Protective Service Specialist (Open to both U.S. Citizens and Federal Employees)

Washington, D.C
Sep 16, 2021
Sep 24, 2021
Customer Service
Full Time


This position is located in the Department of Transportation, Office of the Secretary (OST), Office of Intelligence, Security and Emergency Response (OISER), Protective Services Division (PSD). The OISER provides Departmental executive leadership in government-wide initiatives pertaining to homeland security, physical security, emergency response programs, protective service operations, personnel and document security, Continuity of Operations (COOP), and Continuity of Government (COG).

Learn more about this agency


As a Protective Service Specialist:

You will participate as a member of teams implementing protective service advance and protective services for the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of the Department of Transportation under terms and conditions prescribed by the DOT Chief of Staff, OISER Director, and Special Agent in-Charge (SAIC), Protective Service Division (PSD).

You will be expected to work long and irregular hours, walking, driving, and standing to provide physical protection for the Secretary, while in Deputy U.S. Marshal status. Work assignments may therefore be strenuous, consistent with activities associated with protection assignments, including holding of subjects and suspects in pursuit of effective law enforcement, defending oneself or others against physical attack, and maintaining physical control of such suspects in the use of force continuum. Must cope with continuously rigid and extremely short deadlines where schedules and workload are highly variable, unpredictable, and uncontrollable. These activities will be engaged while conducting protective service and protective service advance operations. There is the potential for physical harm, based on hazards associated with reasonable enforcement response.

The majority of the work is performed in settings in which there is regular and recurring exposure to discomforts and unpleasantness, such as substantial domestic and international travel, high levels of noise, and high temperatures in confined spaces or adverse weather conditions at mission and surveillance sites. You will be required to qualify in the use of, and maintain proficiency with firearms, law enforcement and communications equipment. Assignments performed in Deputy U.S. Marshal status require safe work practices with respect to the handling of firearms, may require use of protective clothing and may place incumbent at great personal risk, or in situations where conditions cannot be controlled.

This position is designated as Emergency Essential and may require working during weather-related closures.

You will also:
  • Serve as an authority and specialist in providing protection both domestically and internationally, and independently takes decisive and immediate action in emergency situations requiring innovative solutions.
  • Act as liaison officer and coordinate activities between Office of the Secretary and external agency organizations.
  • Serve as a key advisor responsible for independent and extensive assessment of threat information and the coordination of information gathering activities regarding the Secretary and the Deputy Secretary.
  • Review and analyze threat information and initiates and coordinate protective activities follow up investigations with other appropriate federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.
  • Conduct unique and sensitive high-level inquiries/reviews which require extra sensitivity and special handling.
  • Prepare reports and other documents relating to special protective service advances and make oral presentations on protective service advance findings to the Special Agent In-Charge, Protective Service Division, and the Director.

The ideal candidate for this position is a seasoned professional who is self-reliant and motivated in providing protective service advance and protective services for the Secretary of Transportation.

Travel Required

76% or greater - Travel is required for this position.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S.Citizen and physically fit.
  • You must meet the Selective Placement Factor for Special Deputation.
  • Required documents must be submitted for review.


You must qualify to obtain a Special Deputation by the United States Marshals Service. This requires that you:
  • must have successfully completed an accredited basic law enforcement training program (civilian or military);
  • must have at least one year of previous law enforcement experience; AND
  • must not have been convicted of a felony and/or crime of domestic violence as defined in Title 18, USC 922(g)(9) Lautenberg Amendment.

  • SELECTIVE SERVICE: Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered for the Selective Service.
  • TIME-IN-GRADE: Federal applicants must have served 52 weeks at the next lower grade to satisfy time-in-grade restrictions contained in 5 CFR 300, Subpart F.
  • PROBATIONARY PERIOD: Current Federal employees and non-competitive selectees may need to complete a probationary period (unless already completed).
  • DEU REQUIREMENTS: Applicants selected under delegated examining procedures may be required to successfully complete a one-year probationary period (unless already completed).
  • BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION: Must be able to qualify for and maintain a Top Secret/SCI Level Clearance.
  • SPECIAL DEPUTATION: You must obtain and maintain this requirement which will allow you to carry a service weapon to provide personal protection to The Secretary, Deputy Secretary, and other senior officials.
  • MEDICAL REQUIREMENT: Subject to successful completion of medical qualification determination.
  • DRIVER'S LICENSE: This position requires the incumbent to operate a motor vehicle. A valid driver's license is required for the position.
  • CERTIFICATIONS: Must be able to obtain and maintain current required certifications in First Aid, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), and the Automated External Defibrillator (AED).
  • GOVERNMENT TRAVEL CARD: This position involves travel. A government contractor-issued travel card will be issued and must be retained for official business only.
  • ESSENTIAL/NON-ESSENTIAL: This position is considered emergency essential for purposes of reporting to work during federal government closures.

See 'Other Information' section for additional conditions and requirements.


Applicants who do not meet the selective placement factors will be ineligible for further consideration. If you meet them then you will be rated and ranked based on the following specialized experience.

To determine which grade(s) you are eligible for, review the following grade specific details before applying. You will be asked related questions as part of your application, but you also need to verify how you meet the specialized experience or education in your resume or you may be deemed ineligible.

For the GS-09:

To qualify on Experience, you must have at least one year of experience equal or equivalent to the GS-07 grade level, which included:
  • Experience applying protective service security concepts, principles, and policies to analyze, select, gather, and organize information from various sources such as databases, witnesses, informants, or Federal, State, and local agencies to provide protective services; and experience preparing preliminary protective service advance findings and/or reports.

Or, to qualify on Education, you must meet one of the following (transcript(s) are required for verification):
  • Master's or equivalent graduate degree; or
  • 2 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree; or
  • A LL.B or J.D., if related

You can also qualify based on a combination of graduate education and experience. This must be fully supported in your included resume and transcripts.

For the GS-11 :

To qualify on Experience, you must have at least one year of experience equal or equivalent to the GS-09 grade level, which included:
  • Experience applying protective service security concepts, principles, and policies to research and assess threat information while providing protection for a high-ranking official/executive domestically and/or internationally, and preparing comprehensive protective service advance reports.

Or, to qualify on Education, you must meet one of the following (transcript(s) are required for verification):
  • Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree; or
  • 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree; or
  • A LL.M, if related

You can also qualify based on a combination of graduate education and experience. This must be fully supported in your included resume and transcripts.

For the GS-12 :

To qualify on Experience, you must have at least one year of experience equal or equivalent to the GS-11 grade level, which included:
  • Experience conducting sensitive and complex protective service inquiries that unfold over periods of time (i.e., days, weeks, months or years) while providing protection for a high-ranking official/executive domestically and internationally, and preparing comprehensive briefing and reports regarding protective service which involved coordination with Federal, State, and/or Local law enforcement.

You cannot qualify on education, or a combination of education and experience, at this grade level.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES (KSAs): Your qualifications will also be evaluated on the basis of your level of knowledge, skills, abilities and/or competencies in the following areas:
  • Security - Knowledge of the laws, regulations, and guidelines related to securing personnel, facilities, and information, including the requirements for handling, transporting, and protecting classified information and proper reporting of security incidents.
  • Personnel Security and Safety - Knowledge of methods and controls of personnel, public safety, and security operations; inspection techniques; or rules, regulations, precautions, and prevention techniques for the protection of people, data, or property.

For all types of consideration, 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:


See Selective Placement Factor requirements for required training.

Additional information

Continued from 'Requirements' section:
  • RETIREMENT: This position is covered under law enforcement retirement coverage (5 U.S.C. 8336(c) and 5 U.S.C. 8412 (d)). Must maintain requirements to qualify for LEO retirement coverage.
  • AGE REQUIREMENT: To qualify for law enforcement retirement coverage (6C), you must meet Maximum Entry Age requirements for primary law enforcement positions: Candidates without previous Federal LEO service must be under age 37; OR, those with current or prior Federal LEO coverage will be considered only if they can demonstrate that they will have completed 20 years of covered service by mandatory retirement age of 57. This requirement may be waived for Veterans.
  • SF-50: If you have current or prior Federal Law Enforcement Officer coverage please submit appropriate SF-50's that show periods of coverage.
  • DRUG TESTING: This position has been determined to be a critical safety/security position as defined in the Department of Transportation (DOT) Order, DOT 3910.1D entitled "Drug and Alcohol-Free Departmental Workplace." Therefore, if selected for the position you will be required to submit to a pre-employment/pre-appointment drug test, you will also be subject to Random Drug Testing.

Protective Service Specialist Medical Standards - If selected for this position, you must pass the pre-employment medical standards. In addition, you must acquire annual certification indicating that the medical standards are met.

This vacancy is open for an extended period of time. The first referral of eligible applicants will be 7 days after the opening date, then when vacancies occur.

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.

DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE: PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE WILL NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. If your resume/ application does not support your questionnaire answers, we will not allow credit for your response(s). Your resume must contain sufficiently detailed information upon which to make a qualification determination. Please ensure that your resume contains specific information such as position titles, beginning and ending dates of employment for each position, average number of hours worked per week, and if the position is/was in the Federal government, you should provide the position series and grade level.

To compete with U.S. Citizens: If you meet the qualification requirements, your application will be placed in one of four categories: Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze, which is based upon your responses to the vacancy questions. Within these categories, applicants eligible for veteran's preference that have provided supporting documents will receive selection priority over non-veterans. The top rated applications will be reviewed for the quality of your experience, education and training relevant to the position.

To compete with other competitive status government employees: If you meet the qualification requirements, your application will be scored based upon your responses to the vacancy questions. The top rated applications will be reviewed for the quality of your experience, education and training relevant to the position. If referred, all relevant documents including performance appraisals and awards submitted with your application package will be forwarded to the hiring official for review.

Eligible Federal employees also seeking consideration for noncompetitive reassignment for this position, must indicate interest in the assessment. In eligibility question 14: select Yes/Other/Former Incumbency of a Position brought into the Competitive Service. Noncompetitive federal candidates must have competitive status on a SF-50, meet minimum qualifications, have served at the same grade or higher, and held or exceeded the promotion potential of this position.

All applicants: Your application will be rated on the extent and quality of your experience, education and training relevant to the position. The answers you select in the on-line process must be substantiated in your application package. If upon review, it is determined that your described work history, competencies, and/or supporting documents do not support your answer choices, your application may be updated on your behalf or you may not be referred to the selecting official. Please ensure that your work history provides enough details to support your answers. The Automated Staffing Office is ultimately responsible for determining your final rating.

To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Sensitive Compartmented Information

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
Special-Sensitive (SS)/High Risk

Trust determination process
National security

Required Documents

RESUME - All applicants must provide a resume created within USA Jobs Resume Builder, that shows relevant experience, education and support the required specialized experience. Formatted resumes can by uploaded later in the application process.

TRANSCRIPTS or TRAINING CERTIFICATES are REQUIRED for the selective placement factor OR if you are substituting education for experience. 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.
  • If you have already qualified and worked in the federal service in this series, you may provide an SF-50 in lieu of transcripts; BUT proof of specified training is still required.

PERFORMANCE APPRAISALS/INCENTIVE AWARDS: If applicable, performance appraisals and/or Incentive award documentation may be submitted and forwarded to the selecting official in consideration of your application. To receive credit, submit a recent performance appraisal (dated within 18 months) showing the official rating of record, signed by a supervisor, or statement why the performance appraisal is unavailable (do not submit a performance plan) and/or incentive award documentation dated within the last 18 months (i.e. performance awards, special act or achievement awards, quality step increases, etc.).

VETERANS: Your last DD214 (member 4 copy), Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty, that shows the type of discharge and all dates of active duty is required to verify your eligibility.
  • If applying to a vacancy opened to all US Citizens under category rating and wish to be considered as a preference eligible, you need to submit a copy of your DD214 (member-4 copy).
  • If claiming preference eligibility as a disabled veteran, you must submit proof of entitlement of this preference which is normally a valid letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs certifying to the present existence of the service-connected disability and indicating the percentage of your disability. An SF-15 is desired, but not required.
  • If applying to a vacancy opened Status and you are requesting consideration under Veteran's Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA) ( ), you need to provide a copy of your last DD214 (member-4 copy), which verifies your military service dates, reason for separation, OR certification of separation that shows a discharge date within 120 days of the closing of this announcement, and eligibility for consideration under the Veterans Employment Opportunity Act.

FEDERAL APPLICANTS: For consideration as a federal employee, you must submit a SF-50 that verifies your highest competitive grade, full performance level, and eligibility as a federal applicant. DO NOT submit an award SF-50 as these often do not verify grade or eligibility. For consideration for a promotion, Box 4 of the SF-50 must show a date that is at least 52 weeks prior to the job announcement closing. We recommend submitting your last promotion SF-50, current SF-50 or within-grade increase SF-50. Pay adjustment raise SF-50s for the current year will not support the 52 weeks' time-in-grade requirements.

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 (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.

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

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 final application to ensure you have uploaded accordingly. 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.