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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Maintenance Mechanic
Department:  Department Of Agriculture
Agency:  Agricultural Research Service
Job Announcement Number:  ARS-X13W-0064

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$24.43 to $28.53 / Per Hour
Monday, June 24, 2013 to Friday, July 12, 2013
Full Time - Permanent
1 vacancy in the following location:
Miles City, MT United StatesView Map
US Citizens and Status Candidates


Find Solutions to Agricultural Problems that Affect Americans Every Day, From Field to Table

The incumbent performs trade work in support of agricultural research laboratories, office structures, chemical storage and maintenance facilities, four small housing units, and onsite historical structures. The incumbent is also expected to perform ground maintenance such as lawn care and snow removal.


NOTE: This Vacancy Announcement was amended to extend the Closing Date; the revised Closing Date is July 12, 2013.


  • You MUST Be A U.S. Citizen To Apply For This Position
  • Suitable For Federal Employment, Determined By A Background Investigation
  • Males Born After 12/31/59 Must Be Registered With Selective Service
  • A Pre-Employment Physical Is Required


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Major Duties: The primary trades involve heating, cooling, plumbing with additional knowledge and electrical experience needed. The incumbent is expected to operate, repair, and maintain hot water boilers and related systems, using a Johnson Controls Metasys system, in order to ensure all safety codes are met, maximize energy efficiency, and ensure the systems function properly; also maintains walk-in coolers, -86C freezers, water fountains, and air dryers. The incumbent will either repair or support the contract repair of agricultural research equipment such as autoclaves, centrifuges, drying ovens, microscopes, and laboratory air/vacuum systems, and may arrange and/or support annual inspection and certification activities to keep the Location in compliance with appropriate codes and standards. Plumbing work includes installing, maintaining, and repairing domestic water lines, waste water piping, laboratory water systems such as de-chlorinated, de-ionized or reverse osmosis equipment, and reagent grade water; conducts inspections to ensure laboratory water is sterile and pure. Electrical work consists of modifying, maintaining, testing and repairing new and existing electrical circuits, systems, fixtures, controls, and equipment. The incumbent may also be asked to install, maintain, or repair electrical appliances, motors, fume hoods, ovens, furnaces, or other specialized shop equipment. Work requires driving trucks and using pull-behind trailers.

Working Conditions and Other Considerations: Work requires standing, stooping, kneeling, climbing, and using ladders and scaffolding; there is occassional work in uncomfortable or tiring positions, and the incumbent is expected to lift and carry up to 50 pounds. Outdoor work is conducted in prevailing weather; the incumbent will be exposed to chemical hazards, dirt, dust, noise, and insects and must observe safety and security regulations as applicable. A Pre-Employment Physical Is Required.


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Basic Requirements:

Applicants must have experience and/or training of sufficient scope and quality to perform the duties required.  Applicants will be rated in accordance with their knowledge and skill in the job elements listed below.

Element 1: Ability To Do The Work Of The Position Without More Than Normal Supervision (Screen-Out Element)


Element 2-E: Knowledge of Equipment Assembly, Installation, Repair, etc.


Element 25-E: Technical practices (Theoretical, Precise, Artistic)


Elements 60 and 81: Ability to use and Maintain tools and equipment, including measuring instruments.

Element 75-A: Ability to interpret instructions, specifications, etc. (Including Blueprints)


Element 82-A: Knowledge of materials


Element 96: Troubleshooting

Additional Requirements: A Pre-Employment Physical Examination Is Required

Certification/License Requirements: A Valid State Issued Drivers License

Supplemental Questionnaire: All applicants are required to complete the supplemental questionnaire found below. 
Applicants who fail to complete and return the questionnaire with their other application materials will not receive further consideration.


Maintenance Mechanic



Element 1:  Ability to do the work of a Maintenance Mechanic without more than normal supervision (Screen-Out)


1) Use the numbers below to describe your level of experience in the following areas:


1 - Advanced Journeyman/Expert Professional                      

2 - Journeyman                                                                       

3 - Somewhat Experienced

4 - Limited Experience           

5 - Trainee / Apprentice

6 - No Experience


____ Heating


____ Cooling  


____ Plumbing      


____ Electrical Systems


2) Do you select the type of equipment, material, or tools to be used for a particular task or does your supervisor tell you what to use?




3) Use the numbers and letters below to describe:  1) Your level of experience in each area; and 2) the supervision you receive when performing the work.


1 - Expert

2 - Journeyman                       

3 - Somewhat Experienced                                                                 

4 - Limited Experience                                               

5 - No Experience


A – Close supervision

B – Technical supervision

C – General Supervision

D – No supervision (expert)



______ Install, maintain, and troubleshoot building HVAC systems; must be able to operate, repair, and maintain hot water boilers and related systems.


______ Maintain refrigerated equipment such as walk-in coolers and freezers, water fountains, -86C freezers, and air dryers.


______ Maintain agriculture-related laboratory instruments such as autoclaves, lab air/vacuums, and drying ovens.


______ Install, maintain, and repair plumbing systems to include domestic water, waste water piping, de-chlorinated water systems, and reagent grade water.


______ Install, modify, maintain, and repair new and existing electrical circuits, systems and associated fixtures, controls, and equipment – which includes an emergency generator and fire/sprinkler alarm.


______ Install, maintain, repair electrical appliances, motors, ovens, furnaces of specialized and standardized shop and laboratory equipment.


Element 2-E: Knowledge of Equipment Assembly, Installation, Repair, etc.


1) Use the numbers below to describe your experience with the following (more than one number may apply):


1 – Perform routine installations, adjustments and/or repairs with guidance/supervision

2 – Maintain and repair without assistance (assistance may be required when resolving difficult problems)

3 – Able to independently install

4 – Able to independently locate and diagnose malfunction

5 – Able to independently operate

6 – Able to independently repair/replace

7 – Considered an expert, called on to do unusual jobs

8 – Provide technical direction to lower-graded employees


____ Ventilation fans and blowers


____ Heating pumps and exchangers


____ Chilled water systems


____ Circulation pumps


____ Hot air furnaces


____ Air filter systems


____ Humidity control equipment


____ Vaporizers


____ Ventilation systems


____ Steam handling equipment


____ Water heaters


____ Gas fired furnaces


____ Pipe insulation


____ Bearings


____ Belts


____ Steam traps


____ Flood control valves


Element 25-E:  Technical Practices (theoretical, precise, artistic)


1)  For each ability or knowledge you use, write the number of each statement that describes your training or experience.


1 – Occasional use of the ability or knowledge

2 – Frequent use

3 – Instruct or direct others in use

4 – Very thorough ability or knowledge


____ Ability to plan, layout, set up and perform operations to complete jobs in the heating trade.                                                                                                       


____ Ability to plan, layout, set up and perform operation to complete jobs in the cooling trade.


____ Ability to plan, layout, set up and perform operation to complete jobs in the plumbing trade.


____ Ability to plan, layout, set up and perform operation to complete jobs in the electrical trade.


____ Ability to modify equipment and/or switch readily from one technique to another in order to

achieve work goals.


____ Ability to apply practices in saving materials and using machines and equipment.


____ Ability to determine techniques and materials necessary for the job.


2)  Check the applicable item that indicates the type of supervision you receive when performing the work above:


______ Close Supervision


______ Technical Supervision


______ General Supervision                          


______ No Supervision (Expert)


Element 75-A:  Ability to interpret instructions, specifications, etc. (includes blueprints)


1)  Use the numbers below to describe your experience with the following:


1 – Have not used

2 – Used with assistance from others

3 – Used independently

4 – Provided instruction to others


______ Blueprints


______ Building codes


______ Building plans


______ Drawings


______ Manufacturer specifications


______ Technical manuals


______ Work orders


______ Parts diagrams


2)  Check the response that describes your work situations (more than one may apply):


_____­_ Follow specific instructions under close supervision.


______ Follow work orders and work from sketches or basic blueprints which are complete in terms of  

           materials and methods used.


______ Follow and interpret instructions, sketches, blueprints, and/or diagrams.


______ Use judgment and experience to adapt specifications.


______ Inspect completed projects for compliance with drawings and specifications.


______ Respond to frequent, new or changed instructions or specifications.


______ Work from rough sketches and oral assignments lacking definite detail.


______ Provide guidance and instruction to others on the full range of specifications.


Elements 60 & 81 – Ability to use and maintain tools and equipment, including measuring instruments


1)  For each tool and/or measuring instrument below, write the number that best describes your experience and/or training (more than one may apply).


1 – Able to use
2 – Able to repair

3 – Able to maintain

4 – Serve as technical expert in the use and maintenance of the tool

5 – Have never used



______ Hand and Power Saws


______ Screw Drivers


______ Drills


______ Measuring Tape


______ Soldering Irons


______ Torches


______ Pliers


______ Shovels


______ Rakes


______ Testing & Diagnostic Equipment


Do you have a valid State issued drivers license?  _____ Yes    _____ No


Are you willing to respond to call-back work; this includes returning to the Location to respond to automated system failures? You would be required to be available as needed and provide contact information where you can be reached.     ____ Yes   _____ No

I certify that the above statements made in this form are true, complete, and correct to the best of my knowledge and are made in good faith.


_________________________________                              _______________     

Signature                                                                      Date




All Qualification Requirements MUST Be Met By The Closing Date Of This Vacancy Announcement.

Applicants must be available to report for duty at the time a selection is made.  Selections are typically made within 30 days of the Closing Date of the Vacancy Announcement.



The Agricultural Research Service uses a category rating process.  Based on evaluation of all written materials submitted in application for the position, you will be determined to be Ineligible if you do not meet eligibility and/or minimum qualifications criteria; Eligible if you meet all eligibility and minimum qualifications criteria; OR Quality if you meet quality criteria in addition to eligibility and minimum qualifications criteria.


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The Federal government offers a number of exceptional benefits to its employees; for an overview of current benefits go to



If you are a veteran with preference eligibility and you are claiming 5-point veterans' preference, you must attach Member 4 copy of your DD-214. If you are claiming 10-point veterans' preference, you must attach SF-15, Application for 10-Points Veterans' Preference plus the proof required by that form.


Qualified candidates eligible under the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA) will be considered. VEOA eligibles are preference eligibles or veterans who have been separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions after 3 years or more of active service. Veterans who are released under honorable conditions shortly before completing a 3-year tour are also eligible.


Status candidates who wish to be considered under both alternative merit promotion and non-status competitive examining must submit two complete applications when the position is open to both status and non-status candidates.  When only one application is received, it will be considered under alternative merit promotion procedures.

Displaced/Surplus Employees: Individuals eligible under the USDA Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) must be well qualified for the position to receive consideration for special priority selection. CTAP and ICTAP eligibles within the local commuting area will be considered well qualified if they meet basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors, and are rated in the Quality Category as described in the How You Will Be Evaluated section. Employees seeking CTAP/ICTAP eligibility must submit a copy of the agency notice, a copy of their most recent performance rating and a copy of their most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level and duty location.  
Click here for additional information on CTAP and ICTAP.

Financial Disclosure Requirement: Federal employees are subject to prohibitions against officially dealing with outside organizations in which they have a financial interest. If you are hired for this position, you may be required to submit a financial disclosure report within 30 days of the effective date of your appointment and annually thereafter.

Reasonable Accommodation: If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, or have questions regarding reasonable accommodation and/or accessibility for any part of the application and hiring process, please contact the Disability Program Manager on 202-720-6161 or through the DC Relay Service on 202-855-1234 (TDD).

False statements: If you make a false statement in any part of your application, you may not be hired; may be fired after beginning work; or may be fined or jailed.


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Applications may be mailed, e-mailed, or faxed to the appropriate address and/or facsimile number listed below, but they Must Be Received By 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Friday, July 12, 2013.

U.S. Department of Agriculture


Attention: Catherine A. Beck
5601 Sunnyside Avenue, Stop 5106

Beltsville, MD  20705-5106



If sending your application as an attachment to an email, do not send zipped files.  They will be removed in accordance with standard electronic security procedures.  If hand delivered, be sure your application is received in the Human Resources Division on or before closing date.


To ensure your application fully outlines your qualifications and eligibility for this position, please review the application package checklist at:

NOTE:  Applications received in postage paid government envelopes will not be considered.


Catherine Beck
Phone: (301)504-1573
TDD: 2028551234
Agency Information:
Agricultural Research Service
5601 Sunnyside Avenue
Beltsville, MD


You will be notified by U.S. Postal mail that your application was received, please allow time for mail delivery from Maryland. After your complete application is reviewed, you will be notified or your rating and/or referral to the hiring official; this will also be done by U.S. Postal mail.  If further evaluation is required or you are selected for an interview, you will be contacted.   

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