Open & closing dates
Opening and closing dates
01/23/2020 to 04/21/2020
Pay scale & grade
$41,081 to $60,329 per year
Permanent - Permanent after tenure granted by a Foreign Service Specialist (FSS) Tenure Board.
Full-Time - Full Time
This job is open to
U.S. citizens, nationals or those who owe allegiance to the U.S.
Clarification from the agency
Must be a U.S. citizen. Applicants should read the entire announcement to ensure that they meet all of the requirements and understand a Foreign Service career.
Applicants may not reapply for one year after the previous application for the same position.
If a State Department Suitability Review Panel denied suitability in the last two years, you may not apply (except Diplomatic Security Special Agent (SA) candidates whose denial was based solely on the unique requirements for SAs).
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 a STS at posts around the world, or in domestic locations. This list is neither exhaustive, nor in priority order:
• Install and troubleshoot technical security equipment and components.
• Assist with and/or perform technical surveys, system specifications, and equipment installations.
• Conduct evaluations of security designs.
• Conduct inspections and compare security equipment designs to established standards.
• Prepare “As-Built” drawings.
• Ensure vehicle barriers, X-ray machines, forced entry ballistic resistant (FEBR) doors, walk-through metal detectors, vehicle arrest systems, explosive detection equipment, and other technical security systems are fully operational.
• Repairs failed systems and performs preventative maintenance of technical security systems.
• Service facility imminent danger/emergency notification systems.
• Verification-of-operation tests of technical security systems.
• Travel to overseas embassies and consulates and coordinate technical support trips.
• Use sophisticated electronic test equipment: oscilloscopes, time domain reflectometers, etc.
• Manage equipment logistics – shipping, receiving, Bill-of-Materials (BOM) preparation.
• Oversee and supervise the explosive detection program (EDP).
• Maintain electronic and electro-mechanical systems.
• Use computer networking to monitor equipment and share information and data.
• Conduct radiation safety checks.
• Manage equipment inventory – tracking, spare parts, ordering.
• Organize workshops, shop tools, equipment, parts, and supplies.
• Work with host country personnel (local nationals) 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.
• Takes training to maintain and upgrade technical skills.
• Write technical reports, including engineering security services reports (ESSRs), evaluations of equipment and/or systems, maintenance and/or installation activities, technical field notices, and other documentation as required.
• Assist in the administration of security contracts. Serve as Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) and as Government Technical Monitor.
• Supervise regional security technicians when so assigned.
• Assist in mentoring and evaluating junior STS personnel when so assigned.
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 generator 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 jet-lag.
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.
50% or less - An FSS generally spends the majority of his/her career assigned to the Department of State’s overseas missions and at times, lives away from family and/or in difficult or isolated conditions.
Selected applicants will be notified of an Oral Assessment (OA) requirement in Washington D.C. For selected applicants, all travel and other expenses incurred in connection with the OA are the sole responsibility of the applicant.
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).***
Official or unofficial transcripts may be submitted with your application. Please refer to the Education Requirements section for more information.
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. In addition, 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 standards for STS can be found at https://careers.state.gov/downloads/ in the Four Conditions of 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 closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems – monitors, cameras, switches
• 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
• Using computers to monitor equipment, order and track supplies, maintain maintenance records, and communicate.
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.
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 the candidacy will be ended. 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, in order to be credited towards qualifications or your candidacy will not be continued
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 be continued.
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.
*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 FSS 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.
An FSS separated for failure to receive a career appointment under section 306 may not re-apply to be an FSS 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 of its 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.
How You Will Be Evaluated
Applicants will be evaluated on their total background including experience, education, awards, training, and self-development as it relates to the position. Selection for this position will be made only from among applicants possessing the best qualifications. Part-time work experience will be prorated.
To preview questions please click here.
Background checks and security clearance
It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure all required documents are uploaded and the application is fully completed before the closing deadline of this announcement. Any missing required documents or incomplete applications will result in the application not being considered further. There are no exceptions.
1. USAJobs Resume Builder is the only resume format that is accepted for this Vacancy Announcement.
2. Completed online application including the completed required Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest narratives in the online application.
3. Uploaded/faxed all required supporting documentation including proof of educational achievements, certifications, professional licenses, or completed forms as required in this Vacancy Announcement to qualify for this position.
4. For applicants who are age 60 to 65, you must provide your Veteran’s Preference documentation at the time of your application. If claiming a 5 pt. veteran’s preference, you must submit a copy of your DD-214 or Certification of service. If claiming a 10 pt. veteran’s preference, you must submit your VA letter and SF-15, in addition to your DD-214 or Certification of service. A Certification must be from the armed forces that certifies the service member is expected to be discharged or released from active duty under honorable conditions within 120 days after the Certification is submitted by the applicant and should include military service dates, date of expected discharge or release, and character of service and disability rating, if applicable.
Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest
These required questions provide an opportunity to describe examples and accomplishments from your education, life, and/or work experience that demonstrate your qualifications for becoming an FSS. Examples can be drawn from any part of your professional or personal experience. The information you give may be used in your oral assessment should you be invited and is an important factor in the competitive evaluation of applicants. Each response is limited to 300 words or fewer (maximum length 2,000 characters) for each item. You should compose your replies carefully, as one of the skills necessary to succeed as an FSS is the ability to write clearly and concisely. Answers to all of the items in the Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest are required and must be completed in the online application.
1. Substantive Knowledge: Using your knowledge of technical security programs, give what you consider to be the best example of a situation where you found a solution to a practical problem. Indicate the nature of the problem, who was affected by the problem and in what way, and the results or benefits of your solution.
2. Intellectual Skills: Describe a time when you had to analyze a situation and make a quick decision. What process did you follow for making the decision and were you satisfied with the results?
3. Interpersonal Skills: Please provide an example that demonstrates you are good at working with others in difficult situations. What exactly did you do that shows you have this skill?
4. Communication Skills: Describe a situation in which you used your communication skills to describe a technical issue to a non-technical audience.
5. Managerial Skills: Describe a project you managed or helped to manage and how you sought to achieve the project’s goals. What techniques and tools did you use?
6. Leadership Skills: Describe a time when you identified a serious problem that required immediate action. How did you take the lead in solving the problem?
Statement of Interest
Required narrative Statement of Interest which discusses your:
- Motivation for joining the Foreign Service,
- Comments about your work experience, include special skills (e.g. computer), current licenses, honors, awards, special accomplishments, and/or training (with date completed) relating to this position,
- Experience living or working in a multicultural environment, overseas or in U.S.
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.
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.
Health and medical coverage, federal retirement benefits, paid leave, a chance to see the world and experience different cultures. Overseas benefits include tax-free housing and tax-free education allowance for dependent children between K-12 overseas.
For information on FS salary, please visit https://careers.state.gov/faqs/faqs-wiki/foreign-service-salary-matching-pay-tables-danger-pay-overseas-moving-expenses-and-taxes
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.
How to Apply
How to Apply
You should submit your application early, not waiting for the deadline, as application packages must be complete, submitted, and received by the closing date/time to be considered. There are no exceptions.
- From this Vacancy Announcement, click on “Apply.” Go to the USAJobs Log In screen and log into your USAJobs account or follow the link and instructions to create an account.
- Follow the USAJobs Application Process and provide your required USAJobs federal online resume. USAJobs will transfer you to the State Department online application site, Monster Government Service (MGS). Follow the instructions and answer the online questions. Your Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest responses must be completed in the online application. You may save your work and can return to the application from USAJobs at any time prior to the deadline.
- The application system allows up to four methods to submit required documentation: Transfer documents from a USAJOBS portfolio; upload documents from your computer; resubmit documents from a previous application; or fax. If you are submitting documents by fax, you must follow the fax directions, and generate and use the fax coversheets for your set(s) of documents.
- After you attach all of your required supporting documentation, answer all the required application questions, and complete the application steps, please review the entire application packet, including the links for your submitted documents.
- Confirm and submit your application package, which will be used to evaluate your qualifications for this position.
Application Submission Deadline: 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date of this announcement to complete the application process and successfully submit any documentation required in this Vacancy Announcement.
Application packages must be complete and received by the closing date to be considered. There are no exceptions.
You should submit your application early, and may make changes as often as needed, up until the closing date of the announcement. We strongly recommended that you go back into your application and verify that your documents are attached.
If you are having technical difficulty with the application process, please contact the Monster Help Desk by calling 1-866-656-6830 or by emailing email@example.com. The Monster Help Desk is available Monday through Friday from 7 am to 7 pm Eastern Time.
Once submitted, your application status on USAJobs will change from “received” to “referred” or “not referred” after the close of the announcement. This status on USAJobs will not be updated further.
All applicants will be notified via his/her Monster account about the outcome of the initial application review and if they will be further considered for this FS position. Additional notifications to applicants concerning the application status will be by e-mail from the U.S. Department of State.
Due to the high volume of applications, we ask all applicants to remain patient and await communication. It is not uncommon for several months to pass before you are informed of the results of your applications.
We recommend adding the Department of State domain (@state.gov) as an approved sender.
For more information, please visit https://careers.state.gov/ds/ and http://careers.state.gov/work/foreign-service/specialist/selection-process.
If you have any questions regarding FS careers, please post your question(s) on the Diplomatic Security Forum.
Fair & Transparent
The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.
Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy And gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.
Reasonable Accommodation Policy
Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
A reasonable accommodation is any change in the workplace or the way things are customarily done that provides an equal employment opportunity to an individual with a disability. Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) must provide reasonable accommodations:
- An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.
Legal and regulatory guidance