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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Biological Science Lab Technician AS-0404-02/03
Department:  Department Of Agriculture
Agency:  Food Safety and Inspection Service
Job Announcement Number:  FSIS-MCE-2013-0017

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$31,315.00 to $61,678.00 / Per Year
Thursday, January 31, 2013 to Thursday, February 07, 2013
Full-time - Permanent
1 vacancy in the following location:
Athens, GA, USView Map

This vacancy is advertised under Delegated Examining (DE) procedures and is open to US Citizens.


The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is a public health regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Our mission is to protect consumers by ensuring that the commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products moving in interstate commerce or exported to other countries is safe, wholesome and correctly labeled and packaged.

  • For those applicants who have federal competitive status (hold or previously held a permanent competitive appointment in the federal government), you may apply to announcement #FSIS-MMP-2013-0184.
  • Effective July 19, 2009, FSIS began operating under the Public Health Human Resources System (PHHRS), a Pay Banding and Pay for Performance Demonstration Project, in which non-bargaining unit positions will be classified by career path, occupational series, and pay bands rather than the traditional General Schedule (GS) grades in the Federal Service. This position is included in PHHRS. PHHRS will allow FSIS the flexibility to offer exceptional candidates higher salaries than most other Federal agencies. Additionally, employees will be eligible to receive an annual pay increase based upon performance. For more information on PHHRS, including information on its pay tables and how it will benefit employees, please visit
  • This position may be eligible for telework and other flexible work arrangements. 
  • The AS-02 pay band is equivalent to the GS-5/6/7 grade levels. 
  • The AS-03 pay band is equivalent to the GS-8/9.




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  • This position is located in the Eastern Laboratory of the Office of Public Health Science (OPHS) in Athens, GA. The laboratory provides laboratory support and technical guidance to the Federal inspection programs through microbiological analyses and instrumental analyses as part of a quality assurance program. The incumbent works in all phases of laboratory operations and is responsible for providing technical support in a variety of activities, as well as performing directed quality control procedures and assisting special projects.
  • Major duties include:
  1. Provide technical support for the preparation of all specialized media, reagents, buffer solutions, and lab equipment required to analyze meat and poultry products.
  2. Plan and schedule all technical support activities in order that media, reagents and other materials are prepared on time.
  3. Assure that an adequate inventory of specialized media, control cultures, and supplies are maintained.
  4. Assist in the development and implementation of Standard Operating Procedures in accordance with ISO 17025 and the laboratory management system.
  5. Perform the quality control procedures and records in accordance with ISO 17025 and the laboratory management system.
  6. Operate and maintain instrumentation in accordance with ISO 17025 and laboratory management system requirements.
  7. Agility - Bends, stretches, twists, or reaches out with the body, arms, or legs.
  8. Stamina - Exerts oneself physically over long periods of time without tiring (which may include performing repetitive tasks such as data entry or coding).
  9. Eye Hand Coordination - Accurately coordinates one's eyes with one's fingers, wrists, or arms to perform job-related tasks (for example, to move, carry, or manipulate objects).
  10. Visual Color Discrimination - Accurately matches or detects differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
  11. The majority of the work is performed in a normal laboratory.   The work requires recurring walking, bending, standing and lifting.  Agility and dexterity are required as well as hand/eye coordination.  Employees are required to use protective clothing or gear such as a laboratory coat, gloves, safety glasses, boots, and protective shields and hoods.


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The minimum requirements for the position are:

  1. Specialized Experience
  2. Education
  • One year of specialized experience working laboratory, food microbiology, or directly related laboratory analysis work equivalent to the GS-04/Band 1. Work may be credited when the work was performed in close association with physical scientists or other technical personnel and provided intensive knowledge of scientific principles, methods or techniques. OR
  • Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study leading to a bachelor's degree (a) with major study in an appropriate field of physical science, or (b) that included at least 24 semester hours in any combination of courses any combination of courses such as biology, chemistry, or statistics and at least 6 semester hours of courses must have been directly related to the position to be filled. OR
  • I have completed a full course of study of at least 12 months in a school for clinical laboratory technicians. OR
  • At least 52 weeks of specialized experience at the next lower PHHRS pay band (Band 1) or at the next lower comparable band in another pay system.  OR
  • A combination of experience and education to meet the total requirements.  Specialized experience: directly related experience in the line of work of the position to be filled, i.e., technical food laboratory, food microbiology, or directly related laboratory analysis work, that has provided the applicant with the particular Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSA's) to successfully perform the duties of this position.  Applicants should have experience in laboratory procedures, instrumentation, quality control procedures, technical methods, computer applications, and performing tests to identify and characterize bacterial cultures.
  • Applicants must have 52 weeks of time-in band/grade at the next lower level within 30 days of the announcement closing date.

  • To receive credit for your education you must provide a copy of your transcript by the closing date of this announcement.
  • Transcript must document specific coursework completed & credit hours earned. Your education will not be considered for this position without this information. An unofficial photocopy of your transcript is acceptable.
  • When academic credit on a transcript is expressed in terms that differ from U.S. conventional semester/quarter hours, it is the responsibility of the applicant to provide an official interpretation of such credits in order to equate them to the semester hours specified in the Qualifications Standard Handbook.  Click here:  for more information

  • Candidates must meet all qualification requirements as identified in the OPM Qualifications Standards Handbook.
  • All responses to the job-specific questions must be substantiated by the resume submitted on- line.
  • Applicants who do not respond to the application questions and who do not submit a supporting resume or the required documents will be rated ineligible.


  • Applicants are evaluated in accordance with Delegated Examining Procedures using category rating.
  • All applicants are rated on the extent and quality of experience, education, and training relevant to the duties of the position.
  • An automated ranking system based on the on-line application process is used. Before a certificate of names can be issued to the selecting official, the resume is reviewed carefully by an HR Specialist to assure that (a) minimum qualification requirements are met, (b) the resume supports the answers provided to the job-specific questions, c) that your resume addresses experience and education relevant to this position, and (d) copies of any required documents need to be submitted.
  • Your resume must thoroughly support your responses to the applicant assessment questions. High self-assessment in the applicant questions that is not supported by information in your resume may eliminate you from best-qualified status and subsequent referral to the selecting official.
  • If you are found to be one of the top quality candidates or a non-competitive referral and will be referred to the selecting official for job consideration, you may be asked to develop a written response to narrative/essay type questions in the second round of the application process. If this applies to you, you will be contacted by an agency representative.
  • Please keep your records updated with your current email address.
  • The automated system will place applicants in categories based on their responses to the on-line job related assessment questions, which are based on the duties and competencies required of the position. These categories are qualified, well qualified, and best qualified. Best qualified is the top category. Veterans who meet qualification requirements and have adjudicated veterans preference will be placed at the top of the category they fall into based on their answers to the assessment questions; this could be one of several categories, however, non-veterans cannot be selected over veterans that are in the same category.
  • Only candidates in the top category are referred to the selecting official, unless categories are merged. Adjudicated veterans are those who meet the requirements for preference and submit legible documentation by the closing date of the announcement.

To preview questions please click here.


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Working for FSIS offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation, sick leave, holidays, life insurance, health benefits, and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System. The following Web address is provided for your reference to explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees. To find out more visit: Benefits Of Working For The Federal Government.


  • Entitlement to the payment of relocation expenses will be determined per FSIS Directive 3820.2
  • Multiple selections: This announcement may be used to fill additional, like vacancies should any occur in the commuting area. Full performance level of this position is AS-03.
  • If you are selected, you may need to complete a Declaration for Federal Employment (OF-306) prior to being appointed to determine suitability for Federal employment and to authorize a background investigation.
  • False statements or responses on a resume or application can jeopardize employment and may be grounds for disciplinary action, including removal from Federal service.
  • A background investigation is a requirement for this position. Appointment will be subject to the applicant's successful completion of a background investigation and favorable adjudication. Failure to successfully meeting these requirements could lead to adverse action proceedings including possible termination.(Current employees of the Food Safety and Inspection service may already have the required background investigation)
  • FEDERAL LAW REQUIRES ALL EMPLOYERS TO VERIFY THE IDENTITY AND EMPLOYMENT ELIGIBILITY OF ALL PERSONS HIRED TO WORK IN THE UNITED STATES. FSIS utilizes E-Verify to verify identity and employment eligibility by providing to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and, if necessary the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) information from each new employee's Form I-9 to confirm work authorization. E-Verify cannot be used to pre-screen job applicants or to re-verify current employees and may not limit or influence the choice of documents presented for use on the Form I-9. If you have concern that there has been a violation of the E-Verify program or you feel you have been discriminated during the verification process based on your national origin or citizenship status, contact the Office of Special Counsel at 1-800-255-7688 (TDD: 1-800-237-2515). For more information on E-Verify you may contact DHS at 1-888-464- 4218.
  • Current U.S. Citizenship is required.
  • EEO/DIVERSITY POLICY: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Click here for more information:  EEO/Diversity Policy
  • This Agency provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process, please notify the Agency prior to the closing date. Decisions on granting Reasonable Accommodation will be on a case-by-case basis.
  • Male applicants born after December 31, 1959, must be registered with the Selective Service System before they can be employed by an Executive Agency of the Federal Government. Click here: for more information.
  • We are a qualifying employer of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. For more information on the Public Student Loan Forgiveness Program, please visit: PSLF Program.


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Completed applications include:

  1. Answers to all core questions (Completed when registering on-line in USAJOBS and as part of the initial application process)
  2. Answers to all vacancy-specific questions (Completed for each job)
  3. Your on-line resume. Resumes are entered into USAJOBS. Resumes can be copied and pasted into the personal information area of your application from other word processing documents at any time prior to the closing date.
  4. Any supplemental documents needed, such as transcripts. Applicants who do not respond to the on-line vacancy questions and who do not submit a supporting resume or required supporting documents will be rated ineligible. This announcement closes at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date.
  5. A Member 4 copy of the DD-214 click here  must be submitted, or a letter from the Veterans Administration specifying eligibility as a disabled veteran, and in either case, documents must specify an honorable discharge. For disabled veterans, the SF-15 is requested; in the absence of an SF-15, the VA letter specifying eligibility for preference and an honorable discharge is sufficient, assuming all requirements for preference are met.


  • If you are qualifying based on education you must submit your transcripts. This information should include course title, school name/location, date completed, grade, and number of credits earned.
  • Additional Supporting Documentation should be sent using the fax imaging instructions after you have applied to the vacancy announcement.
  • Current employees of the Food Safety and Inspection service do not need to submit educational transcripts, SF-50, or copies of their performance appraisal. Non-FSIS federal employees and reinstatement eligible’s must provide a copy of their most recent SF-50 in addition to copies of their transcripts. To exercise selection priority for this vacancy, CTAP and ICTAP applicants must submit proof of eligibility as described below, meet all qualification and eligibility requirements, be rated well-qualified (receive a score of 85 or higher without points added for veterans’ preference) and be able to perform the duties of the position upon entry.  For those instances where the best qualified lists include applicants with scores less than 85, the well-qualified score becomes the lowest score on the best qualified list. Click here for more information

Faxing Supporting Documentation:

  • The next step of the application process is to fax all the required supporting documentation specified in the Required Documents section of this vacancy announcement. You do not need to have all of your supporting documentation submitted in order to continue with the online portion of the application process. Please carefully follow the instructions below to ensure your supporting documents are properly faxed and received.
  • All required documents must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date of the vacancy announcement.
  • Not all of the document types listed will pertain to you; only submit documents needed to complete your application package.

FAX INSTRUCTIONS for after you apply to the vacancy announcement:

  1. If you have previously faxed supporting documentation the status of those documents will indicate Received. There is no need to resubmit documents which show a status of received unless you are submitting an updated copy. (If a document is resubmitted, it replaces the previous submission, which means the previous document is no longer available to the human resources office. If you are adding to, rather than replacing, a previous submission, you must fax both the old document and the new document for them both to be accessible to HR.)
  2. You must use a separate cover sheet for each category of supporting documentation (i.e., transcripts, SF-50, DD-214). Choose the document cover sheet(s) you would like to print by selecting the appropriate check boxes in the Selected Documents column.
  3. Click the [Print Cover Sheets] button. A window will pop up containing the fax cover sheet(s) you selected. Print the cover sheet (s). NOTE: You must be connected to a printer in order to print the cover sheets. Additionally, you must allow pop-ups.
  4. Once you have reviewed the list of documents and printed any required fax cover sheets click on [Done]. You will be moved forward in the application process.
  5. Before faxing your document(s), take care to ensure the document is legible and all information is complete and signed, if necessary. Fax only documents which are clear and legible. Original documents with light or faded print and/or dark or patterned backgrounds will not be legible upon receipt. Illegible faxed documents cannot be used for qualification or verification purposes.
  6. Place the corresponding cover sheet on top of the document and fax the cover sheet and document together to the fax number specified on the cover sheet. NOTE: If you are faxing documents from more than one category of supporting documentation, you must submit them with the appropriate cover sheet. EACH DOCUMENT TYPE MUST BE FAXED SEPARATELY under its corresponding cover sheet. DO NOT FAX ALL DOCUMENTS TYPES UNDER ONE COVER SHEET. (i.e., Transcripts are one type of document; fax all pages of your transcript and other education-related documents under the transcript cover sheet; the SF-50 is another document type, if you are faxing more than one SF-50, fax them all under the SF-50 cover sheet.)
  7. Be sure to save these cover sheets in the event you need to re- fax your supporting documents. Each fax transmission includes a unique identification number and bar code, which ensures your document is processed correctly.
  8. You will receive an e-mail confirming the fax has been successfully received by Human Resources. You should retain your e- mail confirmation and confirmation of your fax transmittal report as proof of submission. Your application will be considered incomplete and YOU WILL BE FOUND INELIGIBLE if you fail to submit the required documentation as specified under the required documents section by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date of the vacancy announcement.


Gwen Olson
Phone: 612-659-8610
Fax: 612-370-2062
TDD: 800-877-8339
Agency Information:
Human Resources Field Office
Butler Square West, Suite 420C
100 North 6th Street
Minneapolis, MN
Fax: 612-370-2062


You may check your application status on USAJOBS. Applications are reviewed after the announcement closing date and the best qualified candidates are referred to the selecting official.

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