Foreign Service Construction Engineer
The U.S. Department of State, our country’s lead foreign policy agency, provides a rich international experience whether at home or abroad, and opportunities to become responsible leaders.
Each day, our employees make a difference as they contribute to our global society and defend and advance our country’s interests and values. They work on the business of diplomacy and high priority issues that impact the safety, security, and prosperity of our world – human rights, environment, energy, food security, public health, and technology – all while experiencing a unique career.
Our talented workforce reflects and champions all of our strengths and diversity – personal, professional, and educational. We offer a workplace that values and rewards leadership, collaboration and innovation, and personal and professional development.
The Department’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations’ (OBO) Office of Construction Management, which is responsible for managing the Department of State’s multi-billion dollar portfolio of construction projects overseas. The CE is a member of a U.S. government (USG) team that ensures construction is professionally performed according to applicable plans, specifications, schedules, and standards. The CE must adhere to the highest standards of integrity, dependability, attention to detail, team work and cooperation while accepting the need to travel, to live overseas, and when necessary, to live away from family.
In addition to Education requirements, applicants must possess a minimum of:
- Three years of Specialized Experience for consideration at FP-04 level
- Five years of Specialized Experience for consideration at FP-03 level
The Department of State is developing a rank-order list of eligible hires for a limited number of FSS vacancies based on the needs of the Department.
- Occasional Travel
- An FSS generally spends the majority of his/her career assigned to our overseas missions and at times, lives away from family and/or in difficult or isolated conditions. Selected applicants will be notified of an Oral Assessment (OA) requirement in Washington D.C. For the selected applicants, all travel and other expenses incurred in connection with the OA are the sole responsibility of the applicant.
- After completing orientation and initial training in Washington, D.C., an FSS usually is assigned to two overseas tours, each two years in length, directed by the Department. After the initial two tours, assignments will be for periods of one to three years overseas or in the United States.
Specialized Experience demonstrates that the applicant has acquired, and is able to apply, a combination of specific knowledge, skills and abilities appropriate to a Foreign Service Construction Engineer position. Applicants must demonstrate that their job-related experience has been at progressively increasing levels of performance and responsibility through such indicators as promotions, raises, increases in duties and responsibilities, and organizational and employee impact.
Examples of Specialized Experience include, but are not limited to:
Vertical Construction Experience: You must have three years of experience within the last 10 years, working in the field on major vertical construction projects, to be considered for this position.
Applicants who have a Master of Architecture or Master of Engineering in one of the disciplines listed under Education and from a program meeting the accreditation requirements, in addition to possessing a qualifying Bachelor of Science degree in the majors listed under Education, qualify to substitute the Master’s degree for one year of Specialized Experience toward satisfying the minimum requirement for Specialized Experience. Transcripts for both the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees must be submitted with your application.
Specialized experience must show that applicants have an in-depth knowledge of their field and can perform engineering or architectural duties related to construction at Department of State projects worldwide. Specialized experience must have been obtained through assignments to field sites on vertical construction projects. Vertical construction projects include but are not limited to multi-story buildings, large-scale residential and commercial developments, and warehouses.
Applicants must show that their job-related experience has been at progressively increasing levels of performance and responsibility through such indicators as promotions, raises, and increases in scope, authority, impact, etc.
Specialized experience requirements will be judged based on the past performance of activities such as:
Reviewing, interpreting, and checking construction drawings, architectural plans, engineering drawings, and other specifications to ensure compliance, recognize errors, ambiguities, or omissions and provide corrective recommendations.
Inspecting construction techniques, procedures, standards, and materials to ensure construction is performed in accordance with applicable plans and specifications.
Applying quality control and quality assurance practices and procedures to construction projects, and applying test procedures and equipment.
Applying safety practices and procedures to construction projects.
Developing and applying construction scheduling techniques, monitoring project progress, identifying causes for delays, and developing and taking corrective action.
Managing financial elements of a construction project, such as monitoring construction project costs, reviewing and certifying contractor requests for progress payments, forecasting total construction costs, and managing budgets.
Analyzing and negotiating pending contract change orders, potential or actual claims, and acceptable cost and time settlements.
Applying computer software to construction project management and fiscal control.
Recognizing impending problems, developing options for action, and recommending solutions.
Preparing and delivering presentations and reports on project status and recommendations.
Demonstrating effective verbal and written communications skills with technical and non-technical personnel.
Displaying effective leadership, team building and consensus building skills with colleagues, supervisors, and subordinates.
In addition to meeting the requirements above, applicants must possess excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communications skills, and a strong customer service orientation.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
Ability to think logically and objectively, demonstrating resourcefulness and judgment.
Ability to express oneself both orally and in writing.
Ability to work and deal effectively with others; tact and the ability to obtain cooperation and confidence from supervisors and subordinates in performing official duties.
Ability to work with minimum job supervision and a willingness to accept responsibility.
Ability to read in detail, and make decisions based on, plans and architectural diagrams.
In order to perform the duties of a FSS, successful applicants must consistently meet a high standard for English, both written (overall structure as well as grammar, spelling and punctuation) and spoken (overall structure as well as delivery, clarity and succinctness).
Some of the essential functions of the job have a physically demanding component. In the execution of the duties and tasks listed above, Construction Engineers must:
Have the ability to work in confined areas such as crawl spaces, attics, utility pits, tunnels, manholes, and other confined spaces;
Have the ability to work from heights such as rooftops, ledges, scaffolding, including climbing extension ladders and scaffolding;
Have the ability to move and handle heavy objects (up to 50 pounds of weight) such as equipment, tools, and other building materials;
Have the ability to see objects that are near, far, in color, or at night, possibly including depth perception; and
Have the ability to hear speech or other sounds, possibly including sufficient sensitivity to hear sounds of low volume or in noisy environments.
At the time of application, applicants must possess, in addition to at least three years' Specialized Experience in the last 10 years:
A Bachelor of Science in Engineering from a program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) in one of the following:
- Civil/Structural Engineering
- Electrical Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Architectural Engineering
or, a Bachelor of Architecture from a program accredited by NAAB.
- Degrees in the above mentioned majors, completed at foreign schools without ABET or NAAB accreditation, may be used to fulfill the education requirements for this position if:
- The applicant holds a valid professional architecture or engineering license from a U.S. State, the District of Columbia, Guam, or Puerto Rico. The evidence of the license must be included as an attachment to the application.
- The degree program is substantially equivalent to NAAB-accredited programs (http://www.naab.org/international/substantial_equivalency.aspx),
- The issuing university is a participant in the Canberra Accord (http://www.naab.org/international/canberraaccord.aspx),
- The foreign architectural degree has been evaluated by Education Evaluation Services for Architects (EESA-NCARB) (https://www.eesa-naab.org/home.aspx).