Life Scientist/Physical Scientist/Environmental Engineer
At the entry level of this position, you will:
- Participate in environmental protection projects and activities related to air, water, land or habitat protection, permitting, enforcement and compliance, Superfund or Brownfields, or environmental data;
- Provide technical assistance or advice on data analysis, analytical methods, sampling techniques, etc. related to air, water, land or habitat protection, permitting, enforcement and compliance, Superfund or Brownfields, or environmental data;
- Perform limited or routine aspects of environmental protection work related to air, water, land or habitat protection, permitting, enforcement and compliance, or environmental data.
When entering a Federal job at a grade level lower than the highest promotion potential level, you may be promoted to more complex duties and work more independently, as your career progresses. NOTE: Career ladder promotions are not automatic, and all eligibility and qualifications requirements must be met in order to progress to the next grade level.
You will spend less than 25% of your work time on contracts, grants/cooperative agreements, and/or inter-agency agreements.
One or more positions may be filled (in the organization advertised and/or in other organizations), if appropriate to the position.
Conditions of Employment
- You must be a U.S. citizen.
- You must submit a resume and required documents--see How to Apply section.
- If you are selected, a written participant agreement must be signed.
- Position has education requirements--see Qualifications/Education section.
- EPA and non-EPA applicants must submit transcripts/course listings.
- Pre-employment physical may be required and periodic physicals thereafter.
- You may have limited exposure to hazardous materials.
- You may be required to lift items weighing up to 50 pounds.
- You may be required to travel less than 25% of each month.
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.
This position is designated as Moderate Risk and requires a background investigation. Unless an appropriate background investigation is already on record with the Office of Personnel Management, you must undergo a background investigation. All conditions of the pre-employment security process must be met before an official letter of employment can be issued with a report for duty date.
If you are selected, the entire period served under the Recent Graduates program will be a trial period.
If you are still completing coursework, offer of employment will be contingent upon completion of degree/certificate program. Proof showing confer date within nine months of the announcement closing date will be required before entry on duty.
If you are selected, you may be required to complete a Confidential Financial Disclosure form within 30 days of your first day of employment and annually thereafter.
Participation in the medical monitoring program may be required.
This position may require the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
You may be required to meet ongoing specialized safety training requirements in order to meet field safety standards.
You may be required to obtain (before coming on board) and maintain a valid driver's license and must be able to operate a Government-owned or leased motor vehicle.
In addition to the educational requirements, we are looking for at least one year of specialized experience related to this position as described below:
To qualify for the GS-07 level, you need to have at least one year of full-time experience equivalent to the GS-05 level defined as assisting in the collection of field and laboratory environmental samples; OR applying scientific/engineering policies to environmental protection issues or problems.
- OR 1 full year of graduate level education or superior academic achievement ( Superior Academic Achievement Definition ) degree in the academic discipline as described below
- OR an equivalent combination of education and experience.
To qualify for the GS-09 level, you need to have at least one year of full-time experience equivalent to the GS-07 level defined as analyzing scientific/engineering data or field and laboratory environmental samples.
- OR master's or equivalent graduate degree or 2 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree in the academic discipline as described below
- OR an equivalent combination of education and experience.
Your answers to the online assessment will be used to evaluate your competencies in the following areas: 1) Ability to learn how to conduct field inspections, gather evidence, and/or recommend actions; 2) Skill in written communication; 3) Skill in providing technical assistance for field sampling and analytical services, facility inspections or audits, and/or monitoring support; 4) Ability to read, understand and apply environmental laws, regulations, policies, and/or practices; and 5) Skill in oral communication.
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.
If you have part-time work experience, read this: EPA Announcement Policies and Procedures .
In addition to the eligibility requirements for Recent Graduates, this position has specific educational requirements in order to qualify as described below.
Life Scientist: You must have a bachelor's or higher degree from an accredited or pre-accredited college or university in one of the following: biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position; OR a combination of education and experience with courses equivalent to a major, as listed.
Environmental Engineer: All applicants must meet one of the following requirements to qualify for consideration for an engineering position:
- Successful completion of a professional engineering degree at an accredited university or college OR
- Have a combination of college level education or training AND technical experience that has furnished you with (1) a thorough knowledge of the physical and mathematical sciences underlying professional engineering, and (2) a good understanding, both theoretical and practical, of the engineering sciences and techniques and their applications to one of the branches of engineering. The adequacy of such background must be demonstrated by one of the following:
Please review the OPM page on specifics about required curriculum and for more information on qualifications, please visit GS-800: All Professional Engineering Positions qualifications .
Physical Scientist: You must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited or pre-accredited college or university in physical science, engineering, or mathematics that included 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science such as mechanics, dynamics, properties of materials, and electronics; OR a combination of education and experience with education equivalent to one of the majors listed that included at least 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science.
For information about accreditation requirements, visit EPA Announcement Policies and Procedures .
This position is in the bargaining unit.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core values at EPA. Our excellence can only be fully realized by staff who share our commitment to these values. Successful candidates are committed to advancing equity and inclusion in the Agency's workplace and mission. We encourage applications from candidates with a variety of personal experiences, values, and worldviews that arise from differences of culture and circumstance. At EPA, diversity is a vital element in bringing a balance of perspectives to bear on every challenge we face. We are committed to creating a diverse workforce because we know that the individual strengths and abilities of our employees make us a stronger organization. The more inclusive our employee base is, the greater the variety of ideas that are generated, and the more representative we are of the nation we serve. To learn more about how EPA values and supports our diverse workforce, visit Equal Opportunity Employment at EPA .
EPA participates in E-Verify. E-Verify is an Internet based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA) that enables participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees. For additional information: EPA Announcement Policies and Procedures .
This position is in the Pathways Recent Graduates Program, which provides individuals who have completed a qualifying associate's, bachelor's, master's, professional, doctorate, vocational, or technical degree or certificate with an entry-level developmental experience with the potential to lead to a career in the Federal government. Upon successful completion of the program, you may be noncompetitively converted to a term or permanent position without further competition. For more information, see USAJOBS Information Sheet .
ATTENTION VETERANS: If you are a veteran (as defined in 5 USC 2108) who due to military service obligations was precluded from applying to the Recent Graduates Program during any portion of the 2-year eligibility period (described in the "This job is open to/Clarification from the agency" section above), you have a full 2-year period of eligibility upon your release/discharge from active duty. In no event, however, may your eligibility period extend beyond 6 years from the date you completed the requirements for a qualifying degree or qualify career or technical education program.
If you are selected, travel, transportation, and relocation expenses will not be paid by EPA. Any travel, transportation, and relocation expenses associated with reporting to work in this position will be your responsibility.
Except in special circumstances, those new to the federal government will be hired at the starting salary (step 1) of the applicable grade range listed in the Overview section.