Agricultural Engineer Direct Hire Job in LITTLE ROCK, AR

Vacancy No. NRCS-21-11112176-DHA-AR-AW Department Natural Resources Conservation Service
Salary $35,265.00 to $69,462.00 Grade 5 to 9
Perm/Temp Permanent FT/PT Full-time
Open Date 5/14/2021 Close Date 7/15/2021
Job Link Apply Online Who may apply Public
Locations:
LITTLE ROCK, AR

Job Description (Please follow all instructions carefully)
Overview
  • Accepting applications
  • Open & closing dates

    Opening and closing dates 05/14/2021 to 07/15/2021

  • Service

    Competitive

  • Pay scale & grade

    GS 5 - 9

  • Salary

    $35,265 to $69,462 per year

  • Appointment type

    Permanent

  • Work schedule

    Full-time

Locations

2 vacancies in the following location:

  • Little Rock, AR
Relocation expenses reimbursed

No

Telework eligible

Yes as determined by agency policy

This job is open to
  • The public

    U.S. citizens, nationals or those who owe allegiance to the U.S.

  • Career transition (CTAP, ICTAP, RPL)

    Federal employees who meet the definition of a "surplus" or "displaced" employee.

Clarification from the agency

Applications will be accepted from any U.S. citizen. Direct Hire Authority will be used to fill this position. Veterans Preference and traditional rating and ranking of applicants does not apply to this vacancy.

Announcement number

NRCS-21-11112176-DHA-AR-AW

Control number

601628400

  • Duties
    Duties Summary

    This vacancy will be filled using the Office of Personnel Management's Direct-Hire Authority. Veterans' preference and traditional rating and ranking of applicants do not apply to positions filled under this announcement. For more information on OPM's authorization of Direct Hire Authority, please visit https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/hiring-information/direct-hire-authority/

    Learn more about this agency
    Responsibilities
    • Planning, design and construction of agricultural engineering practices such as water management, animal waste management, erosion control.
    • Interprets plans and specifications for contractors, solving problems at local level as to proper interpretation of specifications.
    • Performs site investigations and field construction checks for conservation practice installations.
    • Work with agricultural engineering practice such as creation or restoration, flood control, and other agricultural and conservation practices needing engineering guidance.
    Travel Required

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

    Supervisory status

    No

    Promotion Potential

    9

  • Requirements
    Requirements Conditions Of Employment
    • You must be a US Citizen or US National.
    • Males born after 12/31/1959 must be Selective Service registered or exempt.
    • Subject to satisfactory adjudication of background investigation and/or fingerprint check.
    • Successful completion of one-year probationary period, unless previously served.
    • Direct Deposit: Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to their financial institution.
    • Successfully pass the E-Verify employment verification check. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, visit E-Verify at https://www.e-verify.gov/.
    • Must possess and maintain a valid state motor vehicle operator's license for the type of vehicle(s) operated to perform the duties of this position.
    Qualifications
    Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement including specialized experience and/or education, as defined below.

    Basic Education Requirement:
    Degree: Engineering. To be acceptable, the program must: (1) lead to a bachelor's degree in a school of engineering with at least one program accredited by ABET; or (2) include 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: (a) statics, dynamics; (b) strength of materials (stress-strain relationships); (c) fluid mechanics, hydraulics; (d) thermodynamics; (e) electrical fields and circuits; (f) nature and properties of materials (relating particle and aggregate structure to properties); and (g) any other comparable area of fundamental engineering science or physics, such as optics, heat transfer, soil mechanics, or electronics; OR

    Combination of Education and Experience: college-level education, training, and/or technical experience that furnished (1) a thorough knowledge of the physical and mathematical sciences underlying engineering, and (2) a good understanding, both theoretical and practical, of the engineering sciences and techniques and their applications to one of the branches of engineering. The adequacy of such background must be demonstrated by one of the following:
    1. Professional registration or licensure -- Current registration as an Engineer Intern (EI), Engineer in Training (EIT)1, or licensure as a Professional Engineer (PE) by any State, the District of Columbia, Guam, or Puerto Rico. Absent other means of qualifying under this standard, those applicants who achieved such registration by means other than written test (e.g., State grandfather or eminence provisions) are eligible only for positions that are within or closely related to the specialty field of their registration. For example, an applicant who attains registration through a State Board's eminence provision as a manufacturing engineer typically would be rated eligible only for manufacturing engineering positions.
    2. Written Test -- Evidence of having successfully passed the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE)2 examination or any other written test required for professional registration by an engineering licensure board in the various States, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico.
    3. Specified academic courses -- Successful completion of at least 60 semester hours of courses in the physical, mathematical, and engineering sciences and that included the courses specified in the basic requirements under paragraph A. The courses must be fully acceptable toward meeting the requirements of an engineering program as described in paragraph A.
    4. 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 the applicant has had 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.

    Applicants who meet one of the Basic Requirements listed above qualify for the GS-5 grade level.

    In addition to meeting one of the Basic Requirements listed above, applicants must meet the following Minimum Qualifications Requirement in order to be considered for the GS-7 level:

    Specialized Experience: To qualify for the GS-7 level, you must possess at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-5 level or higher in Federal service, or comparable experience not gained through Federal service. For this position, specialized experience is defined as providing technical assistance and guidance in the overall planning, design, installation, and maintenance of engineering practices for soil and water conservation programs; OR

    Superior Academic Achievement in a bachelor's degree curriculum directly related to the work of the position. To qualify for superior academic achievement, you must have ONE of the following: (1) standing in the upper third of your college class or major subdivision at the time you apply; (2) grade point average of B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or its equivalent for all courses completed, either (a) at the time of application or (b) during the last 2 years of your undergraduate curriculum; (3) B+ (3.5 on a 4.0 scale) or its equivalent for all courses completed in a related discipline, either (a) at the time of application or (b) during the last 2 years of your undergraduate curriculum; OR (4) election to membership in one of the national honorary scholastic societies that meets the requirements of the Association of College Honor Society; OR

    Substitution of education in lieu of specialized experience: Successful completion of 1 year of graduate-level education in engineering or related field of study; OR

    Combination of Education and Experience: A combination of graduate-level education and experience, as described above, may be used to qualify for this position. This combination must have equipped you with the necessary knowledge and/or experience to successfully perform the duties of this position. Combinations of experience and education must total at least 100% as outlined in OPM Qualifications policy.

    In addition to meeting one of the Basic Requirements listed above, applicants must meet the following Minimum Qualifications Requirement in order to be considered for the GS-9 level:

    Specialized Experience: To qualify for the GS-9 level, you must possess at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-7 level or higher in Federal service, or comparable experience not gained through Federal service. This experience is defined as providing assistance in the planning, design, and construction of engineering phases of soil and water conservation practices, conducting quality assurance reviews of planned, designed, and constructed engineering projects to recommend ways to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and quality of products or services provided to internal and external customers; OR

    Substitution of education in lieu of specialized experience: Two full years of progressively high graduate education or Master's or equivalent graduate degree in engineering or related field; OR

    Combination of Education and Experience: A combination of graduate-level education and experience, as described above, may be used to qualify for this position. This combination must have equipped you with the necessary knowledge and/or experience to successfully perform the duties of this position. Combinations of experience and education must total at least 100% as outlined in OPM Qualifications policy.

    For more information on the qualifications for this position, click here: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-standards/#url=0800-ndx

    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 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

    You must submit a copy of your college transcripts or a list of college courses with credit hours, dates completed, and grades received to verify all education requirements (i.e. substitution of education and/or basic education requirement). If a relevant course is not clearly qualifying (e.g. special topic, seminar, research, thesis, obscure or misleading course title, etc.), please submit an official course syllabi and/or detailed course description from the university/college for that particular course to ensure you are properly evaluated. Please note that qualifications determinations are based solely on the information submitted for each particular vacancy announcement. You must document all requirements on every vacancy; we cannot use previous determinations as a basis for rating. All required information must be received by the closing date of this announcement, and non-submission of all required documents/documentation will result in non-consideration. Unofficial transcripts will be accepted. This information must be received by the closing date of this announcement. Non-submission of these documents will result in non-consideration.

    If you have not yet conferred your degree or certificate, but will within 180 days of the closing date of this announcement, a letter from the school documenting current standing, degree being obtained and expected graduation date must be submitted with your application.

    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. Applicants must, therefore, only report attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants can verify accreditation via this link. All education claimed by applicants will be verified accordingly. Important: If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. Click on this link for more information.

    Additional information

    • The salary for each location may vary depending on locality. Locality tables my be found at https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/salaries-wages/.
    • Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP), Reemployment Priority List (RPL), or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): Visit the OPM website for information on how to apply as a CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP eligible. To exercise selection priority for this vacancy, CTAP/RPL/ICTAP candidates must meet the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors. Candidates will be manually reviewed to make "well qualified" determinations which is defined as meeting over 80% of the duties associated with the standard engineer position description.
    • Management may select at any grade level.
    • Physical Demands: The work requires some physical exertion such as long periods of standing, traversing steep slopes and rough construction sites, recurring bending and stooping, jumping across shallow ditches, walking in soft, muddy and slippery conditions, and lifting and carrying equipment and samples that weigh up to 50 pounds.
    • Work Environment: Work is typically performed in the field and in an office setting. Frequent trips to field sites involve exposure to construction equipment and the environment, and extreme temperatures of hot and cold. Protective gear and clothing such as a hard hat, boots, and gloves may be necessary during field visits and in the area of moving machinery. Exposure to noise levels common to construction sites with large earth-moving equipment can be expected. There will be exposure to disease carrying insects and irritating plants. Fieldwork is performed on a regular and recurring basis.
    • To be well-qualified, applicants must possess experience that exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position and must be proficient in most of the requirements of the job.
    • If you are selected for a position with further promotion potential, you will be placed under a career development plan, and may be non-competitively promoted if you successfully complete the requirements and if recommended by management. However, promotion is neither implied nor guaranteed.
    • Duty Locations will be discussed upon interview.
    • THIS IS AN OPEN CONTINUOUS ANNOUNCEMENT. This type of announcement provides NRCS the with a readily available source of applicants when vacancies occur. Eligibility and qualifications will be verified when there is a vacancy for the location and grade for which you applied.
    • This is a direct hire solicitation, open continuous announcement; This Posting will close on July 15th 2021 or when all positions are filled. The first cut-off date is within 15 days of the open date of this public notice.
    • Other certificates may be issued as needed.
    • This position is eligible for telework within the local commuting area of the position and other flexible work arrangements. Current USDA policy includes telework for an 8 hour work day, 4 days per week; other flexibilities are possible dependent upon availability and/or the position and its associated duties. Employee participation is at the discretion of the supervisor.
    • Relocation/Recruitment incentives may be authorized. (Tentative selectees will be asked to sign a mobility agreement prior to final selection.) Information about incentives can be found at opm.gov Recruitment, Relocation & Retention Incentives (opm.gov)

    How You Will Be Evaluated

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

    This is a Direct-Hire Authority position, all applicants who meet the minimum qualifications, to include any selective placement factor(s), if applicable, will be referred to the selecting official. A rating will not be used; veteran's preference does not apply due to the existence of the Direct Hire authority for this position.

    Note: All answers provided in the on-line process must be substantiated by a resume. If, upon review, it is determined that your resume and/or supporting documents do not support your answer choices, your application may be removed from consideration.

    Clicking the link below will present a preview of the application form; i.e. the online questionnaire. The application form link below will only provide a preview and does not initiate the application process. To initiate the online application process, click the "Apply" button to the right.

    To view the application form, visit: https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/11112176

    Background checks and security clearance
    Security clearance

    Not Required

    Drug test required

    No

    Position sensitivity and risk

    Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk

    Trust determination process

    Suitability/Fitness

  • Required Documents
    Required Documents

    The following documents are required for your applicant package to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, your system failure, etc. Encrypted documents will not be accepted. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.

    • Resume that includes: 1) personal information such as name, address, contact information; 2) education; 3) detailed work experience related to this position as described in the major duties including work schedule, hours worked per week, dates of employment; title, series, grade (if applicable); 4) other qualifications.
    • If education is required or you are using education to qualify, you must submit a copy of your college transcripts. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application if it includes your name and the necessary course information; however, if you are selected, you will be required to submit official transcripts prior to entering on duty. Education must have been successfully obtained from an accredited school, college or university. If any education was completed at a foreign institute, you must submit with your application evidence that the institute was appropriately accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as equivalent to U.S. education standards. There are private organizations that specialize in this evaluation and a fee is normally associated with this service. For a list of private organizations that evaluate education, visit the NACES website. All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.
    • If claiming veteran's preference, you must submit a DD214, Certificate of Release from Active Duty, which shows dates of service and discharge under honorable conditions. If currently on active duty you must submit a certification of expected discharge or release from active duty service under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted. Veteran's preference must be verified prior to appointment. Without this documentation, you will not receive veteran's preference and your application will be evaluated based on the material(s) submitted.
    • If claiming 10-point veteran's preference you must provide the DD214 or certification requirements (see above bullet), plus the proof of entitlement of this preference as listed on the SF-15 Application for 10-point Veterans' Preference. The SF-15 should be included but is not required. Failure to submit these documents could result in the determination that there is insufficient documentation to support your claim for 10-point preference. For more information on veterans' preference visit FEDSHIREVETS
    • Surplus or displaced employees eligible for CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP priority must provide: proof of eligibility (RIF separation notice, notice of proposed removal for declining a transfer of function or directed reassignment to another commuting area, notice of disability annuity termination), SF-50 documenting separation (as applicable), and your most recent SF-50 noting position, grade level, and duty location with your application per 5 CFR 330.

    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.

  • Benefits
    Benefits

    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.

    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

    Please read the entire announcement and all instructions before you begin. You must complete this application process and submit all required documents electronically by 11:59p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.

    Applying online is highly encouraged. We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00a.m. - 4:00p.m., Monday - Friday). If applying online poses a hardship, contact the Agency Contact listed below well before the closing date for an alternate method. All hardship application packages must be complete and submitted no later than noon ET on the closing date of the announcement in order to be entered into the system prior to its closing.

    This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis; contact the Agency Contact to request this.

    To begin, click "Apply" and follow the instructions to complete the Assessment Questionnaire and attach your resume and all required documents.

    NOTE: If a document is resubmitted, it replaces the previous submission, which means the previous document is no longer available to the Human Resources Office. If you are adding to, rather than replacing a previous submission, you must upload both the old document and the new document. You must verify that uploaded documents from USAJOBS transfer into the Agency's staffing system as there is a limitation to the number of documents that can be transferred. However, once in the Agency's staffing system, you will have the opportunity to upload additional documents. Applicants may combine all like required documents (e.g. SF-50s or veteran docs) into one or more files and scan for uploading into the application. Each file must not exceed 3MB. Grouping like documents into files will simplify the application process. Documents must be in one of the following formats: GIF, JPEG, JPG, PDF, PNG, RTF, or Word (DOC or DOCX). Uploaded documents may not require a password, digital signature, or other encryption to open.

    Agency contact information Amanda Weber Amanda Weber
    Address

    Natural Resources Conservation Service
    1400 Independence Ave SW
    Washington, DC 20250
    US
    Learn more about this agency

    Do you want to work for a premier conservation agency whose mission is to "help people help the land?" The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), a part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), works in close partnership with farmers, ranchers, forest managers, non-governmental organizations, local and state governments, and other federal agencies to create and maintain healthy and productive working landscapes.

    As part of USDA's new Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC) Mission Area, NRCS has 3,000 locations and covers every county in the U.S. We help stewards of agricultural lands and non-industrial private forest lands to plan and implement proven conservation systems through technical and financial assistance designed to enhance productivity, improve soil and water health, and restore wetlands and wildlife habitat.

    We need people who are committed to action through public service-- people who help ensure that all of us enjoy the benefits that come from a healthy environment and productive agriculture. Please consider joining us and helping to make a difference for generations to come.

    Next steps

    Your application will be reviewed to verify that you meet the eligibility and qualification requirements for the position prior to issuing referral lists to the selecting official. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. Log in to your USAJOBS to check your application status. We expect to make a final job offer approximately 40 days after the deadline for applications.

    PLEASE NOTE: In the interest of filling these positions as efficiently as possible, we are requiring the following:

    • Applicants must be available to interview within 3 business days of being contacted.
    • If a tentative job offer is extended, selectee will have 2 business days in which to accept or decline.
    Selections made under this authority will be processed as new appointments to the civil service. Current civil service employees would be given a new appointment to the civil service.

    Multiple positions may be filled from this announcement.

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 to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.

Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:

  • 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.

You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Legal and regulatory guidance

Note: We cannot accept applications on behalf of Federal Agencies. Application instructions are listed within the Job Description.