General Engineer - DIRECT HIRE

District of Columbia, D.C
Nov 09, 2019
Nov 17, 2019
Engineer, IT, QA Engineer
Full Time


You will serve as a General Engineer/Safety Compliance Engineer in the Crash Avoidance Division of the Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance (OVSC). The engineer is responsible for helping enforce federal standards pertaining to motor vehicles and conducting business in a manner that complies with NHTSA's internal business processes and policies.

Learn more about this agency


As a General Engineer, you will:

The primary duties of the engineer in the Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance fall into the following three overall categories:
  • Compliance Test Program
  • Investigations
  • Support of other Agency offices

  • In addition, there are numerous tasks associated with, and in support of these categories, which the engineer must accomplish in order to effectively enforce his or her assigned FMVSSs. The engineer will also be responsible for other duties, as assigned.
    • Initiate, develop, and investigate test programs.
    • Provide technical and administrative support for the procurement and execution of complex engineering test programs utilizing contracted test laboratories.
    • Write and maintain detailed test procedures, which will be followed by the contracted test laboratories.
    • Assure that program target test dates are met, test reports are timely, accurate and in the proper format and that all elements of the test program are of sufficient quality to be used for compliance investigations.
    • For test failures, or other indication of a safety standard noncompliance, the engineer will prepare and present an investigation plan to the Division Chief and upper management that is tailored to the test failure and the investigation plan must comply with the Crash Avoidance Division and Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance operating procedures.
    • Execute the investigation plan while keeping the Division Chief advised of the progress of the investigation.
    • Establish and maintain professional contacts within and outside the Agency for the exchange of technical information and to keep abreast of all state-of-the-art information that may impact assigned standards.
    • Analyze all test information gathered within the Agency to determine trends in equipment and vehicle performance.
    • Conduct relevant engineering analyses, using computer tools, film analysis, statistical methods, and all other analytical tools deemed useful for the particular investigation.
    • Act as Enforcement's representative on teams that conduct research and/or rulemaking to amend existing standards and promulgate new FMVSS and regulations.

    The ideal candidate for this position is highly self-motivated, possesses sound engineering judgment, demonstrated knowledge and expertise in engineering, and significant expertise working in a testing environment, preferably in the automotive field. The candidate should be capable of working cooperatively with other divisions within NHTSA and with organizations within the motor vehicle industry to accomplish the agency's goal of improved safety. The candidate should be detail oriented, well organized, and have strong writing skills. As part of their daily responsibilities, the candidate should be willing to complete intensive paperwork, occasionally handle stressful situations involving highly visible matters with significant public interest, and manage conflict situations tactfully.

    Travel Required

    Occasional travel - Occasional travel is required.

    Supervisory status

    Promotion Potential


    Conditions of Employment

    • You must be a U.S. citizen & meet specialized experience to qualify
    • Submit application and resume online by 11:59 PM EST on the closing date
    • Review Required Documents Section as documents are required by closing date
    • Direct Hire Authority will be used to fill this position

    • SELECTIVE SERVICE: Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered for the Selective Service.
    • GOVERNMENT TRAVEL CARD: This position involves travel. A government contractor-issued travel card will be issued and must be retained for official business only.
    • PROBATIONARY PERIOD: You must complete a one-year probationary period (unless already completed).


    To meet the minimum qualifications for this position, you must (1) meet the mandatory Educational Requirements for the series, (2) provide copy of transcripts for verification, AND (3) meet the experience qualifications for the grade at which you are requesting consideration.

    To qualify for the GS-12 on Experience, you must have at least one year of specialized experience equal or equivalent to the GS-11, which includes:
    • Experience planning, initiating, and working on mechanical, electrical, and/or engineering programs.
    • Experience conducting reviews, examinations and testing of motor vehicles and equipment, or the testing of other complex mechanical systems and the evaluation and reporting of test results.

    Plus the following:
    • Experience writing and editing engineering test reports and test procedures, and
    • Experience conducting investigations to determine root cause analysis, and
    • Experience in using various problem solving techniques.

    You cannot qualify for this level on education alone, you must also have experience.

    To qualify for the GS-13 on Experience, you must have at least one year of specialized experience equal or equivalent to the GS-12, plus the following:
    • Experience planning, initiating, and working on mechanical, electrical, and/or engineering programs related directly to the motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment industries, and
    • Experience conducting reviews, examinations and testing of motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment, and the evaluation and reporting of those test results, and
    • Experience writing and editing engineering test reports and test procedures related directly to the motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment industries, and
    • Experience conducting investigations to determine root cause analysis in the motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment industries.

    You cannot qualify on education at the level, you must have experience.

    Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

    For additional information about applying to Federal positions, please click on the following link:

    Students enrolled in a qualifying degree program can apply if the anticipated graduation date is within six months of closing date of the announcement. Graduation transcript must be received before start date.

    Other applicants must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement.



    All applicants must meet one of the following requirements to qualify for consideration for an engineering position:

    A. Successful completion of a degree in engineering that: (1) has at least one program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET); or (2) that included differential and integral calculus and courses (more advanced that first-year physics and chemistry) in five of the following seven areas of engineering science or physics: (a) statics, dynamics; (b) strength of materials; (c) fluid mechanics, hydraulics; (d) thermodynamics; (e) electrical fields and circuits; (f) nature and properties of materials; and (g) any other comparable area of fundamental engineering science or physics, such as optics, heat transfer, soil mechanics, or electronics; OR

    B. Combination of education and training: college level education, training and/or technical experience that has furnished (1) a thorough knowledge of the physical and mathematical sciences underlying 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:
    1. Professional registration or licensure - current registration as an Engineer Intern (EI), engineer in Training (EIT), or licensure as a Professional Engineer (PE).
    2. Written Test - Evidence of having successfully passed the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination, or any other written test required for professional registration by an engineering licensure board in the various States, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico.
    3. Specified academic courses - Successful completion of at least 60 semester hours of courses in the physical, mathematical, and engineering sciences which included the courses as specified in Paragraph A above.
    4. Related curriculum - Successful completion of a curriculum leading to a bachelor's degree in an appropriate scientific field, e.g., engineering technology, physics, chemistry, architecture, computer science, mathematics, hydrology, or geology, may be accepted in lieu of a bachelor's degree in engineering, provided the applicant had at least 1 year of professional engineering experience acquired under professional engineering supervision and guidance. There should be either an established plan of intensive training to develop professional engineering competence, or several years of prior professional engineering type experience. This must be clearly described in your resume.

    For more specifics, please see the OPM qualifications standard for GS-800: All Professional Engineering Positions qualifications at

    Additional information

    Displaced employees may be eligible for ICTAP or CTAP priority consideration. For more information, please review the OPM Employee's Guide to Career Transition .

    EEO STATEMENT: The Department of Transportation (DOT) maintains a model federal work environment that is free of discrimination. DOT ensures equal employment opportunity for employees and applicants for employment, regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), genetic information, age, disability, sexual orientation, or protected activity.

    This vacancy may be used by any DOT agency to fill similar positions within 90 days.

    How You Will Be Evaluated

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

    For this announcement, all applicants will be reviewed to determine if they meet the basic qualifications for this position, specifically the educational and specialized experience requirements.

    Applicants will not be rated or ranked.

    All applications that are verified to meet the basic qualifications will be referred to the selecting official.

    All answers provided in the on-line process must be substantiated by a resume. If, upon review, it is determined that your resume and/or supporting documents do not support your answer choices, your application may be removed from consideration.

    Ultimately, the Automated Staffing Office is responsible for determining an applicant's eligibility. Please ensure that your resume provide enough detail to support your answers to the Vacancy Specific Questions.

    To preview questions please click here .

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance

    Drug test required

    Required Documents

    ALL Applicants must provide a resume that fully supports the required specialized experience and was created within USA Jobs Resume Builder and respond to the vacancy questions by the closing date of the vacancy.

    The following is a list of documents that are only required based on the type of position and consideration for which you are applying.

    TRANSCRIPTS - Transcripts are REQUIRED as there is a stated education requirement for the series. The transcripts need not be official, but must show that you meet the stated education requirements, including specific major or class requirements.
    • If you are applying to an engineering position and are qualifying based on possessing a current Professional Engineer (PE) license, or passing the Engineer in Training (EIT) exam, please provide a copy of PE license or written documented proof of passing the EIT.
    • If you have previously held a government position in the same series as this position, you may be able to provide an SF-50 showing that you have already qualified and worked in the federal service in this series.

    NON COMPETITIVE APPLICANTS: If requesting concurrent consideration for Non-competitive (NC) appointment eligibility, you must provide the appropriate SPECIAL APPOINTING AUTHORITY DOCUMENTS, such as PCS orders (military spouse) describing move & marriage certificate; letter from VA or DD214 describing 100% disability of spouse; letter from State Vocational Office certifying disability (schedule A), etc. For more information, visit military spouse NC appointments or Persons with Disabilities NC appointments.

    DISPLACED EMPLOYEES: If requesting consideration under the Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or Interagency CTAP program (ICTAP), you must meet the well qualified standards for this vacancy and provide all of the following documents:
    • your most recent performance appraisal,
    • the proof of eligibility letter from the Agency, and
    • your most current SF-50, displaying current series and grade.

    Failure to submit any of the required documents by the closing date of the vacancy will result in your removal from consideration for this position. Please review your application prior to final submission and ensure you have submitted all appropriate documents. Uploading documents to USAJobs does NOT ensure inclusion with your application to our system. You must verify that the documents are in the system with your application prior to final submission.

    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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