United States Department of State
An Equal Opportunity Employer
How to Apply
Position Title: Information Management Technical Specialist – RADIO
Open Period: 05/01/2013 – 05/29/2013
Series/Grade:FP – 2882 05
Salary: $42,948 - $63,071
Promotion Potential: Senior Foreign Service
Duty Locations: MANY Vacancies Throughout the World, WW
For More Information: HR/REE, 202-203-5160, IMTSVacancyInfo@state.gov.
Who May Apply
All potential applicants are strongly urged to read this entire Vacancy Announcement to ensure that they meet all of the requirements for this position before applying.
Applicants must be American Citizens and at least 20 years old to apply. They must be at least 21 years of age to be appointed. By law, all career candidates must be appointed to the Foreign Service prior to the month in which they reach age 60.
Applicants are not eligible to reapply until one year after the application date of prior announcements, provided there is a new open Vacancy Announcement at that time.
The Department of State is developing a rank-order list of eligible hires to fill a limited number of Foreign Service Information Management Technical Specialist vacancies. The specific number to be hired will depend on the needs of the Foreign Service.
Grade and Starting Salary Range: FP-05, $42,948 - $63,071
The U.S. Department of State is the lead foreign affairs agency formulating and implementing the President's foreign policy and representing U.S. interests throughout the world. Foreign Service Information Management Technical Specialists (IMTS) are responsible for the installation, repair, and maintenance of a wide range of digital, radio, and telephone equipment.
The ability to adapt to changing physical environments, work with differing levels of technology, and keep abreast of the latest developments and innovations in the Information Technology field are characteristics of the Department of State Information Management Technical Specialists (IMTS).
The Foreign Service is more than a job — it's a career. As a member of a diplomatic team, you will not only help to accomplish the mission of the Department of State and be a representative, but also will be a representative of your country to the people of other nations. A Foreign Service career involves uncommon commitments and occasional hardships, as well as unique rewards and opportunities. A decision to enter this career should be based on extraordinary motivation and a firm dedication to public service.
Many overseas posts are in small or remote countries where harsh climates, health hazards and other discomforts exist and where American-style amenities and the latest in technological advances often are unavailable. Personal security frequently becomes an area of concern in countries where there is political unrest or terrorist activity. However, careers in the Foreign Service offer special rewards, including the pride and satisfaction of representing the United States and protecting U.S. interests abroad.
The Foreign Service strives to maintain diversity in the representation of gender, geographic region, race, and ethnicity within its work force.
All applicants, in order to be considered for selection, must:
- Be a U.S. citizen.
- Be at least 20 years old to apply and at least 21 years of age to be appointed. By law (Foreign Service Act of 1980), all career candidates (except for preference-eligible veterans) must be appointed to the Foreign Service prior to the month in which they reach age 60.
- Must be available for worldwide service.
- Be able to obtain a Top Secret Security Clearance.
- Be able to obtain an appropriate medical clearance for Foreign Service work.
- Be able to obtain a Suitability Clearance, based on a review of the candidate's record for conduct in accordance with suitability standards defined in Chapter 3 of the Foreign Affairs Manual. For more details see careers.state.gov/specialist/selection-process or http://www.state.gov/m/a/dir/regs/fam
The following are examples of the types of duties and responsibilities assigned to Information Management Technical Specialists – Radio (Radio IMTS). After a one-year domestic assignment in the Washington, DC, area that will include performance of duty, expanded on-the-job and vendor training, domestic and overseas temporary duty support, Radio IMTS can be assigned to one of six core or over six satellite overseas locations, as well as the Washington, DC, metro area and Ft. Lauderdale, FL, from which they travel extensively and often on short notice. The duties vary according to location, the size of the post, and the requirements of the specific diplomatic mission. Because Radio IMTS regularly travel to different locations, they must have the abilities to perform all the essential duties listed below. This list is neither exhaustive nor in priority order, however, Radio IMTS:
- Design, install, and maintain various related radio and telecommunications systems.
- Provide regional technical assistance to overseas missions via telephone, e-mail, and on-site visits.
- Provide oversight for assorted hardware procurement, logistics, and maintenance programs.
- Perform technical site surveys to determine structural and technical requirements.
- Conduct fault isolation and technical control of radio network components.
- Provide radio support for VIP (POTUS, SecState, UN, etc.) visits and other special events both domestically and abroad.
- Other technical related duties as determined by the senior direct-report officer.
- Complete trip reports and draft and send formal communiqué to constituent Posts.
In the execution of any of these duties and tasks, Radio IMTS personnel may frequently be required to:
- Work in confined areas such as crawlspaces, attics, utility pits, tunnels, manholes, and other confined spaces.
- Work from heights to include rooftops, ledges, bucket trucks, scaffolding, communication towers, and extension ladders.
- Perform manual installation operations to include hammer drilling, core drilling, pulling wire and cable, running and installing conduit, and terminating various cables.
- Move and handle heavy objects such as crates, equipment racks, and other building materials as required.
- Break open shipping crates; perform proper inventories of the contents while noting and reporting deficiencies.
- Follow established safety regulations, work in and around electrical service panels and uninterruptible power supplies (UPS). These duties include changing batteries, taking electrical measurements, and making appropriate electrical connections as required.
Radio IMTS must have in-depth technical knowledge of RF systems, a solid understanding of wave propagation theory, and be able to perform major building surveys for upgrades or new HF/VHF/UHF radio communication systems.
Some of the essential functions of the job have a physically demanding component. For instance, in conducting radio system repairs, a Radio IMTS is periodically required to perform work that requires regular and recurring periods of prolonged standing, bending, and stretching. Also, as noted above, a Radio Technician is required to climb ladders, scaffolding, towers and work from heights. Other essential duties of the job may involve recurrent lifting of moderately heavy equipment and tools. Related activities include crawling, maneuvering, and working in cramped spaces, such as crawlspaces, attics, utility pits, tunnels. Radio IMTS may also have to move and crate/uncrate diplomatic pouches. All of these tasks are at times performed at construction sites with ambient noise and other environmental factors that are typical for such sites.
IMTS must be willing and able to work independently without supervision. They often act as their own technical engineers and must be innovative, especially when working at isolated overseas posts. They are frequently required to make on-site repairs or devise novel solutions to equipment problems in the field. They may be required, to work on equipment outside their area of specialty, such as digital and telephone equipment, and are required to travel frequently, often on short notice, to posts in their region of responsibility. They may be required to travel approximately 60 percent of the time, or more, from a regional office to constituent posts. They are also required to travel to locations where unhealthful and hazardous conditions exist.
All Information Management Technical Specialists must meet the following requirements:
|Educational Background||Specialized Experience Required||Certifications|
|BS/BA IT or IT related degrees||One (1) year of IT work experience within the past three (3) years||None|
|AA/AS IT or IT related degrees||Two (2) years of IT work experience within the past three (3) years||None|
|Military Technical School Training, Technical Certificate(s) or 26 weeks of specialized training||Three (3) years of IT work experience within the past five (5) years||See the Specialized Experience and Qualifications section below.|
BS/BA Degree - Studies must directly relate to the duties described in this vacancy announcement; degree must be in Electrical Engineering, Electrical Engineering Technology, Electronics Engineering, Electronics Engineering Technology, Computer Science, Information Technology Management, Telecommunications Management, Information Systems, Information Security, or other related fields. (No product certification required).
AAS Degree - Studies must directly relate to the duties described in this vacancy announcement; degree must be in Electrical Engineering, Electrical Engineering Technology, Electronics Engineering, Electronics Engineering Technology, Computer Science, Information Technology Management, Telecommunications Management, Information Systems, Information Security, or other related fields. (No product certification required).
Military Technical School Training/Military IT/Communication fields/specialty - Candidates from any branch of the U.S. Military in an Information Technology related field, having a documented IT field/specialty from an accredited military technical school, and having obtained an honorable discharge, may apply. (No product certification required).
Technical Certificates/Product Certificates - Technical Certificate(s) from an accredited commercial technical school and/or training in fields directly related to the duties described in this vacancy announcement; courses of study and/or certificates must be in one of the specialties listed under "Specialized Experience Required." (Product certification IS required).
If you need the degree to qualify, the degree must have been awarded by the date you submit your application.
Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet Federal job requirements for this position if the applicant can show that foreign education is comparable to education received in the United States. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide sucplease visit http://www.opm.gov/qualifications/policy/ApplicationOfStds-04.asp.
QUALIFICATIONS AND SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS
- Specialized Experience Required:
Hands-on experience surveying, installing, maintaining, component-level repairing, and operating radio systems. These include HF/VHF/UHF land mobile two-way radio systems used in intercity radio services, tactical satellite systems, and peripheral devices (antennas, remote control units). Must be knowledgeable in the use of associated test equipment for testing and trouble resolution. Experience must be directly related to these systems with at least 60 percent of the time in the maintenance and repair of these systems.
Radio Specialists must have in-depth technical knowledge of RF systems and be able to perform major building surveys for upgrades or new HF/VHF/UHF radio communication systems.
- Desired Experience:
Experience or training on High Frequency (HF) SSB, Tactical Satellite (TACSAT), VHF/UHF land mobile radio and International Marine Satellite (INMARSAT) systems, Data Encryption Standard (DES), and Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) used in Motorola and Kenwood digital equipment, and Federal Communications General class or Radio-telegraph first/second class licenses. Also, any experience in digital and telephone is desired.
Qualifying experience must have been acquired within the past five years.
ABILITIES AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS:
- Ability to think logically and objectively, demonstrating resourcefulness and judgment.
- Ability to express oneself both orally and in writing.
- Ability to work and deal effectively with others; tact and the ability to obtain cooperation and confidence from supervisors and subordinates in performing official duties.
- Ability to work with minimum job supervision and a willingness to accept responsibility.
- Ability to read and interpret schematic diagrams to detect circuit problems.
- Ability to install and repair various equipment in the applicant's area of specialty.
- Ability to lift and maneuver equipment weighing up to 70 pounds on a regular basis.
- Ability to follow proper electrical wire color code for power outlets and circuit breaker panels to avoid potential life-safety issues during installations.
- Ability to follow proper wiring color code to terminate Ethernet cabling and telephone station wiring to ensure proper connectivity/equipment operation.
- Ability to properly interpret results from test equipment such as multimeters, oscilloscopes, RF watt meters, and spectrum analyzers.
- Ability to monitor audio output from radio systems to determine proper operation, conduct voice radio checks, detect interference from audio output of radios and determine likely causes such as another entity transmitting on Embassy frequencies, natural RF interference, man-made interference such as from improper grounding, etc.
- Ability to audibly monitor electrical equipment for a faulty condition such as a loud hum from a power transformer and noisy bearings in equipment rack cooling fans.
How You Will Be Evaluated:
Candidates will be evaluated on their total background including experience, education, awards, training, and self-development as it relates to the position. Part-time work experience will be prorated. Candidates will be evaluated through a file review, a personal interview, a writing exercise, and an on-line subject matter test.
Those who have successfully gone through the selection process will be required to:
- Obtain a medical clearance
- Obtain a Top Secret security clearance
- Undergo a suitability review
Once all clearances are received, candidates are put on a rank order register. Candidates’ rank order on the register improves by receiving additional points for qualifying military service and/or proven language ability as determined by the Foreign Service Institute. More information on these two points, as well as on the clearance process, is available on the following website, careers.state.gov/specialist/selection-process. Selection for this position will be made from candidates on the register who possess the best qualifications and receive the highest rankings.
How to Apply
To apply, applicants must first register on USAJOBS at www.usajobs.gov and create an online federal resume. Your online resume must be typed or you may cut and paste an existing resume into the space provided. Once you have completed the registration process select the "Apply Online" button to the right of the vacancy (https://state.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/342582000). That button will transfer you to Gateway to State. Please note that the new deadline to submit completed applications is May 29, 2013.
Follow the "Apply Online" instructions at Gateway to State by answering self-assessment questions for the specific job to which you are applying. When completed, the information you provided at USAJOBS and the answers to the Gateway to State questions will become your application. Your registration, resume, and responses to questions will be used to evaluate your qualifications for this job. In addition, you must fax or upload some information to complete your application package.
If you are having technical difficulty with the application process, please contact the helpdesk by calling 1-866-656-6830 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
As part of the online application, applicants will be asked to submit the following required documents:
A. Proof of Education and/or Certificates:
Applicants can submit required documents either by uploading them or by fax. You will be prompted to print out a fax cover sheet once you have successfully submitted your application. The fax cover sheet will give you the correct fax number to use. Required documents must be received before midnight Eastern Standard Time on the closing date of this announcement.
B. Supplementary Questionnaire:
Purpose: The Supplementary Questionnaire in the application provides an opportunity to describe examples and accomplishments from your education and life and work experience that show you have the qualifications listed above for the job of Information Management Technical Specialist. Examples can be drawn from any part of your personal experience. The information you give may be used in your oral assessment/interview should you be invited and is an important factor in the competitive evaluation of applicants.
Instructions: During the application process, you will be asked to individually address each of the numbered items listed below, limiting responses to 2,000 characters or less for each item. Examples can be drawn from any part of your personal experience. You should compose your replies carefully, as one of the skills necessary to succeed as Foreign Service Information Management Technical Specialist is the ability to write clearly and concisely.
- Practical Problem Solving: Using your technical knowledge of networks and voice communications, describe what you consider to be the best example of a situation where you had to find an innovative solution to a practical problem. Indicate who was affected by the problem and in what way, and the nature of the difficulties faced.
- Organizing Your Own Work: Give an example of a situation that shows your ability to think logically, analyze problems, communicate with others, and apply sound judgment, particularly where you had to meet tight deadlines or work long hours. Indicate the complexity of the task you were organizing and the consequences if you had failed to meet your deadline.
- Handling Conflicting Priorities: Give one example which best illustrates a situation where you had to handle several different tasks at once and where it was important to ensure the quality of your work performance was maintained at a high standard. Indicate any resources you had to organize, and the pressure you were under to change, the order of priority.
- Withstanding the Rigors of Overseas Life: What experiences have you had which might suggest you could handle the difficulties of overseas life? List any experience of living, working or traveling abroad and any evidence of aptitude for foreign languages.
C. A Narrative Autobiography (two-to-three page typed equivalent – no more than 5000 characters) which discusses your:
- personal background,
- general comments on your work experience,
- personal interests, hobbies, and travel, and
- motivation for joining the Foreign Service.
The narrative autobiography is included inside the online application.
Applicants must submit the following documents:
- Completed Online Questionnaire (Gateway to State Online Application), including Supplementary Questionnaire section.
- College transcripts and copies of diplomas if applicable. Unofficial copies are acceptable, so long as they contain pertinent information such as applicant’s name, courses taken, degree/course awarded, date degree course awarded, etc. Incomplete transcripts are not acceptable.
- Proof of technical certifications, if applicable.
- Proof of military IT education, if applicable.
Both official and unofficial transcripts are acceptable as part of the application process.
However, if you are selected for an interview you will be asked to bring your official transcripts to your oral assessment. Also bring copies of any Technical Certificates, if applicable. These materials will become the property of the Department of State and will not be returned.
Once you have completed the online questionnaire, you will be prompted to decide either to upload your documents or to print out cover sheets generated within the application that must be used to fax the above required documents.
You have until 11:59 p.m. Washington, DC Time on the closing date of this announcement to complete the application process and supply the required documentation outlined in this vacancy announcement. Application packages MUST be complete and received by the closing date to receive consideration.
Whether you upload or fax, please submit all your documents at the same time. If you must send any additional documents after your first submission, be sure to include your first group of documents along with the additional documents. This is because subsequent submissions erase prior submissions.
For additional information please refer to our web site at careers.state.gov/specialist/selection-process.
All potential applicants are strongly urged to read this entire Vacancy Announcement to ensure that they meet all of the requirements for this position before applying.
What to Expect Next
All applicants will be notified within a few weeks via e-mail of the outcome of their applications. Selected candidates will be invited to come for an oral assessment at the Department of State, Washington, D.C.
Selected candidates: Please note all travel and other expenses incurred in connection with the oral assessment are the responsibility of the candidate.
Health and medical coverage, federal retirement benefits, generous paid leave, and an unprecedented chance to see the world and experience different cultures. Overseas benefits include paid housing or a housing allowance and paid education for dependent children between K-12.
Additional Benefits: Tax free housing overseas, tax free educational allowance, etc. (See Benefits on our website at careers.state.gov/specialist/benefits, for more information.)
Initial salaries are determined in accordance with paragraph 1 or 2 below, whichever provides the greater benefit.
- Initial salary for new employees is FP-5 depending on such factors as education received from accredited institutions of higher learning and specialized experience. To determine the specific grade/step, the candidate's education and specialized experience are considered. Higher grades/steps are given when qualifications exceed the minimum requirements described below. Salaries are determined at the time offers of employment are made.
- Entry-level salary for current or former Federal civilian employees will be set at the rate, within the Foreign Service grade to which they are appointed, that is nearest to their previous base salary, provided the work performed in the previous position is relevant to information management technical activities.
- Information Management Technical Specialists appointed at class FP-5 will be administratively promoted to FP-4 following completion of 18 months in class with satisfactory performance. Further promotions are competitive and based on merit. Promotions to the next higher grade equal approximately six percent of base salary. Each year, employees in steps 1-9 whose performance is satisfactory will receive a step increase (approximately three percent of base salary). Those in steps 10-13 receive a step increase every 2 years. Meritorious step increases are awarded to outstanding performers.
- Based on their locations, employees may be eligible to receive additional pay and allowances. At a number of locations in the U.S., employees receive locality pay. Overseas, employees receive housing or a housing allowance. Depending on the overseas post, employees may also receive hardship pay, danger pay, education, and cost of living allowances.
Competitive Promotion and Within-Grade Increases:
In general, employees with good performance will receive a within-grade increase annually up through Step 10 and biennially from Step 10 through Step 14 of the Foreign Service salary schedule.
All Specialists are evaluated, in writing, once a year with the employee participating in this process. The evaluations form the basis for promotions, which are made by a panel of more senior employees who meet every year. Foreign Service career candidates are considered for tenure by a Tenuring Board after they have acquired a minimum of two years' experience in the Service as a Specialist career candidate and they have been administratively promoted to grade FS-04.
Persons promoted are advanced to the next grade and receive additional salary equivalent to at least two within-grade increases.
After a three-week orientation in the Washington, DC area, a new Radio IMTS will be assigned to a one-year domestic assignment in the Washington, DC, area followed by a two-year directed assignment at an overseas location based on the needs of the Foreign Service. During the initial one-year tour of duty, each new employee could also be required to complete several weeks of specialized vendor training at various facilities in the United States and overseas. Failure to successfully pass and complete required new hire training, including specialized vendor assessment testing/certification during the first one-year assignment, could be grounds for separation from the Foreign Service.
If successfully tenured after the first two directed assignments, employees may request assignment in overseas locations where there are vacancies. Assignments, domestic and overseas, will be for periods of 1-3 years. Overseas, employees can expect to travel extensively to area posts, often on short notice, and to serve in any Information Technology area depending on the needs of the embassy/consulate served. Future assignments are made in consultation with the employee, taking into consideration the needs of the Department, the particular interests/skills of the employee, career development requirements, family circumstances, and individual preferences.
Since technology changes constantly, frequent training is part of the Information Management Technical Specialist's career. The Department has its own School of Applied Information Technology (SAIT) with a staff of 65 and a multi-million-dollar budget. Courses at SAIT range from the Microsoft suite of products to networking essentials, data communications, satellite operations, and PBX installation/maintenance. IMTS are also sent to outside vendor training institutions. Developmental and specific technology courses are taken in preparation for new assignments. Besides technology training, IMTS are also provided opportunities to take developmental courses. These include, but are not limited to, management and leadership courses at the George P. Schultz National Foreign Affairs Training Center, as well as other schools and universities in the Washington, DC, area.
Please note all travel and other expenses incurred in connection with the oral assessment are the responsibility of the candidate.
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 that 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. Decisions for granting reasonable accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis.