This job has expired

Supervisory Railroad Safety Specialist - BIL DIRECT HIRE

Wallops Island, Virginia
Closing date
Oct 11, 2023

The Supervisory Railroad Safety Specialist:
  • Serves as an agency expert and/or senior consultant and provides expert advice and assistance to senior management in Safety Standards in one of the six technical disciplines or other railroad safety programs;
  • Plans and assigns work to employees and establishes priorities. Develops ways to improve the quality and/or quantity of work produced.
  • Provide railroad safety and stakeholder training (including State safety inspectors);
  • Responsible for accident and employee fatality investigations and reporting;
  • Develops partnerships between labor, management, and the agency that address systemic initiatives;
  • Reviews and implements safety rules and standards.

The ideal candidate for this position is a mission-focused senior-level professional with excellent communication skills that has experience providing guidance, interpretation, and enforcement of Federal Railroad Administration regulations and procedures concerning railroads located within their program area. Professional experience should also include serving as a technical expert in the areas of safety regulation development, waiver investigations, violation analysis, safety data analysis, technical training, and in the preparation of reports for public issuance.

* PLEASE NOTE: This announcement establishes an open continuous (3 month) vacancy announcement. Given our continuing need for top professionals in this field, we will review applications on an as needed basis. Duty locations will vary. The difference in salary is determined by the locality pay in each location. Salaries for all areas are available on the OPM website at:

REMOTE/MOBILE WORK: This position may be eligible for Remote Work OR Mobile Work.

Remote Work means the residence is the full-time official duty location. Mobile Work means the selectee must work/reside within the geographic area of the duty location that is negotiated between management. The difference in salary is determined by the locality pay in each location. Salaries for all areas are available on the OPM website at:

If selected for a remote or mobile work position, you must have access to high speed internet and cell phone service meeting current Agency standards from the approved work location within the Contiguous United States and sign a remote or mobile work agreement.


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. citizen & meet specialized experience to qualify
  • Submit application and resume online by 11:59 PM EST on the closing date
  • Required documents must be submitted by the closing date.
  • Direct Hire Authority will be used to fill this position

  • SELECTIVE SERVICE: Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered for the Selective Service.
  • GOVERNMENT TRAVEL CARD: Travel will vary by position. If the position requires travel, a government contractor-issued travel card will be issued and must be retained for official business only.
  • RELOCATION/RECRUITMENT: Relocation, and Recruitment Incentive authorization varies by position/selection.
  • PROBATIONARY PERIOD: Varies by position and is determined by the hiring agency. If selected, a one-year or two-year probationary period may be required.
  • SUPERVISORY PROBATIONARY PERIOD: You must complete a one-year supervisory probationary period (unless already completed).
  • SECURITY CLEARANCE: Varies by position. If applicable, you must be able to obtain and maintain the appropriate security clearance of the position to which appointed.
  • FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE: Varies by position. If applicable, you may be required to file a confidential financial disclosure form (Office of Government Ethics (OGE) Form 450) or a public financial disclosure form (OGE Form 278e), within 30 days of appointment and annually thereafter.
  • BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION: You may be required to complete a background/security investigation and meet preliminary requirements prior to onboarding.
  • POSITION SENSITIVITY AND RISK: Varies by position and will be based on the position to which appointed.
  • DRUG TEST: Supervisory Railroad Safety Specialist have been determined to be a critical safety/security position as defined in the Department of Transportation (DOT) Order, DOT 3910.1C entitled "Drug and Alcohol-Free Departmental Workplace." Therefore, if selected for the position you will be required to submit to a pre-employment/pre-appointment drug test, you will also be subject to Random Drug Testing.
  • DRIVER'S LICENSE: Supervisory Railroad Safety Specialist 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.


To be qualified for a Supervisory Railroad Safety Specialist, you MUST have demonstrated knowledge in ALL of the following areas:
  • Knowledge of the railroad industry, including economic and operating considerations and equipment.
  • Knowledge of the general safety and health principles and practices applicable to the railroad industry.
  • Knowledge of railroad accident investigation techniques
  • Skill in written and oral communication.

To qualify for the Grade 13, you must have at least one year of experience equal or equivalent to the GS-12, it must include:
  • Experience applying Federal regulations and standards of at least one of the six disciplines and basic knowledge of another discipline: Track, Signal & Train Control, Hazmat, Operating Practice, Motive Power & Equipment, Grade Crossing & trespass prevention.
  • Experience conducting special investigations (including accident investigations) and inspections involving railroad rail and components to obtain determination of cause and produce useful and accurate results.
  • Experience preparing technical reports, narratives, and correspondence regarding railroad rail and components.
  • Experience leading, motivating, supervising and/or managing a workforce to promote a uniform understanding and accomplish organizational goals.

To qualify for the Grade 14, you must have at least one year of experience equal or equivalent to the GS-13, it must include:
  • Experience leading and/or conducting analyses of Railroad safety statistical data and performing analytical investigations or special studies to make policy/program recommendations.
  • Experience working on a team, task force, or committee that includes industry officials, labor unions, the public and state and local governments to develop practical solutions
  • Experience leading special investigations (including accident investigations) and inspections involving railroad rail and components to obtain determination of cause and produce useful and accurate results.
  • Experience representing, leading or managing a workforce to achieve mission goals.

In addition, applicants for specialist positions must demonstrate possession of the knowledge, skills, and abilities for the specialization for which application is made to the degree required by the position. Only those elements required by the position to be filled, as identified below, will be used in evaluating candidates' specialized experience.

Hazardous Materials:
  • Practical knowledge of the typical reactions of different hazardous commodities to various environmental conditions and of safe procedures for containing or controlling fires, leaks, or explosions of these materials;
  • Knowledge of the construction, testing, and retesting of containers used to ship hazardous materials by rail; and
  • Knowledge of Federal regulations and standards governing the shipment of hazardous materials by rail, including containerization, loading, handling, documentation, and placarding.

  • Knowledge of railroad track system construction, maintenance, testing, or inspection techniques;
  • Knowledge of the capabilities and limitations of various track system configurations; and
  • Knowledge of Federal railroad track safety standards.

Signals and Train Control:
  • Knowledge of the design, installation, maintenance, testing, or inspection of signal and train control systems and their capabilities and limitations;
  • Knowledge of applicable Federal laws and regulations pertaining to railroad signaling and train control systems; and
  • Knowledge of locomotive braking systems and their relationship to and interface with train control or automatic train stop systems and braking distances.

Operating Practices:
  • Knowledge of railroad operating practices, rules, and procedures, especially as they relate to safety issues; and
  • Knowledge of 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 testing.

Motive Power and Equipment:
  • Knowledge of the design, maintenance, or inspection of various types of locomotive and freight cars currently in use and their capabilities and limitations;
  • Knowledge of the installation, maintenance, or testing of railroad safety appliances and power brakes, their capabilities and limitations; and
  • Knowledge of the applicable Federal laws and regulations pertaining to inspection and testing of locomotives, freight cars, safety appliances, and power brakes.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES (KSAs): Your qualifications will be evaluated on the basis of your level of knowledge, skills, abilities and/or competencies in the following areas:
  • Compliance - Knowledge of procedures for assessing, evaluating, and monitoring programs or projects for compliance with Federal laws, regulations, and guidance.
  • Accident Investigation- Knowledge of guidelines, regulations, and procedures associated with an Accident investigation including preservation of accident scene, root cause analysis, and evidence detection and handling.
  • Organizational Performance Analysis - Knowledge of the methods, techniques, and tools used to analyze program, organizational, and mission performance; includes methods that deliver key performance information (for example, comparative, trend, diagnostic, root cause, predictive) used to inform decisions, actions, communications, and accountability systems.
  • Problem Solving - Identifies problems; determines accuracy and relevance of information; uses sound judgment to generate and evaluate alternatives, and to make recommendations.
  • Oral Communication - Expresses information (for example, ideas or facts) to individuals or groups effectively, taking into account the audience and nature of the information (for example, technical, sensitive, controversial); makes clear and convincing oral presentations; listens to others, attends to nonverbal cues, and responds appropriately.
  • Self-Management - Sets well-defined and realistic personal goals; displays a high level of initiative, effort, and commitment towards completing assignments in a timely manner; works with minimal supervision; is motivated to achieve; demonstrates responsible behavior.

  • 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:

    All applicants must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

    Additional information

    ETHICS/CONFLICT OF INTEREST STATEMENT: All employees are subject to the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, set out in Title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations, section 2635, including restrictions on owning financial interests that may conflict with performance of their duties. Some employees, like those involved in contracting or regulating non-Federal entities, are subject to Executive Branch Financial Disclosure requirements set out in Title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations, section 263. Please note that you may be required to file an annual financial disclosure.

    RAILROAD STOCK: 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.

    This announcement may be used to fill additional positions if similar vacancies occur within 90 days of the issue date of the referral certificate.

    Qualified CTAP/ICTAP candidates receive priority and will be referred to the hiring manager.

    Get job alerts

    Create a job alert and receive personalized job recommendations straight to your inbox.

    Create alert