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Position

Physical Scientist

Company
Company
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Place
Reston, VA
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Added: April 9, 2024
Summary

General Information

Salary

GS-7: $55,924 (Step 01) to $72,703 (Step 10);

GS-9: $68,405 (Step 01) to $88,926 (Step 10);

NOTE: First time hires to the Federal Government are typically hired at the Step 01.

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional similar vacancies in the advertised office or other U.S. Geological Survey offices in the local commuting area.

Learn more about this agency

This job is open to

  • Recent graduates Individuals who have graduated from an accredited educational institute or certificate program within the last 2 years or 6 years for Veterans.

Clarification from the agency

Open to all qualified U.S. Citizens that meet the eligibility requirements for the Pathways Recent Graduates Program as described below. Future Recent Graduate - You must be currently enrolled in a qualifying degree program as described above AND expect to complete your degree requirements no later than 10/01/2024. If you do not complete your degree requirements by 10/01/2024 you will be ineligible for consideration under this program.

Duties

As a Physical Scientist within the Geology, Energy & Minerals Science Center, some of your specific duties will include:

  • Conducts chemical analyses on submitted samples in an aqueous geochemistry laboratory or naturally occurring radioactive materials laboratory to determine composition & compounds.
  • Information Management Maintains laboratory instruments for optimal analysis performance.
  • Writes reports detailing samples, methods, procedures, and results.
  • Collects environmental samples (water, soil, sediment, rock) in the field.
  • Assists with computer hardware/software analysis and data evaluation.
  • Creates visuals (graphs, tables) & reports; analyzes and compiles field/lab data.

Physical Demands: The work requires some physical exertion and may require prolonged standing in the laboratory environment. Field assignments involve outdoor work where there is considerable walking and climbing over rough or mountainous terrain. The work may require physical exertion such as lifting heavy objects over 50 pounds, crawling in restrictive spaces and defending oneself against physical attack.

Work Environment: Work performed in the laboratory may involve use of equipment which can result in exposure to dust, toxic chemicals, mechanical and electrical hazards, and noise. Special safety precautions are required including use of laboratory coats, safety glasses, dust masks, gloves, etc. Work in the field involves exposure to extreme outdoor weather conditions with exposure to poisonous growth and insects involving a high risk with exposure to dangerous situations

Driver's License/Driving Record - You will be required to operate a government-owned or -leased vehicle in the performance of your official duties. Applicants for this position must meet the following requirements: (1) possess a valid State license, and (2) possess a safe driving record. If selected, you will be required to provide proof of a valid State license & a copy of your driving record.

Pre-Employment Medical - Taking and passing a pre-employment medical examination at Federal expense is required due to the physical demands of this job

Requirements Conditions of Employment

Key Requirements

  • Applicants must be U.S. Citizens.
  • Suitable for Federal employment, as determined by background investigation.
  • The duration of the Recent Graduates appointment is a trial period.
  • More requirements are listed under Qualifications and Other Information.
  • Selectee must provide a valid state driver's license & safe driving record.
  • Selectee subject to successful completion of a pre-employment medical exam.

Are There Any Special Requirements For This Position?

  • This vacancy is limited to the first 100 applications received and will close at midnight Eastern Time on the day this application limit is reached regardless of the closing date specified in this vacancy announcement. Any application received prior to midnight Eastern Time of the day the application limit is reached will be accepted and considered. You are strongly encouraged to submit all required supporting documents at the time of application should the vacancy close earlier than stated in this announcement due to the applicant limit being reached. Supporting documents will not be accepted once the vacancy announcement closes.
  • Because this position requires travel for official business, the selectee will be required to apply for a charge card within 30 calendar days of appointment. Individuals who have delinquent account balances from a previous Government charge card will be required to satisfy their existing obligation before a new card can be issued.
  • The Recent Graduate Program lasts for 1 year. Participants who successfully complete the Recent Graduate Program may be eligible for conversion to a permanent appointment or a term (1-4 years in duration) appointment without further competition.
  • Throughout the recruitment and hiring process we will be communicating with you via email; therefore, it is imperative that the email address you provide when applying for this vacancy remains active. Should your email address change, please notify the point of contact identified in the vacancy announcement as soon as possible so that we can update our system.
  • A background investigation will be required for this position. Continued employment will be subject to the applicant's successful completion of a background security investigation and favorable adjudication. Failure to successfully meet these requirements will be grounds for termination.

Qualifications

Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible for an appointment under the Pathways Recent Graduate Program you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be a recent graduate who has completed, within the previous two years, an associates, bachelors, masters, professional, doctorate, vocational or technical degree or certificate from a qualifying educational institution such as an accredited technical or vocational school; a 2- or 4-year college or university; a graduate or professional school (e.g., law school, medical school); or a post-secondary home school curriculum. Note: Certificate program is defined as post-secondary education in a qualifying educational institution equal to at least one academic year of full-time study that's part of an accredited college-level, technical, trade, vocational, or business school curriculum.
  • Future Recent Graduate - You must be currently enrolled in a qualifying degree program as described above AND expect to complete your degree requirements no later than 10/01/2024 If you do not complete your degree requirements by 10/01/2024 you will be ineligible for consideration under this program.
  • Veterans who were precluded from applying due to their military service obligation begin their 2-year eligibility period upon release or discharge from active duty; however, eligibility for these veterans cannot exceed 6 years from the date on which the degree or certificate was obtained. The date of release or discharge from active duty should be later than the date the degree or certificate was obtained.

Qualification Requirements

BASIC EDUCATION REQUIREMENT : Applicants must meet A or B below to satisfy the basic education requirement for Physical Scientist, all grade levels.

  • Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree in physical science, engineering, or mathematics that included 24 semester hours or the equivalent in physical science and/or related engineering science such as mechanics, dynamics, properties of materials, and electronics.
  • OR
  • A combination of education and experience--education equivalent to one of the majors shown in "A" above (24 semester hours or the equivalent in physical science, engineering, or mathematics) that included at least 24 semester hours or the equivalent in physical science and/or related engineering science as described above, plus appropriate experience and/or additional education for a total of 4 years. The education or combined education and experience must be comparable in type, scope and thoroughness to that acquired through successful completion of a 4-year course of study as described in "A" above. (CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO COMBINE EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE)

For GS-07

In addition to the basic education requirement as stated above, applicants must meet one of the following to qualify for the GS-07 level:

  • One year of successfully completed graduate level education (18 semester hours, 27 quarter hours or the equivalent) in physical science or other directly related field of study if it provided the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to do the work of the position to be filled.
  • OR Superior Academic Achievement based on undergraduate study. (CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON SUPERIOR ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT).
  • OR one year of appropriate professional experience that is in or related to the duties of the position to be filled is qualifying if it is equivalent to at least the GS-5 level in the Federal service, and if it equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position.

Examples of GS-5 level experience could include taking measurements and collecting information; learning to take proper samples; conducting routine calculating, plotting, and checking of numerical data; preparing graphs and data profiles; and accomplishing routine analyses. This work experience would have involved receiving clear, specific, and detailed instructions as to the methods, procedures, and guidelines to use.

  • OR a combination of successfully completed graduate level education, as described above, and professional experience, as described above. (CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO COMBINE GRADUATE EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE)

For GS-09

In addition to the basic education requirement as stated above, applicants must meet one of the following to qualify for the GS-09 level:

  • Two years of progressively higher-level graduate education (36 semester hours, 54 quarter hours or the equivalent) leading to a master's degree in physical science or other directly related field of study or master's or equivalent graduate degree in physical science or other directly related field of study if it provided the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to do the work of the position to be filled.
  • OR one year of appropriate professional experience that is in or directly related to the duties of the position to be filled is qualifying if it is equivalent to at least the GS-7 level in the Federal service, and if it equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position.

Examples of such experience may include performing a variety of observations, computations, compilations and analyses in assisting higher-level scientists in carrying out physical science assignments. This work experience would have involved following established methods and procedures, or detailed instructions; using some judgment in applying basic principles and procedures; and independently completing recurring assignments, but referring deviations, problems, and unfamiliar situations to a designated person for decision or help. **OR a combination of successfully completed progressive graduate level education, as described above, that is beyond the first year of graduate study and professional experience, as described above. (CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO COMBINE GRADUATE EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE)

You must meet all qualification and eligibility requirements for the position by the closing date of the announcement.

Education

Education Requirements

  • 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.
  • Education completed in colleges or universities outside the United States may be used to meet the above requirements. You must provide acceptable documentation that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. For more information on how foreign education is evaluated, visit: https://www.usgs.gov/about/organization/science-support/human-capital/how-foreign-education-evaluated-federal-jobs .

Additional Information

  • This position is being filled under the Pathways Recent Graduate Program that affords developmental experiences in the Federal Government intended to promote possible careers in the civil service to individuals who have recently graduated from qualifying educational institutions or programs.
  • Applicants who include vulgar, offensive, or inappropriate language or information in their application package will be ineligible for further consideration for this position.
  • Identification of promotion potential in this announcement does not constitute a commitment or an obligation on the part of management to promote the employee selected at some future date. Promotion will depend upon administrative approval and the continuing need for and performance of higher-level duties.
  • Under Executive Order 11935, only United States citizens and nationals (residents of American Samoa and Swains Island) may compete for civil service jobs. Agencies are permitted to hire non-citizens only in very limited circumstances where there are no qualified citizens available for the position.
  • USGS employees are subject to Title 43, USC Section 31(a) and may not: (a) have any personal, private, direct or indirect interest in lands or mineral wealth of lands under survey; (b) have any substantial personal, private, direct or indirect interests in any private mining or mineral enterprise doing business with the United States; or (c) execute surveys or examinations for private parties or corporations.
  • The application contains information subject to the Privacy Act (P.L. 93-579, 5 USC 552a). The information is used to determine qualifications for employment, and is authorized under Title 5, USC, Section 3302 and 3361.
  • DOI uses E-Verify to confirm the employment eligibility of all newly hired employees. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, please visit www.dhs.gov/E-Verify .
  • The Department of the Interior (DOI) places a high value on diversity of experience and cultural perspectives and encourages applications from all interested eligible candidates. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) are fundamental principles that guide the Department and allow us to successfully achieve our mission.
  • THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER.

Agency Benefits

  • USGS has determined that the duties of this position are suitable for telework and the selectee may be allowed to telework in accordance with the DOI Telework policy and with supervisor approval. The official worksite for the selectee is the duty station identified in this vacancy announcement. The selectee will typically report to this duty location on a regular and recurring weekly basis.
  • For additional information on our internal telework policy, please reference the Department of the Interior Telework Handbook at: https://www.doi.gov/telework/policies .
  • Working for the U.S. Geological Survey offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes paid vacation, sick leave , and holidays ; health, life, dental, vision, and long term care insurance, flexible spending accounts , and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System .

A career with the U.S. government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Opens in a new window Learn more about federal benefits .

Review our benefits

Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.
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