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Physical Scientist, GS-1301

Definitions:

EXPERIENCE: One year of work experience is twelve months working full-time (at least 35-40 hours per week). Part-time experience can be pro-rated (i.e., a year at 20 hours per week is credited as 6 months of experience). If your position consisted of mixed duties, experience credit is given for the percentage of time that you spent on qualifying duties (i.e., if you held a position for 2 years, full-time, consisting of 25% personnel work and 75% budget work, and then applied for a budget position you could calculate your experience as follows: 2 yrs = 24 months. 24 months x 75% [percentage of time spent on budget duties] = 18 months of qualifying experience.) UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION: A year of undergraduate education is 30 semester hours, 45 quarter hours or the equivalent of college study. This education must have been obtained in an accredited college or university for which high school graduation or the equivalent was a prerequisite.

GRADUATE EDUCATION: In the absence of specific graduate program information, a year of graduate education is 18 semester hours or 27 quarter hours of graduate level college course work, or the number of credit hours the school attended has determined to represent 1 year of full time study. This education must have been obtained in an accredited college or university.

For GS-05:

BASIC EDUCATION REQUIREMENT: Applicants must meet A or B below to satisfy the basic education requirement for Physical Scientist, all grade levels.

A. Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree in physical science, engineering, or mathematics that included 24 semester hours or the equivalent in physical science and/or related engineering science such as mechanics, dynamics, properties of materials, and electronics.

**OR

B. A combination of education and experience--education equivalent to one of the majors shown in "A" above (24 semester hours or the equivalent in physical science, engineering, or mathematics) that included at least 24 semester hours or the equivalent in physical science and/or related engineering science as described above, plus appropriate experience and/or additional education for a total of 4 years. The education or combined education and experience must be comparable in type, scope and thoroughness to that acquired through successful completion of a 4-year course of study as described in "A" above. (CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO COMBINE EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE)

For GS-07:

In addition to the basic education requirement as stated above, applicants must meet one of the following to qualify for the GS-07 level:

**One year of successfully completed graduate level education (18 semester hours, 27 quarter hours or the equivalent) in physical science or other directly related field of study if it provided the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to do the work of the position to be filled.

**OR Superior Academic Achievement based on undergraduate study. (CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON SUPERIOR ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT).

**OR one year of appropriate professional experience that is in or related to the duties of the position to be filled is qualifying if it is equivalent to at least the GS-5 level in the Federal service, and if it equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position.

Examples of GS-5 level experience could include taking measurements and collecting information; learning to take proper samples; conducting routine calculating, plotting, and checking of numerical data; preparing graphs and data profiles; and accomplishing routine analyses. This work experience would have involved receiving clear, specific, and detailed instructions as to the methods, procedures, and guidelines to use.

**OR a combination of successfully completed graduate level education, as described above, and professional experience, as described above. (CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO COMBINE GRADUATE EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE)

For GS-09:

In addition to the basic education requirement as stated above, applicants must meet one of the following to qualify for the GS-09 level:

**Two years of progressively higher-level graduate education (36 semester hours, 54 quarter hours or the equivalent) leading to a master's degree in physical science or other directly related field of study or master's or equivalent graduate degree in physical science or other directly related field of study if it provided the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to do the work of the position to be filled.

**OR one year of appropriate professional experience that is in or directly related to the duties of the position to be filled is qualifying if it is equivalent to at least the GS-7 level in the Federal service, and if it equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position.

Examples of such experience may include performing a variety of observations, computations, compilations and analyses in assisting higher-level scientists in carrying out physical science assignments. This work experience would have involved following established methods and procedures, or detailed instructions; using some judgment in applying basic principles and procedures; and independently completing recurring assignments, but referring deviations, problems, and unfamiliar situations to a designated person for decision or help. **OR a combination of successfully completed progressive graduate level education, as described above, that is beyond the first year of graduate study and professional experience, as described above. (CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO COMBINE GRADUATE EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE)

For GS-11:

In addition to the basic education requirement as stated above, applicants must meet one of the following to qualify for the GS-11 level:

**Three years of progressively higher level graduate education (54 semester hours, 81 quarter hours or the equivalent) leading to a Ph.D. degree in physical science or other directly related field of study or Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree in physical science or other directly related field of study if it provided the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to do the work of the position to be filled.

**OR one year of appropriate professional experience that is in or directly related to the duties of the position to be filled is qualifying if it is equivalent to at least the GS-9 level in the Federal service, and if it equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position.

Examples of such experience may include independent responsibility for a well-defined study or for a phase of a larger study that required the planning and carrying out of routine physical science work. This work would have required the individual to select and make minor adaptations to procedures and accepted practices and handle unexpected conditions arising in the normal course of the work. At this level, physical scientists have the ability to independently perform moderately difficult and responsible scientific work.

**OR a combination of successfully completed graduate level education, as described, above that is beyond the second year of progressive graduate study and professional experience, as described above. (CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO COMBINE GRADUATE EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE)

For GS-12:

In addition to the basic education requirement as stated above, applicants must meet the following to qualify for the GS-12 level: One year of appropriate professional experience that is in or directly related to the duties of the position to be filled is qualifying if it is equivalent to at least the GS-11 level in the Federal service, and if it equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position.

Examples of such experience may include planning and executing complex physical science studies, which usually involved intensive investigations into recognized phenomena. This work typically involved conventional methods and techniques though it required going beyond clear precedents, and required adapting methods to the problems at hand and interpreting findings in terms of their scientific significance. At this level, physical scientists have the ability to independently perform scientific work of considerable difficulty.

For GS-13:

In addition to the basic education requirement as stated above, applicants must meet the following to qualify for the GS-13 level:

One year of appropriate professional experience that is in or directly related to the duties of the position to be filled is qualifying if it is equivalent to at least the GS-12 level in the Federal service, and if it equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position.

Examples of such experience may include planning, executing and reporting on original physical science studies or ongoing physical science studies requiring a fresh approach to resolve new problems. The complexity of this work typically required extensive modification and adaptation of standard procedures, methods, and techniques, and the development of totally new methods and techniques to address novel or obscure problems for which guidelines or precedents were not substantially applicable. At this level, physical scientists have wide latitude for the exercise of independent judgment to perform scientific work of marked difficulty and responsibility.

For GS-14:

In addition to the basic education requirement as stated above, applicants must meet the following to qualify for the GS-14 level:

One year of appropriate professional experience that is in or directly related to the duties of the position to be filled is qualifying if it is equivalent to at least the GS-13 level in the Federal service, and if it equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position.

Examples of such experience may include serving as a senior expert involved in physical science work for which technical problem definitions, methods and/or data were highly incomplete, controversial, or uncertain and whose evaluations and recommendations were accepted by others as those of a technical expert in the physical sciences. At this level, physical scientists typically represent an authoritative source of consultation for other scientists and program specialists, are called upon to resolve issues that significantly affect physical science programs, make long range and controversial proposals and defend their findings and recommendations in public or high level forums.

For GS-15:

In addition to the basic education requirement as stated above, applicants must meet the following to qualify for the GS-15 level:

One year of appropriate professional experience that is in or directly related to the duties of the position to be filled is qualifying if it is equivalent to at least the GS-14 level in the Federal service, and if it equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position.

Examples of such experience could include investigations that involved highly unstructured problems involving both difficult technology and complex human relations or programmatic issues. The results of these investigations had significant effects over a wide region of the United States, or may have included responsibility for new technology especially critical to the organization's programs. This work involved other recognized senior technical experts asking the scientist for advice or counsel due to his/her personal reputation in the field.



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Page Last Modified: Friday, 02-May-2014 09:12:22 EDT