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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Agricultural Engineer
Department:  Department Of Agriculture
Agency:  Natural Resources Conservation Service
Job Announcement Number:  PA-13-909824-CG

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$44,176.00 to $54,028.00 / Per Year
Friday, June 14, 2013 to Friday, June 28, 2013
Full Time - Permanent
2 vacancies in the following location:
Bloomsburg, PA United StatesView Map
United States Citizens


Natural Resources Conservation Services provides leadership in a partnership effort to help conserve, maintain, and improve our natural resources and environment.

Be Remarkable, Make A Difference!!  The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is known worldwide for its accomplishments and innovations in conservation. The employees of the NRCS are recognized for their talent, dedication and ingenuity in making the agency's programs work as they take necessary steps to reduce erosion, protect wildlife, promote good land use, and other measures to preserve the Nation's natural resources for future generations. Join us in protecting and conserving natural resources on America's private lands!!

This position provides assistance to the technical office, area engineer and district conservationists in carry out NRCS programs in the area providing professional engineering services in conducting preliminary field investigations, preparing engineering designs and the installation and maintenance of engineering structures and practices.

Current Federal Employees may apply under this announcement. You may also apply under the Merit Promotion announcement 13PA-905440-DD(Merit).

Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) Eligibles that are well qualified may apply 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. Please annotate your application to reflect that you are applying as a CTAP or ICTAP eligible. To read more about CTAP/ICTAP eligibility visit

CTAP/ICTAP eligibles must submit one of the following as proof of eligibility for the special selection priority:

·       a separation notice and 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;

·       a Military Department or National Guard Bureau notification that you are retired under 5 U.S.C. 8337(h) or 8456.

Please read the entire job announcement and follow all instructions provided.  



  • U.S. Citizenship Required
  • Background and/or Security Investigation required
  • Relocation expense are not authorized
  • Must be able to work outdoors
  • Must meet education/specialized experience requirements


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Providing professional technical guidance and leadership in the overall planning, design, installation and maintenance of the engineering phases of soil and water conservation practices within an assigned geographical area.

Coordinating the planning, design and construction of engineering practices such as water management, animal waste management, erosion control, flood control, wetland creation or restoration, and other conservation practices needed for engineering guidance,

Reviewing engineering structure design plans and specifications submitted from field offices and engineering technicians for adherence to design criteria.

Advising and consulting with area and state engineers and other appropriate state staff.

Interpreting plans and specifications for contractors, solving problems as to proper interpretation of specifications.

Serving as the contracting technical representative for the administration of construction contracts.

Recommending changes in designs, specifications and schedules to accommodate conditions at construction sites.

Assisting in the training needs of field personnel engaged in engineering work.



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Degree: professional engineering. To be acceptable, the curriculum must: (1) be in a school of engineering with at least one curriculum accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) as a professional engineering curriculum; or (2) include differential and integral calculus and courses (more advanced than first-year physics and chemistry) in five of the following seven areas of engineering science or physics: (a) statics, dynamics; (b) strength of materials (stress-strain relationships); (c) fluid mechanics, hydraulics; (d) thermodynamics; (e) electrical fields and circuits; (f) nature and properties of materials (relating particle and aggregate structure to properties); and (g) any other comparable area of fundamental engineering science or physics, such as optics, heat transfer, soil mechanics, or electronics.


Combination of education and experience -- college-level education, training, and/or technical experience that furnished (1) a thorough knowledge of the physical and mathematical sciences underlying professional engineering, and (2) a good understanding, both theoretical and practical, of the engineering sciences and techniques and their applications to one of the branches of engineering. The adequacy of such background must be demonstrated by one of the following:

Professional registration -- Current registration as a professional engineer by any State, the District of Columbia, Guam, or Puerto Rico. Absent other means of qualifying under this standard, those applicants who achieved such registration by means other than written test (e.g., State grandfather or eminence provisions) are eligible only for positions that are within or closely related to the specialty field of their registration. For example, an applicant who attains registration through a State Board's eminence provision as a manufacturing engineer typically would be rated eligible only for manufacturing engineering positions.

Written Test -- Evidence of having successfully passed the Engineer-in-Training (EIT) examination, or the written test required for professional registration, which is administered by the Boards of Engineering Examiners in the various States, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico.

Applicants who have passed the EIT examination and have completed all the requirements for either (a) a bachelor's degree in engineering technology (BET) from an accredited college of university that included 60 semester hours of courses in the physical, mathematical, and engineering sciences, or (b) a BET from a program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) may be rated eligible for certain engineering positions at GS-5. Eligibility is limited to positions that are within or closely related to the specialty field of the engineering technology program. Applicants for positions that involve highly technical research, development, or similar functions requiring an advanced level of competence in basic science must meet the basic requirements in paragraph A.

Because of the diversity in kind and quality of BET programs, graduates of other BET programs are required to complete at least 1 year of additional education or highly technical work experience of such nature as to provide reasonable assurance of the possession of the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for professional engineering competence. The adequacy of this background must be demonstrated by passing the EIT examination.

Specified academic courses -- Successful completion of at least 60 semester hours of courses in the physical, mathematical, and engineering sciences and in engineering that included the courses specified in the basic requirements. The courses must be fully acceptable toward meeting the requirements of a professional engineering curriculum as described in paragraph A.

Related curriculum -- Successful completion of a curriculum leading to a bachelor's degree in engineering technology or in an appropriate professional field, e.g., physics, chemistry, architecture, computer science, mathematics, hydrology, or geology, may be accepted in lieu of a degree in engineering, provided the applicant has had at least 1 year of professional engineering experience acquired under professional engineering supervision and guidance. Ordinarily there should be either an established plan of intensive training to develop professional engineering competence, or several years of prior professional engineering-type experience, e.g., in interdisciplinary positions. (The above examples of related curricula are not all-inclusive.)


For the GS-7 level you must show possession of one year of specialized experience at the GS-5 level or equivalent in the Federal sector. Examples of the level of experience must clearly demonstrate experience in reviewing guidance, policies, precedents and procedures in engineering phases of conservation practices to solve natural resource concerns; providing assistance on soil and water problems to farmers, landowners and others; assisting with the planning, designing, coordinating and overseeing construction of waterways, diversions, conservation practices, etc.; utilizing computer software such as CAD or other computer aided design or drafting software to create professional engineering design plans and drawings; assisting with natural resource or environmental planning; making technical presentations; etc. (Note: This experience must be demonstrated on your resume/supporting documents).

For the GS-9 level you must show possession of one year of specialized experience at the GS-7 level or equivalent in the Federal sector. Examples of the level of experience must clearly demonstrate experience in establishing guidance, policies, precedents and procedures in engineering phases of conservation practices to solve natural resource concerns; providing assistance on soil and water problems to farmers, landowners and others; planning, designing, coordinating and overseeing construction of waterways, diversions, engineering and conservation practices, etc.; utilizing computer software such as CAD or other computer aided design or drafting software to create professional engineering design plans and drawings; preparing technical or scientific reports; providing advice and guidance with natural resource or environmental planning; making technical presentations; etc. (Note: This experience must be demonstrated on your resume/supporting documents).

See Qualification Standards on the internet at: and


Credit will be given for appropriate qualifying unpaid experience or volunteer work such as community, cultural, social service and porfessional association activities on the same basis as for unpaid experience. To receive proper credit for unpaid experience or volunteer work, you must fully describe your responsibilities and show the actual time (years, months, and hours per week) spent in such activities.


**This position requires you to work outdoors, walk on rough terrain, jump ditches, climb steep banks and at times under adverse weather conditions.**



  • You must submit a complete application to be considered for this position.
  • If selected, you must serve a one-year probationary period.
  • You may be required to do some travel.
  • Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered with the Selective Service
  • NRCS utilizes e-Verify to identify and determine employment eligibility.
  • You must have the ability to use a computer.   


As part of the application process, applicants will be required to complete and submit an occupational questionnaire.  To preview this questionnaire and determine if your experience matches the skills required for this position, click the following link: View Assessment Questions


Your application will be evaluated and rated competitively under the Category Rating and Selection Procedures.  Your resume must support your responses to the occupational questionnaire. We will review your resume and supporting documentation and compare this information to your responses on the occupational questionnaire to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications for this position.  If you are basically qualified for this position, we will evaluate your application package, using a panel of subject-matter experts or HR Specialist to assess the quality, depth, and complexity of your accomplishments, experience, and education as they relate to the critical knowledge, skills, and abilities for the position.  We will then place you in one of the following categories and only those in the Best Qualified category will be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration.

Best Qualified:  Applicants possess all of the job related competencies identifies as important for successful job performance.

Well -Qualified:  Applicants possesses a majority (i.e., more than half) of the job related competencies needed for successful job performance.

Qualified:  Applicants meets the basic eligibility and minimum qualification requirements, but does not meet the definition of Well-Qualified or Best Qualified describe above.

Veterans’ preference is applied after applicants are assessed.  Veterans’ preference eligibles who meet the qualification requirements are place in the appropriate category and are listed ahead of non-preference eligibles. 

VETERANS are eligible for veteran's preference if service was performed:  Entered the military service prior to October 14, 1976; served on active duty during the Gulf War between August 2, 1990 and January 2, 1992, regardless of where the person served; or, served in a military action for which they received a campaign badge or expeditionary medal. Medal holders and Gulf War veterans must have served continuously for at least 24 months or the full period for which called or ordered to active duty.   Also includes those who served on Active Duty for a period of more than 180 consecutive days, any part of which occurred during Sept 11, 2001 to the ending of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Ten points may be granted to the eligible ratings of disabled veterans; Purple Heart recipients; spouses or mothers of a 100 percent disabled veteran; or the widows, widowers, or mothers of a deceased veteran.

Please note: If a determination is made that you have rated yourself higher than is supported by your description of experience and/or education OR that your application is incomplete, your application will be unrated with an explanation that the narrative does not support the self-report. Your application will receive no further consideration for this announcement.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to prove eligibility for this position. It is the responsibility of the applicant to prove eligibility for this position.


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Working for NRCS 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. Additionally, NRCS offers Flexiwork, Telework and a family friendly work environment. The following website is provided for your reference to explore the major benefits offered to most Federal Employees



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.

All qualification requirements must be met by 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

A background investigation will be required for all appointments. Your continued employment will be subject to your successful completion of a background security investigation and favorable adjudication. Failure to successfully meet these requirements will be grounds for termination.

Reference Checks may be conducted prior to any interviews being conducted.  By applying for this announcement you are giving consent for these reference checks.  Checks may include current supervisor, prior supervisor or others in line of sight within previously held positions.


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 a 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) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).  USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.


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To apply for this position, you must complete the occupational questionnaire and submit the documentation specified in the Required Documents section below.

The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Friday, June 28, 2013 to receive consideration.

  • To begin, click Apply Online to create a USAJOBS account or log in to your existing account. Follow the prompts to select your USAJOBS resume and/or other supporting documents and complete the occupational questionnaire.
  • Click the Submit My Answers button to submit your application package.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure your responses and appropriate documentation is submitted prior to the closing date.
  • To verify your application is complete, log into your USAJOBS account,, select the Application Status link and then select the more information link for this position. The Details page will display the status of your application, the documentation received and processed, and any correspondence the agency has sent related to this application. Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process.
  • To return to an incomplete application, log into your USAJOBS account and click Update Application in the vacancy announcement. You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USAJOBS account or your application will be incomplete.


All the following documents. 

  • Completed Occupational Questionnaire (Online Preferred)
  • Resume (Online Preferred)
  • College transcripts
  • If claiming Veteran's Preference - DD Form 214
  • If claiming service connected disabilities, submit SF-15 and the documents specified on the form for the type of preference being claimed. For more information on veteran's preference go to

Faxing Applications or Supporting Documents:

You are encouraged to apply online. Applying online will allow you to review and track the status of your application.

NOTE: If you applied online and your application is complete, do not fax the paper application (1203FX) as this will overwrite your prior online responses and may result in you being found ineligible.

If you completed the occupational questionnaire online and are unable to upload supporting document(s):

  1. To fax your documents, you must use the following cover page and provide the required information. The Vacancy ID is 909824
  2. Fax your documents to 1-478-757-3144.

If you cannot complete the Application Package online, you may fax all of your materials. The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Friday, June 28, 2013. to receive consideration. Keep a copy of your fax confirmation in the event verification is needed.

To complete the occupational questionnaire and submit via fax:

  1. Click the following link to view and print the occupational questionnaire TAG:Link to Full Questionnaire..
  2. Print the 1203FX form, follow the instructions and provide your responses to the occupational questionnaire items
  3. Fax all six pages of 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.


The On-Line Assessment Questions are based on the following Knowledges, Skill and Abilities.

  1. Knowledge of concepts, theories, principles and engineering phases of conservation practices.
  2. Ability to plan, design, and install engineering conservation practices and structures.
  3. Skill in using engineering computer programs and software.
  4. Skill in oral communication.
  5. Skill in written communication.



Connie Givens
Phone: (317)295-5835
Agency Information:
1400 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC


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 View Occupational Questionnaire

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