Federal Government Jobs

Helping job hunters find, apply for, and land government jobs

Civilian Jobs with the Military Establishment

The United States Armed Forces consists of six service branches: the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, and Coast Guard. All orchestrated from a central command, the Department of Defense. Their tentacles reach to the far corners of the world and they require a huge federal civilian workforce to support their many missions.

The Space Force was established on Dec. 20, 2019, when the National Defense Authorization Act was signed into law, creating the first new branch of the armed services since 1947. The establishment of the USSF resulted from widespread recognition that space is a national security imperative.

Their mission is to secure our Nation’s interests in, from, and to space. All of the departments listed have a similar mission particular to their operations by land sea and air.


Many job searchers bypass great opportunities because they believe you must be a service member or a veteran to hold a position with one of the service branches. There is a similar misconception for those seeking employment with the Veteran’s administration.

Job seekers believe the positions are reserved for veterans, only a third of those working for federal government are veterans including in the VA.

Don’t exclude any job vacancy posted on USAJOBS, the job announcement will outline all qualifications and you can select to apply for jobs open to the public to find all available vacancies.  

The Military Establishment

The Department of Defense and related cabinet level departments employ over 746,464 federal employees currently working across the country and overseas. There are abundant opportunities to work as a civilian with the following Cabinet Level Agencies:

  • Department of Defense *(152,949)
  • Department of the Army *(218,422)
  • Department of the Air Force *(163,765(
  • Department of the Navy *(212,237)

*Number Employed

Locations Worldwide

With few exceptions, any occupation, that you can imagine is employed by these huge Departments. Most of the Wage Grade (WG) trade jobs are employed here from carpenters, plumbers, and HVAC specialists to cooking staff, laundry and housekeeping.

These positions aren’t limited to the United States, 26,984 work overseas and 3,344 are employed in the U.S Territories; American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Midway Island, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the Wake Atoll.

Jobs aren’t limited to military establishments; you can find them across the country in all major metropolitan areas and many rural areas as well.  


Currently there are over 14,000 job announcements posted on USAJOBS for positions with the military establishment, all civilian federal employees; no boot camp required.  Don’t limit your search there, also search for vacancies in the following departments. Click on the Department to go direct to the USAJOBS listings for that group.

JOB Vacancy Listings

You can dig a little deeper if you like and search for Space Force or any organization of interest. There are 161 job announcements listed for them.

Many of the job announcements are for multiple positions at different locations around the country. There are many opportunities for those who are looking for a challenging position that supports our national security and interests.


All of these groups work with the most technologically advanced systems, IT, and equipment.  Yet, the jobs run the gambit from entry level to senior positions in all occupational groups. You can work high tech, IT, the trades and everything in between. Search out suitable positions in your area and apply online.

Don’t let the application discourage you from applying. Yes, the application process can be challenging, and you will have to provide considerably more information than what the private sector requires. Review the application process and sample federal style resume that we posted online to help you through the process.

Agencies Extending Direct Hiring Authority (DHA) for STEM Positions

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is authorizing an interim extension to the government wide direct hire authorities (DHA) for Scientific, Technical, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) positions, Acquisitions, as well as Cybersecurity and related positions where they identified severe shortages of candidates and/or critical hiring needs.

OPM is amending the authority by adding two occupational series, data science (GS-1560) and operations research (GS-1515) to support agency efforts to expand artificial intelligence capabilities in the Federal government.

This authority expires September 29, 2024 or until OPM terminates this authority, whichever occurs first.

Direct Hire Authority

Direct hire authority is granted to agencies with specific hiring needs in one or several job series. The Office of Personnel Management allows agencies with this Delegated Examining Authority — often referred as Direct Hire Authority — to advertise job openings, rate applicants, establish their own eligibility lists and registers, conduct interviews and hire.

This offers a fast track for agencies when they find a qualified applicant and need to expedite the process to bring them on board as soon as possible. Direct hire agencies may forward their critical need occupations lists to state agencies to find suitable applicants.

Covered Positions

The following list of direct hire positions will help you explore vacancies. Click on the occupation title to review the occupation qualifications and you will find a direct link to all vacancies in that occupation that are listed on USAJOBS. We also provide interviews with active federal employees on many occupations that you can read to discover how they feel about their job.

Scientific, Technical, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM)


Cybersecurity and Related

Appointments Under Direct Hire Authorities

Individuals may be appointed into the occupations identified above at the specified grade levels (or equivalent) nationwide. They may be appointed to competitive service career, career-conditional, term, or temporary positions, as appropriate.

Hiring agencies must identify and use proper assessment tools for the positions being filled with these direct hire authorities to determine who is qualified for the covered positions. Applicants must be assessed in the order in which the applications were received and select any qualified applicant in an order that approximates order of receipt.


When I was recruiting and had direct hire authority, we were able to pick up several employees the same day they applied and upon completion of their interview. These appointments are often made at the end of the fiscal year. If agencies don’t fill a position before September 30, they may lose the position the following year.  

Explore your options, apply for as many vacancies as you can find to improve your chances. Direct hire authority can work to your favor in many instances.

Exploring Federal Jobs – The First Step

Have you ever wondered why some who land jobs with Uncle Sam have half the experience, education, and special qualifications that you do — and you’re still looking? Many who approach the federal sector don’t take the time to understand the federal hiring process. Others get frustrated by the required paperwork and give up prematurely.


The hiring process today is streamlined compared to when I applied for my first federal job. Federal recruiters are hard pressed to find the talent they need for critical vacancies and are trying everything possible to attract the limited talent available.

This includes incentives such as the ability to negotiate salary, student loan payments, the potential for remote or telework options, and multiple duty locations.

Their USAJOBS recruiting site centralized recruiting for agencies that in the past had to do this on their own. You apply online, submit your application for jobs of interest and posted resumes are searched by recruiters, even if you don’t apply for a specific job.  


Their centralized job search site, www.usajobs.gov offers everything an applicant needs to explore jobs in related fields, find active job announcements, and apply online.  

The first step is to create a profile which allows you to save job searches and specific job vacancies for further review. Before uploading your resume and related documents, locate jobs of interest and apply online. Upload your tailored resume, and you can elect to make it searchable so all federal recruiters can review it and contact you for positions you qualify for in their organization.

Job Announcements

When applying for any federal job print out a copy and read the job announcement front to back. Highlight key qualifications, skills, and other requirements. The job announcement explains everything you need to know to apply for that specific job.

Every job announcement is unique, so don’t assume because you read one for the exact same job series and grade that the requirements are the same for this new job. This is especially true for the required key Duties, Responsibilities and Specialized Experience. Each advertised job has specific requirements such as proficiency and experience with computer software, equipment, programs, reporting systems, skills, and other factors.

Job applicants shouldn’t submit the same resume for every job they apply for.  Your resume must be tailored to the announcement’s qualifications. Applicants can save multiple resumes on their account and tailor them as needed when applying for other jobs.

Apply Early and Often

Start your employment search early, applications take several weeks or longer to process and evaluate. Plus, the top-rated applicants must be interviewed.

Contact the recruiting specialist that issued the announcement if you haven’t heard anything within a reasonable period of time. The recruiting specialist contact information is located towards the end of each job announcement. They can also answer any questions you may have about the vacancy.

Many submit one application and wait to hear back from the agency. Be proactive, and apply for any vacancies that you meet the qualifications for and are interested in.  


Competition for federal positions increases during times of economic uncertainty, when workers seek the stability of federal employment. In general, employment in the federal government is relatively stable because it is less susceptible than private industries to economic fluctuations.

If you take the time to understand the differences between the private and public sectors, thoroughly complete your application package, and seek out all available job vacancies, your chances for employment increases substantially.  

Federal Resumes – How They Differ from the Private Sector

I personally reviewed and rated hundreds of federal applications during my 35-plus years of federal service and participated in many interview and selection panels. I was also a rating official for select occupations for our organization and can tell you from first-hand experience that many highly qualified applicants never made the cut because they didn’t devote the time or effort to properly complete their application packages.

Federal resumes require more information than a typical two-page civilian resume, according to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the hiring arm of the federal work force. Applicants must include detailed educational and work experience, job titles, salary, employment dates, duties and accomplishments, and describe how their past experience and education relates to the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) in the job announcement. Uncle Sam’s federal resume must include specific data or it may be rejected.

I can’t stress enough the importance of tailoring your federal resume to the job announcement’s key duties, responsibilities and specialized experience. If you tailor your resume to the job announcement you will improve your chances of being referred for interviews. Everything is about showing rating officials, through your detailed work descriptions, that you deserve to be placed in the “Best Qualified” group.

Unlike private sector companies, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) provides detailed Federal Qualification Standards for applicants that list qualifying work experience and education. These documents, along with the job announcement, will help you determine whether or not you meet the basic qualifications for a desired position.

Applications are accepted online and each job announcement provides links to APPLY and complete an online application and resume. Search for job vacancies in your local area that are compatible with your background and education.

Use our Federal Resume Guide to walk you through the process. We provide a federal resume sample for you to use as a template for your application.

I suggest writing your detailed job descriptions and collecting key data for your federal resume offline using a word processor. You will be able to spell check your federal resume and compose coherent work histories tailored to the job announcement or position description without time limits. To submit your application online simply copy and paste your draft into the online résumé builder.

Helpul Job Hunting Information:

Disclaimer: The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

The Government Shutdown – What to Expect

Certain government agencies are currently shut down because Congress hasn’t passed a budget to fund them.  Instead of working together for the good of the country politicians are focusing on how best to support their party and keep their jobs!  Just one more reason to support term limits for our Congressional representatives.

This may take some time to resolve, hopefully before more suffer. The national emergency at our borders has caused a rift between the parties and in the interim others suffer on both sides of the border, certain federal services are unavailable, and many federal workers are doing without until back pay arrives.

Those seeking federal employment may have to wait for some vacancies to be filled. It all depends on the agency and whether or not their human resource staff is impacted. Many jobs may be placed on a temporary hold until Congress acts.  If a position is delayed, now is the time to work on your federal style resume. Don’t get disillusioned, keep searching for vacancies and be ready to apply when you locate them.

Job Hunting is a Process

The news media blows the Shutdown out of proportion. They sidestep the border crisis and the petty maneuvers of politicians and parties. First, only non-essential services are unavailable and the majority of federal workers will get paid and on time. Social Security and Federal annuity checks are being sent out and Medicare isn’t impacted. All critical services are available as this drags on.  

I recently heard a report on one of the major news services saying that federal workers would soon abandon their jobs for private sector ones. I don’t believe federal employees would give their generous benefits up of 13 paid sick days each year, up to a 5-week vacation, affordable healthcare options, and generous annuity including a 401k retirement plan with a 5 percent match.

About 800,000 federal employees are furloughed until Congress acts, which could be awhile. Furloughed employees have always received retroactive pay in the past and consequently receive extended vacation time for the duration of the shutdown. With this furlough, many received an extended Christmas and New Year holiday break.

Non-essential new hires and those early on in their federal careers are most impacted. They may not have sufficient funds to carry them over until backpay arrives. Even though federal employment is a safe haven for most, employees need to be aware of the fact that they too must be prepared for when political conflicts result in Congressional inaction. Furloughed workers may have to work somewhere on the side or apply for unemployment during the shutdown. Workers that are furloughed can apply for unemployment however they will have to pay it back after receiving backpay.

I was furloughed several times for short periods during my 35-year government career and actually enjoyed the additional paid time off. I believe many federal employees feel the same. Anytime you get more free time to spend with family and friends is a bonus.  Those deemed critical often look with envy at the federal employees that were sent home, I know this from first hand experience. When I was walking out the door, during my first government shutdown, I was on staff and considered non-essential. The essential workers called me a lucky SOB.

Career Planning Tools

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages

Postal Inspectors – Working For the Federal Government

The Postal Inspection Service defends us from criminals who attack our nation’s postal system and/or misuse it to endanger, defraud, or otherwise threaten the American public. As the primary law enforcement arm of the Postal Service, the Postal Inspection Service is a highly specialized, professional organization performing investigative and security functions essential to a stable and sound postal system.

Congress empowered the Postal Service “to investigate postal offenses and civil matters relating to the Postal Service.” Through its security and enforcement functions, the Postal Inspection Service provides assurance to American businesses for the safe exchange of funds and securities through the U.S. mail; to postal customers in the transmission of correspondence and messages; and to provide postal employees with a safe work environment.

Postal inspectors are federal law enforcement officers who carry firearms, make arrests, and serve federal search warrants and subpoenas. Inspectors work closely with U.S. Attorneys, other law enforcement agencies and local prosecutors to investigate postal cases and prepare them for court. There are approximately 1,750 postal inspectors stationed through-out the United States, covering investigations of crimes that adversely affect or fraudulently use the postal system.

General Information

U.S. Postal Inspectors are federal law enforcement agents with investigative jurisdiction in all criminal matters involving the integrity and security of the U.S. Postal Service.

Postal Inspectors investigate criminal, civil, and administrative violations of postal-related laws, often using forensics and cutting-edge technologies. It is essential that Postal Inspectors be in sound physical condition and be capable of performing rigorous physical activities on a sustained basis. They are required to:

  • Carry firearms
  • Make arrests
  • Provide testimony
  • Serve subpoenas
  • Execute search warrants
  • Prepare comprehensive reports
  • Pursue and restrain suspects
  • Protect themselves and others from imminent danger

Postal Inspectors work long and irregular hours, and must be willing to relocate. Competition is intense for the relatively few positions. Candidates must successfully complete all phases of the recruitment process and begin their first duty assignment prior to their 37th birthday.

You may be eligible to become a Postal Inspector if you:

  • Are an American citizen between the ages of 21 and 36½. * and are interested in an exciting and rewarding career in federal law enforcement. (Male citizens born after December 31, 1959, must have registered with the Selective Service before applying to become a Postal Inspector.)
  • Possess a conferred, four-year degree from an accredited college or university
  • Have no felony or domestic violence convictions
  • Are in good physical condition
  • Write and speak English
  • Are willing to relocate

Special Knowledge

There are four special knowledge tracks that make applicants more competitive for the position of Postal Inspector: language skills, postal experience, specialized non-postal skills, and academic achievement. Candidates without special knowledge will be only minimally qualified.

Determine your eligibility

There are several ways to qualify for Postal Inspector positions. Applicants must meet the general eligibility requirements or qualify under specific academic achievement criteria with or without work experience.

  • Academic Achievement with work experience. Candidates with at least one year of full-time work experience with the same company, within two years of the date of their application, are eligible under this skill track.
  • Candidates with a Bachelor’s degree (B.A. or B.S. in any field) must have two years of full-time work experience.
  • Candidates with an Advanced degree (M.A., M.S., or Ph.D. in any field) must have one year of full-time work experience.
  • Academic Achievement without work experience. Candidates with a Bachelor’s degree (a B.A. or B.S. in any field) and a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) or its equivalent, or an advanced degree (J.D., M.A., M.S., or Ph.D. in any field) are eligible under this skill track.

Inspector Training

Basic Inspector Training is mandatory and provided at their Career Development Unit (CDU). All new hires must complete course work in four areas:

  • Academics
  • Firearms
  • Physical fitness and defensive tactics
  • Practical exercises

Candidates must successfully complete all program areas and achieve specific minimum academic and performance levels to graduate. Graduation from basic training is a condition of employment. Failure to meet the minimum academic and performance levels will result in the termination of the appointment.

How to Apply

The Postal Inspection Service advertises vacancies during open hiring periods announced on the U.S Postal Inspection website. You can only apply during an open period and at that time you may complete an application online.  Check their site frequently to find job announcements. If you miss an open period you will have to wait until new job announcements are posted to submit an application.

If positions aren’t currently available for postal inspectors explore related law enforcement occupations. The federal government employs 192,929 in the Inspection, Investigation, Enforcement and Compliance GS-1800 Group including 3,800 employed overseas.  Review all of your options in law enforcement to improve your chances of landing a high paying, secure, and rewarding law enforcement career.

Review our list of law enforcement hiring agencies that includes the total number employed in each job series and the number employed by each of the hiring agencies. Click on the job title for comprehensive job descriptions that include current federal job vacancies for each occupation.

Forensic Laboratory Services

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service also maintains a National Forensic Laboratory in Dulles, VA. The facility employs technical specialists and forensic scientists that support the postal inspectors in the identification, apprehension, prosecution, and conviction of criminals that commit postal-related offenses. The lab provides scientific and technical expertise to the criminal and security investigations of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Laboratory services are divided into the four units listed below:

  • Questioned Document
  • Fingerprint
  • Physical Sciences
  • Digital Evidence

Employment opportunities exist at the forensic laboratory services facility in a number of related occupations.  Positions such as forensic chemists, information technologist,  physical evidence analysts, fingerprint identification and others are needed to provide these essential services.


Career Planning Tools

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher nor author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Memo To New College Grads


It’s that time of year when college seniors are looking forward to receiving their diplomas after four or more years of time consuming and costly schooling. Parents, college professors and the media have told them that a college degree is the way to a job that will bring satisfaction, fulfillment and a fat paycheck. Get the diploma, send out a few “dynamite” resumes, and a job will follow. Believe that and you might as well look under your pillow for a check to pay off your student loan, compliments of the tooth fairy. Job hunting in the adult world of work is more than sending resumes to job boards. It is a multi-step process, one step of which is writing a resume.

To understand this thing called “work” I believe one needs to take a step back and ask what life itself is all about. Short circuit the philosophy and PC talk and it comes down to this. You are born. You die. And, in between you work in order to survive. Job satisfaction, fulfillment and life/work balance are secondary. We work. We get a paycheck. We buy the big three …food, shelter, clothing…in order to make it to the next day. We spend “left-over money” on technology gadgets, killer apps, insurance, transportation and recreation.  Our money-for-work model has served humankind well for several thousand years…or at least better than the previous model which had people spearing antelope and rabbits for food and clothing, and living in caves to avoid freezing to death.  So how does a newly minted college grad find work, socially meaningful work, that will pay money in order to survive and also bring some sort of job satisfaction and fulfillment?  Let’s explore some of the challenges, and solutions, that new college grads will encounter making their first giant step into the world of work.


  1. The “What’s Next” Challenge. Many college grads have no idea what they will do after receiving their diplomas. There are three choices: proceed to graduate school; join the military, or find a job with a company. Most will elect option three, finding a job in the corporate or government world, which is divided into various industries, companies within those industries and jobs in those companies.  For example, there is the Food industry with Kroger being a company within; in fact Kroger is the largest company in the Food Industry. It sells guns and ammo, too, in a subsidiary division. There are thousands of jobs at Kroger one of which is a corporate level sales representative. A new college grad could pursue that sales job and make good money. The same applies for sales jobs with beer producer, Miller Brewing Company. There will always be plenty of sales jobs with Miller. Also, there are sales jobs with Walmart in its gun and ammo department. And remember companies in the fast growing recreational marijuana business, one of which is The Farm located in Boulder Colorado.

However, will any job in any industry do it?  There are plenty of job with guns, pot and alcohol companies but is that the way you want to spend your working days?

The Solution. Alternatively, how about industries producing products that have social value, like educational publishing companies such as McGraw-Hill, or food distributors like Whole Foods, or home builders like Ryan Homes, or technology companies like Salesforce.com which has been ranked recently as one of the best places to work? With choices like this, why work in toss away industries like firearms, alcohol or pot? A better choice is working for a socially conscious company like Salesforce.com, the cloud computing company serving a useful function in business and education.

  1. The What Do I Want to Do” Challenge.” So many budding college grads ask what they can do to bring in a paycheck and some sort of job satisfaction. You do not need six weeks with a counselor to figure it out.

The Solution. Record three things for which you have an aptitude. Beside them record three things you like to do. Then match them with industries, and jobs in those industries, that meet your aptitude and interests. For a listing of hundreds of industries and thousands of jobs in them, consult the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the U.S. Department of Labor. It’s available in print or eBook from Amazon or other resellers.

  1. The “Right Company” Challenge. Knowing what kind of job you would like is one thing. Finding the right employer is quite another.

The Solution. Assuming you have found a job that you would like, the next step is to find companies that offer such jobs in socially conscious industries. Go online and google companies in those industries. For example, enter “Food Producers” and you will come up with many hits, all potential employers. Begin exploring job opportunities on their digital career pages.

Another fool proof way to find a job is to attend job fairs and trade shows that take place each day at major convention centers throughout the country. Some of them are: the Mascone Center in San Francisco; McCormick Place in Chicago; The Washington DC Convention Center in Washington; the Philadelphia Convention Center in Philly; and the Javits Center in New York City. Each large and medium size city has a convention center. Google the one closest to you to find a listing of trade shows and job fairs and attend those you find interesting. Visit the exhibit booths armed with your resume and ask to see the hiring manager for your area of interest, sales, marketing, finance, technology, human resources, etc. Develop a personal relationship with that person and a job interview will follow.

Government jobs are often overlooked. Jobs in the “government industry” are comparable to jobs in the private sector.  They pay well and are socially conscious jobs. Federal government jobs are located in all fifty states, not just Washington DC. For a listing of interesting jobs and how to apply for them go to the leading government job website: www.federaljobs.net.

  1. The “Writing a Resume” Challenge. In most colleges where students pay upwards of $25,000 for tuition per year, training for job hunting consists of a few weeks instruction about writing a “dynamite” resume. The instruction is primarily academic as most professors have never had a job outside of academia. And, there is more to job hunting than writing and submitting a resume.

The Solution. Craft a resume that highlights your education, your part time jobs and internships throughout your college years. Include a major heading, “Technology Skills” and bullet point your areas of expertise. Also include a major heading titled, “Community Outreach” and bullet point your community initiatives dating back to high school.

       Make sure that grammar and spelling are correct. One mistake will disqualify you. No second chances. Do not trust your spelling and grammar checker.  Proofread your resume aloud and have a trusted friend do the same. This advice might sound rudimentary for a college grad but trust me when I tell you that I have witnessed Vice President candidates disqualified because of one spelling error. AND, do not refer to your resume as a curriculum vitae (CV). That is academic talk. Outside of academia it is called a resume.

  1. The “Interview” Challenge. Interviewing is one of the most intimidating challenges in the job hunting process.

The Solution.  Prepare for the interview with a friend by playing question-answer. Practice until you can answer all questions using business vocabulary. Avoid words like “awesome” and “cool.” When a hiring manage asks” Why do want to work for us?” respond, “Because your company produces products and provides services that are socially worthwhile and because your company is profitable.”

Remember to dress appropriately because first impressions are lasting impressions. Do not dress ultra-casually as you see workers dressed in TV advertisements for Google or Microsoft. Dress on the job is one thing; dress for an interview is entirely different. Wear upscale business attire which you will find on websites for national clothing stores.


Google “Socially Responsible Employers.” I did just that and found numerous leads to companies of this kind. One site listed the five most socially responsible employers as: Microsoft (technology), Merck (Pharmaceuticals), The World Bank Group (finance and economic development), The Acumen Fund (global impact investing), and Yingli Green Energy (a solar energy producer).

For additional help finding socially conscious employers, explore companies held in the portfolio of mutual funds listed as “socially aware.” One such is the Vanguard Social Index Fund, whose symbol is VFTSX. Companies held in this fund by Vanguard are screened using social, human rights and environmental criteria. Some of these companies are: Home Depot, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, United Healthcare, Facebook, Apple and J.P Morgan Chase.

Using social media for job hunting has its limitations. Use these media for networking and information but do not believe they alone will lead you to the promised land of employment. The one exception is LinkedIn, a site designed exclusively for job hunting. Jobs offers will come only after you develop a personal relationship with the hiring manager or human resources director.   You will find them at trade shows and conferences at convention centers, and by making cold calls, that is, knocking on the doors of employers and asking to see the human resources director.


Frequently, new college grads have no role model to follow while embarking on a career straight out of college. However, they are out there. In fact, we’re surrounded by them. Let’s break them down into specific categories and take a look.  You may not recognize some of the names; others are well known throughout the world of work

Public Sector Workers. These are workers who chose careers in government. They serve in both elected and appointed positions.

  1. Joni Ernst,S. Senator for Iowa who served in the Military for 20 years before becoming the first female Senator from Iowa. Concurrently she serves as head of the Iowa National Guard.
  2. Nikki Haley, Ambassador to the United Nations and former Governor of South Carolina. She is a Business major from Clemson University. She served as Treasurer of the National Association of Women Business Owners.
  3. Tulsi Gabbard, U.S. Representative from Hawaii and Army veteran who went on several deployments to the Mideast.
  4. Patricia, “Pat” Schroeder, a lawyer and former U.S. Representative from Colorado who authored the Family Leave Program. She was the first woman to run for President of the United States. Many of the work benefits we enjoy resulted from her personal work in Congress.
  5. Condoleezza Rice, former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State. She now serves on the faculty of Stanford University. She is a talented classical pianist and one of the world’s foremost Russian History experts.
  6. The 2,500,000 (read, two million, five hundred thousand) female K-12 school teachers. Guiding the academic, social and moral development of K-12 students is one the most powerful jobs in America. Teachers make a reasonable wage and their careers bring job satisfaction every day.

 Private Sector Workers. These are workers in companies both large and small.

  1. Becky Quick, anchor for Squawk Box, the popular CNBC TV morning finance program. Follow her each morning at 8 AM. Learn about the world of finance from Becky.
  2. Erin Burnett, host of OutFront, a popular CNN evening program. Follow Erin each night at 7 PM. Erin broke into TV as a financial analyst on a CNN evening program.
  3. Marillyn Hewson, CEO and President of defense contractor, Lockheed Martin. Over the past five years Marillyn has created thousands of new jobs, brought wealth to shareholders, and incredible technology innovation to a company dedicated to preserving our national security.
  4. Irene Rosenfeld, Chairwoman and CEO of the second largest publically traded food producer, Kraft Foods.
  5. Angela Braly, Chairwoman, CEO and President of WellPoint, a leader in the healthcare industry. The company is commonly known as Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance. She is the mother of three children and works hard to balance work and family.
  6. Kate Richard, Founder and CEO, Warwick Energy Group, an oil and gas producer located in Oklahoma City.


All of our STARS began their path to success in entry level jobs after graduating from college.   By applying their intelligence, energy and passion, they rose through the ranks to attain leadership positions in the socially responsible world of work. If they did it…so can you!

For more information about how to find your way after graduation, read my book titled, WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD. A Complete Guide to Job Hunting for the Recent College Grad. It is available in paperback and eBook from Skyhorse Publishing, Amazon and B&N.

Send comments to [email protected]

John Henry Weiss


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The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Homeland Security Hiring – Sign Up For Their Webinars

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is hiring hundreds of criminal investigators, deportation officers, Customs and Border Protection officers, Border Patrol agents, special agents, physical security specialists, police officers, emergency management specialists, intelligence analysts, and more. If you know someone who is interested in a rewarding career in law enforcement let them know about these opportunities and have them participate in one of their upcoming webinar recruiting sessions. The webinars will provide information on DHS career opportunities; the law enforcement hiring process and timelines; special hiring authorities; effective resume writing; and how to create a profile on USAJOBS. These two-hour webinars will be offered twelve times over the next two months and they are open to the public. They start April 23 running through June 20, 2018. Register to attend one of the webinars.

For all other law enforcement jobs review the occupational summary and qualifications and then search the current vacancy listings for positions in your area. We link direct to USAJob listings from our occupational profiles. The federal government employs thousands of law enforcement personnel in more than 40 job series.  Review the occupational profiles and the number employed at each agency for the top 24 jobs to see where you might fit in.

Helpful Career Planning Tools

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.



Material Engineer GS-0806 – Working For the Federal Government

The federal government employs 1,325 materials engineers. The Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air force employ 825 civilians followed by NASA with 284, and the DOD with 90. The Department of Commerce employs 80 and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission employs 56. A few other cabinet level agencies employ small numbers for this occupation.

This series covers positions managing, supervising, leading, and/or performing professional engineering and scientific work to:

  • Determine and advise on a material’s essential composition, atomic and molecular configuration, and processing;
  • Relate the material’s essential composition to its properties, end use, and performance in engineering, architecture, and scientific applications and programs;
  • Examine the interaction of materials in their processes and applications, taking into account the associated equipment, systems, components, and their fabrication, design, or use;
  • Develop, maintain, and apply materials and material solutions to meet certain mechanical, electrical, environmental, and chemical requirements; and/or
  • Test and evaluate substances for new applications.

Government Requirements:

You must be U.S. citizen to apply.

The yearly salary for a GS-13 is $87,252 to $113,428.

Typical Duties and Occupational Profile:

Materials engineers work with metals, ceramics, and plastics to create new materials.

Materials engineers develop, process, and test materials used to create a range of products from computer chips and aircraft wings to golf clubs and biomedical devices. They study the properties and structures of metals, ceramics, plastics, composites, nano-materials (extremely small substances), and other substances in order to create new materials that meet certain mechanical, electrical, and chemical requirements. They also help select materials for specific products and develop new ways to use existing materials.


Materials engineers typically do the following:

  • Plan and evaluate new projects, consulting with other engineers and managers as necessary
  • Prepare proposals and budgets, analyze labor costs, write reports, and perform other managerial tasks
  • Supervise the work of technologists, technicians, and other engineers and scientists
  • Design and direct the testing of processing procedures
  • Monitor how materials perform and evaluate how they deteriorate
  • Determine causes of product failure and develop ways of overcoming such failure
  • Evaluate technical specifications and economic factors relating to the design objectives of processes or products
  • Evaluate the impact of materials processing on the environment

Materials engineers create and study materials at the atomic level. They use computers to understand and model the characteristics of materials and their components. They solve problems in several different engineering fields, such as mechanical, chemical, electrical, civil, nuclear, and aerospace.

Materials engineers may specialize in understanding specific types of materials. The following are examples of types of materials engineers:

Ceramic engineers develop ceramic materials and the processes for making them into useful products, from high-temperature rocket nozzles to glass for LCD flat-panel displays.

Composites engineers develop materials with special, engineered properties for applications in aircraft, automobiles, and related products.

Metallurgical engineers specialize in metals, such as steel and aluminum, usually in alloyed form with additions of other elements to provide specific properties.

Plastics engineers develop and test new plastics, known as polymers, for new applications.

Semiconductor processing engineers apply materials science and engineering principles to develop new microelectronic materials for computing, sensing, and related applications.

Materials engineers plan and evaluate new projects, consulting with others as necessary.

Materials engineers must have a bachelor’s degree in materials science and engineering or in a related engineering field. Completing internships and cooperative engineering programs while in school can be helpful in getting a position as a materials engineer.



Students interested in studying materials engineering should take high school courses in math, such as algebra, trigonometry, and calculus; in science, such as biology, chemistry, and physics; and in computer programming.

Entry-level jobs as a materials engineer require a bachelor’s degree. Bachelor’s degree programs include classroom and laboratory work focusing on engineering principles.

Some colleges and universities offer a 5-year program leading to both a bachelor’s and master’s degree. A graduate degree allows an engineer to work as a post-secondary teacher or to do research and development.

Many colleges and universities offer internships and cooperative programs in partnership with industry. In these programs, students gain practical experience while completing their education.

Many engineering programs are accredited by ABET. Some employers prefer to hire candidates who have graduated from an accredited program. A degree from an ABET-accredited program is usually necessary to become a licensed professional engineer.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Materials engineers often work on projects related to other fields of engineering. They must determine how materials will be used and how they must be structured to withstand different conditions.

Math skills. Materials engineers use the principles of calculus and other advanced topics in math for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Problem-solving skills. Materials engineers must understand the relationship between materials’ structures, their properties, how they are made, and how these factors affect the products they are used to make. They must also figure out why a product might have failed, design a solution, and then conduct tests to make sure that the product does not fail again. These skills involve being able to identify root causes when many factors could be at fault.

Speaking skills. While working with technicians, technologists, and other engineers, materials engineers must state concepts and directions clearly. When speaking with managers, these engineers must also communicate engineering concepts to people who may not have an engineering background.

Writing skills. Materials engineers must write plans and reports clearly so that people without a materials engineering background can understand the concepts.


Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure for materials engineers is not as common as it is for other engineering occupations, nor it is required for entry-level positions. A Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and independence, can be acquired later in one’s career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. State licensure generally requires

  • A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
  • A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Relevant work experience, typically at least 4 years
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial FE exam can be taken after earning a bachelor’s degree. Engineers who pass this exam are commonly called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After meeting work experience requirements, EITs and EIs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE).

Each state issues its own licenses. Most states recognize licensure from other states, as long as the licensing state’s requirements meet or exceed their own licensure requirements. Several states require continuing education for engineers to keep their licenses.

Certification in the field of metallography, the science and art of dealing with the structure of metals and alloys, is available through ASM International and other materials science organizations.

Additional training in fields directly related to metallurgy and materials’ properties, such as corrosion or failure analysis, is available through ASM International.

Other Experience

During high school, students can attend engineering summer camps to see what these and other engineers do. Attending these camps can help students plan their coursework for the remainder of their time in high school.


Junior materials engineers usually work under the supervision of experienced engineers. In large companies, new engineers may receive formal training in classrooms or seminars. As engineers gain knowledge and experience, they move on to more difficult projects where they have greater independence to develop designs, solve problems, and make decisions.

Eventually, materials engineers may advance to become technical specialists or to supervise a team of engineers and technicians. Many become engineering managers or move into other managerial positions or sales work. An engineering background is useful in sales because it enables sales engineers to discuss a product’s technical aspects and assist in product planning, installation, and use. For more information, see the profiles on architectural and engineering managers and sales engineers.

GS-0806-Materials Engineer

General qualifications excerpted from Job Announcement WTHI176993975616


  • Provide technical consulting services to Corps Districts, Department of Defense Major commands and installations relating to airfield and roadway pavement materials and construction.
  • Provide technical consulting to Architect-Engineers (A-E) relating to airfield and roadway pavement materials and construction, with emphasis on materials testing, mix design development and review and batch plant inspections.
  • Provide technical oversight of concrete and asphalt batch plant inspections; concrete uniformity testing; preparatory inspections for all aspects of airfield and roadway paving projects.
  • Inspect and evaluate concrete and asphalt paving test sections.
  • Perform review of construction submittals to include paving equipment, paving plan, and paving materials test results.
  • Perform review for Portland Cement Concrete (PCC) and Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) mix designs.


Basic Requirement for Materials Engineer (transcripts are required at time of application):

  1. Degree: Bachelor’s degree (or higher degree) in engineering.

(1) lead to a bachelor’s degree (or higher degree) in a school of engineering with at least one program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET);

(2) include differential and integral calculus and courses (more advanced than first-year physics and chemistry) in five of the following seven areas of engineering science or physics: (a) statics, dynamics; (b) strength of materials (stress-strain relationships); (c) fluid mechanics, hydraulics; (d) thermodynamics; (e) electrical fields and circuits; (f) nature and properties of materials (relating particle and aggregate structure to properties); and (g) any other comparable area of fundamental engineering science or physics, such as optics, heat transfer, soil mechanics, or electronics.

  1. Combination of Education and Experience: College-level education, training, and/or technical experience that furnished:

(1) a thorough knowledge of the physical and mathematical sciences underlying engineering.

(2) a good understanding, both theoretical and practical, of the engineering sciences and techniques and their applications to one of the branches of engineering. The adequacy of such background must be demonstrated by one of the following:

  1. Professional registration or licensure – Current registration as an Engineer Intern (EI), Engineer in Training (EIT), or licensure as a Professional Engineer (PE) by any State, the District of Columbia, Guam, or Puerto Rico. Absent other means of qualifying under this standard, those applicants who achieved such registration by means other than written test (e.g., State grandfather or eminence provisions) are eligible only for positions that are within or closely related to the specialty field of their registration. For example, an applicant who attains registration through a State Board’s eminence provision as a manufacturing engineer typically would be rated eligible only for manufacturing engineering positions.
  2. Written Test – Evidence of having successfully passed the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination, or any other written test required for professional registration, by an engineering licensure board in the various States, the District of Columbia, Guam, or Puerto Rico.
  3. Specified academic courses – Successful completion of at least 60 semester hours of courses in the physical, mathematical, and engineering sciences and that included the courses specified in A above. The courses must be fully acceptable toward meeting the requirements of an engineering program.
  4. Related curriculum – Successful completion of a curriculum leading to a bachelor’s degree in an appropriate scientific field, e.g., engineering technology, physics, chemistry, architecture, computer science, mathematics, hydrology, or geology, may be accepted in lieu of a degree in engineering, provided the applicant has had at least

One year of professional engineering experience acquired under professional engineering supervision and guidance. Ordinarily there should be either an established plan of intensive training to develop professional engineering competence, or several years of prior professional engineering-type experience, e.g., in interdisciplinary positions.
pavement construction.

2) quality control/quality assurance of paving materials testing.

3) conducting inspections of airfield/roadway paving projects. This definition of specialized experience is typical of work performed at the next lower grade/level position in the federal service (GS- 12).

Job Prospects

Employment of materials engineers is projected to grow 2 percent from 2016 to 2026, slower than the average for all occupations. Materials engineers will be needed to design new materials for use both in traditional industries, such as aerospace manufacturing, and in industries focused on new medical or scientific products. However, most materials engineers work in manufacturing industries, many of which are expected to have declines or little change in employment.

Demand for materials engineers is expected to come from growing fields, such as biomedical engineering and three-dimensional printing. For example, materials engineers’ expertise is crucial in helping biomedical engineers develop new materials for medical implants.

Research and development firms will increasingly employ materials engineers as they explore new uses for materials technology in consumer products, industrial processes, and medicine.

Prospects should be best for applicants who gained experience by participating in internships or co-op programs while in college.

Computer modeling and simulations, rather than extensive and costly laboratory testing, are increasingly being used to predict the performance of new materials. Thus, those with a background in computer modeling should have better employment opportunities.


Helpful Career Planning Tools

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

OPM Working To Assist Agencies With Updated Skill Development

Federal Agencies are seeking ways to become more streamlined, efficient and effective in our new era of cyber-security. Given this, jobs are being reconstructed to satisfy the need for technology, innovation, automation and security, just to name a few key areas. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is offering assistance as part of this preparation with training, education and skill enhancement opportunities. Other sources such as the Federal Employee’s Career Development Center  assists management and their employees to develop viable Individual development Plans (IDPs).  This service offers individual career development assessments and guides federal employees and management through the process using their interactive Career Planning Checklist.

OPM has also crafted a new strategic plan that provides specific information on this endeavor that includes a focus on ‘soft’ skills as part of the holistic approach for employees. With numerous challenges, to include knowledge management and transfer, this assistance is critical for all agencies and particularly those facing cybersecurity objectives. OPM will work with these agencies to enhance their internal processes, procedures and policies, supplement training and provide expertise and coaching so that they can better equip themselves with the tools they need to shape a skilled and prepared workforce.

Becoming “cyber-security compliant” is a critical task moving forward for these agencies and OPM promises to do everything in their power so that their current challenges can become opportunities for growth, protection and hardened security postures.

Agencies aren’t typically experienced with looking ‘inside’ their organizations to strengthen, streamline and enhance processes, procedures and policies, particularly when it comes to employee skill development and the strategic needs of the business. That’s where the Federal Employee’s Career Development Center can help.

OPM recommends perhaps looking at work roles and billet structures as a first step; along with a strategic vision, clear goals and objectives, these work roles and billets can become the foundation for a successful mission. Pay for performance is another area where organizations can work to capitalize on knowledge, skills and abilities throughout the organization; employees are then able to be rewarded for their increased responsibilities, heightened work activities or acquisition of additional skills, training and knowledge through coursework, for example. The Federal Aviation Administration initiated a core compensation pay plan in the 1990’s that rewards employees for outstanding performance.

A sound education and training program is another element for successful skill development. Organizations must ensure they leverage flexible telework options, training courses, academic partnerships and more that foster a holistic learning environment. A variety of opportunities that include online learning, self-paced courses, briefings, and more not only bring employees together, but foster collaboration and information sharing among colleagues that will in turn, enhance organizational missions. Finally, senior leadership buy in and support are paramount when implementing a new ‘skill development’ program; employees will look to them as the pillar for the change. Mentorship, coaching and professional development programs are a must in any organization. By looking internally to determine what the key objectives for the business are, how billets and work roles are aligned and arming employees with the right tools and resources to fulfil them are a productive mix. OPM will continue to work with agencies as they are interested, to map soft skills with technical opportunities and more for a robust and solid approach to enhanced employee skill development throughout the federal community and beyond.


Ogrysko, N. (2018, Mar 6). Retrieved from https://federalnewsradio.com/your-job/2018/03/opm-says-itll-help-agencies-re-skill-federal-employees-for-jobs-of-the-future/

Career Planning Tools

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.