Foreign Service Construction Engineer
Occasional travel - A Foreign Service Specialist 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 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., Foreign Service Specialists are usually assigned to two consecutive 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.
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 Construction Engineer (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 Foreign Service Specialist vacancies based on the needs of the Department.
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 (KSA)
The applicant’s experience, education, and training must show that they have an in-depth knowledge of their field and possess the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) to successfully perform facility management and/or facility management duties at Department of State facilities worldwide.
• 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.
Applicants must demonstrate a strong command of the English language to include grammar, spelling and punctuation. Foreign Service Specialists 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).
At the time of application, in addition to at least three years' Specialized Experience in the last 10 years, applicants must possess one of the following:
1. 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
2. Bachelor of Architecture from a program accredited by NAAB; or
3. Master of Architecture from a program accredited by National Architectural Accreditation Board (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
• 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).
You must submit a copy of your university transcript(s) with your application. If you do not submit this documentation to demonstrate your educational achievements, you will not be given credit and your candidacy will not be continued
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 or your candidacy will not be continued
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. If documentation from an accredited organization is not provided, your candidacy will not be continued.
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.
*EMPLOYMENT ELIGIBILITY VERIFICATION PROGRAM (E-Verify) – Verification of employment eligibility in the United States is required.
U.S. law requires companies to employ only individuals who may legally work in the United States – either U.S. citizens, or foreign citizens who have the necessary authorization. This agency utilizes E-Verify to compare information from the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) records to confirm employment eligibility. If the employee’s information does not match DHS and/or SSA records, the employee is given an opportunity to resolve the problem. If eligibility cannot be verified, employment will be terminated.
**The Department of State Suitability Review Panel and standards are defined in Chapter 3 of the Foreign Affairs Manual. For more information please visit: https://fam.state.gov/.
***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.Read more
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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