Technical Surveillance Specialist

Sterling, Virginia
May 24, 2022
May 26, 2022
Full Time

These positions are located in the Office of Field Operations, Special Operations Division, Technical Operations Branch in Sterling, VA.

NOTE: The incumbent is required to adhere to the policy and training requirements in ATF O 3260.2 Certified Technical Operator Program to remain in good standing as a Technical Surveillance Specialist.

AUO is a category of premium pay that generally applies when you are responsible for recognizing, without supervision, circumstances that require you to remain on duty to complete specific work assignments on a routine, ongoing basis. AUO pay is a substitute form of payment for irregular, unscheduled overtime work and is paid annually instead of hourly. AUO pay is determined as a percentage, not less than 10% no more than 25%, of the rate of your annual adjusted rate of pay and is fixed by law or administrative action for the position.

Must operate a Government-owned vehicle. The position requires the incumbent to carry a cellular telephone and be on-call 24 hours a day.

Position requires moderate to heavy lifting, climbing high ladders and antenna towers, bending, crouching, etc. These activities occur over prolonged periods of time during the installation, repair, and removal of surveillance systems in field environments.

Installation, maintenance, and repair activities often take place outdoors or in isolated areas. May frequently be required to work outdoors under a variety of climatic conditions.

Each incumbent serves as an expert source and provides Headquarters (HQ) level program management of all technical activities related to law enforcement electronic surveillance technologies in support of ATF criminal investigations, missions and operations. These positions also provide operational support and guidance to ATF field divisions, field offices, management officials and senior leadership for said technologies.

As a Technical Surveillance Specialist, GS-1801-13, your typical work assignments may include:
  • Serves as an expert source, strategic planner, representative, coordinator, technical leadership and advisor for ATF's electronics surveillance (ES) programs in support of ATF criminal investigations.
  • Designs, fabricates, acquires, assembles, modifies, tests, diagnoses, repairs, calibrates, installs/re-installs, maintains, expands, improves and/or prepares electronic surveillance (ES) equipment in accordance with plans, specifications and instructions to meet mission/operational requirements in support of ATF criminal investigations.
  • Surveys, analyzes and evaluates the effectiveness of ATF's specialized electronic surveillance (ES) requirements specific to ATF's criminal enforcement mission/operations through studies, compilation of available data, testing and evaluation of complex ES systems; monitors technology advancements and independently presents detailed observations, findings, and recommendations to ATF management; and formulates new ideas for the potential applications of state-of-the art electronic/technical surveillance equipment/applications.
  • Monitors all legislative and judicial actions which impact ATF electronic surveillance (ES) operations; evaluates investigative objectives and conducts site surveys to identify and develop written operational plans with recommendations for the best ES techniques to meet ATF's criminal investigative mission/operational requirements, ensure officer safety and evidence integrity.
  • Conducts covert installations in a variety of locations, to include high-voltage environments, and directly accompanies, participates and assists authorized personnel in making court-authorized entries onto a suspect's property to install, adjust, repair and/or recover surveillance units.
  • Recommends, develops, prepares, coordinates and implements: electronic surveillance (ES) operating guidance; preventative maintenance standards and schedules; technical bulletins; technical training; direction for ATF's clandestine technologies; long-and short-term budgetary requirements.


Conditions of Employment

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or National.
  • May be required to serve a one year probationary period.
  • Pass drug screening and subject to random drug test
  • Must successfully complete a background security investigation
  • Must be registered or exempt from the Selective Service. See

The qualification requirements listed below must be met by the closing date of the announcement.

MOBILITY PLAN : New employees hired pursuant to this vacancy announcement must sign a mobility agreement. The purpose of ATF's mobility policy is to enhance career development and progression, and achieve mission and business effectiveness. To accomplish these objectives, the mobility plan will facilitate the movement of employees through special short-term assignments or permanent reassignments throughout the Bureau. Applicants who decline to sign a mobility agreement, as required, will be removed from the hiring process.


To qualify for GS-1801-13 candidates must also have at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the next lower grade level GS-12.

Additional Conditions of Employment:

This is a non-bargaining unit position.

**To ensure compliance with an applicable preliminary nationwide injunction, which may be supplemented, modified, or vacated, depending on the course of ongoing litigation, the Federal Government will take no action to implement or enforce the COVID-19 vaccination requirement pursuant to Executive Order 14043 on Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees. Therefore, to the extent a Federal job announcement includes the requirement that applicants must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 pursuant to E.O. 14043, that requirement does not currently apply. Federal agencies may request information regarding the vaccination status of selected applicants for the purposes of implementing other workplace safety protocols, such as protocols related to masking, physical distancing, testing, travel, and quarantine.**

Specialized experience is demonstrated experience, which has equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills and abilities to perform successfully the duties of this position. Experience must be in the normal line of progression or must be related to the work of the position advertised and must be reflected in resume. Examples of specialized experience include:

• Performing technical electronic surveillance project/program management duties, such as: acquiring, assembling, modifying, testing, and preparing electronic surveillance (ES) equipment for installation; and
• Coordinating all technical activities related to ES technologies and operations; and
• Professional knowledge of and/or expertise in the theories, principles, designs, developments, practices, techniques, uses, and operation of electronic technical surveillance equipment across multiple disciplines (e.g. IP technology and applications, video management system, global positioning system (GPS), microwave technologies, cellular technologies, tactical mesh technologies | etc.); and
• Expert knowledge of electronic equipment design, development, evaluation, testing, installation, operation and maintenance; and
• Applying complex electronic surveillance investigative techniques; diagnosing, troubleshooting and repairing technical surveillance and other electronic equipment that have malfunctioned; designing and analyzing circuits; determining design feasibility, evaluating equipment performance under varying environmental conditions, and collecting performance data; analyzing and diagnosing faults in the operational configuration of electronic systems and equipment to interpret circuit wiring and ability to troubleshoot various systems; evaluating and recommending potential uses of state-of-the art technical surveillance equipment to management.

Although not required, applicants with documented certifications, training in and/or experience with the application of electronics surveillance technologies in a law enforcement environment are highly desirable.

Please do not cut and paste the position description, specialized experience, or occupational assessment questionnaire from this announcement into your resume, as this will not be considered a demonstration of your qualifications for this position.

The Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP). The ICTAP provides eligible displaced Federal competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. If your agency has notified you in writing that you are a displaced employee eligible for ICTAP consideration, you may receive selection priority if: 1) this vacancy is within your ICTAP eligibility; 2) you apply under the instructions in this announcement; and 3) you are found well-qualified for this vacancy. To be well qualified, you must satisfy all qualification requirements for the vacant position and rate equivalent to the silver or better category using established category rating criteria. You must provide proof of eligibility with your application to receive selection priority. Such proof may include a copy of your written notification of ICTAP eligibility or a copy of your separation personnel action form. Additional information about ICTAP eligibility is at:

The Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) provides eligible surplus and displaced competitive service employees in the Department of Justice with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. If your Department of Justice component has notified you in writing that you are a surplus or displaced employee eligible for CTAP consideration, you may receive selection priority if: 1) this vacancy is within your CTAP eligibility, 2) you apply under the instructions in this announcement, and 3) you are found well-qualified for this vacancy. To be well qualified, you must satisfy all qualification requirements for the vacant position and rate equivalent to the Silver (minimum score of 85) or better category using established category rating criteria. You must provide a copy of your written notification of CTAP eligibility with your application. Additional information about CTAP eligibility is at:

Veteran Preference: If you are entitled to veteran preference, you should indicate the type of veteran preference you are claiming on your résumé.

In order to verify your veteran preference entitlement, please submit a copy of the Member Copy 4 of your DD-214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty); official statement of service from your command if you are currently on active duty; or other official documentation (e.g., documentation of receipt of a campaign badge or expeditionary medal) that shows your military service was performed under honorable conditions.

In addition, if you are a disabled veteran, a Purple Heart recipient, or widow/widower of a veteran, the spouse of a disabled veteran or the natural mother of a disabled or deceased veteran, you must submit the October 2013 Revised Standard Form (SF) 15, "Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference," and the other required documentation identified on the reverse side of the SF-15 to support your preference claim.

Although veteran preference points are not assigned under the category rating procedures described under "How You Will Be Evaluated," veteran preference eligibles are listed ahead of non-veterans within each category for which they are qualified.


Education entered here if applicable:

This position does not have an education qualification requirement.

Additional information

Notice to Prospective Employees of Ethical Obligations from ATF's Human Resources Operations Division. Please click on the following link to read important information. DOJ Notice to Prospective Employees of Ethical Obligations

Selective Service: If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law. See

Periodic Reinvestigation: Subject to a 5-year periodic investigation.

EEO Statement: The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, (including pregnancy, gender identify and sexual orientation), parental status, national origin, age, disability (physical and mental), family medical history or genetic information, political affiliation, military service, retaliation, or other non-merit factor.

Please click on the following link to read important information. Department of Justice EEO Policy Statement

Reasonable Accommodation Statement: ATF provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the job application and hiring process, and you meet the eligibility requirements listed above, please notify the human resources specialist listed on the vacancy announcement, or contact the ATF's Office of Equal Employment Opportunity at (202) 648-8760. The decision on granting a reasonable accommodation is handled on a case-by-case basis.

"Federal Regulations state no ATF employee, his/her spouse, or his/her minor child shall have, directly or indirectly, any financial interest, including compensated employment, stock, or proprietary interest in the alcohol, tobacco, firearms or explosives industries. You should be aware that you may be asked to relinquish any ownership of or interests in the alcohol, tobacco, firearms or explosives industries before a determination can be made whether access to ATF information, information technology systems, and/or facilities can be authorized."

Additional vacancies may be filled from this vacancy announcement.

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