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

Job Title:General Engineer (TCF) Pathways

Department:Department Of Veterans Affairs

Agency:Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration

Job Announcement Number:VHA-664-13-AFe-917920

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$35,657.00 to $81,184.00 / Per Year


Wednesday, July 03, 2013 to Monday, July 15, 2013




Full Time - Recent Graduates




1 vacancy in the following location:
San Diego, CA United StatesView Map


ANNOUNCEMENT WILL BE OPENED FOR SEVEN DAYS or THE FIRST 50 CANDIDATES, Individuals who have obtained a qualiyfing degree or certificate within the previous 2 years or other applicable period as described under "Job Summary"-Eligibility Requirements." Students may apply if they are within 3 months of completing the above described requirements. (NOTE individuals who graduated between 12/27/10 and 07/10/12 will be eligible to apply under the Recent Graduates Program through 07/10/2014.)



Our Mission: To fulfill President Lincoln’s promise – “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan” – by serving and honoring the men and women who are America’s Veterans. How would you like to become a part of a team providing compassionate care to Veterans?


Special Employment Consideration:  VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply, including those eligible for hiring under 5 CFR 213.3102(u), Schedule A, Appointment of persons with disabilities [i.e., intellectual disabilities, severe physical disabilities, or psychiatric disabilities], and/or Disabled veterans with a compensable service-connected disability of 30% or more. Contact the Agency Contact on the last page of the JOA for information on how to apply under this appointment authority via the Selective Placement Coordinator.

What General Information Do I Need To Know About This Position?

This position is being filled under the TCF Recent Graduates Program.   TCF is a national workforce development program within VHA that was designed to replenish technical staff in critically identified positions.   The TCF career fields represent those technical fields where VA-specific knowledge and experience is desirable for success in the field.

Some may think the responsibility of providing superior health care services rests squarely on the shoulders of those who practice medicine. At VA, we believe every position in the health care environment plays a critical role in maintaining our "I CARE" values. That's why we created the Technical Career Field (TCF) Program - one of the largest training programs at VA. TCF internships equip professionals (including veterans) with the specialized knowledge they need to support the delivery of quality health care for our Nation's veterans.

 America's Veterans need you! To find out more, go to

 Individuals selected for these positions are trained, coached, and supervised by a preceptor. Preceptors are selected annually, through an extensive application process, for their technical expertise, their commitment to training and the suitability of their facility as a training location.

 If selected for the TCF Recent Graduate Program, you will follow a formal training plan for 2 years. During the first year, you will be under a temporary appointment in the excepted service. Participants who are successfully meeting the requirements at the end of their first year are eligible for conversion to a permanent appointment or a term appointment (1-4 years in duration) without further competition.     This conversion is at the agency's discretion.

Selectees will be required to sign Mobility, Training, Continued Service and Participant Agreements.

What are the Eligibility Requirements?

In order to be eligible for an appointment under the TCF Recent Graduate Program you must meet the following requirements:

 * Two years, an associates, bachelors, masters, professional, doctorate, vocational or technical degree or certificate from a qualifying educational institution such as an accredited technical or vocational school; a 2- or 4-year college or university; a graduate or professional school (e.g., law school, medical school); or a post-secondary home school curriculum. Note: Certificate program is defined as post-secondary education in a qualifying educational institution equal to at least one academic year of full-time study that's part of an accredited college-level, technical, trade, vocational, or business school curriculum.

* Veterans (as defined in 5 USC 2108) who, due to military service obligation, were precluded from applying to the Recent Graduates Program during any portion of the 2-year eligibility period described above have a full 2-year period of eligibility upon their release or discharge from active duty; however, this eligibility period cannot extend beyond 6 years from the date of completion of the requirements of an academic course of study. 

 * Student may apply if they are within 3 months of completing the qualifying degree


  • You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this job.
  • Subject to a background/suitability investigation.
  • Designated and/or random drug testing may be required.


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The incumbent participates in a fully planned developmental work program, which includes rotational assignments in the various Engineering areas of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), seminars, specialized training, etc. Upon completion of the orientation period, the incumbent participates in performing more advanced engineering assignments.

The Engineering TCF Participant serves as a staff advisor to the Chief of Engineering and will be involved with both design and administration of new construction projects and nonrecurring maintenance projects. The incumbent is required to provide engineering studies and to design/ develop improvements where needed. The nature of the work performed requires professional competency in the fields of civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering that is drawn from the incumbent's professional educational background as well as practical experience. The incumbent will work closely with the Chief, Engineering Service or equivalent to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to perform the functions of the position.

 PHYSICAL EFFORT :   The work is primarily sedentary. However, there may be some walking, standing, bending,stooping and climbing in utility rooms, crawlspaces; attics, boiler and chiller plant.

WORKING CONDITIONS :  Work will involve mostly office work, going into areas involving moderate risks of discomforts requiring special safety precautions.

Work Schedule: Monday-Friday (8:00-4:30pm)

 Relocation Expenses: Relocation expenses are not authorized for this position.

Promotion Potential: Candidate will start at the GS-05 or GS-07 level depending on qualifications.  May be promoted to the next grade levels GS-9 and GS-11 when eligible.


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To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

Time-in-grade:   Applicants who are current Federal employees and have held a GS grade any time in the past 52 weeks must also meet time-in-grade requirements.

BASIC REQUIREMENT:   To qualify for the 801 series ALL applicants must meet one of the following:

A Degree in 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) 3 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. ~OR~

A 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 Boards 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


         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 above.

         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.)


 IMPORTANT: You must submit a copy of unofficial transcripts and/or other documentation in order for a determination to be made regarding meeting the basic requirement in order to receive consideration.

Specialized Experience: In addition to meeting the Basic Requirement, applicants for GS-7 must also meet one of the following requirements:  Possess at least one year of specialized experience related to the duties of this General Engineer position equivalent to the GS-5 level in Federal Service, OR possess one full year of graduate level education that provided the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work of the General Engineer position; OR possess equivalent combinations of successfully completed graduate education and specialized experience directly related to the work of the General Engineering position; OR possess Superior Academic Achievement (S.A.A.) which is based on class standing, grade-point average, or honor society membership.  Individuals who possess S.A.A. and have completed all the requirements for a baccalaureate level degree in a professional engineering curriculum (from an accredited college or university) may be rated eligible for GS-7 provided they meet one of the requirements listed below:

 -Class Standing - In the upper third of their class based on completed college work at the time of application for the position.  This is the upper third of the class in the college or university, or major subdivision (e.g., school of recreation, school of physical education).  This must be documented on the transcript or by a statement from the school.

 -Grade-point average (G.P.A.)--Applicants must have a grade-point average of: 3.0 or higher, out of a possible 4.0 ("B" or better).  This is either:  (1)  The average of all completed college courses at the time of application for the position, OR (2)  The average of all college courses completed during the last 2 years of the undergraduate curriculum.  Must be stated on the official transcript or calculated by the applicant as a specific attachment to the transcript (course, grade, etc.) OR 3.5 or higher out of a possible 4.0 ("B+" or better) in the major field, where such field is fully qualifying and directly applicable to the specialty field of the position to be filled.  This is either:  (1)  The average of completed courses in the major field at the time of application for the position, OR (2)  the average of college courses completed in the major field during the last 2 years of the undergraduate curriculum.  Must be calculated by the applicant as a specific attachment to the transcript (course, grade, etc.).

 -Grade-point averages should be rounded to one decimal place.  For example, 2.95 should be rounded to a 3.0 and 2.94 should be rounded to a 2.9; OR Election to membership in a national scholastic honorary society meeting the minimum requirements of the Association of College Honor Societies.  This must be noted on the transcript or documented by the applicant.  Membership in a freshman honor society cannot be used to meet the requirements of this provision.

A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES: You will be rated on the following Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Other characteristics (KSAOs) based on your application for this position.

KSA 1:  Knowledge of engineering principles and theories.

KSA 2:  Knowledge of general engineering concepts and methods.

KSA 3:  Ability to effectively communicate orally.

IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE WILL NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. If your resume/application does not support your questionnaire answers, we will not allow credit for your response(s).

 If you are referred for consideration, you may be asked to submit additional job related information, which may include, but not limited to; responses to the knowledge, skills and abilities; completion of a work sample, and/or contact for an interview.



PLEASE NOTE:  Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications (particularly positions with a positive education requirement.)  Therefore, applicants must report only attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.  Applicants can verify accreditation at the following website: All education claimed by applicants will be verified by the appointing agency accordingly.  If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education.



Veterans' Preference:  When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference on the Occupational Questionnaire in the section provided and provide a legible copy of your DD214(s) and/or documentation related to your active duty service which shows dates of service, character of service (honorable, general, etc.), or dates of impending separation.

Additionally, disabled veterans and others eligible for 10-point preference (such as widows or mothers of eligible Veterans) must also submit an SF-15 "Application for 10 Point Veterans Preference" with required proof as stated on the form.  For more information, please review the information for disabled Veterans in the application 
checklist or visit


Your résumé and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating or consideration for employment.


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VA offers a comprehensive benefits package.  This link provides is an overview of the benefits currently offered:

VA supports the use of telework as a way to help attract and retain talented individuals in public service, increase worker productivity, and better prepare the agency to operate during emergencies.  This position may be authorized for telework.  Telework eligibility will be discussed during the interview process.


The Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) and Career Transition Assistance Plan CTAP) provide eligible displaced Federal competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. To be qualified you must submit appropriate documentation and be found well-qualified (have a final rating of 90 or more before any Veterans preference points) for this vacancy. Information about ICTAP and CTAP eligibility is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website at

Receiving Service Credit for Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave :  Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee.  VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employee's credit for their job-related non-federal experience or active duty uniformed military service.  This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave.  Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed.


This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.


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HOW TO APPLY: All applicants are encouraged to apply online.


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 Monday, July 15, 2013 to receive consideration.

1. 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.
2. 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 applicants are required to submit the following supporting document type(s):

Applicants may also submit the following supporting document type(s),which may not be required for all applicants:
   ·Cover Letter
   ·Other Veterans Document


Please use this checklist to make sure you have included other documents required for your application, such as a copy of your transcript (if using education to qualify), documentation to support Veterans Preference claims, or ICTAP/CTAP documentation (for displaced Federal employees). You will not be contacted for additional information.


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 917920.

2. Fax your documents to 1-478-757-3144. If you cannot complete the Application Package online, you may fax all of your materials. 
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 Monday, July 15, 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.
View Occupational Questionnaire
2. Print the 1203FX form (, follow the instructions and provide your responses to the occupational questionnaire items
3. Fax 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.


VASDHS Human Resources
Phone: (858)552-8585x3401
Agency Information:
VHA San Diego HCS
Human Resources
San Diego, CA


After the vacancy announcement closes and a referral certificate is issued, an electronic notification letter - or e-mail - will be sent to applicants who provide an e-mail address.  Otherwise, you will receive a notification letter via the U.S. Postal Service within 2 to 4 weeks.

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