Foreign Service Construction Engineer
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.
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.
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).
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.
*The Department of State Suitability Review Panel and standards are defined in Chapter 3 of the Foreign Affairs Manual. For more information please visit: http://www.state.gov/m/a/dir/regs/fam
**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.
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
Candidates 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 candidates possessing the best qualifications. Part-time work experience will be prorated.
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