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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-X14W-0039

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$23.07 to $26.95 / Per Hour
Friday, February 14, 2014 to Monday, February 24, 2014
Full Time - Permanent
1 vacancy in the following location:
Manhattan, KS View Map
US Citizens and Status Candidates
Not Applicable


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

The incumbent performs trade work in support of an agricultural campus-like setting including: research laboratories, office structures, a grain elevator, chemical storage and maintenance facilities, an insectary, and milling facility. As needed, the incumbent will also support ground maintenance activities such as lawn care and snow removal.


  • Not Required


  • No


  • 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, electrical, and plumbing. The incumbent is expected to provide diagnositic and preventive maintenance services, and repair of the following systems: mechanical, chiller, hot water and steam boiler, electrical, digital control, building, vacuum, compressed air, deionized water, and fire and security alarms. Electrical work includes operation and maintenance of series, parallel, and compound circuits for single and multiple phase alternating currents. The work also requires: functioning as a liaison with contractors hired to repair and service various operating systems, conducting fire safety checks, inspections, and investigations, and maintaining records and logs and creating maintenance and repair reports. The incumbent may be asked to use carpentry and painting skills to support maintaining interior and exterior appearances and grounds maintenance and upkeep; which includes snow removal. The work to be performed requires driving pick-up trucks and using pull-behind trailers.

Working Conditions and Other Considerations:


A Pre-Employment Physical Is Required.


Work requires standing, stooping, kneeling, climbing, and using ladders and scaffoldings; there is occasional work in uncomfortable or tiring positions, and the incumbent is expected to lift and carry up to 50 pounds. Outdoor work is conducted prevailing weather; the incumbent will be exposed to chemical hazards, dirt, dust, noise, and insects and must observe safety and security regulations as applicable.


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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   


____ Electrical Systems      


____ Plumbing  



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 mechnical systems; must be able to operate, repair, and maintain hot water boilers and related systems.


______ Maintain agriculture-related laboratory instruments such as conveyors, lab air/vacuums, and dust collectors.


______ 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 panels, motors, starters, switches, fixtures, and standard 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


____ Building automation control systems

____ Heating pumps and exchangers

____ Chilled water systems

____ Circulation pumps

____ Boiler and Chiller equipment

____ Electrical distribution systems

____ Lighting equipment and controls

____ Plumbing systems, such as domestic water and process air/gas/vacuum

____ Ventilation systems

____ Steam handling equipment

____ Water heaters

____ Gas fired furnaces

____ Pipe insulation

____ Bearings

____ Belts

____ Variable frequency drives

____ Electrical motor starters and contactors


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 Tools – wrenches, sockets, gauge manifold, drills, saws


______ Air flow diagnostic tools – anemometer, manometer


______ Water Chemical Analysis Kits


______ Electronic diagnostic equipment – such as Mega ohm meter


______ Vacuum gauges – such as Micron gauge


______ Recording instruments – such as data loggers


______ Diagnostic equipment – such as psychometers, refractometers, and tachometers



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 the benefits currently offered 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 an SF-15, Application for 10-Point 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 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 Monday, February 24, 2014.

Department of Agriculture

Attention: Catherine Farthing

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: 202-855-1234
Agency Information:
Agricultural Research Service
5601 Sunnyside Avenue
Beltsville, MD


You will be notified by mail once your application is received.  After a review of your complete application is made, you will be notified or your rating and/or referral to the hiring official.  If further evaluation or interviews are required you will be contacted.   

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