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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Student Trainee Mechanical Engineering
Department:  Department Of Energy
Agency:  Southwestern Power Administration
Job Announcement Number:  SWPA-13-SI-0004

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$24,933.00 to $40,706.00 / Per Year
Friday, February 08, 2013 to Thursday, March 19, 2015
Pathways Internship - Part time/Full time
Few vacancies in the following location(s):
Springfield, MO, USView Map
Tulsa, OK, USView Map
Students accepted for enrollment or currently enrolled in a degree-seeking program (diploma, certificate, etc.) in an accredited/qualifying educational institution, on a full or half-time basis.  


If you are looking to energize your career, Southwestern Power Administration is the place to do it.

As part of the U.S. Department of Energy, we offer challenging and rewarding opportunities in the hydro-electric industry.  Our mission is to provide low-cost, renewable electric power to cooperatives and municipalities in our six-state region. Charge up your options and join our team!

Southwestern Power Administration is seeking bright, innovative, results-oriented individuals to join our Pathways Internship Program.  The Pathways Internship Program targets students accepted for enrollment or currently enrolled in a degree-seeking program (diploma, certificate, etc.) in an accredited/qualifying educational institution, on a full or half-time basis.  (Applicants who do not meet the definition of "student" will not be considered.)  At the successful conclusion of this program you may be eligible for non-competitive conversion to a Federal career or career-conditional position. Interns may work full-time or part-time schedules.

The Pathways Internship Program replaces STEP/SCEP.

Cumulative GPA of 2.5 - must maintain at least 2.5 GPA throughout the entire internship appointment.


  • U.S. citizenship required.
  • Must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a degree-seeking student.
  • Successful completion of Background Investigation.
  • Must be 18 years or older at the time of appointment.


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This position is for a student trainee (Mechanical Engineering) who receives assignments directly related to his/her field of study.

The major duties of this developmental position include:

  • Accomplish developmental assignments utilizing basic techniques, procedures and methods;
  • Understand and complete limited engineering projects;
  • Carry out, interpret, and explain basic computations and calculations; and
  • Read, understand, manipulate, analyze, interpret and convey findings.


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To be a Pathways candidate, you must meet qualification requirements consistent with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) qualification standards applicable to the position being filled.  The classification of the intern position (series and grade) will depend upon the field of study and level of course work you have completed.  

For GS-03:  Completion of 1 academic year of post-high school study.  

For GS-04:  Completion of 2 academic years of post-high school study or an associate degree. 

For GS-05:  Completion of 4 academic years of post-high school study leading to a Bachelor's degree; and accepted to graduate school or enrolled in graduate school. 

NOTE:  An academic year of undergraduate education is defined as 30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours, or the equivalent in an accredited college or university. 

Unofficial transcripts are required to verify educational claims.  Your education must be directly related to the field of Mechanical Engineering.

~You must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a degree-seeking student.

~You will be assigned to full-time or part-time schedules throughout the year.

~You must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 and retain at least a 2.5 GPA throughout the entire internship appointment.

~You must be 18 years or older at the time of appointment.


You will be assessed based on your resume and your responses to the questionnaire, as well as the OPM qualification standards for Student Trainee (Mechanical Engineering).

Veterans' preference applies to selections of positions in the Pathways Programs.  Selections must be made in accordance with the requirements of 5 CFR part 302, veterans' preference laws and OPM guidance.

To preview questions please click here.


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Employees hired under the Pathways Programs on appointments for 90 days or more are eligible to earn annual and sick leave.  Health and life insurance coverage for Federal employees depends on the type of appointment.  Students hired under the Internship Program employed for over a year - without a break in service exceeding 5 days - are eligible for health and life insurance coverage.


Any applicant tentatively selected for this position will be required to undergo a pre-employment background investigation.

As a condition of employment, male applicants born after December 31, 1959, must certify that they have registered with the Selective Service system, or are exempt from having to do so under Selective Service Law.

Requirements for Conversion to Competitive Service.
To be eligible for conversion to the competitive service after completion of the program, an intern must:
~Be a U.S. Citizen;
~Successfully complete an academic course of study as evidenced by a qualifying degree;
~Complete a minimum of 640 hours of work experience under the Internship Program;
~Meet the OPM qualification standards for the position to which the intern may be converted;
~Maintain acceptable performance under Southwestern's approved performance management system; and
~Receive favorable recommendation for conversion from the supervisor.

Southwestern is not obligated to make an offer of employment, nor is the student obligated to accept an offer of employment.

Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) and Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) candidates will be eligible if it is determined that they have exceeded the minimum qualifications for the position by attaining a rating of at least 85 out of 100.  Information about CTAP/ICTAP eligibility is on the Office of Personnel Management's Career Transition Resources website at:
CTAP/ICTAP applicants MUST submit the following documents:
1.  A copy of your specific Reduction In Force (RIF) notice, written notification of your expected separation or other documentation of priority consideration status;
2.  A copy of your latest SF-50 - noting current position, grade level, and duty location;
3.  A copy of your last performance appraisal including your rating; and
4.  Any documentation from your agency that shows your current promotion potential.

Southwestern provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities.  If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the applications and hiring process, please notify the Human Resources Office. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be a on a case-by-case basis.


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To be considered for this position, you must submit a complete online application no later than 11:59 pm (Eastern Time) on the closing date of this announcement.  If you fail to submit a complete application prior to the closing time (regardless of when you started) the application system will not allow you to finish.  Requests for extensions will not be granted so please begin the application process allowing yourself enough time to finish the application.  Our application system displays a deadline timer in the top-left corner of the screen for your reference.

Steps to submit a complete application:
1.  You must have a USAJOBS account and be logged in.
2.  You must have a completed resume.  Please note that Southwestern will not accept uploaded resumes.  Create your resume within your USAJOBS profile using the Resume Builder and submit that resume.
3.  Once you are logged in and all of your application materials are ready, click the Apply Now button.
4.  You must respond to all application assessment questions, carefully following all instructions provided.
5.  You will then be asked to upload supporting documentation, which may include (but is not limited to) transcripts, portfolio samples, certifications, and other supporting documents.
6.  IMPORTANT:  In the final step of the application process you will be shown a copy of your resume and all the information you entered during the application process-YOU ARE NOT DONE YET!  You must click the "Finish" button at the bottom of this final page and receive confirmation that your application has been received. If you do not click "Finish," your application will not be received.  Your USAJOBS status page may show a complete application even if you have not fully completed the final step of the application process.

If your resume does not support the responses in your application questionnaire, or if you fail to submit the required documentation BEFORE the vacancy closes, you may be rated "ineligible," "not qualified," or your score may be adjusted. INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.


You will be required to submit the following supportive documentation:
1.  Your resume with your current cumulative GPA and expected date of graduation;
2.  A copy of your current transcript.  (If selected, you will be required to submit an official transcript.)
3.  If you are veterans' preference you will need to submit veteran eligible documentation (DD-214, VA Letter, Standard Form 15 as applicable).


Linda Schuman
Phone: 918-595-6650
Fax: 000-000-0000
Agency Information:
Southwestern Area Power Administration
1 West 3rd Street
Tulsa, OK
Fax: 000-000-0000


Once the online application process is complete, you will receive an acknowledgement email, and will be notified of your status during each step of the process.

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