Diplomatic Security: Foreign Service Security Technical Specialist

Washington D.C.
Mar 20, 2018
Mar 28, 2018
IT, Security Engineer
Full Time

50% or less - An FSS generally spends the majority of his/her career assigned to the Department of State's 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 selected applicants, all travel and other expenses incurred in connection with the OA are the sole responsibility of the applicant.

Relocation expenses reimbursed Yes 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.

  • Be a U.S. citizen and available for worldwide service.
  • Be able to obtain a Top Secret Security Clearance.
  • Be able to obtain an appropriate Foreign Service Medical Clearance.
  • Be able to obtain a favorable Suitability Review Panel determination.*
  • Be at least 20 years old and at least 21 years old to be appointed.
  • Be appointed prior to age 60 (preference eligible veterans excepted).**
  • Official or unofficial transcripts may be submitted with your application. Your transcript must include your name, the school’s name, and, if applicable, the degree and date awarded. A transcript missing any of these elements will not pass the minimum qualifications and the candidacy will be ended. Copies of diplomas may not be submitted in lieu of transcripts for education above high school level.

    Education from a program or institution within the United States must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation, in order to be credited towards qualifications.

    Education completed in foreign high schools, colleges or universities may be used to meet the education requirements if you can show that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence when applying. Only accredited organizations recognized as specializing in the interpretation of foreign education credentials that are members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or the Association of International Credential Evaluators, Inc. (AICE) are accepted.

    NACES: www.naces.org/members.htm

    AICE: www.aice-eval.org/members

    For further information on the evaluation of foreign education, please refer to the Office of Personnel Management and the U.S. Department of Education. The U.S. Department of State neither endorses nor recommends any individual evaluation service.

    OPM: www.opm.gov

    U.S. Department of Education: http://www.ed.gov

    Applicants must have at least three years of specialized experience which demonstrates the ability to troubleshoot and repair electronic, electrical, and/or electro-mechanical systems and equipment, and is supported by work experience in this discipline.

    Examples of experience include, but are not limited to the following:
    • Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of AC power distribution systems, motor-generators
    • Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of motors, motor controls, disconnects, relays
    • Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of low voltage DC electronic systems
    • Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of low voltage DC electro-mechanical systems
    • Use, repair, and/or calibration of electronic test equipment – meters, oscilloscopes
    • Bench repair of electronic, electrical, and electro-mechanical equipment to the component level
    • Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of mechanical and electro-mechanical locking systems – electronic strikes, locks
    • Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of pedestrian and vehicular access control systems – door controls, vehicle barriers / arrest
    • Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems – monitors, cameras, switches
    • Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of metal detectors – hand held, walk through
    • Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of radio communications systems, voice and digital communications networks
    • Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of Intrusion Detection Systems – alarms, detectors, sensors
    • Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of Public Address Systems – emergency notification systems, intercoms

    In addition, STS candidates must meet supplementary physical standards to include, but not limited to, additional vision and hearing requirements. The standards for the Security Technical Specialist position can be found at https://careers.state.gov/downloads/ in the Four Conditions of Diplomatic Security Employment Section.

    Other Requirements

    Driver's License: A valid U.S. driver's license is required.

    Applicants must demonstrate a strong command of the English language to include grammar, spelling and punctuation. FSS 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).

    Applicants must be available for worldwide service, and be able to tolerate intensive world travel, living away from family, and working and living in difficult and/or isolated conditions.

    Essential Physical Requirements

    Some of the essential functions of the job have a physically demanding component. For instance, when installing or repairing technical security equipment, a STS is periodically required to perform work that requires regular and recurring periods of prolonged standing, bending, and stretching. A STS is required periodically to climb ladders and work from heights in performing the essential duties. Other essential duties of the job may involve recurring lifting of moderately heavy equipment and tools. Related activities may include crawling, maneuvering, and working in cramped spaces as well as the occasional moving and transporting of diplomatic pouches.

    A physical examination of each applicant offered a position is required to ensure that the candidate meets the physical and medical requirements necessary to perform the essential functions of the job and can meet the standards required for a worldwide medical clearance. In addition, candidates must have vision that is correctable to 20/20 in one eye and 20/40 in the other, no color blindness, adequate night vision, and good peripheral vision. In addition, candidates must have good hearing with no loss of greater than 30 decibels at 500, 1000, or 2000 Hz level. The musculoskeletal system should have no deformities, diseases, or limiting conditions that would interfere with the performance of duties.

    Note: The medical examination is required only after a candidate has successfully passed the written and oral assessments. It is not part of the initial application package.

    Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent.

    Applicants may substitute educational achievements for Specialized Experience. Please see Qualifications section for Specialized Experience requirements.

    Applicants may substitute qualifying educational achievement (12 semester hours or quarter hours is equivalent to one year) for specialized experience as follows:

    For one year of specialized experience: One full academic year of education in any electronics or electro-mechanic specialty, or the equivalent amount of vocational, military, and/or formal job-related classroom training.

    For two years of specialized experience: Completion of all requirements for an associate’s degree in any electronics or electro-mechanic specialty, or the equivalent of two full academic years of vocational, military, and/or formal job-related classroom training.

    You must provide proof of academic, technical, vocational or trade school education or training, including military training or specialty, with your application to receive credit. For education above high school, you must provide a complete transcript (official or unofficial) with your application. Additional information is included in the Required Documents section.

    *The Department of State Suitability Review Panel and standards are defined in Chapter 3 of the Foreign Affairs Manual. For more information please visit:


    **For more information about Veteran’s Preference and how it is applied in the FSS Selection Process, please visit: http://careers.state.gov/faqs/faqs-wiki/are-veterans-given-hiring-preference-

    No applicant will be considered who has previously been separated from the Foreign Service under sections §607, §608, §610 or §611 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, or who resigned or retired in lieu of separation under these provisions. In addition, no applicant will be considered who has previously been separated for failure to receive a career appointment under section §306 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, or who resigned or retired in lieu thereof.

    An FSS separated for failure to receive a career appointment under section 306 may not re-apply to be an FSS in the same skill code, but may apply for another skill code (or to be a Foreign Service Generalist).

    Executive Branch agencies are barred by 5 US Code 3303 as amended from accepting or considering prohibited political recommendations and are required to return any prohibited political recommendations to sender. In addition, as mandated by 5 US Code 3110, relatives of federal employees cannot be granted preference in competing for these employment opportunities.

    It is the policy of the Federal Government to treat all of its employees with dignity and respect and to provide a workplace that is free from discrimination whether discrimination is based on race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity or pregnancy), national origin, disability, political affiliation, marital status, membership in an employee organization, age, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors.

    The Department of State provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodations for any part of the application or hiring process should so advise the Department at ReasonableAccommodations@state.gov , within one week of receiving their invitation to the oral assessment. Decisions for granting reasonable accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis.

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    You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

    Applicants will be evaluated on their total background including experience, education, awards, training, and self-development as it relates to the position. Selection for this position will be made only from among applicants possessing the best qualifications. Part-time work experience will be prorated.

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