Soil Conservation Technician (Direct Hire)

Employer
USAJobs
Location
Cambridge, Maryland
Posted
Feb 17, 2021
Closes
Feb 24, 2021
Hours
Full Time
Duties

Summary

This vacancy will be filled using the Office of Personnel Management's Direct-Hire Authority. Veterans' preference and traditional rating and ranking of applicants do not apply to positions filled under this announcement. For more information on OPM's authorization of Direct Hire Authority, please visit: Direct Hire Authority (opm.gov)

13 vacancies will be filled from this announcement: 7 in Maryland and 6 in West Virginia.
Learn more about this agency

Responsibilities

  • Provides information to farmers, ranchers and other rural residents on the kind of assistance available from NRCS and other USDA agencies.
  • Assists with conducting engineer surveys to design mechanical practices to be utilized in conservation planning.
  • Advises landowners on eligibility prerequisites and conditions that must be satisfied to qualify for program acceptance and payments.
  • Provides technical support to conservation planners in resource planning by utilizing survey tools and planning software.


Travel Required

Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.

Supervisory status
No

Promotion Potential
7

Requirements

Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a US Citizen or US National.
  • Males born after 12/31/1959 must be Selective Service registered or exempt.
  • Subject to satisfactory adjudication of background investigation and/or fingerprint check.
  • Successful completion of one-year probationary period, unless previously served.
  • Direct Deposit: Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to their financial institution.
  • Successfully pass the E-Verify employment verification check. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, visit E-Verify at https://www.e-verify.gov/.
  • Must possess and maintain a valid state motor vehicle operator's license for the type of vehicle(s) operated to perform the duties of this position.


Qualifications

NOTE TO APPLICANTS: The GS-0458 Soil Conservation Technician series is a technical position. Education is not a requirement for this position, however, this series does allows individuals without experience in this field to substitute education in lieu of experience.

GS-05
Specialized Experience: One year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-04 grade level in the Federal service which includes: 1.) Installing and maintaining agricultural land soil and water conservation measures on farms and ranches; Participates in efforts to implement conservation practices in conjunction with cropping, irrigation, and grazing systems and wildlife habitat management; OR 2.) Participation with an NRCS co-op organization such as a Conservation District, State Conservation Agency or Conservation Non-Governmental Organization.

OR

Education: Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study leading to a bachelor's degree (a) with major study in forestry, range management, agriculture, or a subject-matter field directly related to the position, or (b) that included at least 24 semester hours in any combination of courses such as forestry, agriculture, crop or plant science, range management or conservation, wildlife management, watershed management, soil science, natural resources (except marine fisheries and oceanography), outdoor recreation management, civil or forest engineering, or wildland fire science. No more than 6 semester hours in mathematics is creditable. (Must submit transcripts as proof of any claimed education.)

OR

Combination of experience and education: You must have a combination of education and experience as listed above which when combined totals 100% of the necessary education and experience to qualify for this position. Only education in excess of the first 60 semester hours of a course of study leading to a bachelor's degree is creditable toward meeting the specialized experience requirements. Two full academic years of study, or 60 semester hours, beyond the second year is equivalent to l year of specialized experience. The total percentage must equal at least 100 percent to qualify an applicant for GS-5. (Must provide transcripts) IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. If your resume does not support your questionnaire answers, we will not allow credit for your response(s).

GS-06
Specialized Experience: One or more full-time years (12-months) of specialized work experience, equivalent to at least the GS-05 grade level in the Federal service, performing the following duties:
  • advising landowners on the use of one or more conservation practices such as terraces, grassed waterways, diversions, underground outlets, irrigation system improvements, cropping systems, fencing, livestock water development, or nutrient management etc. to address individual resource concerns including soil erosion, water quality degradation, or declining range health;
  • installing and maintaining agricultural land soil and water conservation measures on farms and ranches;
  • performing engineering surveys, processing survey data, preparing engineering designs, and conducting construction inspection activities for various soil erosion stabilization and water diversion practices;
  • providing advice on integrating multiple conservation practices using established client objectives. (Your resume must CLEARLY demonstrate this experience)

OR

Education: One full year of graduate education from an accredited college or university leading to a master's degree with a major course of study in Soil Conservation, Soil Science, Agricultural Engineering, Civil Engineering, Engineering/Construction Technology (Auto CAD/Drafting, Surveying, GIS), Agronomy, Agri-Business/Economics.

GS-07
Specialized Experience: One or more full-time years (12-months) of specialized work experience, equivalent to at least the GS-06 grade level in the Federal service, performing the following duties:
  • Designing, installing and maintaining a variety of complex and/or nonroutine conservation measures on public and privately owned land including farms, ranches, parks, shoreline, dams and reservoir areas, forests, and/or wildlife habitats; advising property holders, land managers, and partners on the effectiveness of applying soil and water conservation practices;
  • Conducting basic inventory and evaluation activities in support of conservation planning efforts;
  • Performing complex engineering surveys, processing survey data, preparing engineering designs, approving engineering designs, and conducting construction inspection activities for various soil erosion stabilization, water diversion practices, wildlife habitat development, streambank stabilization, and grade stabilization practices;
  • Providing advice on the function of comprehensive conservation systems to treat multiple resource problems/concerns using established client objectives;
  • Developing and maintaining constructive relationships with clients, partners, practice installation vendors, construction contractors, and Conservation Districts. (Your resume must CLEARLY demonstrate this experience)

OR

Education: One full year of graduate education from an accredited college or university leading to a master's degree with a major course of study in Soil Conservation, Soil Science, Agricultural Engineering, Civil Engineering, Engineering/Construction Technology (Auto CAD/Drafting, Surveying, GIS), Agronomy, Agri-Business/Economics.

For more information on the qualifications for this position, click here: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-standards/0400/soil-conservation-technician-series-0458/

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 and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

If you are selected for a position with further promotion potential, you will be placed under a career development plan, and may be non-competitively promoted if you successfully complete the requirements and if recommended by management. However, promotion is neither implied nor guaranteed.

Education

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

You must submit a copy of your transcripts to include course number, title, completion and grade. 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 . If a relevant course is not clearly qualifying (e.g. special topic, seminar, research, thesis, obscure or misleading course title, etc.), please submit an official course syllabi and/or detailed course description from the university/college for that particular course to ensure you are properly evaluated. Please note that qualifications determinations are based solely on the information submitted for each particular vacancy announcement.

If you have not yet conferred your degree or certificate, but will within 180 days of the closing date of this announcement, a letter from the school documenting current standing, degree being obtained and expected graduation date must be submitted with your application.

Important: If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. Click on this link for more information.

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

Additional information

  • Locality Pay: The salary for each location may vary depending on locality. Locality tables my be found at https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/salaries-wages/ .
  • Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP), Reemployment Priority List (RPL), or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): Visit the OPM website for information on how to apply as a CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP eligible. To exercise selection priority for this vacancy, CTAP/RPL/ICTAP candidates must meet the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors. CTAP/ICTAP candidates must be rated and determined to be well qualified (or above) based on an evaluation of the competencies listed in the How You Will Be Evaluated section. When assessed through a score-based category rating method, CTAP/ICTAP applicants must receive a rating of at least 85 out of a possible 100.
  • If you are selected for a position with further promotion potential, you will be placed under a career development plan, and may be non-competitively promoted if you successfully complete the requirements and if recommended by management. However, promotion is neither implied nor guaranteed.
  • Physical Demands: The Soil Conservation Technician position requires regular and recurring prolonged walks over field terrain, bending, lifting, and stretching when setting up survey instruments and equipment.
  • Work Environment: The work involves regular and recurring exposure to agricultural and construction type equipment while in operation. There may be exposure to heat, snow, and ice as well as herbicide and chemical spray operations, which require safety precautions.
  • PLEASE NOTE: In the interest of filling these positions as efficiently as possible, we are requiring the following:
    • If called for an interview, applicants must be available to interview within 3 business days of being contacted.
    • If a tentative job offer is extended, selectee will have 2 business days in which to accept or decline.
  • Duty Location: Duty Locations will be discussed upon interview.
  • THIS IS AN OPEN CONTINUOUS ANNOUNCEMENT. This type of announcement provides NRCS the with a readily available source of applicants when vacancies occur. Eligibility and qualifications will be verified when there is a vacancy for the location and grade for which you applied.
  • This is a direct hire solicitation, open continuous announcement; This Posting will close on July 15th 2021, or when all positions are filled. The first cut-off date is within 15 days of the open date of this public notice.
  • Other certificates may be issued as needed.
  • Relocation/Recruitment incentives may be authorized (Tentative selectees will be asked to sign a mobility agreement prior to final selection.)
  • This position is eligible for telework within the local commuting area of the position and other flexible work arrangements. Employee participation is at the discretion of the supervisor.


How You Will Be Evaluated

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

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

This is a Direct-Hire Authority position, all applicants who meet the minimum qualifications, to include any selective placement factor(s), if applicable, will be referred to the selecting official. Before a certificate is issued to the selecting official, the resume is reviewed to ensure that you meet all the qualification requirements. A rating will not be used; veteran's preference does not apply due to the existence of the Direct Hire authority for this position.

Note: If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, you may be found ineligible. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Providing inaccurate information on Federal documents could be grounds for non-selection or disciplinary action up to including removal from the Federal service.

Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement including specialized experience and/or education, as defined above.

Clicking the link below will present a preview of the application form; i.e. the online questionnaire. The application form link below will only provide a preview and does not initiate the application process. To initiate the online application process, click the "Apply" button to the right.

To view the application form, visit: https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/10995488

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Not Required

Drug test required
No

Position sensitivity and risk
Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk

Trust determination process
Credentialing , Suitability/Fitness

Required Documents

The following documents are required for your applicant package to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, your system failure, etc. Encrypted documents will not be accepted. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.
  • Resume that includes:1) personal information such as name, address, contact information; 2) education; 3) detailed work experience related to this position as described in the major duties including work schedule, hours worked per week, dates of employment; title, series, grade (if applicable); 4) other qualifications.
  • If education is required or you are using education to qualify, you must submit a copy of your college transcripts. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application if it includes your name and the necessary course information; however, if you are selected, you will be required to submit official transcripts prior to entering on duty. Education must have been successfully obtained from an accredited school, college or university. If any education was completed at a foreign institute, you must submit with your application evidence that the institute was appropriately accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as equivalent to U.S. education standards. There are private organizations that specialize in this evaluation and a fee is normally associated with this service. For a list of private organizations that evaluate education, visit the NACES website. All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.
  • If claiming veteran's preference, you must submit a DD214, Certificate of Release from Active Duty, which shows dates of service and discharge under honorable conditions. If currently on active duty you must submit a certification of expected discharge or release from active duty service under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted. Veteran's preference must be verified prior to appointment. Without this documentation, you will not receive veteran's preference and your application will be evaluated based on the material(s) submitted.
  • If claiming 10-point veteran's preference you must provide the DD214 or certification requirements (see above bullet), plus the proof of entitlement of this preference as listed on the SF-15 Application for 10-point Veterans' Preference. The SF-15 should be included but is not required. Failure to submit these documents could result in the determination that there is insufficient documentation to support your claim for 10-point preference. For more information on veterans' preference visit FEDSHIREVETS
  • Surplus or displaced employees eligible for CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP priority must provide: proof of eligibility (RIF separation notice, notice of proposed removal for declining a transfer of function or directed reassignment to another commuting area, notice of disability annuity termination), SF-50 documenting separation (as applicable), and your most recent SF-50 noting position, grade level, and duty location with your application per 5 CFR 330.


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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