Mechanical Engineer

Woodlawn, Maryland
Oct 13, 2021
Oct 16, 2021
Full Time



Plans, develops and conducts complex comprehensive agency-wide facilities planning and engineering. Provides coordination of stakeholders, planning and design consultation on sophisticated requirements for facilities with state-of-the-art technology and electrical and mechanical equipment for buildings occupied by SSA personnel.

See Responsibilities for other duties.

See Conditions for key information.

Learn more about this agency


  • Serves as authoritative source for all mechanical guidance and consultation for SSA facilities nationwide.
  • Provides expertise for a wide range of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and other engineering services.
  • Serves as project engineer on the mechanical aspects of building design, planning, modifications and upgrades.
  • Keeps up with state-of-the-art of building technologies and mechanical and electrical engineering requirements.
  • Reviews requests for proposals to assure compatibility with building capabilities and provides data for the preparation of Request for Proposals (RFP), which are issued to potential bidders.
  • Serves as resource expert to component task forces and consulting firms performing studies of approaches and methods used to accomplish specific processes such as modernization retrofitting, troubleshooting and changes.
  • Formulates strategy in planning for new and retrofitted space to meet new program equipment needs for general office space, computer areas and other special areas; taking into account reliability, energy conservation, security and health and safety.
  • Prepares standard and technical reports, administrative memos, letters and other forms of correspondence.
  • Serves as agency wide expert on mechanical engineering techniques to SSA components and assists in and/or provides solutions to complex facility planning and engineering problems as they relate to program needs.

Travel Required

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

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • U.S. Citizenship required.
  • Selective Service Registration: If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law. See
  • Background and/or security investigation may be required.
  • Job offers are contingent on background / security investigation results.
  • Federal employees must be in good standing.
  • Federal employees must have a successful performance rating.
  • Selectees may be required to serve a 1-year probationary period.
  • All application materials must be received by the closing date.
  • Official Personnel Folders will not be reviewed.
  • Requests for copies of application documents will not be accepted.
  • All application forms submitted become the property of SSA Human Resources.
  • May be required to walk, bend and/or climb when inspecting buildings at various stages of construction.
  • May be subject to constructions hazards, including those associated with rotating machinery, high voltage and electrical switch gear during onsite investigations of repair, improvement or construction activities.
  • Some travel is required to conduct studies and meet with regional and other field facilities representatives.
  • Position is eligible for telework consideration. Telework may be approved after all conditions for telework have been met.
  • Position is on a full-time, flex-time schedule and may be eligible for an Alternate Work Schedules (AWS).
  • Position is not authorized to be filled virtually or through outstationing.
  • Relocation expenses will not be paid.
  • Successful performance of Mechanical Engineer work and adherence to conditions of the position will be assessed during the 1-year probationary period served by all new appointees (e.g., new to SSA and/or new to this series).
  • ***Use the Application Checklist at the end of the online questionnaire to ensure submission of a complete and comprehensive application.



MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS for this GS-13 Mechanical Engineer position are based on
-- an Individual Occupational Requirement for the federal GS-0830 series AND
-- Specialized Experience.

See Required Documents for more information on demonstrating your eligibility and qualifications.

Basic Qualifications for a Mechanical Engineer position are very specific.
Your resume must clearly support your claim and you must upload transcripts and/or other supporting documents at the conclusion of the questionnaire.
Unsupported claims will cause you to lose consideration for this vacancy.

To meet the IOR for this position, you must have one of the following:

A. Degree in Engineering earned in a school of engineering with at least one program accredited by ABET.

B. Degree in Engineering earned in a non-ABET-accredited program that includes 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: (1) statics, dynamics; (2) strength of materials (stress-strain relationships); (3) fluid mechanics, hydraulics; (4) thermodynamics; (5) electrical fields and circuits; (6) nature and properties of materials (relating particle and aggregate structure to properties); and (7) any other comparable area of fundamental engineering science or physics, such as optics, heat transfer, soil mechanics or electronics. (Those courses must be highlighted on your transcript).

C. Applicants without a degree in Engineering can meet the educational requirement with a combination of education and experience comprised of college-level education, training AND technical experience that furnished (1) a thorough knowledge of the physical and mathematical sciences underlying engineering AND (2) a theoretical and practical understanding of engineering sciences and techniques and their applications to one of the branches of engineering.

This claim must be supported by:

-- Professional registration or licensure -- current registration as an Engineer Intern (EI), Engineer in Training (EIT) or licensure as a Professional Engineer (PE) by any State, District of Columbia, Guam or Puerto Rico.

-- Written Test -- evidence of successfully passing the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam or other written test required for professional registration by an engineering licensure board in the various States, District of Columbia, Guam or Puerto Rico.

-- Specified academic courses -- successful completion of at least 60 semester hours of courses in the physical, mathematical and engineering sciences that included the courses specified in (1)(a)-(g) above. Courses must be fully acceptable toward meeting the requirements of an engineering program and must be highlighted on your transcript(s).

-- 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 you have at least 1 year of professional engineering experience acquired under professional engineering supervision and guidance. Ordinarily there should be either an established plan of intensive training to develop professional engineering competence or several years of prior professional engineering-type experience, e.g., in interdisciplinary positions.

SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE: You must have at least 52 weeks of Specialized Experience as described below. This experience must have been gained in a federal position at or above GS-12 OR (if your position/experience is in another federal payscale or outside of federal service) by performing duties at a level equivalent to those performed in a federal position at or above GS-12. This specialized experience must have provided you with the specific knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the functions of this GS-13 Mechanical Engineer position.

Specialized Experience is work that primarily consists of planning, developing and conducting complex large-scale facilities planning and engineering projects and applying engineering theories, principles and practices to solve difficult and/or unique problems affecting large-scale facilities operations.

Duties of this nature should be typical of your everyday work. If you perform this kind of work, your resume must provide details of the actual duties you perform that demonstrate the requirements above. Reviewers cannot assume you perform duties you don't describe.

Performance of duties that do not meet the requirements of the Specialized Experience statement (above) will result in a rating of ineligible.

Since Specialized Experience also has a time component, it must be evident that the duties you describe are at the required level for at least 52 weeks.

Affirmative responses to the experience and eligibility questions in the online questionnaire are subject to verification.

If you are a federal contractor, do not identify yourself as a federal employee.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS (e.g., Individual Occupational Requirement and Specialized Experience) must be met by the closing date of this announcement.

If your experience was gained in a federal position, state the grade and pay scale of that position in your resume, along with the full start- and stop-dates of each position you are using towards meeting the Specialized Experience requirement.

Federal applicants seeking promotion must have 52 weeks at GS-12 (or other federal equivalent).
Time-in-grade requirement must be met by the closing date of this announcement.

More information on the educational requirements for this job series can be found at: all-professional-engineering-positions-0800.pdf ( .


This position has an Individual Occupational Requirement (IOR) that must be met by all applicants.

All IOR claims should be stated on your resume and supported by a relevant transcript and/or other relevant documents (e.g., license). Follow the instructions in the Application Checklist at the end of the questionnaire.

If you meet the IOR by combining experience with education, that experience must in addition to the 52 weeks of Specialized Experience.

You may submit an unofficial transcript, but it must include your name, the name of the school, the date of completion and the degree earned (or courses completed).

Foreign Education: If your transcripts show education completed in foreign colleges or universities, you must also provide documentation that the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in a conventional/accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university.

If selected, you may be required to provide your official college transcripts prior to the effective date of your appointment.

Additional information

VACANCY OPEN TO federal employees as follows:

(1) Current competitive service -- permanent OR conditional tenure

(2) Current excepted service, including:
(a) agency with competitive service compatibility (Foreign Service, US Postal Service, etc)
(b) agency with Interchange Agreement
(c) Schedule A (block 5 of APPOINTMENT action shows Reg 213.3102(u) AND you have not been converted to competitive service)
(d) time-limited veteran appointment (block 5 of APPOINTMENT action shows Reg. 316.402(b)(4) AND you have not been converted to competitive service)
(e) not described above (Attorneys, Pathways [PMFs, Recent Grads, Interns] or term appointments) who demonstrate prior competitive service OR veteran's status)

(3) Former competitive service -- voluntarily separated (resigned or retired)
(a) with permanent tenure (separation at any time)
(b) with conditional tenure (separation within previous 3 years)
(c) with conditional tenure AND veterans preference (separation at any time)

(4) ICTAP/CTAP -- separated (or soon to be separated) from competitive service due to RIF (see )

(5) Veterans -- no federal status - eligible ONLY under Veteran's Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA)

VEOA is a means of eligibility and will not result in priority selection.
VEOA cannot be used to circumvent provisions of the merit promotion process.

VEOA applicants with federal status may apply using VEOA eligibility, but will be considered on federal status first. VEOA status will only be considered if federal status cannot be used (e.g., non-qualifying or former excepted service). Eligibilities must be fully documented to receive consideration.

If you are a federal contractor using VEOA status, do not identify yourself as a federal employee.


See QUALIFICATIONS and CONDITIONS for important information pertaining to this position.

See REQUIRED DOCUMENTS to ensure you upload the documents needed to support your claim.

Position is on a full-time, flex-time schedule and may be eligible for an Alternate Work Schedule (AWS).

Position is eligible for telework consideration. Telework may be approved after all conditions for telework have been met.

Position is not authorized to be filled virtually or thru outstationing.

Some travel is required to conduct studies and meet with regional and other field facilities representatives.

Successful performance in this position will be assessed during the 1-year probationary period served by all new appointees (e.g., new to SSA and/or new to this series).

Salary will be set in accordance with locality pay provisions. If you currently receive a higher locality pay, you will lose entitlement to the higher locality pay if selected for this position.

Relocation costs will not be paid.

Position to be filled under the provisions of the SSA/AFGE Merit Promotion Plan.
Additional selections may be made within 6 months of the date of the initial selection.

This is a moderate risk public trust position. You may be required to complete Standard Form 85P (Questionnaire for Public Trust Positions) to have the appropriate investigation conducted.

Location of position:
Office of Facilities and Logistics Management
Office of Realty Management
Division of Architectural and Engineering Services

How You Will Be Evaluated

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


Answer all questions and follow instructions. Errors or omissions may affect your evaluation. The questionnaire takes about 15 minutes. Your score will be based on your responses.

If you are among the highest-ranking applicants based on that score, your resume will be compared to your responses, which are designed to capture the required competencies for this position.

Only applicants who demonstrate the IOR will be evaluated.

To meet Specialized Experience:
Describe duties you perform that meet the Specialized Experience for this position, as well as duties that demonstrate the following Knowledge, Skills and/or Abilities as they pertain to the SpecializedExperience. Since Specialized Experience has a time component, it must be evident that the duties you describe are at the required level for at least 52 weeks.

-- Skill in facilities mechanical engineering, including planning, design, construction and cost-estimating (possible 15 points)

-- Knowledge of engineering requirements (possible 15 points)

-- Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing (possible 15 points)

-- Knowledge of advanced mechanical engineering concepts and principals (possible 15 points)

**It is not sufficient to make claims in the questionnaire that are not supported in your resume.**

Information not specifically stated in your resume cannot be assumed. Information that is copied or restated language from the vacancy announcement or rating criteria will not be considered. If this occurs, you may be found ineligible.

If you provide a response to the online questionnaire that indicates you are not eligible, fail to provide documents to support your claim OR you are otherwise found ineligible during this part of the review, you will not receive further consideration.

Your resume must support your answers to the questionnaire. It isn't necessary to address each question individually, but you should provide a clear description of the duties you perform that pertain to the experience you claim.

If you are among the highest-ranked applicants and your resume clearly demonstrates that you meet the specialized experience, your name will be referred to the hiring office and your applicable documents will be forwarded for further review.

Your description of your knowledge, skills and abilities is subject to verification by the hiring manager. You may be asked to provide specific examples or documentation or to verify a response by a practical demonstration of your claimed ability.

Preview questions here:

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Not Required

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
Noncritical-Sensitive (NCS)/Moderate Risk

Trust determination process

Required Documents



ALL APPLICANTS must submit a resume. SSA employees may use SSA-45.
ALL APPLICANTS must submit documents to support the IOR claim.
Applicants with federal status must submit relevant SF-50(s).
Current federal employees must submit recent performance appraisal.


RESUMES must describe duties you perform as they relate to the specialized experience required for this position. Include your employer name, number of hours worked per week, full start/stop dates (month/day/year) for each position and (if your position is or was federal) your federal pay scale and grade. Dates/grades are critical in verifying specialized experience.

Information that is copied or restated language from the vacancy announcement, rating criteria or KSAs will not be considered. If this occurs, you may be found ineligible.

IOR CLAIMS - State IOR/educational claims in your resume. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable, but must include your name, the name of the school, the degree earned (or relevant courses successfully completed) and date of completion. Highlight relevant courses to ensure they receive consideration.

SF-50 must show grade, type of service and career-tenure. SF-50 should coincide with the information in your resume. To receive noncompetitive consideration based on grade, include the SF-50 showing your placement in a permanent GS-13 position.

PERFORMANCE APPRAISALS must be for a period that ended less than a year ago, must be completed and signed and must indicate a rating of satisfactory or better.Do not substitute a 'Performance Plan.' VEOA-applicants without federal status are not required to submit a federal performance appraisal.

READ BELOW FOR YOUR SPECIFIC ELIGIBILITY -- eligibilities not fully support will not receive consideration

CURRENT COMPETITIVE SERVICE -- (1) current SF-50 showing competitive status, grade and career tenure; (2) additional SF-50 (if necessary) to document highest grade held and/or time-in-grade, (3) performance appraisal AND (4) if applicable, a current payscale.

CURRENT EXCEPTED SERVICE (USPS, Foreign Service, agencies with interchange agreements) -- (1) current SF-50 showing grade and career tenure; (2) additional SF-50s (if necessary) to document highest grade held and/or time-in-grade; (3) performance appraisal; (4) (if applicable) a copy of your agency's Interchange Agreement and payscale AND (5) (if applicable) an SF-50 that documents your prior competitive service (e.g., a resignation, retirement or other separation action that shows WHEN you left the competitive service [block 4] AND if you separated with career or career-conditional tenure [block 24].

See Excepted Service Appointments with Competitive Service Compatibility .

SCHEDULE A/TIME-LIMITED VETERAN -- (1) SF-50 you received when you were hired; (2) current SF-50; (3) additional SF-50 (if necessary) documenting highest grade held and/or time-in-grade, (4) performance appraisal and (5) if applicable, a current payscale.

FORMER FEDERAL EMPLOYEES -- (1) separation SF-50 showing that separation was not for performance or conduct reasons, (2) (if different) SF-50 showing highest grade and career tenure in the competitive service. You must have served in a competitive service position AND have permanent tenure OR have separated less than 3 years ago with conditional tenure (or at any time with veterans preference). You are not required to submit a federal performance appraisal.

VEOA -- (1) DD-214(s) (Member 4 ONLY) showing honorable discharge after serving 3+ years of continuous active duty OR (2) if applicable, documents demonstrating preference (such as a disability letter). If you are still on active duty, submit a recently dated official statement of service from your command. For more information visit the Vet Guide .

NOTE: Federal employees who apply under VEOA are still bound by requirements for federal employees and must submit appropriate SF-50s and Performance Appraisals.

CTAP/ICTAP -- for displaced (or soon to be displaced) competitive service employees (does not apply if you voluntarily left your federal position) -- must receive a rating of 80% or higher AND must provide (1) separation notice, agency certification that you cannot be placed after injury compensation has terminated, OPM notification that your disability annuity has terminated OR Military Department/National Guard Bureau notice that you are retired under 5 U.S.C. 8337(h) or 8456 OR (2) SF-50 documenting your separation. For more information visit .

If your federal payscale is not GS, WG, WL or WS provide a copy of your agency's payscale.

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