Fire Protection Engineer

Washington, D.C
Jul 17, 2019
Jul 24, 2019
Engineer, IT, QA Engineer
Full Time


This position is located in the Architect of the Capitol (AOC), Office of the Chief Operating Officer, Director, Planning and Project Management, Director, Energy and Design Services Division, Assistant Director, Fire Protection and Mechanical Engineering Branch. The selectee will serve as a Fire Protection Engineer providing expertise in the design, evaluation, and code compliance for the AOC.

Learn more about this agency


Duties cover all aspects of fire protection engineering and life safety for various types and sizes of buildings and national, historical and monumental buildings. Manages and/or consults a wide variety of construction and renovation projects in the Capitol Complex through the application of professional knowledge of fire protection engineering and project management principles and practices. Assists the Assistant Director to develop and execute plans to accomplish strategic goals and organizational objectives, setting clear priorities and coordinating with senior leadership to integrate short and long range planning goals and objectives and advance the mission of the AOC.


Design and Development
  • Develops designs and/or directs consultants in the development of fire and life safety systems. The position is responsible for all aspects of the assigned projects to support U.S. Congressional activities.
  • Designs construction projects executed with in house forces, works with jurisdictions to develop project concepts, develops budgets, performs design calculations and analyses, prepares final working drawings in an electronic format, specifications, procures engineering products and performs construction inspections and coordination as required for each project. Required duties include fire alarm and automatic sprinkler system layout, hydraulic calculations, voltage drop calculations, battery load calculations, occupant load calculations, egress capacity calculations, etc. in order to perform and evaluate designs. This includes the ability to prepare computer-aided design (CAD) documents in Microstation.
  • As a Fire Protection task leader, the engineer reviews and comments on the designs of consultants, works with project and construction managers to overcome construction issues, as well as to ensure compliance with the AOC design standards, applicable national and local codes and applicable industry standard design practices and construction criteria. Act as a technical specialist on the methods used for installation, testing, start-up, checkout and preparation of fire protection systems.

Technical Advice and Guidance
  • Acts as an expert consultant on the most challenging problems in fire protection engineering and life safety for the AOC. Works with all levels of local management and program officials, key personnel of outside agencies and private industry to resolve and track complex and controversial problems that arise.
  • Researches and investigates fire protection and life safety problems and incidents to determine required actions and the root cause of the incident. Recommends corrective action and changes to AOC standards that will prevent reoccurrence of the incident.
  • Oversees special fire protection engineering and life safety studies that lead to major modifications of current systems or resolves key problems facing the AOC.

Project Management and Construction Activities
  • Responsible for performing Project Manager duties on some small (less than ~$250,000 in construction cost) in-house constructed fire protection related projects.
  • Identifies actions required to execute the projects, as well as to accommodate changes leading to the assurance of fire and life safety engineering requirements and efficient use of equipment during operational aspects of the project. Ensures new emerging technologies are considered for implementation or new requirements are integrated into project improvements to update or improve the goals.
  • Maintains familiarity with various types of requisition methods, such as, Invitation for Bid (IFB), Request for Proposal (RFP), General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule and sole source procurements.

Contractor Oversight
  • Serves as a fire protection and life safety expert technical advisor in the preparation of contracts for design, renovation, modernization and repair of projects. Ensures that technical specifications are clearly and precisely delineated in contracts, work schedules are realistic and that planned activities can be handled safely and in accordance with all applicable technical and professional standards.
  • Upon initiation of work, assists Project Manager and Construction Manager with work efforts to ensure that contract specifications are being followed.
  • Serves as a technical fire protection engineering specialist in the test, checkout and readiness of systems or equipment that involve new concepts and new and varied problems to be solved. Assists Project Manager and Construction Manager with testing of all aspects of new fire protection systems, equipment and devices per National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards and other test methods and standards commonly accepted by industry.
  • May be responsible for performing COTR duties and being directly responsible for above items on some small (less than ~$250,000 in construction cost) in-house constructed fire protection related projects.

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen.
  • You must be able to pass a drug test.
  • Your resume and question responses must demonstrate the job-related KSAs.
  • You must meet the definition of specialized experience.



You must meet the United States Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) qualification requirements (including specialized experience and/or educational requirements) for the advertised position. You must meet all eligibility and qualifications requirements by the closing date of the job announcement. Additional information on the qualification requirements is outlined in the OPM Qualifications Standards Handbook of General Schedule Positions. It is available for your review on the OPM web site at OPM qualification standards

Specialized experience is experience that has equipped you with the particular knowledge, skills and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the position to be filled. To be creditable, specialized experience must have been equivalent to at least the next lower grade level.

Candidates for the GS-13 grade level must have at least 52 weeks of specialized experience equivalent to the next lower GS-12 grade level in the Federal service.

Specialized experience is defined as having experience in at least 5 of the following: (1) Managing in the incorporation of fire protection engineering practices in all phases of design and construction documentation and the implementation for code adherence; (2) Design of fire protection systems (detection, alarm, suppression, etc.); (3) Applying numerous fire protection codes, standards, and building codes to various types of facilities. (i.e.; business, child care, industrial, assembly and historic); (4) Reviewing drawings and specifications for building construction and renovation to ensure compliance with current standards for fire protection and life safety; (5) Serving as a subject matter expert for providing technical advice and guidance in the field of fire protection engineering to upper levels of management, engineers, and other personnel; and (6) Serving as Contracting Officer's Technical Representative (COTR) or equivalent.


***A copy of your transcript(s) will be required upon selection***

Degree: professional engineering. To be acceptable, the curriculum must: (1) be in a school of engineering with at least one curriculum accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) as a professional engineering curriculum; or (2) include differential and integral calculus and courses (more advanced than first-year physics and chemistry) in five of the following seven areas of engineering science or physics: (a) statics, dynamics; (b) strength of materials (stress-strain relationships); (c) fluid mechanics, hydraulics; (d) thermodynamics; (e) electrical fields and circuits; (f) nature and properties of materials (relating particle and aggregate structure to properties); and (g) any other comparable area of fundamental engineering science or physics, such as optics, heat transfer, soil mechanics, or electronics.


Combination of education and experience -- college-level education, training, and/or technical experience that furnished:

(1) A thorough knowledge of the physical and mathematical sciences underlying professional engineering, and

(2) A good understanding, both theoretical and practical, of the engineering sciences and techniques and their applications to one of the branches of engineering. The adequacy of such background must be demonstrated by one of the following:

-Professional registration

-Written Test

-Specified academic courses

-Related curriculum

For additional information on General Schedule Qualifications Standards for professional engineering positions, please visit:

Special Instructions for Foreign Education :

Education completed outside of the United States must be deemed equivalent to that gained in conventional/accredited U.S. education programs to be acceptable for Federal employment.

Qualifying education from colleges and universities in foreign countries must be evaluated in terms of equivalency to that acquired in U.S. colleges and universities. Applicants educated in whole or in part of foreign countries must submit sufficient evidence, including transcripts, to an accredited private organization for an equivalency evaluation of course work and degree.

You must provide a copy of the letter containing the results of the equivalency evaluation with a course by course listing if selected.

Additional information

Welcome Veterans. The Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA) gives veterans' preference rights in the legislative branch to certain veterans as applied by the Congressional Accountability Act. Veterans' preference is applied on this vacancy announcement. If you are a veteran and have been separated under honorable conditions, you must submit a copy of your DD-214 or other proof of eligibility; SF-15, if applicable; and Department of Veterans Affairs documentation of disability, if applicable. For more information, please visit OPM vet guide

If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System. If you are exempt from registration under Selective Service Law, you must provide appropriate proof of exemption. Please visit the Selective Service System website for more information.

DRUG TESTING: The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) is a Drug Free Workplace. As part of the AOC's suitability assessment, a candidate tentatively selected for a position who is not currently an AOC employee is required to submit to screening for illegal drug use. Satisfactory completion of a drug test is a condition of employment with the Agency. A candidate must test negative prior to being eligible for appointment into a position. We will schedule, provide and cover the cost for the drug test.

The selectee(s) under the vacancy announcement for this position is subject to a criminal record check by the U.S. Capitol Police and satisfactory adjudication to be eligible for employment at the Architect of the Capitol.

The Architect of the Capitol is an E-VERIFY Participant. E-VERIFY is an Internet-based system that compares information from an employee's Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment authorization in the United States. If you are selected for this position, the documentation that you present for purposes of completing the DHS Form I-9 will be verified through the DHS "E-VERIFY" electronic system. For more information on E-Verify, please visit

The Architect of the Capitol is an Equal Opportunity Employer and prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information and/or disability.

This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Moving expenses are not authorized.

Relocation expenses are not authorized.

Probationary Period - A newly appointed selectee is subject to the completion of a one-year trial/probationary period, regardless of whether or not a trial/probationary period has been completed previously with the Architect of the Capitol or another Federal agency.

This vacancy announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies in any of the jurisdictions of the Architect of the Capitol.

All application materials become the property of the Architect of the Capitol.

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

Review your resume and responses carefully. Your eligibility for consideration and qualifications for the position will be determined based upon a review of your detailed resume and your responses to job specific self-assessment questions.

Your resume will be evaluated based on evidence of your ability to demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) for this position, possession of any specialized experience, and how well your background and experience relates to the self-assessment questions in the job announcement. The self-assessment questions relate to the following knowledge, skills, abilities, and competencies:

KSA 1:Knowledge of the principles, concepts and practices of fire prevention engineering, including fire protection systems, building construction, egress. Knowledge including, but not limited to building construction type, height and area limitations, occupancy classification, occupant load and egress capacities, fire and smoke protection features (fire barriers, smoke barriers, etc. and the requirements for openings/penetrations), detection and alarm systems, and suppression systems.

KSA 2:Knowledge in fire protection system design including alarm, detection, and suppression systems. Knowledge in drawing development utilizing CAD software, system layout, code requirements, and calculations (hydraulic, battery, voltage drop, etc.).

KSA 3:Knowledge in Problem Solving and resolving complicated technical issues; creating solutions and strategies especially in scenarios with vague, confusing, and contrary perspectives and conflicting goals; and providing technical guidance in the fire prevention field.

KSA 4:Knowledge of Project Management with a focus on understanding and applying fire protection engineering concepts and national codes to new construction and renovation of historic office buildings, child care facilities, underground assembly facilities, assembly occupancies and industrial utility buildings.

KSA 5:Knowledge in communicating in Writing and verbally to convincingly present technical fire protection engineering data, topics, conclusions and recommendations. Knowledge in collaboration when meeting and dealing with congressional staff, upper levels of management, engineers, and other personnel including the public.

Your responses to the self-assessment questions serve as the basis for your initial rating. You will receive a numerical score based on your responses to these questions. Next, your responses will be evaluated by a Human Resources Specialist and/or a subject matter expert against the information provided in your resume and optional cover letter. Your resume must support your answers to the self-assessment questions. Falsifying your background, education and/or experience is cause for non-selection or disqualification from further consideration.

Please note that a complete application is required for consideration. (Please review the "Required Documents" section of this job announcement to see what must be included in a complete application).

To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Required Documents

The Architect of the Capitol's (AOC) job application process is designed to ensure you only provide information necessary to evaluate your qualifications and eligibility for the position vacancy.

To apply for this position, you only need to submit: a) your resume and b) answers to the online vacancy assessment questionnaire. The online questionnaire contains eligibility and screening questions and other relevant information. No additional documentation or attachments are required at the time of application.

Your resume should list your education, training and work experience including job titles, employment dates, duties and accomplishments.

Nothing further is required until it is requested by AOC's Human Capital Management Division. If additional documentation is required for the position, you will be asked to provide it during the interview or selection process. At that time, you may be asked to submit documentation to support statements made in your resume.

For example, you may be asked to provide a copy of your diploma, college transcripts, or proof of Federal employment status. If the position requires licensure or certification, you will be asked to provide proof at the time of selection.

If Veterans' preference is claimed, you will be asked to submit proof (DD-214, and, if claiming a 10-point preference, a SF-15 and the proof required by that form).

Failure to provide the required documents will end further consideration and/or result in the withdrawal of any tentative job offers.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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