United States Department of State
An Equal Opportunity Employer
How to Apply
Announcement No: CE-2017-0001
Position Title: Foreign Service Construction Engineer
Open Period: 11/30/2016 – 12/13/2016
Salary: $54,610 – $80,197
Promotion Potential: MC
Position Information: Work Schedule is Full-Time – Permanent after being tenured in the Foreign Service by the Tenure Boards.
Duty Locations: MANY vacancies Throughout the World
Supervisory Status: Yes
Must be a U.S. citizen. Potential applicants should read the entire announcement to ensure that they meet all of the requirements and understand a Foreign Service career.
If a State Department Suitability Review Panel denied suitability in the last two years, you may not apply (except Diplomatic Security Special Agent (SA) candidates whose denial was based solely on the unique requirements for SAs.)
The U.S. Department of State, our country’s lead foreign policy agency, provides a rich international experience whether at home or abroad, and opportunities to become responsible leaders.
Each day, our employees make a difference as they contribute to our global society and defend and advance our country’s interests and values. They work on the business of diplomacy and high priority issues that impact the safety, security, and prosperity of our world – human rights, environment, energy, food security, public health, and technology – all while experiencing a unique career.
Our talented workforce reflects and champions all of our strengths and diversity – personal, professional, and educational. We offer a workplace that values and rewards leadership, collaboration and innovation, and personal and professional development.
A Foreign Service Construction Engineer (CE) is an engineer or architect working in the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations’ (OBO) Office of Construction Management, which is responsible for managing the Department of State’s multi-billion dollar portfolio of construction projects overseas. The CE is a member of a U.S. government (USG) team that ensures construction is professionally performed according to applicable plans, specifications, schedules, and standards. The CE must adhere to the highest standards of integrity, dependability, attention to detail, teamwork and cooperation while accepting the need to travel, to live overseas, and when necessary, to live away from family.
In addition to Education requirements, applicants must possess a minimum of:
- Three years of Specialized Experience is required for consideration at FP-04 level
- Five years of Specialized Experience is required for consideration at FO-03 level
Please see the Qualifications secton for information on Specialized Experience and Education Requirements.
To find out more specifics about the qualifications required for a CE, please click here for the CE Career Track Quiz: https://careers.state.gov/work/foreign-service/specialist/career-track-quiz/con
The Department of State is developing a rank-order list of eligible hires for a limited number of FSS vacancies based on the needs of the Department.
To learn more about the Department of State and a career as an FSS, please visit us at https://careers.state.gov/work/foreign-service/specialist/career-tracks
After completing orientation and initial training in Washington, D.C., an FSS usually is assigned to two overseas tours, each two years in length, directed by the Department. After the initial two tours, assignments will be for periods of one to three years overseas or in the United States.
An FSS generally spends the majority of his/her career assigned to our overseas missions and at times, lives away from family and/or in difficult or isolated conditions. Selected applicants will be notified of an Oral Assessment (OA) requirement in Washington D.C. For the selected applicants, all travel and other expenses incurred in connection with the OA are the sole responsibility of the applicant.
- Be a U.S. citizen and available for worldwide service.
- Be able to obtain a Top Secret Security Clearance.
- Be able to obtain an appropriate Foreign Service Medical Clearance.
- Be able to obtain a favorable Suitability Review Panel determination.*
- Be at least 20 years old and at least 21 years old to be appointed.
- Be appointed prior to age 60 (preference eligible veterans excepted).**
The following are typical duties, performed at various grade levels, in the course of a career as a Construction Engineer (CE).
In Overseas Assignments:
- Performs duties of an Owner’s Representative for the USG including quality assurance tasks, including approving quality programs, hiring and managing quality assurance staff, ensuring contractor’s work is properly inspected, selecting laboratories for testing, ensuring corrective actions take place, ensuring trades are certified, ensuring materials meet contract specifications, accepting contractor submittals, and resolving conflicts.
- Performs financial control tasks, including approving progress payment requests, preparing estimates, evaluating changes in costs, evaluating contractors’ claims, establishing procedures for petty cash, controlling costs, and monitoring schedule.
- Performs safety tasks, including approving project safety programs, monitoring safety, ensuring safety training and equipment, and ensuring health requirements.
- Performs security tasks, including approving project security programs, managing security staff, monitoring security, ensuring document security, and coordinating final inspections.
- Performs preconstruction tasks, including performing design reviews and constructability reviews.
- Performs administrative tasks, including managing the site office, approving budgets, preparing inventories, hiring and managing local employees, preparing reports and files, liaising with local officials and utilities, performing contracting officer duties, ensuring proper inventory control, and performing other site obligations (e.g., tours).
- Performs commissioning tasks, including coordinating close outs, commissioning of systems, managing the commissioning agent, providing warranty support, ensuring commissioning training, and participating in relocation.
In Domestic Assignments:
- Performs program management and project support tasks, including prequalifying bidders, evaluating bids, participating in the design of new facilities, providing guidance to contractors, coordinating construction projects, coordinating procurement, traveling to project sites, making recommendations to contracting officers, organizing meetings, preparing progress information, providing supervision, and participating in planning.
- Performs administrative support tasks, including developing special contract provisions, participating in policy/procedure development, and participating in training.
Both overseas and domestically, some of the essential functions of the job have a physically demanding component. In the execution of the duties and tasks listed above, Construction Engineers may frequently be required to:
- Work in confined areas such as crawlspaces, attics, utility pits, tunnels, manholes, and other confined spaces.
- Work from heights such as rooftops, ledges, and scaffolding, including climbing extension ladders and scaffolding.
- Follow established safety regulations related to construction and renovation practices and regulations.
A CE periodically must perform work that requires regular and recurring periods of prolonged standing, bending, and stretching. Additionally, CEs may supervise contractors and tradesmen that work with building equipment, heavy machinery and construction vehicles. All of these tasks are at times performed at construction sites with ambient noise and other environmental factors that are typical for such sites.
Vertical Construction Experience: You must have three years of experience within the last 10 years, working in the field on major vertical construction projects, to be considered for this position.
Applicants who have a Master of Architecture or Master of Engineering in one of the disciplines listed under Education and from a program meeting the accreditation requirements, in addition to possessing a qualifying Bachelor of Science degree in the majors listed under Education, qualify to substitute the Master’s degree for one year of Specialized Experience toward satisfying the minimum requirement for Specialized Experience. Transcripts for both the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees must be submitted with your application.
Specialized experience must show that applicants have an in-depth knowledge of their field and can perform engineering or architectural duties related to construction at Department of State projects worldwide. Specialized experience must have been obtained through assignments to field sites on vertical construction projects. Vertical construction projects include but are not limited to multi-story buildings, large-scale residential and commercial developments, and warehouses.
Applicants must show that their job-related experience has been at progressively increasing levels of performance and responsibility through such indicators as promotions, raises, and increases in scope, authority, impact, etc.
Specialized experience requirements will be judged based on the past performance of activities such as:
Reviewing, interpreting, and checking construction drawings, architectural plans, engineering drawings, and other specifications to ensure compliance, recognize errors, ambiguities, or omissions and provide corrective recommendations.
Inspecting construction techniques, procedures, standards, and materials to ensure construction is performed in accordance with applicable plans and specifications.
Applying quality control and quality assurance practices and procedures to construction projects, and applying test procedures and equipment.
Applying safety practices and procedures to construction projects.
Developing and applying construction scheduling techniques, monitoring project progress, identifying causes for delays, and developing and taking corrective action.
Managing financial elements of a construction project, such as monitoring construction project costs, reviewing and certifying contractor requests for progress payments, forecasting total construction costs, and managing budgets.
Analyzing and negotiating pending contract change orders, potential or actual claims, and acceptable cost and time settlements.
Applying computer software to construction project management and fiscal control.
Recognizing impending problems, developing options for action, and recommending solutions.
Preparing and delivering presentations and reports on project status and recommendations.
Demonstrating effective verbal and written communications skills with technical and non-technical personnel.
Displaying effective leadership, team building and consensus building skills with colleagues, supervisors, and subordinates.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
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 in detail, and make decisions based on, plans and architectural diagrams.
In order to perform the duties of a FSS, 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).
Some of the essential functions of the job have a physically demanding component. In the execution of the duties and tasks listed above, Construction Engineers must:
Have the ability to work in confined areas such as crawl spaces, attics, utility pits, tunnels, manholes, and other confined spaces;
Have the ability to work from heights such as rooftops, ledges, scaffolding, including climbing extension ladders and scaffolding;
Have the ability to move and handle heavy objects (up to 50 pounds of weight) such as equipment, tools, and other building materials;
Have the ability to see objects that are near, far, in color, or at night, possibly including depth perception; and
Have the ability to hear speech or other sounds, possibly including sufficient sensitivity to hear sounds of low volume or in noisy environments.
Applicants must possess, at the time of application:
- a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from a program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) in one of the following:
- Civil/Structural Engineering
- Electrical Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Architectural Engineering
- or, a Master of Architecture from a program accredited by National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB)
- or, a Bachelor of Architecture from a program accredited by NAAB Accreditation Board.
- Degrees in the above mentioned majors, completed at foreign schools without ABET or NAAB accreditation, may be used to fulfill the education requirements for this position if:
- The applicant holds a valid professional architecture or engineering license from a U.S. State, the District of Columbia, Guam, or Puerto Rico. The evidence of the license must be included as an attachment to the application.
- The degree program is substantially equivalent to NAAB-accredited programs (http://www.naab.org/international/substantial_equivalency.aspx),
- The issuing university is a participant in the Canberra Accord (http://www.naab.org/international/canberraaccord.aspx),
- The foreign architectural degree has been evaluated by Education Evaluation Services for Architects (EESA-NCARB) (https://www.eesa-naab.org/home.aspx).
How to Apply
You should submit your application early, not waiting for the deadline, as application packages must be complete, submitted, and received by the closing date/time to be considered. There are no exceptions.
- From this Vacancy Announcement, click on “Apply.” Go to the USAJobs Log In screen and log into your USAJobs account or follow the link and instructions to create an account.
- Follow the USAJobs Application Process and provide your required USAJobs resume. USAJobs will transfer you to the State Department online application site, Monster Government Service (MGS). Follow the instructions and answer the online questions. Your Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest responses must be completed in the online application. You may save your work and can return to the application from USAJobs at any time prior to the deadline.
- Follow the instructions to attach the required documentation to your application.
- After you attach all of your required supporting documentation, answer all the required application questions, and complete the application steps, please review the entire application packet, including your documents.
- Submit your application package, which will be used to evaluate your qualifications for this position.
Application Submission Deadline: 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date of this announcement to complete the application process and successfully submit any documentation required in this Vacancy Announcement.
You should submit your application early, and may make changes as often as needed, up until the closing date of the announcement. We strongly recommended that you go back into your application and verify that your documents are attached.
If you are having technical difficulty with the application process, please contact the Monster Help Desk by calling 1-866-656-6830 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The Monster Help Desk is available Monday through Friday from 7 am to 7 pm Eastern Time.
For more information on the FSS hiring processes, please visit our FAQs at https://careers.state.gov/faqs. If you have any questions regarding FS careers, please visit our Careers.State.Gov site and post your question(s) on the appropriate Forum in the Connect section: https://careers.state.gov/connect/forums
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. Selection for this position will be made only from among candidates possessing the best qualifications. Part-time work experience will be prorated.
To preview questions please click here.
It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure all required documents are uploaded and the application is fully completed before the closing deadline of this announcement. Any missing required documents or incomplete applications will result in your application not being considered further.
- Completed online application which contains the completed required Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest.
- Transcripts or other educational documents as stated in the Education Requirements section.
•Official or unofficial transcripts may be submitted for the application process. It is essential that your transcript include your name, the school’s name, the degree and date awarded. A transcript missing any of the key elements above will not pass the minimum qualifications and the candidacy will be ended.
•Copies of diplomas may not be submitted in lieu of transcripts for education above high school level.
- Additional required documents such as certifications or professional licenses as stated in the Qualifications Required section.
- For applicants who are age 60 to 65, you must provide your Veteran’s Preference documentation at the time of your application. If claiming a 5 pt. veteran’s preference, you must submit a copy of your DD-214. If claiming a 10 pt. veteran’s preference, you must submit your VA letter and SF-15, in addition to your DD-214.
These required questions provide an opportunity to describe examples and accomplishments from your education, life, and/or work experience that demonstrate your qualifications for becoming an FSS. Examples can be drawn from any part of your professional or personal experience. The information you give may be used in your oral assessment should you be invited and is an important factor in the competitive evaluation of applicants. Responses are limited to 300 words or fewer (maximum length 2,000 characters) for each item. You should compose your replies carefully, as one of the skills necessary to succeed as an FSS is the ability to write clearly and concisely. These items must be completed in the online application, not as attachment.
Knowledge of Construction: Describe your education and work experience that demonstrates you have the various knowledge areas required of a construction engineer.
Skill in Administering Contracts: Describe examples of past accomplishments that demonstrate your skill in planning and organizing, leadership, customer service, and other skills needed to administer contracts.
Problem Solving: Give examples demonstrating your ability to think logically and objectively, to analyze problems, and to apply sound judgment in assessing practical implications of alternative solutions.
Communication Skills: Give examples displaying your ability to communicate effectively and persuasively both orally and in writing.
Computer Skills: Describe specific instances which show how you used computer software and other technologies to manage construction-related projects.
Citing specific examples from your background and experience summarize your professional knowledge, skills and abilities which would apply to a career as a Foreign Service Construction Engineer.
Statement of Interest
Required narrative Statement of Interest no more than 2,000 characters, which discusses your:
- Motivation for joining the Foreign Service,
- Comments about your work experience, including special skills (e.g. computer), current licenses, honors, awards, special accomplishments, and/or training (with date completed) relating to this position, and
- Experience living or working in a multicultural environment, overseas or in U.S.
The Statement of Interest must be completed inside the online application, not as an attachment.
What To Expect Next
Once the vacancy announcement closes, your application status on USAJobs will change from “received” to “referred to hiring agency only”. Within a few days of closing, all “referred” applicants will be notified via e-mail from the U.S. Department of State of the status of their applications.
Please note that the “referred” status on USAJobs will not be updated throughout the entire evaluation process.
Due to the high volume of applications, we ask all applicants to remain patient and await communication. It is not uncommon for several months to pass before you are informed of the results of your applications.
We recommend adding the Department of State domain (@state.gov) as an approved sender.
For more information, please visit https://careers.state.gov/work/foreign-service/specialist/selection-process
Health and medical coverage, federal retirement benefits, paid leave, and an unprecedented chance to see the world and experience different cultures. Overseas benefits include tax-free housing overseas, tax-free education allowance for dependent children between K-12 overseas.
For information on FS Salary, please visit https://careers.state.gov/faqs/faqs-wiki/foreign-service-salary-matching-pay-tables-danger-pay-overseas-moving-expenses-and-taxes.
*The Department of State Suitability Review Panel and standards are defined in Chapter 3 of the Foreign Affairs Manual. For more information please visit: http://www.state.gov/m/a/dir/regs/fam
**For more information about Veteran’s Preference and how it is applied in the FSS Selection Process, please visit: https://careers.state.gov/faqs/faqs-wiki/are-veterans-given-hiring-preference-
No applicant will be considered who has previously been separated from the Foreign Service under sections §607, §608, §610 or §611 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, or who resigned or retired in lieu of separation under these provisions. In addition, no applicant will be considered who has previously been separated for failure to receive a career appointment under section §306 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, or who resigned or retired in lieu thereof.
An FSS separated for failure to receive a career appointment under section 306 may not re-apply to be an FSS in the same skill code, but may apply for another skill code (or to be a Foreign Service Generalist).
Executive Branch agencies are barred by 5 US Code 3303 as amended from accepting or considering prohibited political recommendations and are required to return any prohibited political recommendations to sender. In addition, as mandated by 5 US Code 3110, relatives of federal employees cannot be granted preference in competing for these employment opportunities.
It is the policy of the Federal Government to treat all of its employees with dignity and respect and to provide a workplace that is free from discrimination whether discrimination is based on race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity or pregnancy), national origin, disability, political affiliation, marital status, membership in an employee organization, age, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors.
The Department of State provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodations for any part of the application or hiring process should so advise the Department at ReasonableAccommodations@state.gov , within one week of receiving their invitation to the oral assessment. Decisions for granting reasonable accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis.
This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/457625800. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.