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

Job Title:Soil Conservation Technician

Department:Department Of Agriculture

Agency:Natural Resources Conservation Service

Job Announcement Number:IL-13-927232-SS

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 $38,790.00 / Per Year


Tuesday, July 16, 2013 to Tuesday, July 30, 2013




Full Time - Permanent




1 vacancy in the following location:
Charleston, IL United StatesView Map


United States Citizens


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

WHO MAY APPLY:  This vacancy announcement is open to all United States citizens. 


Read the entire job announcement and follow all instructions provided .  


For more information about our agency click here.  




  • Must be a United States Citizen to qualify for this position.
  • Must serve a one-year probationary period
  • Must meet education/experience requirements--See Qualifications Section
  • Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered with the Selective Service
  • You must possess a valid state driver's license.
  • Must complete a FBI Background and Security Investigation


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This position will serve in the Charleston, Illinois Field Office assisting the Natural Resources Conservation Service District Conservationist, Soil and Water Conservation District, other local groups, and landowners in the planning and application of total resource management system plans;  providing conservation planning assistance from initial evaluation to completion using the nine step planning process.  The incumbent investigates, surveys, and gathers information for complex conservation practices and provides layout assistance and construction inspections on complex practices within the serviced area.  Prepares design material lists, cost estimates, and engineering plans for the construction of complex conservation practices and approves engineering jobs which are within job approval authority.   Provides training to NRCS and SWCD on surveying, staking, information gathering, design, engineering plan preparation, and construction inspection.   Other duties as assigned.


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Candidates must meet the basic eligibility requirements for the GS-0458 series as set forth in the Qualifications Standards for General Schedule Positions.  The Federal Qualification Standards for this series is located at


To qualify at the GS-05 grade level you need ONE of the following:



Applicant must have at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-04 level in the Federal Government.  Specialized experience is defined as experience installing and maintaining conservation measured on public or privately owned land including parks, shoreline, refuse waste sites, dams and reservoir areas, water and sewer sites, road embankments, forests, and wildlife habitats or installing and maintaining soil and water conservation measures on farms, ranches or agricultural land.





Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study leading to a bachelor's degree (a) with major study in Forestry, Range Management, Agriculture, or a related subject-matter field directly related to the position, or (b) that included at least 24 semester hours in any combination of courses such as Forestry, Agriculture, Crop or Plant Science, Range Management or Conservation, Wildlife Management, Watershed Management, Soil Science, Natural Resources (except Marine Fisheries and Oceanography), Outdoor Recreation Management, Civil or Forest Engineering, or Wild Land Fire Science.  No more than 6 semester hours in mathematics is creditable.


To qualify at the GS-06 grade level you need ONE of the following:



Applicant must have at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-05 level in the Federal Government.  Specialized experience is defined as experience advising landowners on the use of one or several single alternative practices such as contour cultivation, grassed waterways, and terracing. 





Successful completion of at least six months of a course of study from an accredited college or university, above the bachelor’s degree leading to a masters’ degree (a) with major study in forestry, range management, agriculture, or a subject-matter field directly related to the position, or (b) that included at least 24 semester hours in any combination of courses such as forestry, agriculture, crop or plant science, range management or conservation, wildlife management, watershed management, soil science, natural resources (except marine fisheries and oceanography), outdoor recreation management, civil or forest engineering, or wildland fire science.


To qualify at the GS-07 grade level you need ONE of the following:



Applicant must have at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-06 level in the Federal Government.  Specialized experience is defined as experience assessing the need, planning for, and working with landowners and contract crews in applying multiple soil conservation measures such as center pivot irrigation and strip cropping; conservation tillage practices; land leveling, surgace irrigation, and conservation cropping; agricultural waste systems; buffers and standard erosion structures.





Successful completion of at least one year of a course study, above the bachelor’s degree leading to a masters’ degree from an accredited college or university (a) with major study in forestry, range management, agriculture, or a subject-matter field directly related to the position, or  (b) that included at least 24 semester hours in any combination of courses such as forestry, agriculture, crop or plant science, range management or conservation, wildlife management, watershed management, soil science, natural resources (except marine fisheries and oceanography), outdoor recreation management, civil or forest engineering, or wildland fire science.


Combining Experience and Education:

If education is used to meet specialized experience requirements, then such education must include courses directly related to the work of the position. (When crediting education, the number of hours of related courses required, will be prorated as a proportion of the total education to be used.)


For GS-5 level positions, only education in excess of the first 60 semester hours of a course of study leading to a bachelor's degree is creditable toward meeting the specialized experience requirements. Two full academic years of study, or 60 semester hours, beyond the second year is equivalent to l year of specialized experience. The applicant's total qualifying experience will be determined as a percentage of the year of specialized experience required at the GS-5 level. Then the applicant's education will be determined as a percentage of the education that meets the requirements for GS-5.  The total percentage must equal at least 100 percent to qualify an applicant for GS-5.


To learn more about combining education and experience for this series, refer to


  •   You must have the ability to use a computer.
  •   You must meet the specialized experience by the closing date of this announcement.
  •   You  may be required to work outdoors under adverse weather conditions.
      You must submit a complete application package to be considered for this
  •   You will be required to do some travel.



Your application will be evaluated and rated 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.  Veteran preference eligibles that have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10 percent are listed in the highest quality category, except in the case of scientific or professional positions at the GS-9 level or higher.


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The Federal Government 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.  USDA/NRCS also offers Flexi- Work, Tele-work, Transportation Subsidies and a family friendly work environment.  The following Web Address is provided for your reference to explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employee.  To find out more click here:


Information on Special Hiring Authorities

You are eligible if you meet one of the following criteria:
•       a 30% compensably disabled Veteran
•       a VRA eligible ( The VRA
hiring authority is limited to positions at the GS-11 level and below.
•       a person with a severe physical handicap
(  Clearly indicate on your application you are
applying under a Special Hiring Authority, provide required documentation of
your handicap and indicate the type of accommodation you are requesting.
•      a Former Peace Corps or VISTA Volunteer -

You must state in their application under which of these special hiring authorities they wish to be considered. To be considered under a special hiring authority as well as the regular competitive process, applicants must request the dual consideration. 

Submit proof of your eligibility with your application or you will not be considered under a special hiring authority.

Information on Veterans’ Preference 

If you served on active duty in the United States Military and were separated
under honorable conditions, you may be eligible for Veterans’ Preference.

To determine if you are eligible for Veterans' Preference, click on the site shown below:


IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR SURPLUS OR DISSPLACED FEDERAL EMPLOYEES - Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) and Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) is available to individuals who have special priority selection rights under this plan. Individuals must be well-qualified for this position to receive consideration for special priority selection.   CTAP or ICTAP eligibiles will be considered well-qualified when receiving an adjudicated score of 85 or higher.   Federal employees seeking CTAP or ICTAP eligibility must submit proof of meeting the requirements of CFR 330.605(a) for CTAP and 5 CFR 330.704 for ICTAP.   This includes a copy of the agency notice, a copy of your most recent performance rating, and a copy of your most recent SF-50 Notification of Personnel Action notating current position, grade level, and duty location.   You are to annotate in your application that you are applying as a CTAP or ICTAP eligible.

To read more about CTAP or ICTAP eligibility visit:   ://


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, D.C. 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 provide a complete Application Package which includes:


1. Your Résumé

2. A complete Occupational Questionnaire

3. Additional Required Documents (see Required Documents section below)


The complete Application Package must be submitted by 11:00 PM Eastern Time on Tuesday, July 30, 2013


To begin the process, click the Apply Online button to create an account or log in to your existing USAJOBS account.  Follow the prompts to complete the occupational questionnaire.


Please ensure you click the Submit My Answers button at the end of the process.


Note: To return to a previously Saved or Incomplete application you may use the following link: for USA Staffing Applicant Manager or for USAJOBS account. 


If you are unable to upload supporting documents, you may fax them by printing and completing a cover page (click the following link for the cover page) and use the following Vacancy ID 927232 

Fax your documents to 1-478-757-3144.


If you cannot apply online:


1. Click the following link to view and print the occupational questionnaire, View Occupational Questionnaire

2. Print this 1203FX form to provide your response to the occupational questionnaire and

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.


You may preview the application questions prior to applying online by clicking on the links below.  To apply, you must follow the instructions provided in the section labeled "How to Apply"


To preview Assessment Questions only click on the following link:  View Assessment Questions

To preview Occupational Questionnaire only, click on the following link: View Occupational Questionnaire

The online Assessment Questions are based on the following Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: 

1. KNOWLEDGE OF Soil and Water Conservation practices and engineering practices in order to explain programs, execute initial agreements, gather factual data, plan and apply practices.


2. ABILITY TO use computer software programs and databases in order to plan and report the application of practices.


3. ABILITY TO communicate with others in order to provide conservation program information and technical guidance to clients, interested groups, contractors, and cooperating agencies.


NOTE: We do not require a separate statement responding to the competencies, also referred to as Knowledges, Skills and Abilities (KSAs). However, your resume should clearly show possession of these competencies. 

If materials are not received, your application will be evaluated solely on the information available and you may not receive full consideration or may not be considered eligible.  All the information you provide may be verified by a review of your resume and questionnaire responses.   Background checks, reference checks and other means, such as the interview process may be used to validate eligibility and scoring.   Any exaggeration of your experience, false statements, or attempts to conceal information may be grounds for not hiring you or for removal after employment begins.


For this job announcement YOU MUST SUBMIT ALL the following documents:

      • Your responses to the on-line occupational questionnaire, and
      • Resume   
      • College Transcripts - if applying based on education (legible copy acceptable, original necessary if selected)
      • If claiming Veteran's Preference or eligibility for VRA or VEOA, provide basic eligibility information and submit a copy of DD Form - 214. If claiming service-connected disabilities, submit a current SF-15 (revised December 2004) and the documents specified on the form for the type of preference being claimed. 


For more information on veterans' preference eligibility go to and


NOTE: Do not mail a copy of your application packet to Washington, D.C.


Alexis Colvin
Phone: (217)403-6200
Agency Information:
2118 W Park Ct
Champaign, IL


Once your Occupational Questionnaire and resume have been received, you will receive an acknowledgement email that your submission was successful.  All information provided may be verified by a careful review of your resume, questionnaire responses, reference check, background check, and/or verification of education.  After a qualification review of your complete application package, you will be notified of the status of your application.  If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted.  Any exaggeration of your experience, false statements, or attempt to conceal information may disqualify you for consideration.  A job offer is typically made within 45 days after the deadline for applications.  You can track the progress of your application package in Application Manager at .

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