Physical Science Technician

Gaithersburg, Maryland
May 21, 2022
May 23, 2022
Full Time

The Flammability Reduction Group develops, advances, and deploys measurement science to reduce fire hazard of building contents and construction materials. Carries out mission-related measurement science research and services to reduce material ignition probability, fire growth and spread, and environmental impacts; and develop codes and standards for cost-effective, fire-safe building contents and construction materials.

If selected, you will:

1. Sample prep of as-received and stressed firefighter gear for liquid and gas chromatography - mass spectroscopy analysis for per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances. This includes activities such as, cutting and extracting specimens, labeling specimens, and recording observations.

2. Stress as-received gear following defined protocols. This includes activities such as loading and unloading specimens and operating a variety of stressing tools (abrader, high temp oven, etc.).

3. Assisting researchers in conducting liquid and gas chromatography - mass spectroscopy analysis for per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances of as-received and stressed firefighter gear.


Conditions of Employment

  • U.S. citizenship
  • Males born after 12-31-59 must be registered for Selective Service
  • Suitable for Federal employment
  • Merit applicants must meet time-in-grade/band requirements, as applicable
  • Bargaining Unit Position: No


Basic Requirements:

Applicants must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-04 level (or ZT-I at NIST).
Specialized experience is defined as experience assisting in routine wet-chemistry procedures (cleaning glassware, solvent extraction, solvent filtering, and/or clean-up) performed at the gram scale, assisting in setting up, operating, and removing specimens from bench-scale stressing tools (high temperature oven, abrader, and/or open flame apparatus), and assisting in labeling specimens and/or recording and reporting observations.


Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study leading to a bachelor's degree with major study in an appropriate field of physical science.


Combination of education and experience.

NOTE: Only education in excess of the first 60 semester hours (i.e., beyond the second year) is creditable toward meeting the specialized experience requirement. One full academic year of study (30 semester hours) beyond the second year is equivalent to 6 months of specialized experience.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done. We will credit all qualifying volunteer experience in your application.

The qualification requirements in this vacancy announcement are based on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Qualification Standards Handbook .

Applicant Reconsideration


This position allows applicants to qualify with education. Transcripts must be submitted to validate that the education requirement has been met. Unofficial transcripts will be accepted in the application package. However, an official copy will be required prior to a final offer of employment.

Education completed outside of the U.S. must be evaluated by an accredited organization to ensure that it is comparable to education received in accredited institutions in the U.S. Click here to view a listing of accredited organizations from the Department of Education's website. A copy of the foreign education evaluation (containing the results with a course by course listing) is required with your application.

Additional information

This position is covered under NIST's Alternative Personnel Management System (APMS). The APMS is a pay-for-performance system with excellent HR flexibilities to help NIST recruit and retain top talent. Find out more about the APMS here !

A trial period may be required.

This appointment may be extended up to four years without further competition.

We may share your application package with other selecting officials at NIST with opportunities like this one. Additional selections may be made through this vacancy.

NIST strives to build a flexible and encouraging work environment to bring out the best in our employees. To help our employees balance responsibilities at home and at work, NIST offers a variety of work-life flexibilities such as:
  • Telework
  • Flexible work schedules
  • Paid parental leave
  • Paid vacation
  • Sick leave
  • Family-friendly leave
  • Child and elder-care resources
  • On-site childcare center
  • Lactation spaces
  • Wellness programs
  • Fitness center
  • Employee assistance programs