (478)757-3144
Agency Information:
OHR Bethesda Operations Center
7700 Wisconsin Ave
Bethesda, MD
20814 Fax: (478)757-3144


Once the online questionnaire is received you will receive an acknowledgement email that your submission was successful. After a review of your complete application is made you will be notified of your rating and or referral to the hiring official.  If further evaluation or interviews are required you will be contacted.  

Instructions for answering the questions in the Occupational Questionnaire:

If you are applying to this announcement by completing the OPM 1203-FX form instead of using the Online Application method, please use the following step-by-step instructions as a guide to filling out the required questionnaire. You will need to print the vacancy announcement and refer to it as you answer the questions. You may omit any optional information; however, you must provide responses to all required questions. Be sure to double check your application before submission.

Social Security Number

Enter your Social Security Number. Providing your Social Security Number is voluntary, however we can not process your application without it.

Vacancy Identification Number

The Vacancy Identification Number is: 558521

1. Title of Job

Physical Science Technician

2. Biographic Data

3. E-Mail Address

4. Work Information

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

5. Employment Availability

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

6. Citizenship

Are you a citizen of the United States?
7. Background Information

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

8. Other Information

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

9. Languages

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

10. Lowest Grade

Enter the lowest grade level (09-09) you will accept.


11. Miscellaneous Information

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

12. Special Knowledge

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

13. Test Location

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

14. Veteran Preference Claim

15. Dates of Active Duty - Military Service

16. Availability Date

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

17. Service Computation Date

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

18. Other Date Information

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

19. Job Preference

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

20. Occupational Specialties

The occupational specialty will be selected for you if there is only one, otherwise, select/enter at least one occupational specialty code for this position. The specialty code for this position is:

001 Competitive-MP
002 Non-Competitive-MP

21. Geographic Availability

The geographic location code will be selected for you if there is only one, otherwise, select/enter at least one geographic location in which you are intrested and will accept employment. The location code for this position is:

0187 Detroit Metro Area, MI

22. Transition Assistance Plan

23. Job Related Experience

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

24. Personal Background Information

If you are applying by the OPM Form 1203-FX, leave this section blank.

25. Occupational/Assessment Questions:

1. 1.  From the description below, select one which best describes your experience and meets the Mininum Qualification Requirements for Physical Science Technician, GS-1311-09.


A.  I have one year of specialized experience, equivalent to at least the GS-08 level in the Federal service, using complex radiation producing equipment, electrical calibration equipment and computer systems.  Examples of qualifiying specialized experience include work in the fields of astronomy, physics, geophysics, chemistry, hydrology, health physics, engineering, electronics, geology, oceanography and metallurgy.  Experience as a laboratory mechanic or in a trade or crafte may be credited as general or specialized experience when the work was performed in close association with physical scientits or other technical personnel and provided intensive knowledge of appropriate scientific principles, methods, techniques, and precedents.


B.  I do not possess the specialized experience described above.

A. Yes.
B. No

2. 2.  Are you currently a Food and Drug Administration employee?

A. Yes
B. No

For each task in the following group, choose the statement from the list below that best describes your experience and/or training. Darken the oval corresponding to that statement in Section 25 of the Qualifications and Availability Form C. Please select only one letter for each item.

A- I have not had education, training or experience in performing this task.
B- I have had education or training in performing the task, but have not yet performed it on the job.
C- I have performed this task on the job. My work on this task was monitored closely by a supervisor or senior employee to ensure compliance with proper procedures.
D- I have performed this task as a regular part of a job. I have performed it independently and normally without review by a supervisor or senior employee.
E- I am considered an expert in performing this task. I have supervised performance of this task or am normally the person who is consulted by other workers to assist them in doing this task because of my expertise.

3. Knowledge and understanding of the organizational structures and interrelationships as they relate to area of responsibility.

4. Responsible for the interpretation and application for the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act and related policies and procedures in order to schedule and execute numerous projects requiring laboratory analysis

5. Formulates recommendations based on background and understanding of policies, regulations, prodedures and information.

6. Decides direction and depth of analysis, considering available methodiologies, current regulatory guidance, current workload obligations, and historical data and interrelated samples.

7. Redirects or modifies analyses during course to pursue new evidence observed or terminates analyses once regulatory goals have been achieved.

8. Operates and maintains a variety of standard laboratory equipment and instrumentation such as electronic balances, microprocessor, controlled dispensing machines, pH meter, steam sterilizers, dry heat ovens and membrane filtration apparatus as needed.

9. Independently performs complex analyses of samples.

10. Responsible for sample integrity and accountability of samples assigned.

11. Conducts analysis such as sanitation, drug, food additives, chemical contaminants, medical device, and/or pesticide.

12. Selects appropriate analytical procedure from standard operating procedures, manuals and equipment and instrumentation manuals.

13. Responsible for choosing correct methodology for extraneous materials.

14. Arranges scheduling between sections of laboratory involved to ensure objective is achieved and sample is analyzed correctly.

15. Decides sequience of performance of required analyses wehn coordinating analyses with other sections of the laboratory.

16. Modifies procedures and analytical methods to accommodate new or difficult analyses.

17. Develops methodology on products which present problems of limited difficulty and scope. 

18. Prepares samples for audit analysis of private laboratory submissions.

19. Performs chemical analyses for compounds, which indicated problems in regulated products.

20. Performs sample preparation, solvent extraction, ion-exchange column chromatography, fluorescence spectrophotometry and high pressure liquid chromatography.

21. Performs check analysis for chemist, microbiologists and/or entomologists on samples for food additives, floring agents, coloring, filth, drug compounds/components and other extraneous contaminants.

22. Performs check analysis for audits of outside laboratories.

23. Trains other laboratory personnel in procedures and analyses.

24. Advises agency laboratories and contract/outside laboratories concerning the selection and performance of appropriate analytical methods for chemical testing.

25. Responsible for coordinating with other laboratory sections when required to accomplish multiple analyses.

26. Participates in scientific research in methods development such as AOAC collaborative studes and in quality assurance activities.

27. Validates modifications scientifically or empirically.

28. Records and documents new procedures and analytical methods for future reference.

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