This Position Is No Longer Available
  1. Overview
  2. Duties
  3. Qualifications & Evaluations
  4. Benefits & Other Info
  5. How to Apply

Job Title:Operations Research Analyst - SV-1515-I

Department:Department Of Homeland Security

Agency:Transportation Security Administration

Job Announcement Number:HQ-ACQ-12-551707

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$72,662.00 to $112,689.00 / Per Year


Thursday, December 27, 2012 to Tuesday, January 29, 2013




Full Time - Permanent




2 vacancies in the following location:
Arlington, VA, USView Map


Open to all U.S. Citizens. 

Salary range listed includes Locality Pay of 24.22%. 

This position is located in Arlington, VA.


This announcement has been extended through 01/29/2013.


Do you desire to protect American interests and secure our Nation while building a meaningful and rewarding career?  If so, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is calling.  DHS components work collectively to prevent terrorism, secure borders, enforce and administer immigration laws, safeguard cyberspace and ensure resilience to disasters.  The vitality and magnitude of this mission is achieved by a diverse workforce spanning hundreds of occupations.  Make an impact; join DHS.                     

Securing Travel, Protecting People - At the Transportation Security Administration, you will serve in a high-stakes environment to safeguard the American way of life.  In cities across the country, you would secure airports, seaports, railroads, highways, and/or public transit systems, thus protecting America's transportation infrastructure and ensuring freedom of movement for people and commerce. For additional information about our agency please:
Click Here


  • You must possess U.S. Citizenship or be a U.S. National.
  • You must complete a favorable Background Investigation (BI).
  • You must be able to obtain and maintain a Secret Clearance.
  • You must have, or be able to obtain, a Program Management Certification.
  • See additional "Conditions of Employment" in "Other Information" section


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This Operations Research Analyst position is located in Office of Acquisition (ACQ), Acquisition Management Functional Division, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  If selected for this position, you will report to the Director of the Acquisition Services and Analysis organization, and will be responsible for ensuring that managers achieve organizational objectives with credible, timely, and adequately-scoped acquisition documentation, resolutions to issues, effective implementation strategies, and viable recommendations.  This position is a matrix support position, being co-located with TSA Program Management Offices for periods of 6 months to 2 years as required.  Typical assignments include:

  • Performing cost analysis of major systems and their associated subsystems; conducting independent cost estimates for key program decision points; defining, maintaining, and performing cost analysis core competencies; conducting reviews of TSA program cost estimates and analyses; and serving as a consultant to senior TSA and DHS management on the full range of matters pertaining to the cost of programs.
  • Performing cost studies of Level 1, 2, and 3 systems and providing counsel to program managers on the quality and adequacy of program cost estimates; conducting special studies of cost related issues (e.g., program, project, appropriation) that are characterized as having national importance or the potential for cost impact on projects individually or TSA-wide.  These analyses involve assessments of the magnitude of engineering risks, manufacturing methods and risks, the business and financial aspects of alternative procurement approaches, and the interaction of all of these factors to assess the composite risk and quantify it in terms of cost and schedule.
  • Establishing databases of system historical costs, and technical and schedule parameters; developing cost models and cost estimating relationships; performing cost sensitivity and cost benefit analyses; determining whether analyses include all appropriate life cycle costs; and clearly communicate findings to top levels of management within TSA and DHS.
  • Maintaining close interaction with cost estimating and technical representatives of contractors, the organizational elements, field activities, and other TSA organizations for the purpose of providing advice and guidance on cost estimating and analysis activities.
  • Adapting mathematical, statistical, economic, and other scientific methods to TSA cost analysis applications (ACE-IT); and using these adaptations to formulate procedures that support the Component Acquisition Executive's efforts to improve cost estimating/analysis for level 1, 2, and 3 systems within TSA.


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Basic Education Requirements: This position requires a degree in Operations Research; or at least 24 semester hours in a combination of operations research, mathematics, probability, statistics, mathematical logic, science, or subject-matter courses requiring substantial competence in college-level mathematics or statistics. At least 3 semester hours of the 24 semester hours must have been in calculus.    


For the SV-I Pay Band (equivalent to GS-13), you must have one year of specialized experience at the SV-H Band or GS-12 in the Federal service or equivalent experience in the private sector.  Specialized experience is defined as experience that has equipped you with the particular knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position. Such experience includes:

  • utilizing cost analysis applications such as ACE-IT cost estimating software tool; and
  • knowledge of Federal acquisition policies and procedures.

You must meet the qualification requirements for this position no later than the closing date of the vacancy announcement.


You will be evaluated based on a comparison of the position requirements against the quality and extent of the experience and/or related education as reflected in your resume and supporting documentation.  You are encouraged to ensure work experiences clearly show possession of the competencies required for this position. We will compare your resume and supporting documentation to your responses on the assessment questionnaire. If, after reviewing your resume and any supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have rated yourself higher than is supported by your application materials, your category placement may be adjusted and/or you may be excluded from consideration for this job.

When completing the assessment questionnaire for this position, you will be prompted to elect if you wish for your application to be considered as External (where Veterans' Preference applies), as Status (current or former Federal Employees), and/or Internal to TSA as a current permanent or competitive temporary employee.  At that time, please select the answer(s) that apply to you and your application to this position.
To preview questions please click here.


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DHS offers competitive salaries and an attractive benefits package, including: health, dental, vision, life, and long-term care insurance; retirement plan; Thrift Savings Plan [similar to a 401(k)]; Flexible Spending Account; Employee Assistance Program; personal leave days; and paid federal holidays.  Other benefits may include:  flexible work schedules; telework; tuition reimbursement; transportation subsidies; uniform allowance; health and wellness programs; and fitness centers.  DHS is committed to employee development and offers a variety of employee training and developmental opportunities.  For more information, go to and select "benefits."


Conditions of Employment:


This position manages requires additional training and experience per DHS Acquisition Workforce Policy Number 064-04-001, Certification Requirements for Acquisition Program Managers, dated May 20, 2010 at Level II Cost Estimation certification.  Applicants must be certified at a level commensurate with the responsibilities of the acquisition being managed.  Applicants must possess a DHS or Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) certification (copy required, with certification and career field information).  Applicants not certified may still apply and be selected, but must be able to achieve certification within 18 months of appointment.


Eligibility to apply for other Federal positions: TSA is an Excepted Service agency exempt from most of Title 5 United States Code, including regulations which apply to displaced Federal employees (CTAP/ICTAP) of other agencies, and employment with TSA does not confer "Competitive Status" that generally results from selection and service in Competitive Service agencies.  The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has established an Interchange Agreement, which allows most permanent TSA employees to apply and be considered for vacancies in Competitive Service agencies.  Information from OPM on this or other Interchange Agreements is available at:

To ensure the accomplishment of our mission, DHS requires every employee to be reliable and trustworthy.  To meet those standards, all selected applicants must undergo and successfully pass a background investigation as a condition of placement into this position.  

TSA employees who are absent for the purpose of performing military duty may apply for any vacancies announced in their absence.

Payment of relocation expenses (Permanent Change of Station) is not authorized. Qualified non-competitive eligible candidates may be referred for consideration on a separate, unranked list. More than one position may be filled from this announcement.


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Please Note: All of the following must be received in our office by 11:59 PM EST (Eastern Standard Time) on the closing date of this announcement. This includes both online and mailed application materials. If we do not receive all required information by the closing date, your application may not be considered.

Your application must include:

1. Resume
2. Self Assessment Questionnaire for this position
3. Applicable supporting documents (see Required Documents Section)

Click the "Apply Online" button below and follow the prompts to apply.  If you are unable to access the automated application system, we may need to reset your password.  Please call the TSA HR Access Help Desk at 1-877-872-7990 between the hours of: 7:00AM - 8:00PM ET Monday - Friday, 10:00AM - 3:00PM ET Saturday, or 11:00AM - 4:00PM ET Sunday.  

If you are unable to apply online, please call the Help Desk at the number listed above for a printed Employment Packet which will be sent to you for completion and return to this office.


In addition to a resume and the assessment questions, you must submit copies of any of the following documents if you are applying based on current or former Federal Government Status (if you are not a current TSA employee), Veterans' Preference, or education or a combination of education and experience:

SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action - Current TSA employees are not required to submit an SF-50 to support eligibility for internal/status consideration.

If you are not a current TSA employee: you must submit your most recent personnel action SF-50
(or equivalent document) to support your eligibility for Status consideration.  If you elect Status for the consideration of your application without submitting an SF-50 demonstrating your current or previous permanent Federal employment status, and you are not a current TSA employee, your application may not receive Status consideration.

DD-214 - If you are claiming Veterans' Preference, provide a copy of your DD-214 (Member Copy 4) Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, or other appropriate documentation to prove your entitlement and to provide verification of an Honorable Discharge. Failure to provide this documentation will result in your application not receiving 5-point preference.

SF-15 and VA Letter - If you are claiming Veterans' Preference based upon a Compensable Disability, Widow or Spouse Entitlement, or as a Purple Heart recipient, you must submit your DD-214 or other proof of entitlement; an SF-15, and the required proof of disability, i.e., Department of Veterans Affairs letter dated 1991 or later. Failure to provide this documentation will result in your application not receiving 10-point preference.

Transcripts - If you wish to qualify for this position based on your education, submit copies of your transcript(s) from accredited colleges or universities for each school attended.


Certification (DHS/DAWIA)  - If applicable.  


HR Help Desk
Phone: 877-872-7990
Fax: 571-258-4052
TDD: 877-872-7992
Agency Information:
DHS/Transportation Security Administration
Shared Service Center
2650 Park Tower Drive
Suite 201
Merrifield, VA
Fax: 571-258-4052


The questionnaire will assess your qualifications for the job, and will be used to identify the best qualified applicants to be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration and possible interview. We will notify you of the outcome of these steps when they have been completed. You may also check your application status by visiting the Candidate Dashboard.

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