Information Management Technical Specialist (Unified Communications)

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VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT
United States Department of State
An Equal Opportunity Employer
How to Apply

Announcement Number: IMTS-UC-2014-0003
Position Title: Foreign Service Information Management Technical Specialist – Unified Communications – New Position
Open Period: October 22, 2013 - November 27, 2013
Series/Grade: FP-0801-05
Salary: FP-05, $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 U.S. 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.

NOTE: Individuals who have been found unqualified for employment by a Department of State Final Review Panel within the previous two years are ineligible to apply (unless the individual was a candidate for a Special Agent position with the Diplomatic Security Service and the decision to deny eligibility was based on the candidate’s inability to fulfill the unique duties of that position).

Duration Appointment

Permanent

Marketing Statement

The Department of State is developing a rank-order list of eligible hires to fill a limited number of Foreign Service Information Management Technical Specialists–Unified Communications (IMTS-UC). 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

Summary

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–Unified Communications (IMTS-UC) are responsible for the installation, repair, and maintenance of a wide range of digital 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, but also 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 for diversity to show the best face of America abroad. Diversity is one of America's greatest strengths. In representing the United States to the world, the Foreign Service aims to reflect and respect our rich heritage and varied backgrounds in its workforce.

Key Requirements

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.
  • 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 http://careers.state.gov/specialist/selection-process or http://www.state.gov/m/a/dir/regs/fam.

If you are 59 1/2 years of age or over and claiming a 5 point veteran's preference, you must submit a copy of your DD-214 with your application. If you are claiming a 10 point veteran’s preference, in addition to the DD-214, you must submit your VA letter and SF-15 with your application. (This is required if you are preference eligible.)

Major Duties and Responsibilities

The following are examples of the types of duties and responsibilities assigned to Information Management Technical Specialists – Unified Communications (IMTS-UC). After a one-year domestic assignment in the Washington, D.C., area that will include performance of duty, expanded on-the-job and vendor training, domestic and overseas temporary duty support, IMTS-UC can be assigned to one of six core or over 30 satellite overseas locations, as well as the Washington, D.C., metro area and Ft. Lauderdale, FL, from which they travel extensively and often at short notice. The duties vary according to location, the size of the post, and the requirements of the specific diplomatic mission. Because IMTS-UC regularly travels to different locations, they must have the abilities to perform all of the essential duties listed below. This list is neither exhaustive nor in priority order.:

A. Providing information technology solutions including designing, installing, and maintaining various classified and unclassified telecommunications and computer networks in order to provide reliable, modern digital and voice information processing, distribution, and storage for formal and informal communications.

B. Providing applications support including remote and on-site technical support for Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) applications and over 400 Department of State and post-specific business applications.

C. Supporting a variety of information technology projects involving the Department’s global IT infrastructure (e.g., Enterprise Integration & Remediation, Diplomatic Telecommunications Service Programs Office (DTS-PO) circuit upgrades, Global Information Technology Modernization, etc.) in order to meet expanding and changing demands of the Foreign Affairs community abroad.

D. Serving as technical advisor to the IT management and other offices and bureaus concerning technical specialty, equipment selection, installation, and maintenance programs for geographic area of responsibility in order to provide cost-effective, user-friendly communications solutions to the Foreign Affairs community abroad.

E. Performing frequent, intensive international travel to provide regional support, VIP travel support, and global crisis support, including planning travel, filing trip reports, and escorting classified equipment.

F. Supporting building, moving, and renovation of diplomatic posts, including gathering requirements, performing site surveys, writing scope of work, generating cost estimates, developing Bill of Materials, and providing communications infrastructure backbone.

G. Deploying new communications solutions such as communications products and support world-wide connectivity, including leading installation teams and training IT professionals and end users.

H. Providing on-going technical support by maintaining resource kit, maintaining parts inventory, performing preventative maintenance, maintaining standard operating procedures, identifying and resolving problems (including both initial and in-depth support), replacing equipment and parts, and tracking problems.

I. Providing customer/post support including upgrading communications, coordinating circuit restoration, maintaining correct operating environment, promulgating best practices, negotiating contracts, performing acceptance testing, monitoring communications contracts, and assisting local procurement.

J. Monitoring and implementing security controls including protecting classified material, auditing COMSEC accounts, assessing information security, reviewing telecommunications security, maintaining internal controls, reporting incidents, counseling users, and researching incidents.

K. Serving as a member of the information management team including supporting organizational performance, managing individual performance, maintaining inventory, keeping records, instructing junior staff, and representing the Department of State.

L. Performing other duties such as observing safety regulations and gaining and maintaining certifications in the specialty.

Some of the essential functions of the job have a physically demanding component. For instance, in conducting system repairs, an IMTS-UC is periodically required to perform work that requires regular and recurring periods of prolonged standing, bending, and stretching. All these tasks are at times performed at construction sites with ambient noise and other environmental factors that are typical for such sites. In the performance of any of these duties and tasks, IMTS-UC personnel may also 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, 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/reporting deficiencies.
  • Follow established safety regulations, work in and around electrical service panels and Uninterruptible Power Source (UPS) units. These duties include changing batteries, taking electrical measurements, and making appropriate electrical connections as required.
  • Withstand challenging physical stress involved with lack of sleep, extremes of heat or cold, and extensive travel.

IMTS-UC must be willing 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 radio 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.

Education

Education Requirements:

All Information Management Technical Specialists – Unified Communications must meet the following requirements:

GENERAL AND SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS
Grade LevelAnnual SalaryEducationSpecialized Experience
FP-05 $42,948 - $63,071 BS, BA or no degree.
Please note certification may also be required.
Please see full details in the next matrix.
Please see full details in the next matrix.


Educational BackgroundSpecialized Experience RequiredCertifications
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.
Education Requirements/Definitions:

BS Degree - Studies must directly relate to the duties described in this vacancy announcement; study and/or degrees must be in Electrical Engineering, Electrical Engineering Technology, Electronics Engineering, Electronics Engineering Technology, Computer Science, Information Technology Management, Telecommunications Management, Information Systems, Information Security other related fields.

AA/AS Degree - Studies must directly relate to the duties described in this vacancy announcement; courses of study and/or degrees must be in Electrical Engineering, Electrical Engineering Technology, Electronics Engineering, Electronics Engineering Technology, Computer Science, Information Technology Management, Telecommunications Management, Information Systems, Information Security other related fields.

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.

Technical Certificates/Product Certificates - Technical Certificate(s) from an accredited 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 – Please see list below).

If you need the degree to qualify, the degree must have been awarded by the date you submit your application.

If you are using military training or a military specialist to qualify, you must provide your DD-214, Military training report, or Military Experience and training report. Diplomas will not suffice as proof of Military training or experience.

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 such evidence when applying for Federal jobs. Please visit http://www.opm.gov/qualifications/policy/ApplicationOfStds-04.asp.

Qualifications

QUALIFICATIONS AND SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS

(Experience must have been acquired in the last five years.)

Individuals in these positions need to have specialized experience in applying broad technical knowledge and have hands-on experience in one or more areas on specific systems or applications. The work requires knowledge of customary approaches, techniques, and requirements appropriate in evaluating, analyzing, planning, installing, operating, maintaining, managing, or improving one or more of the following: LAN/MAN/WAN environments, communications protocols to include TCP/IP, VPN, VoIP and Ethernet, high-speed circuits (T1, E1), commercial satellite terminal, Cisco and Juniper switches and routers, CSU/DSU, modems, fiber optics, peripheral devices (laser printers, scanners, digital senders) and associated cryptographic systems, and traditional telephone PBX systems. These include Avaya/Nortel PBX systems, VoIP systems and peripherals (Call accounting, voice mail and threat recording systems). Individuals 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.

IMTS-UC must have in-depth technical knowledge of Voice-over-IP and other computer-based, office telephone exchanges and systems, an understanding of fiber optical cables, media cables such as CAT5 and CAT6, and be able to install and terminate all in accordance with building industry standards.

Desired Experience:

Experience on AT&T, Avaya/Nortel, or similar computer-based telephone switching equipment is desirable. Experience installing and repairing cryptographic equipment and knowledge of Tempest Standards and Red/Black installation criteria. Applicants should possess a working knowledge of Windows Server 2002/03/08, Windows XP, Windows 7, MS Office Suite MS Exchange (Outlook 2007), MS BackOffice, and UNIX. Microsoft certified professionals (MCP/MCSE) are preferred. UNIX, SQL, Oracle and Citrix experience. Building Industry Consulting Service International (BICSI) Installer Level 2, BICSI Registered Communications Distribution Designer, and familiarity with EIA/TIA grounding systems standards is also desirable.

Certifications:

Candidates without degrees or military training as described above, must hold one of the approved certifications listed below:

  • Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
  • Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)
  • Cisco Certified Security Professional (CCSP)
  • Cisco Certified Voice Professional (CCVP)
  • Building Industry Consulting Service International (BICSI) Technician Level Installer
  • Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) in Server 2008
  • Microsoft Certified Information Technology Professional Server Administrator – (MCITP 2008)
  • Microsoft Certified Information Technology Professional Enterprise Administrator – (MCITP 2008)
  • Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
  • Information Systems Security Professionals Certificate (NSTISSI No. 4011
  • Citrix Certified Integration Architect (CCIA) for Citrix Presentation Server 4.0
  • Citrix Certified Enterprise Administrator (CCEA) for Citrix Presentation Server 4.0
  • Avaya Certified Expert (ACE)
  • Avaya Certified Support Specialist (ACSS) for CS-1000
  • Avaya Certified Implementation Specialist (ACIS) Communications Server 1000
  • Avaya Voice Services Management Professional Certification (ACS)
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, ABILITIES AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS:

A. Expert knowledge of complex digital and voice communications systems to include classified and unclassified computers, printers, modems, multiplexers, fiber optic isolation devices, Local and Wide Area Network (LAN/WAN) systems, satellite communication systems, cryptographic systems, and building electrical wiring, power distribution boxes, and electrical codes.

B. Knowledge of information technology, including processes, design, technical specifications, diagnostic tools, repair techniques, safety principles, security, problem/resolution tracking procedures, customer service techniques, laws and regulations, and instruction techniques.

C. Specialized skill in problem recognition, rule application, troubleshooting and problem solving, providing technical assistance over a variety of media, customer service, self-management, stress tolerance, learning and keeping abreast of a rapidly changing field, electrical work, inductive reasoning, and deductive reasoning.

D. General skill in systems evaluation, equipment selection, installation, repairing, equipment maintenance, troubleshooting, systems analysis, operations analysis, operations monitoring, quality control analysis, mathematics, science, technology design, active listening, speaking, reading comprehension, writing, active learning, critical thinking, complex problem solving, judgment and decision making, instructing, persuasion, coordination, time management, service orientation, management of material resources, and management of personnel resources.

E. Ability to maintain attention for extended periods or work long hours; tolerate heat, cold, noise, or pollution; bend, stretch, stoop, twist, or reach; lift, push, pull, carry, climb ladders, or balance; perform movements repeatedly or continually, including the ability to stand for extended periods or take frequent extended trips by plane or car; and hear speech or other sounds at construction sites with ambient noise and other environmental factors that are typical for such sites.

F. Other requirements: cross-cultural awareness, tolerance of intensive world travel, tolerance for working overseas, worldwide availability, tolerance of living away from family, tolerance of varying work environments, attention to detail, dependability, teamwork and cooperation, flexibility in changing work team roles, and integrity.

Superior oral and written communication skills: In order to pass the Foreign Service’s thorough and competitive assessment process, successful applicants 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). Those who fall short of this standard will have little chance of passing through the Foreign Service’s highly competitive assessment process.

Professional-level speaking ability in a foreign language is welcome, but not a requirement for applying. However, the applicant must be willing to be trained by the Department of State in a foreign language to meet a job requirement or expectation. These will be important considerations in the competitive promotion process.

Evaluations

How Candidates 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. Selection for this position will be made only from among candidates possessing the best qualifications. Part-time work experience will be prorated.

How to Apply

We are not currently accepting applications for this position. Please subscribe to receive email updates regarding this vacancy.

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. That button will transfer you to Gateway to State. Please note that the deadline to submit completed applications is November 27, 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 may need to fax or upload some information to complete your application package.

Please note: Your application is automatically saved as you proceed through it. You may interrupt your application process and return to it until you submit it.

You have until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight 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. Due to the volume of applications, fax lines can become jammed and documents may not successfully attach to your application on the final days/hours of the application announcement. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CANDIDATE TO VERIFY THAT REQUIRED DOCUMENTS HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFULLY ATTACHED TO THE APPLICATION PRIOR TO THE CLOSING DATE. Applicants can do so by going back into your application and verifying that documents have been attached. Applications received without required documents will be deemed ineligible. You are encouraged to submit your application early, and to go back into your application to confirm that your documents have been attached.

TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES

If you are having technical difficulty with the application process, please contact the helpdesk by calling 1-866-656-6830 or by emailing mgshelp@monster.com.

Required Documents

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 provides an opportunity to describe examples of your experience and accomplishments from your education and life and work experience that show you have the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other requirements (KSAOs) listed in the vacancy announcement for the position of Information Management Technical Specialist. You can draw examples from any part of your personal experience. The information you give may be used in your oral assessment/interview should you be invited. It 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 a Foreign Service Information Management Technical Specialist is the ability to write clearly and concisely.

  1. 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 found 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 5,000 characters) which discusses your:
  1. personal background,
  2. general comments on your work experience,
  3. personal interests, hobbies, and travel,
  4. ability to add value to the Foreign Service, and
  5. motivation for joining the Foreign Service.

The narrative autobiography is included inside the online application.

D. Fax or Upload College Transcripts and other certificates:

Required Documents

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. If you need the degree to qualify we must see the transcript. Diplomas cannot be used to substitute for transcripts and will not be accepted as proof of degree. Both official and unofficial transcripts are acceptable as part of the application process. Therefore, it is essential that your transcript include your name, the school’s name, the degree and date awarded. Any transcript missing any of the key elements above will not pass the minimum qualifications and the candidacy will be ended.
  • Proof of technical certifications, if applicable.
  • Proof of military IT education, if applicable.

Please note:

  • These items are required with your online application. They will not be accepted via any other method or after the vacancy closing date.

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.

All applicants with college degrees must submit their college transcripts. Please note that a degree or diploma certificate does not satisfy this requirement. We must see the actual transcript; unofficial transcripts are acceptable so long as they contain pertinent information such as degree type, date degree awarded, all classes taken by the applicant, and unique identifying information for the applicant such as the name and/or student number.

Applicants have the option to upload or fax their transcripts. To submit the transcripts by fax, applicants will be prompted to print out a fax coversheet once they have successfully submitted their application. Instructions for submitting these forms are included in the online application. The transcript must be faxed or uploaded before the closing date of this announcement, which is 11:59pm Eastern Daylight Time.

Important: 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 website at careers.state.gov/specialist/selection-process.

Both official and unofficial transcripts are acceptable as part of the application process. Both official and unofficial transcripts are acceptable as part of the application process.

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.

If faxing, it is extremely important that only these system-generated cover sheets, and the phone number included on them, be used for faxing these documents. The cover sheets are coded to insure that your documents are automatically attached to your online application.

You have until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight 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.

What to Expect Next

All applicants will be notified 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.

Benefits

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.)

Any Foreign Service Specialist hired after October 1, 2013, who demonstrates FSI-tested Arabic language ability, will receive a one-time recruitment bonus.

Other Information

Initial Salary, Salary Increases, and Tenure:

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.

Tenure:

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.

Orientation/Training/Assignment:

After a three-week orientation in the Washington, DC area, a new IMTS-UC 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 or Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 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.


Other Information

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 may not 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 of State at ReasonableAccommodations@state.gov within one week of receiving their invitation. Decisions for granting reasonable accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis.

All potential applicants are strongly urged to read this entire Vacancy Information to ensure that they meet all of the requirements for this position before applying.