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Physical Science Technician, GS-1311

Definitions:

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-02:

Applicants must meet one of the following to qualify for the GS-2 level: **Three months of experience of any kind that demonstrates the applicant's ability to perform the work of the position;

**OR experience that provided a familiarity with the subject matter or processes of the broad subject area of the occupation

**OR high school graduation or the equivalent.

For GS-03:

Applicants must meet one of the following to qualify for the GS-3 level:

**Six months of general experience of any kind that demonstrates the applicant's ability to perform the work of the position; or experience that provided a familiarity with the subject matter or processes of the broad subject area of the occupation;

**OR one full year of successfully completed education above the high school level that included at least 6 semester hours in courses such as physical science, engineering, or any branch of math (except for financial and commercial math).

For GS-04:

Applicants must meet one of the following to qualify for the GS-4 level: Six months of general experience and 6 months of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-3 level in the Federal service that is in or related to the duties of this position. NOTE: Excess specialized experience beyond the required 6 months may be substituted for general experience; i.e., one year of creditable specialized experience will meet the requirements for 6 months of general experience and 6 months of specialized experience.

General experience is work that demonstrates the applicant's ability to perform the work of the position to be filled, OR experience that provided a familiarity with the subject matter or processes of the broad subject area of the occupation.

Qualifying specialized experience for GS-4 and above may include work in the fields of astronomy, physics, geophysics, chemistry, hydrology, health physics, engineering, electronics, geology, oceanography, and metallurgy. Experience as a laboratory mechanic or in a trade or draft may be credited as general or specialized experience when the work was performed in close association with physical scientists or technical personnel and provided intensive knowledge of appropriate scientific principles, methods, techniques, and precedents.

Examples of GS-3 level work assignments include: 1) Performing simple analysis of water samples for specific conductance, PH, color, turbidity, chloride, and biochemical oxygen demand; 2) Recording analytical data for laboratory staff; 3) Assisting laboratory staff in the preparation of samples for more complex analysis; 4) Assisting in quality assurance operations including preparation of reference samples, standard solutions, reagents; 5) Receiving, inventory, packaging and shipping of laboratory and field sampling supplies to field offices and maintaining records of items and quantities to be shipped; 6) Cleaning laboratory equipment and glassware.

**OR successful completion of 2 years of study that included at least 12 semester hours in any combination of courses such as physical science, engineering, or any branch of mathematics, except financial and commercial mathematics.

**OR a combination of successfully completed post-high school education and specialized and/or general experience may be used to meet the qualification requirements for the GS-04 level. (CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO COMBINE EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE)

For GS-05:

Applicants must meet one of the following to qualify for the GS-5 level: One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-04 level in the Federal service that is in or related to the duties of this position. Specialized experience may include work in the fields of astronomy, physics, geophysics, chemistry, hydrology, health physics, engineering, electronics, geology, oceanography, and metallurgy if it equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform successfully the duties of this position.

Examples of GS-4 level work: 1) Under close supervision and review, serves as a trainee acquiring a familiarity with laboratory and/or field environment. Analyzes, evaluates, consolidates and reports findings. Uses a large number of delicate and exacting steps and/or elaborate instruments. Possess little or no practical experience in the work, but may posses theoretical knowledge related to the position gained through formal technical training; 2) Applies a limited amount of experience in accomplishing the work. Receives oral instructions concerning work methods, available equipment, and procedures to be followed on new tasks. Uses some written guides. Work is checked in progress and upon completion for adequacy and accuracy. Methods are fairly well established; makes procedural readjustments; selects auxiliary equipment and methods due to sample size, limitations of equipment, etc.; 3) Receives general oral instructions as to timeframes, anticipated technical problems, and possible sources of additional guidance. Written guides are available, but do contain gaps and deviations where the technician is expected to decide possible alternatives. Work is rarely checked in progress, but is checked for adequacy and accuracy at end of assignment or phase. Performs one or a few routine procedural tasks where work methods and techniques are well established. Arranges work sequences, adjusts equipment, and recognizes deviations in results obtained.

**OR applicants may substitute successful completion of a full four year course of study leading to a bachelor's degree (a) with major study in an appropriate field of physical science, or (b) that included at least 24 semester hours, or the equivalent, in any combination of courses such as physical science, engineering, or any branch of mathematics, except financial and commercial mathematics.

**OR a combination of successfully completed post-high school education and specialized experience may be used to meet the qualification requirements for GS-5. Only progressive education in excess of the first 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours (i.e., beyond the first two years) of a course of study leading to a bachelor's degree is creditable toward meeting the specialized experience requirement, assuming the education includes the required number of directly related semester hours, or the equivalent, in any combination of courses such as physical science, engineering, or any branch of mathematics, except financial and commercial mathematics. (CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO COMBINE UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION & SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE)

For GS-06:

Applicants must meet one of the following to qualify for the GS-6 level: One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-05 level in the Federal service that is in or related to the duties of this position. Specialized experience may include work in the fields of astronomy, physics, geophysics, chemistry, hydrology, health physics, engineering, electronics, geology, oceanography, and metallurgy if it equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of this position.

Examples of GS-5 level work: 1) Applies a limited amount of experience in accomplishing the work. Receives oral instructions concerning work methods, available equipment, and procedures to be followed on new tasks. Uses some written guides. Work is checked in progress and upon completion for adequacy and accuracy. Applies skill and knowledge in gathering significant data. Analyzes, evaluates consolidates and reports findings. Uses a large number of delicate and exacting steps and/or elaborate instruments; 2) Receives general oral instructions as to timeframes, anticipated technical problems, and possible sources of additional guidance. Written guides are available, but do contain gaps and deviations where the technician is expected to decide possible alternatives. Work is rarely checked in progress, but is checked for adequacy and accuracy at end of assignment or phase. Methods are fairly well established; makes procedural readjustments; selects auxiliary equipment and methods due to sample size, limitations of equipment, etc.; 3) Possesses long-term experience and/or additional education/training which results in being well versed in technical work. Supervisor is frequently gone or unavailable. Often called upon to act as a "troubleshooter" in the solution of technical problems. Makes some decisions without guidance. Performs one or a few routine procedural tasks where work methods and techniques are well established. Arranges work sequences, adjusts equipment, and recognizes deviations in results obtained.

**OR applicants may substitute successful completion of 1/2 year of appropriate graduate level education (9 semester hours, 13.5 quarter hours or the equivalent) in physical science or other field of study directly related to the work of this position for the required 1 year of specialized experience, provided it demonstrates the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to perform the work of this position.

**OR applicants may substitute a combination of appropriate specialized experience (as described above) and appropriate graduate level education (as described above) to meet the qualification requirements. (CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO COMBINE GRADUATE EDUCATION & SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE)

For GS-07:

Applicants must meet one of the following to qualify for the GS-07 level: One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-06 level in the Federal service that is in or related to the duties of this position. Specialized experience may include work in the fields of astronomy, physics, geophysics, chemistry, hydrology, health physics, engineering, electronics, geology, oceanography, and metallurgy if it equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of this position.

Examples of GS-6 level work: 1) Applies a limited amount of experience in accomplishing the work. Receives oral instructions concerning work methods, available equipment, and procedures to be followed on new tasks. Uses some written guides. Work is checked in progress and upon completion for adequacy and accuracy. Develops new procedures and techniques for more conventional use by others, such as utilization of complex equipment. Applies physical science methodologies and techniques; 2) Receives general oral instructions as to timeframes, anticipated technical problems, and possible sources of additional guidance. Written guides are available, but do contain gaps and deviations where the technician is expected to decide possible alternatives. Work is rarely checked in progress, but is checked for adequacy and accuracy at end of assignment or phase. Applies skill and knowledge in gathering significant data. Analyzes, evaluates consolidates and reports findings. Uses a large number of delicate and exacting steps and/or elaborate instruments; 3) Possesses long-term experience and/or additional education/training which results in being well versed in technical work. Supervisor is frequently gone or unavailable. Often called upon to act as a "troubleshooter" in the solution of technical problems. Makes some decisions without guidance. Methods are fairly well established; makes procedural readjustments; selects auxiliary equipment and methods due to sample size, limitations of equipment, etc.

**OR applicants may substitute successful completion of 1 year of appropriate graduate level education (18 semester hours, 27 quarter hours or the equivalent) in physical science or other field of study directly related to the work of this position for the required 1 year of specialized experience, provided it demonstrates the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to perform the work of this position. **OR applicants may substitute a combination of appropriate specialized experience (as described above) and appropriate graduate level education (as described above) that is beyond the first 1/2 year of progressive graduate study to meet the qualification requirements. (CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO COMBINE GRADUATE EDUCATION & SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE)

For GS-08:

Applicants must meet one of the following to qualify for the GS-08 level: One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-07 level in the Federal service that is in or related to the duties of this position. Specialized experience may include work in the fields of astronomy, physics, geophysics, chemistry, hydrology, health physics, engineering, electronics, geology, oceanography, and metallurgy if it equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of this position.

Examples of GS-7 level work: 1) Applies experience in accomplishing the work. Develops new procedures and techniques for more conventional use by others, such as utilization of complex equipment. Applies physical science methodologies and techniques; 2) Receives general instructions as to timeframes, anticipated technical problems, and possible sources of additional guidance. Written guides are available, but do contain gaps and deviations where the technician is expected to decide possible alternatives. Work is rarely checked in progress, but is checked for adequacy and accuracy at end of assignment or phase. Applies skill and knowledge in gathering significant data. Analyzes, evaluates consolidates and reports findings. Uses a large number of delicate and exacting steps and/or elaborate instruments; 3) Possesses long-term experience and/or additional education/training which results in being well versed in technical work. Often called upon to act as a "troubleshooter" in the solution of technical problems. Makes some decisions without guidance. Methods are fairly well established; makes procedural readjustments; selects auxiliary equipment and methods due to sample size, limitations of equipment, etc.

**OR applicants may substitute successful completion of 1 and 1/2 years of appropriate directly related graduate level education (27 semester hours, 40.5 quarter hours or the equivalent) in physical science or other field of study directly related to the work of this position for the required 1 year of specialized experience, provided it demonstrates the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to perform the work of this position. **OR applicants may substitute a combination of appropriate specialized experience (as described above) and appropriate graduate level education (as described above) that is beyond the first 1/2 year of progressive graduate study to meet the qualification requirements. (CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO COMBINE GRADUATE EDUCATION & SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE)

For GS-09:

Applicants must meet one of the following to qualify for the GS-09 level: One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-08 level in the Federal service that is in or related to the duties of this position. Specialized experience may include work in the fields of astronomy, physics, geophysics, chemistry, hydrology, health physics, engineering, electronics, geology, oceanography, and metallurgy if it equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of this position.

Examples of GS-08 level assignments may include: Performing field identification of rock types, structural and stratigraphic measurement, analyzing, evaluating, and consolidating reports; and developing new procedures and techniques for use by others. Work at this level is performed independently within the general instructions relating to scope, objectives, time limitations, priorities, etc. provided at the outset of the assignment/project. Significant discretion was exercised in selecting from among a large variety of feasible alternatives. Approval was obtained prior to implementing significant deviations from established guides.

**OR applicants may substitute successful completion of 2 years of progressively higher level graduate education (36 semester hours, 54 quarter hours or the equivalent) leading to a master's degree or possession of a master's degree in the physical sciences or other field of study directly related to the work of this position for the required 1 year of specialized experience if it provided the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to perform the work of this position.

**OR applicants may substitute a combination of appropriate specialized experience (as described above) and appropriate graduate level education (as described above) that is beyond the first 1 1/2 years of progressive graduate study to meet the qualification requirements. (CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO COMBINE GRADUATE EDUCATION & SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE)

For GS-11:

Applicants must meet one of the following to qualify for the GS-11 level:

One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-09 level in the Federal service that is in or related to the duties of this position. Specialized experience may include work in the fields of astronomy, physics, geophysics, chemistry, hydrology, health physics, engineering, electronics, geology, oceanography, and metallurgy if it equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of this position.

Examples of GS-09 level assignments may include: Responsibility for planning and carrying out assignments given in terms of long-range projects. This level of work would have required the individual to make minor adaptations to procedures and accepted practices and handle unexpected conditions arising in the normal course of the work. The work required planning, coordination, and integration of various phases of projects and/or application of initiative and resourcefulness to independently analyze and evaluate data and results. Approval was obtained prior to implementing significant deviations from established guidelines.

**OR applicants may substitute successful completion of 3 years of progressively higher level graduate education (54 semester hours, 81 quarter hours or the equivalent) leading to a Ph.D or equivalent doctoral degree in the physical sciences or other field of study directly related to the work of this position for the required 1 year of specialized experience if it provided the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to perform the work of this position.

**OR applicants may substitute a combination of appropriate specialized experience (as described above) and appropriate graduate level education (as described above) that is beyond the first 2 years of progressive graduate study to meet the qualification requirements. (CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO COMBINE GRADUATE EDUCATION & SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE)



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Page Last Modified: Thursday, 05-Jun-2014 06:50:04 EDT