Economist - Direct Hire

3 days left

Washington, D.C
Jun 10, 2021
Jun 18, 2021
Full Time


You will be responsible for conducting and managing economic and financial analyses required for assigned studies and research projects.

This posting establishes an Open Continuous 12-month Direct Hire announcement. Applications will be reviewed on an as needed basis.

Learn more about this agency


As an Economist at the full performance level, you will:
  • Define projects based on problems identified by research sponsors, management or senior staff, and plan the study, coordinate the execution and report on the outcome.
  • Conduct economic research, analyze and interpret economic data, develop estimates of benefits and report the results of findings under the guidance of a senior Economist.
  • Conduct surveys to obtain economic data, relate previously submitted data to current conditions, and determine the relations of pertinent economic factors for well-defined projects.
  • Communicate and present economic concepts and quantitative data, orally and in writing, especially to non-technical audiences and work collaboratively with other economists and with senior level executives.
  • Serve on interdisciplinary teams as a member or as a working team leader.

The ideal candidate for this position enjoys and excels at applied, data-driven research. Flexibility, creativity, curiosity, and a willingness to take initiative will help to find-or to create-the projects that analyze data using relevant economic methods, such as market assessment, benefit-cost, or other economic analysis, and identifying implications of the findings as they relate to a transportation-related issue. Flexibility to adjust your analyses in your policy conversations with your leadership and others involved will ensure your research is effective in shaping policy choices. Good time-management skills to enable you to juggle inevitably competing and changing demands and priorities in a dynamic economic policy environment.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - Some travel will be required.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential
13 - Career-ladder promotion potential varies by agency and position.


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. citizen and eligible for consideration.
  • Applicable documents are required for the Mandatory Education requirements.
  • 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).
  • BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION: You will be required to complete a background/security investigation and meet preliminary requirements prior to onboarding.


To meet the basic qualifications for this position, you must (1) meet the Mandatory Education Requirement for the series, AND (2) provide a copy of your transcripts or other applicable documentation for verification. The selecting official will review your application for (3) the specialized experience. Please review the following information before proceeding with the application process:

(1) All applicants must meet the education requirements under A or B to qualify for applying to an economist position:

A. Degree: Economics, that included at least 21 semester hours in economics and 3 semester hours in statistics, accounting, or calculus.


B. Combination of education and experience: courses equivalent to a major in economics, as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

Examples of qualifying experience include:
  • Individual economic research assignments requiring planning, information assembly, analysis and evaluation, conclusions and report preparation;
  • Supervisory or project coordination assignments involving a staff of professional economists, and requiring the evaluation and interpretation of economic information; or
  • Teaching assignments in a college or university that included both class instruction in economics subjects and one of the following (1) personal research that produced evidence of results, (2) direction of graduate theses in economics, or (3) service as a consultant or advisor on technical economics problems.

  • Experience in related fields that did not involve the use and understanding of economic principles and theories may not be used as qualifying experience for these positions.

    For additional information, please refer to the OPM qualifications standard for the Economist Series, 0110:

    (2) Upload the appropriate document(s) to your application for verification purposes.

    Students enrolled in a qualifying degree program can apply if the anticipated graduation date is within six months of the closing date of this announcement. If selected, the final transcript must be received before your start date. Other applicants must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

    (3) Specialized Experience:

    The selecting official will review your application for the following experience to determine who they wish to interview. Be sure to verify how you meet this experience in your resume.

    For the GS-11:

    On Experience, at least one year of experience, equal or equivalent to the GS-09 grade level, which included:
    • Experience conducting applied economic analysis, using benefit cost analysis, econometrics or other applied techniques.

    On Education, you must have:
    • 3 years of progressively higher level graduate education* leading to a Ph.D. degree or Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree.

    *Graduate Education Requirement: It is qualifying if it provided the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work.

    You can also qualify based on a combination of graduate education and experience.

    For the GS-12:

    On Experience, at least one year of experience, equal or equivalent to the GS-11 grade level, which included:
    • Experience analyzing data using economic methods, such as benefit cost analysis, econometrics or other applied techniques, addressing a topic relevant to transportation or transportation-related industries.

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

    For the GS-13:

    On Experience, at least one year of experience, equal or equivalent to the GS-12 grade level, which included:
    • Experience analyzing data using economic methods, such as benefit cost analysis, econometrics or other applied techniques, and identifying implications of the findings to some public or private transportation-related entity.

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

    KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES (KSAs): Your qualifications will be evaluated on the basis of your level of knowledge, skills, abilities and/or competencies in the following areas:
    • Economics: Knowledge of economic policy, principles, and practices, market and non-market values, and the analysis and reporting of economic data.
    • Skills building economic models, conducting quantitative analysis and drawing sound qualitative interpretations from quantitative analysis as well as in identifying creative solutions to solve problems.
    • Ability to use econometrics, benefit cost analysis, analytic tools and methodology for examining issues and problems.


    See the Qualifications section for Mandatory Education Requirements.

    Additional information

    Current Volpe employees with duty stations other than Cambridge, MA may apply for this position and may remain in their current duty station, if selected. Salary will be adjusted in accordance with the locality pay of the specific area. Salaries for areas are available on the OPM website:

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

    This vacancy may be used by any DOT agency to fill similar positions at any time during the open period or within 90 days of the closing date.

    PLEASE NOTE: If you are hired for this position; you will not receive additional consideration from this announcement.

    How You Will Be Evaluated

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

    For a Direct Hire vacancy: Applicants will not be rated or ranked. Veteran's Preference does NOT apply.

    We will perform interim reviews of applications as positions become vacant to determine if the basic requirements for this series are met. You must meet all eligible requirements at the time of consideration. All applications that are verified to meet the basic qualifications will be referred to the selecting official for further review. All applicants contacted for an interview, may be required to provide a writing sample.

    DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE: PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE WILL NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. 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
    Not Required

    Drug test required

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

    Trust determination process

    Required Documents

    A USAJobs built resume is required to apply

    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. Formatted resumes can be uploaded when you arrive at the DOT application system. For assistance with the resume builder, please visit:

    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 mandatory 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. Provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
    • Foreign education must be reviewed by an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. You must show proof the education credentials have been deemed to be at least equivalent to that gained in conventional U.S. education program. For special instructions pertaining to foreign education and a list of organizations that can evaluate foreign education, see the Department of Education website.
    • If you are currently in, or have previously held, a government position in the same series and grade, you may upload a SF-50 for verification purposes and referral. Transcript(s) will still be required if you are selected for the position.

    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 (meeting minimum requirements for position and scoring at least an 85 or falling in the Gold Category) 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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