Diplomatic Security: Foreign Service Security Technical Specialist (0086)

Montevideo, D.C
Jan 21, 2022
Jan 30, 2022
IT, Security Engineer
Full Time

Security Technical Specialists (STS) provide support for and assist in worldwide technical security programs to maintain and provide protection for Department of State personnel and facilities from technical espionage, acts of terrorism, and crime.

The duties of a Security Technical Specialist (STS) vary according to the size of the post and the requirements of the specific diplomatic mission. The following are examples of the types of duties and responsibilities assigned to an STS at posts around the world, or in domestic locations. This list is neither exhaustive, nor in priority order:
  • Install, maintain, repair, and troubleshoot a multitude of technical security systems to include alarms, access control systems, locks, vehicle arrest systems, security video systems, explosive detection systems, X-ray machines, computer networking equipment, and forced entry ballistic resistant doors.
  • Assist with and/or perform technical surveys, system specifications, and equipment installations.
  • Conduct technical security design evaluations based on government regulations and standards.
  • Prepare formal updates to architectural drawings according to government regulations and standards.
  • Apply IT best practices to monitor and troubleshoot networking equipment, workstations, servers, and applications.
  • Plan technical support trips, coordinate logistics, and travel to overseas embassies and consulates.
  • Use sophisticated electronic test equipment: oscilloscopes, time domain reflectometers, etc.
  • Manage equipment supply chain logistics- shipping, receiving, Bill-of-Materials (BOM) preparation using a Computerized Maintenance Management System.
  • Oversee and supervise the X-ray and explosive detection programs, to include repairing and performing radiation checks. Maintain/repair electro-mechanical systems using electronic test equipment.
  • Organize and maintain shops, storerooms, shop tools, equipment, parts, and supplies.
  • Work with or supervise host country personnel (locally employed staff) when required.
  • Test new-generation technical security equipment.
  • Provide technical security support to high level USG officials and foreign dignitaries.
  • Manage training programs for various technical security systems.
  • Train security personnel at posts as required.
  • Take coursework to maintain and upgrade technical skills.
  • Write technical reports, including project proposals, equipment and/or system evaluations, maintenance and/or installation activity reports, technical field notices, trip reports, and other documentation as required.
  • Assist in the project management of security contracts. Serve as Contracting Officer's Representative (COR) and as Government Technical Monitor (GTM).
  • Supervise regional security technicians as assigned.
  • Mentor and supervise junior STS personnel and write employee evaluations when assigned.
  • Learn department hiring and management best practices to apply them as a supervisor or when assisting in hiring processes.


Conditions of Employment

  • Be a U.S. citizen and available for worldwide service.*
  • Be able to obtain a Top Secret Security Clearance.
  • Be able to obtain an appropriate Foreign Service Medical Clearance.
  • Be able to obtain a favorable Suitability Review Panel determination.**
  • Be at least 20 years old and at least 21 years old to be appointed.
  • Be appointed prior to age 60 (preference eligible veterans excepted).***

Driver's License: A valid U.S. driver's license is required.

A physical examination of each applicant offered a position is required to ensure that the candidate meets the essential physical and medical requirements necessary to perform the essential functions of the job and can meet the standards required for a worldwide medical clearance. Candidates must have vision that is correctable to 20/20 in one eye and 20/40 in the other, no color blindness, adequate night vision, and good peripheral vision. In addition, candidates must have good hearing with no loss of greater than 30 decibels at 500, 1000, or 2000 Hz level. The musculoskeletal system should have no deformities, diseases, or limiting conditions that would interfere with the performance of duties. The supplemental standards for the STS position can be found at https://careers.state.gov/downloads/ under Documents and Forms in the Supplemental Documents for Diplomatic Security Employment section.

Note: The medical examination is required only after a candidate has successfully passed the written and oral assessments. It is not part of the initial application package.


Applicants must have at least two years of specialized experience, which demonstrates the ability to troubleshoot and repair electronic, electrical, and/or electro-mechanical systems and equipment, and is supported by work experience in this discipline.

Examples of experience include, but are not limited to the following:

• Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of AC power distribution systems, motor-generators.
• Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of motors, motor controls, disconnects, relays.
• Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of low voltage DC electronic systems.
• Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of low voltage DC electro-mechanical systems.
• Use, repair, and/or calibration of electronic test equipment - meters, oscilloscopes.
• Bench repair of electronic, electrical, and electro-mechanical equipment to the component level.
• Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of mechanical and electro-mechanical locking systems - electronic strikes, locks.
• Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of pedestrian and vehicular access control systems - door controls, vehicle barriers /arrest.
• Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of security video systems and supporting network components.
• Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of metal detectors - hand held, walk through.
• Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of radio communications systems, voice and digital communications networks.
• Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of Intrusion Detection Systems - alarms, detectors, sensors.
• Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of Public Address Systems - emergency notification systems, intercoms.

Knowledge, Skills, and Other Characteristics

1. Knowledge of technology to include electronics technology, National Electrical Code (NEC), networking basics, information technology, installation practices, risk analysis techniques, basic cost analysis, basic statistical analysis, scientific method and characteristics of materials.

2. Knowledge of security systems to include knowledge of technical security systems (TSS), current industry trends, quality assurance process, and knowledge of safety standards and practices.

3. Knowledge of the logistics process and practices.

4. Technical skills in reading and interpreting building plans, interpreting schematic diagrams and electrical drawings, performing technical surveys and evaluating existing conditions, use of tools, various technical trades, use of fiber optics, fabricating use of computer software and technical guidance.

5. General skills in project management, team leading, reporting, customer service, development and implementation of training programs, evaluating, rating and reviewing the performance of others, being adaptable and resilient, maintaining awareness of working environment and self-development.

6. Superior oral and written communication skills: must consistently meet a high standard for English, both written (overall structure as well as grammar, spelling and punctuation) and spoken (overall structure as well as delivery, clarity and succinctness).

7. Color vision: ability to distinguish between all colors of the spectrum in order to read resistor color codes, identify colored wires, and distinguish between warning lights of different colors.

8. Other requirements: cross-cultural awareness, tolerance of travel and being on call, tolerance for working overseas, tolerance of varying work environments, world-wide availability, tolerance of living away from family, attention to detail, dependability, integrity and willingness to perform other duties.

Essential Physical Requirements:

Some of the essential functions of the Security Technical Specialist (STS) job have a physically demanding component. In the execution of the duties and tasks listed above, an STS may be required to:

1. See objects that are near, far, or at night.

2. Hear speech or other sounds including sufficient sensitivity to hear sounds of low volume or in noisy environments.

3. Speak clearly enough so others will understand, including speaking to groups.

4. Lift, push, pull, carry, climb ladders, or balance. Move heavy objects, such as crates, building materials, motor generators that may be oversized and weigh in excess of 70 lbs.

5. Manipulate small objects with hands or fingers. Perform manual installation operations to include hammer drilling, core drilling, pulling wire, installing conduit, and terminating cable.

6. Perform movements repeatedly or continually including ability to stand for extended periods, bend and stretch to reach equipment for prolonged periods, and take frequent extended trips by plane or car.

7. Exhibit the mental endurance to concentrate for long periods, learn complex information and procedures, and think effectively after extensive travel and jetlag.

8. Tolerate extreme environmental conditions, i.e. heat, cold, noise and pollution. Travel and work in hostile environments such as war zones, areas of civil and political strife and in regions of the world having extreme climates.

9. Climb stairs, ladders and other inclines. Work from heights to include rooftops, ledges, bucket trucks, scaffolding and extension ladders.

10. Crawl under, around or over objects. Work in confined areas such as crawlspaces, attics, utility pits, tunnels, manholes and other confined space.


Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent.

Applicants may substitute educational achievements for Specialized Experience. Please see Qualifications section for Specialized Experience requirements.

Applicants may substitute qualifying educational achievement (12 semester hours or 18 quarter hours is equivalent to one year) for specialized experience as follows:

For one year of specialized experience: One full academic year of education in any electronics or electro-mechanic specialty, or the equivalent amount of vocational, military, and/or formal job-related classroom training.

For two years of specialized experience: Completion of all requirements for an Associate's degree in any electronics or electro-mechanic specialty, or the equivalent of two full academic years of vocational, military, and/or formal job-related classroom training.

Official or unofficial transcripts may be submitted with your application. Your transcript must include your name, the school's name, and, if applicable, the degree and date awarded. A transcript missing any of these elements will not pass the minimum qualifications and your candidacy will not continue. Copies of diplomas may not be submitted in lieu of transcripts for education above high school level.

Education from a program or institution within the United States must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation.

Education completed in foreign high schools, colleges or universities may be used to meet the education requirements if you can show that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence when applying. Only accredited organizations recognized as specializing in the interpretation of foreign education credentials that are members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or the Association of International Credential Evaluators, Inc. (AICE) are accepted. If documentation from an accredited organization is not provided, your candidacy will not continue.

For further information on the evaluation of foreign education, please refer to the Office of Personnel Management and the U.S. Department of Education . The U.S. Department of State neither endorses nor recommends any individual evaluation service.

Additional information

*EMPLOYMENT ELIGIBILITY VERIFICATION PROGRAM (E-Verify) - Verification of employment eligibility in the United States is required.

U.S. law requires organizations to employ only individuals who may legally work in the United States - either U.S. citizens, or foreign citizens who have the necessary authorization. This agency utilizes E-Verify to compare information from the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) records to confirm employment eligibility. If the employee's information does not match DHS and/or SSA records, the employee is given an opportunity to resolve the problem. If eligibility cannot be verified, employment will be terminated.

**The Department of State Suitability Review Panel and standards are defined in Chapter 3 of the Foreign Affairs Manual. For more information please visit: https://fam.state.gov/ .

***For more information about Veteran's Preference and how it is applied in the selection process, please visit: http://careers.state.gov/faqs/faqs-wiki/are-veterans-given-hiring-preference-

No applicant will be considered who has previously been separated from the Foreign Service under sections §607, §608, §610 or §611 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, or who resigned or retired in lieu of separation under these provisions. In addition, no applicant will be considered who has previously been separated for failure to receive a career appointment under section §306 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, or who resigned or retired in lieu thereof.

A Foreign Service Specialist separated for failure to receive a career appointment under section 306 may not re-apply to be a Foreign Service Specialist in the same skill code but may apply for another skill code or to be a Foreign Service Generalist.

Executive Branch agencies are barred by 5 US Code 3303 as amended from accepting or considering prohibited political recommendations and are required to return any prohibited political recommendations to sender. In addition, as mandated by 5 US Code 3110, relatives of federal employees cannot be granted preference in competing for these employment opportunities.

It is the policy of the Federal Government to treat all employees with dignity and respect and to provide a workplace that is free from discrimination whether discrimination is based on race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity or pregnancy), national origin, disability, political affiliation, marital status, membership in an employee organization, age, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors.

The Department of State provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodations for any part of the application or hiring process should so advise the Department at ReasonableAccommodations@state.gov , within one week of receiving their invitation to the oral assessment. Decisions for granting reasonable accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis.