FRA is committed to fostering a diverse, highly skilled workforce capable of meeting or exceeding our strategic goals with efficiency, innovation, and a constant focus on better serving our customers. You will serve as a Railroad Safety Inspector (OP) enforcing Federal safety and health regulations that concern operating rules and practices, such as the administration of Federal alcohol and drug control programs, hours of service for railroad employees involved with the movement of trains.Learn more about this agency
As a Railroad Safety Inspector (Operating Practices) you will:
- Plan and carry out periodic inspections of railroad yards, repair shops, and locomotive repair, and servicing facilities to observe railroad employees in the performance of operational duties for compliance with the law, including utility employees.
- Examine records to ensure employees are in compliance with all appropriate Federal rules and regulations.
- Investigate and inspect serious railroad accidents, and provide narrative reports describing the accidents, causes, and recommendations to prevent similar accidents in the future.
- Work with railroad officers, union leaders, and other government official to improve safety.
This position is perfect for a mid-level professional with strong technical background in applying current Federal railroad safety standards pertaining to Operating Practices as well as strong analytical and communication skills; and experience with conducting inspections and testing employees for compliance of regulations; mission focused, and is looking for great health benefits and a stable work-life environment.
76% or greater - This position requires extensive travel. The travel is a condition of employment.
Job family (Series)
Conditions of Employment
- You must meet specialized experience.
- Submit application and resume online by 11:59 PM ET on the closing date.
- Position is eligible for Full-time Telework, see Benefits & Other Info Tab.
- YOU MUST MEET THE SELECTIVE FACTORS TO QUALIFY.
- Announcement also advertised open to all US Citizens: FRA.R2-2019-0010.
CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT:
- SELECTIVE SERVICE: Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered for the Selective Service.
- PROBATIONARY PERIOD: You must complete a one-year probationary period (unless already completed).
- INTERVIEW: Applicants may be required to demonstrate in a pre-employment interview that they possess the personal characteristics necessary for Railroad Safety work.
- DECLARATION OF FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT: The selectees for railroad safety positions will be required to complete a Declaration for Federal Employment to determine suitability for Federal employment and to authorize a background investigation.
- DRUG TEST: The selectee will be required to pass a drug test prior to appointment unless currently employed in a DOT position that requires drug testing. The selectee also will be subject to random drug testing while employed in this safety-sensitive position.
- DRIVER'S LICENSE: Railroad Safety Inspectors travel frequently, which requires being away from the official duty station for several consecutive nights. All Railroad Safety Inspectors are required to possess a valid state drivers license at all times while employed by the Federal Rail Administration (FRA) in order to perform the duties of their positions.
- GOVERNMENT TRAVEL CARD REQUIREMENT: This position involves travel. A government contractor-issued travel card will be issued and must be retained for official business only.
- RELOCATION EXPENSES: Expenses related to relocation (e.g. travel and transportation) will not be paid.
- TIME-IN-GRADE REQUIREMENT: Federal applicants must have served 52 weeks at the next lower grade to satisfy time-in-grade requirements contained in 5 CFR 300, Subpart F.
To be qualified for a Railroad Safety Inspector (Operating Practices), the Qualifications Standard state you MUST have demonstrated knowledge in the following areas:
- Railroad industry, including economic and operating considerations and equipment.
- General safety and health principles and practices applicable to the railroad industry.
- Railroad accident investigation techniques.
- Skills in written and oral communication.
- Railroad operating practices, rules, and procedures, especially as they relate to safety issues.
- Federal regulations and standards relating to railroad operations and requirements in such areas as hours of service, accident reporting, blue signal protection of workers, rear end markers, radio communication, railroad employee qualifications, and railroad employee operational testing.
In addition for the GS-12, you must meet the following Selective Factors:
- Experience applying regulations and orders covering employee qualifications, hours of service, occupational safety conditions, radio rules, operating rules and practices, alcohol and drug programs, and locomotive engineer and/or conductor certification to maintain compliance.
- Experience in the railroad industry that has provided you with knowledge of general railroad safety health principles and practices; as well as inspection techniques.
For the GS-12, to qualify, your experience should include all of the above plus at least one year of experience equal or equivalent to the GS-11, which includes the following:
- Experience inspecting records and sites, operational testing, and observing railroad employees to determine railroad compliance with Federal regulations regarding safety procedures.
- Experience analyzing data that can be used during the course of conducting railroad inspections, or used to determine probable cause of railroad related collisions, derailments, or other accidents/incidents.
- Experience writing and presenting information pertaining to operating practices, rules and procedures.
Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.
For additional information about applying to Federal positions, please click on the following link: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-policies/#url=e4
Students enrolled in a qualifying degree program can apply if the anticipated graduation date is within six months of closing date of the announcement. Graduation transcript must be received before start date.
Other applicants must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement.
A writing sample will be requested from applicants who are determined as qualified and referred to the selecting official.
This vacancy may be used to fill similar positions within 90 days for this location.
This vacancy is also announced under a FRA Only internal vacancy announcement. If an FRA Railroad Safety Inspector qualifies; a selection from this vacancy announcement will not be made.
SENIORITY RIGHTS - LEAVES OF ABSENCE - RE-EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS: The FRA has determined that seniority rights, leaves of absence, and reemployment rights from prior railroad employment generally constitute an actual or an appearance of a conflict of interest. New employees may be required to divest themselves of such rights immediately upon hire if these rights are determined to constitute an actual or appearance of a conflict of interest. If new employees are permitted to retain such rights, which is generally the case for Railroad Safety positions, the rights must be divested at the end of the one year probationary period which begins with the date of appointment. Divestiture is a requisite to continued employment with the Federal Railroad Administration. No waivers will be granted of the divestiture requirement. Pursuant to 5 C.F.R. Parts 2635.403 and 6001.104, all FRA employees (or spouses or minor children of FRA employees) are specifically prohibited from holding railroad stock (including shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. which owns 100% of BNSF), whether held outright, in an IRA, or in a 401(k) or other plan. (Employees may hold a mutual fund which invests in railroad stocks, so long as the mutual fund does not invest more than 30% of its assets in such prohibited investments.) Employees having a prohibited financial interest must divest themselves of railroad stock within 90 days after their appointment to their positions. Neither the rule against holding railroad stock, nor the divestiture period, is in any way affected by the existence of re-employment rights which employees might have with railroad companies. Nor is there any monetary threshold for applicability of the rule against ownership of railroad stock; all dollar amounts are prohibited. If selected, you will be subject to the Standards of Ethical Conduct applicable to all executive branch employees. Selectees will be required to complete a new entrant confidential financial disclosure report (Office of Government Ethics Form 450) within 30 days of hire (except if hired between Nov.15 and Dec. 31). Thereafter, selectees will be required to annually file a confidential financial disclosure report by Feb. 15 of each year, pursuant to instructions issued in early January.
EEO STATEMENT: The Department of Transportation (DOT) maintains a model federal work environment that is free of discrimination. DOT ensures equal employment opportunity for employees and applicants for employment, regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), genetic information, age, disability, sexual orientation, or protected activity.
How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
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). Your resume must contain sufficiently detailed information upon which to make a qualification determination. Please ensure that your resume contains specific information such as position titles, beginning and ending dates of employment for each position, average number of hours worked per week, and if the position is/was in the Federal government, you should provide the position series and grade level.
If you meet the qualification requirements, your application will be scored based upon your responses to the vacancy questions. The top rated applications will be reviewed for the quality of your experience, education and training relevant to the position.
Your application will be rated on the extent and quality of your experience, education and training relevant to the position. The answers you select in the on-line process must be substantiated in your application package. If upon review, it is determined that your described work history, competencies, and/or supporting documents do not support your answer choices, your application may be updated or you may not be referred to the selecting official. Please ensure that your work history provides enough details to support your answers. If referred, all relevant documents including performance appraisals and awards submitted with your application package will be forwarded to the hiring official for review. The Automated Staffing Office is ultimately responsible for determining your final rating.
To preview questions please click here.
Background checks and security clearance
Drug test required
ALL Applicants must provide a resume that fully supports the required specialized experience and was created within USA Jobs Resume Builder and respond to the vacancy questions by the closing date of the vacancy.
The following is a list of documents that are only required based on the type of position and type of consideration for which you are applying. Please review each of the following sections to determine which, if any, additional documents you need to provide with your application.
PERFORMANCE APPRAISALS/INCENTIVE AWARDS: lf applicable, performance appraisals and/or Incentive award documentation may be submitted and will be forwarded to the selecting official as support in consideration of your application in the evaluation process. To receive due weight, you must submit a recent performance appraisal (dated within 18 months) showing the official rating of record, signed by a supervisor, or statement why the performance appraisal is unavailable (do not submit a performance plan) and/or incentive award documentation dated within the last 18 months (i.e. superior performance awards, special act or achievement awards, quality step increases, etc.).
VETERANS: Your last DD214, Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty, that shows the type of discharge and all dates of active duty is required to verify your eligibility. it need not be official.
- If you are applying to a vacancy opened to all US Citizens under category rating and wish to be considered as a preference eligible, you need to submit a copy of your DD214.
- If you are claiming preference eligibility as a disabled veteran, you must submit proof of entitlement of this preference which is normally a valid letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs certifying to the present existence of the service-connected disability and indicating the percentage of your disability. An SF-15 is desired, but not required.
- If you are applying to a vacancy opened Status and you are requesting consideration under Veteran's Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA) (https://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/shav/#veoa), you need to provide a copy of your last DD214, which verifies your military service dates, reason for separation, OR certification of separation that shows a discharge date within 120 days of the closing of this announcement), and eligibility for consideration under the Veterans Employment Opportunity Act.
STATUS APPLICANTS: If seeking eligibility consideration as status/agency/DOT employee, you must provide proof of eligibility in the form of an SF-50. Your SF-50 must verify the highest grade held competitively, full performance level of position, and eligibility as a status applicant. Please do not submit an Award SF-50, as these are often incomplete and do not verify grade or status eligibility.
NON COMPETITIVE APPLICANTS: If requesting concurrent consideration for Non-competitive (NC) appointment eligibility, you must provide the appropriate SPECIAL APPOINTING AUTHORITY DOCUMENTS, such as PCS orders (military spouse) describing move & marriage certificate; letter from VA or DD214 describing 100% disability of spouse; letter from State Vocational Office certifying disability (schedule A), etc. For more information, visit military spouse NC appointments or Persons with Disabilities NC appointments.
DISPLACED EMPLOYEES: If requesting consideration under the Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or Interagency CTAP program (ICTAP), you must meet the well qualified standards for this vacancy (meeting minimum requirements for position and scoring at least an 85 or falling in the Gold Category) and provide all of the following documents:
- your most recent performance appraisal,
- the proof of eligibility letter from the Agency, and
- your most current SF-50, displaying current series and grade.
Failure to submit any of the required documents by the closing date of the vacancy will result in your removal from consideration for this position. Please review your application prior to final submission and ensure you have submitted all appropriate documents. Uploading documents to USAJobs does NOT ensure inclusion with your application to our system. You must verify that the documents are in the system with your application prior to final submission.
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
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. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.
A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.
This position is eligible for Full-time Telework: An employee is not required to report to an FRA office during a pay period. The selectee must reside (or be willing to move at his/her own expense) within the geographic area of the duty location stated above. The duty location for a full-time teleworker is usually the residence or other approved telework site. The actual duty location is subject to approval by the Regional Administrator. Salary will be adjusted based on the duty location.
Displaced employees may be eligible for ICTAP or CTAP priority consideration. For more information, please review the OPM Employee's Guide to Career Transition.
The Federal Railroad Administration's mission is to enable the safe, reliable, and efficient movement of people and goods for a strong America, now and in the future.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) promulgates and enforces rail safety regulations; consolidates government support of rail transportation activities; administers financial assistance programs; conducts research and development in support of improved railroad safety and efficiency, and national transportation policy, including improved intercity passenger service.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) is ranked #4 in the 2017 best places to work in the Federal Government!
Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.
How to Apply
You must submit a complete application package (including resume, vacancy questions and supporting documents) no later than midnight Eastern Time on the closing date of the announcement.
To begin, click the Apply Online button on the job announcement posting.
- Follow the directions to register, submit all required documents and complete the assessment questionnaire.
- You may review your saved application(s) at https://my.usajobs.gov.
f you are having difficulty applying online, please contact the DOT Automated Staffing Office via email at Transjobs@dot.gov.
Agency contact information
Automated Staffing Office
Submit Application and Documents Online
1200 New Jersey Ave SE / HAHR - 50
Washington, District of Columbia 20590
You may check your application status by logging into your USAJOBS account. Within two weeks of the closing date, your application will be reviewed and rated. Ratings will be determined based on the documents and information received by the closing date. The most highly qualified candidates will be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration. If you are selected for an interview, the hiring manager will contact you directly. Once a hiring decision is made, we will notify all applicants of their final status.
Fair & Transparent
The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.
Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.
Reasonable Accommodation Policy
Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.
Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:
- An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.
You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Legal and regulatory guidance
This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/513391200. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.