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Inspection, Investigation, Enforcement, and Compliance Jobs


This group includes all classes of positions, the duties of which are to advise on, administer, supervise, or perform investigation, inspection, or enforcement work primarily concerned with alleged or suspected offenses against the laws of the United States, or such work primarily concerned with determining compliance with laws and regulations.

There are 192,929 federal workers employed in this group within all Executive Branch departments, and in many large and small independent agencies with 3,800  employed overseas. Even small agencies employ investigators including the Federal Maritime Election Commission (3), and 15 with the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board.

The largest employers of this group are the Department of Homeland Security (130,343), 28,541 with the Department of Justice, the Department of Agriculture employs 8,126, and there are 3,802 employed with the Department of Transportation. All of the cabinet level agencies employ workers in the GS-1800 group with 34,265 in the GS-1801 general inspection, investigation, enforcement and compliance series, 42,442 in the GS-1811 criminal investigation position, over 20,000 in border patrol enforcement GS-1896, and 21,038 in the GS-1985 customs and border protection.

Don’t overlook any agency in your job search as there are positions available in all agencies.  For example the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, a small agency with less than 100 workers, employs 15 from this group.


GS-1800 Investigation Group Menu

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Review the job vacancy announcements and Qualification Standards for the job you are interested in.

Job Series Definitions

These position descriptions are excerpted from the qualification standards for select job titles in this group. In the General Schedule position classification system is established under chapter 51 of title 5, United States Code. The term “General Schedule” or “GS” denotes the major position classification system and pay structure for white collar work in the Federal government. Agencies that are no longer subject to chapter 51 have replaced the GS pay plan indicator with agency-unique pay plan indicators. For example, the Bureau of Prisons uses GL instead of the GS designation. For this reason, reference to General Schedule or GS is often omitted from the individual qualification standard sheets.

A brief introduction for major occupations within this group is provided below.

General Inspection, Investigation, Enforcement, and Compliance GS-1801

This series covers positions which supervise, lead, or perform inspection, investigation, enforcement, or compliance work. There are 34,265 federal workers employed in this series and there isn’t a specific job series for this group. To qualify, candidates must have the skill and ability to perform the duties described in the job announcement as demonstrated by progressively responsible supervisory/managerial experience, normally with several years at the advertised grade level or equivalent, which demonstrates clearly the ability to manage people and resources. Candidates must also demonstrate qualifications in the managerial and technical areas as outlined in the Group Coverage Qualification Standard for Administrative and Management Positions.

Job Series Titles: (The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.)

  • USAJOBS GS-1801 (Federal Job Lists)
    • Compliance Officers
    • Compliance Analyst
    • International Trade Compliance Analyst
    • Investigator (Occupational Safety and Health)
    • Inspector General
    • Assistant Inspector General
    • Highway Accident Investigator
    • Investigative Specialist
    • Sanction Investigator
    • Aviation Accident Investigator (ERA) 
    • Marine Inspector
    • Structured Credit Analyst

OPM and/or agency recruiters will review your application package to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications for the position. If you meet the minimum qualifications, your responses to the questionnaire, resume and supporting documentation will then be reviewed. You will be placed in one of the three pre-defined categories. Your responses to the questionnaire will serve as the basis for your initial rating in one of three pre-defined categories: “best”, “better”, and “good”. Within each category, those eligible through veterans preference will be listed at the top of the category.

Your resume must support your answers to the questionnaire, or your category may be changed. The candidates in the highest category will be certified for referral to the selecting official and may be invited to an interview.

Compliance Inspection and Support Series, GS-1802

This series employs over 55,129 workers and includes positions that perform or supervise inspection or technical support work in assuring compliance with or enforcement of Federal law, regulations, or other mandatory guidelines and that are not classifiable to another, more specific, occupational series. The work requires a knowledge of prescribed procedures, established techniques, directly applicable guidelines, and pertinent characteristics of regulated items or activities.

Positions included in this series are intended to perform inspection or technical support work in assuring compliance with or enforcement of Federal law. The work performed falls primarily in one of the following categories:

  1. Inspections where determinations are based on visual or other specific inspection techniques and are made based on relatively clear-cut considerations such as the presence or absence of required documents or the obvious physical condition of an item or premises. These inspections are governed by specific procedures and serve as bases for action by compliance program officials. Typically, such work includes both initial and follow-up inspections including obtaining samples and performing well-established field tests, if appropriate.
  2. Technical support to inspections or investigations such as searching for, gathering, screening, and providing factual information or explanations related to the subject of an inspection or investigation or to the compliance program itself. These tasks are performed following prescribed or established procedures to assist compliance inspectors, investigators, and program officials in their fact finding or program administration responsibilities. The work includes activities such as obtaining background information on subjects of inspections or investigations by means of record searches, structured interviews, automated information retrieval, telephone inquiries, or correspondence; providing information to authorized persons concerning the status of particular investigations; explaining licensing or other requirements, including exceptions or exemptions, to persons or organizations subject to regulations; compiling final investigative reports with necessary exhibits; and maintaining required administrative reports on topics such as manpower, case load, and case status.

Job Series Titles: (The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.)

Investigative Analysis, GS-1805

This series covers positions which supervise, lead, or perform work involving the research, analysis, and/or evaluation of information to assist investigators in ongoing investigations. The federal government employs 716 in this occupation. The work includes formulating information source search strategies and reviewing data to identify patterns and relationships across financial, criminal, public record, and other information. Work primarily requires knowledge of:

  • Federal laws and regulations relevant to the work being performed.
  • entities, operations, activities, products, or items subject to the laws and regulations; and
  • techniques and methods to locate, sort, and evaluate information.

Investigative analysts have responsibility for producing and disseminating investigative reports. They work closely with investigators to develop profile data and trend analyses. Investigative analysts identify trends or indicators of illegal or improper activity from background material and evidence. They correlate the collected information to support ongoing investigations.

Investigative analysts use sources of information from evidence, public or subpoenaed records, intelligence available from or produced by foreign law enforcement agencies, and databases such as Lexis/Nexis and the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). Investigative analysts correlate large amounts of information to show intent and prove guilt. The information collected supports investigations and is used to prosecute cases or pursue civil or administrative judgments.

Job Series Titles: (The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.)

General Investigation, GS-1810

This series covers positions which supervise, lead, or perform work involving planning, conducting, or managing investigations not involving criminal violations of Federal laws. The federal government employs 2,015 in this occupation. Investigators use the results of general investigations to make or invoke administrative judgments, sanctions, or penalties. Work in this series primarily requires:

  • knowledge of investigative techniques and the laws, rules, regulations, and objectives of the employing agency; and
  • skill in interviewing, following leads, researching records, reconstructing events, and preparing reports.

The investigative work of this occupation results in civil or administrative actions, civil penalties, judgments, sanctions, or decisions. Work in this series includes investigating:

  •  Federal employees for misconduct or fraud, waste, and abuse.
  •  individuals or organizations seeking or receiving benefits, licenses, loans, or employment from the Federal Government.
  •  fraud and abuse by Federal contractors.
  •  security clearances and employment suitability; and/or
  •  federally regulated programs or areas.

Investigators do not normally investigate or conduct inquiries when the alleged impropriety, if substantiated, would likely constitute criminal misconduct. When an investigation or inquiry leads to an apparent criminal violation, it is usually referred to a criminal investigator.

Job Series Titles: (The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.)

Criminal Investigation, GS-1811

This series covers positions which supervise, lead, or perform work involving planning, conducting, or managing investigations related to alleged or suspected criminal violations of Federal laws. The federal government employs 42,442 in this occupation. The work involves:

  • recognizing, developing, and presenting evidence to reconstruct events, sequences, time elements, relationships, responsibilities, legal liabilities, and conflicts of interest.
  • conducting investigations in a manner meeting legal and procedural requirements; and
  • providing advice and assistance both in and out of court to the U.S. Attorney’s Office during investigations and prosecutions.

Job Series Titles: (The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series. Click on “Private Sector Job Listings” to search for related occupations in the private sector.)

Keith Toomey is a special agent in charge, with the Fish & Wildlife Service’s Professional Responsibility Unit, in Shepherdstown, WV. He was interviewed for an article on our federal jobs blog titled Special Agent in Charge (GS-1811). Keith said that he became a special agent because, “I felt it was a great responsibility and challenge to lead this office. It provided stability to the office and has allowed our program to continue to develop and evolve. I was lucky to have many great mentors at the county, state and federal level as my career progressed like Danny James and Nick Sisals to name a few. This position has allowed me to share some of that experience, but as General Gray said when I joined the Marine Corps years ago ‘you are first and foremost a rifleman, everything else is secondary.’  I still consider myself a working agent and handle a case load.  I think it’s important to stay current and connected to those investigative skills.” Read the article to explore this career field more thoroughly and to read the entire interview.

Work in this series primarily requires knowledge of criminal investigative techniques, rules of criminal procedures, laws, and precedent court decisions concerning the admissibility of evidence, constitutional rights, search and seizure, and related issues in the conduct of investigations.

Criminal investigators conduct investigations of alleged or suspected criminal violations of Federal laws. The Federal statute or law which may have been violated does not determine whether a position should be classified in this series. The actual process and the knowledge and skills used to investigate crimes determine the appropriate series of the position. Classification into the 1811 series should not be an automatic process but should be based on the work of the individual position.
Work primarily requires knowledge of:

  • pertinent statutes, regulations, policies, and guidelines, including the Code of Federal Regulations or the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
  • Federal Rules of Criminal Procedures, Federal Sentencing Guidelines, and Federal guidelines on the conduct of criminal investigations.
  • criminal investigative techniques, such as protective surveys and assignments, surveillance, and undercover work.
  • the evidence required to prove a crime was committed.
  • the jurisdiction of various agencies.
  • sources of information and how to develop them (e.g., informants, surveillance, and undercover work).
  • electronic countermeasures and the latest technological advances used by criminals and investigators; and
  • decisions and precedent cases involving, but not limited to, rules of evidence, search and seizure, and detention and arrest.

Criminal investigative work is characterized by the types and scope of crimes investigated and the organization and sophistication of the criminals. Additional characteristics of criminal investigative work include planning and conducting investigations extending over protracted periods of time; assignments made primarily on a referral or case basis; and an emphasis on identifying and apprehending individuals for criminal prosecution. During the course of their careers, criminal investigators may rotate through various assignments to include protective details, asset forfeiture investigations, and multi-jurisdictional task forces.

Some criminal investigators perform or oversee undercover assignments as a regular and recurring part of their assigned duties. Criminal investigator positions will normally be found in organizations whose primary purpose includes functions typically performed by criminal investigators, such as organizations responsible for performing inspection, compliance, enforcement, prevention, or deterrence functions.

Air Safety Investigating, GS-1815

Positions included in this series have duties involving the investigation and prevention of accidents and incidents involving United States aircraft anywhere in the world, and in the establishment of programs and procedures to provide for the notification and reporting of accidents. The investigation includes a report of the facts, conditions, and circumstances relating to each accident and a determination of the probable cause of the accident along with recommendations for remedial action designed to prevent similar accidents in the future. Special studies and investigations on matters pertaining to safety in air navigation and the prevention of accidents are conducted to ascertain what will best tend to reduce or eliminate the possibility of, or recurrence of, accidents. These duties and responsibilities require the application of a broad technical knowledge in the field of aviation, and experience or training that provides a knowledge of investigative techniques and/or legal procedures and practices. The federal government employs 65 in this occupation. The National Transportation Safety Board hires 45 and the remaining are employed by the Department of Transportation, ARMY and the Department of the Interior.

Job Series Titles: (The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.)

These standards for this new series represent a revision of certain of those portions of standards for the Aircraft Operation Series, GS-1681 (published in November 1947 under the code of P-807-0) concerned with investigation and related functions involving aircraft operations and safety in flight. The new series also includes some positions not formerly covered by published standards. The result is a single series that includes positions that have as their common objective the evaluation and investigation of air accidents, incidents, and safety hazards to ascertain the facts and circumstances relating thereto, determine the probable cause, make recommendations for effective remedial action, and disseminate the results to the aviation interests concerned.

Two major categories of work are included in this series:

  1. Work primarily related to military aircraft and military aviation.
  2. Work primarily related to civil aircraft and civil aviation (Positions in the Civil Aeronautics Board, the agency charged by statute with performance of the investigative duties in relation to civil aviation.)

Mine Safety and Health Inspection, GS-1822

This series covers positions which supervise, lead, or perform work involving underground and surface mining and milling operations associated with coal, metal, and nonmetal mines, and plants where ores are processed for distribution. Inspectors and specialists may determine and/or adjust monetary penalties assessed against violators of mine safety and health laws or regulations. The 1390 federal government employees in this series are all employed by the Department of Labor.

Positions in this series require:

  • knowledge of laws, regulations, and standards for mine safety and health.
  • knowledge of safety and health practices, principles, programs, and hazards applicable to mining and/or milling; and
  • practical knowledge of underground and/or surface mining processes and systems.

Job Series Titles: (The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.)

Mine safety and health inspectors and specialists develop, enforce, promote, advise on, and administer laws and regulations concerning safety and health in mines, mills, and plants which are part of the mining process. They must have knowledge of roof supports (underground) and ground controls (surface); ventilating; controlling airborne contaminants; maintaining mechanical and electrical machinery and equipment; preventing and controlling fires; transporting workers, supplies, and ore; mining ore; draining water; and controlling noise.

A mine is defined as a pit or excavation from which mineral substances are taken. Minerals located in mines include a wide range of substances, including stone, coal, salt, sand, gold, and copper. A plant (sometimes referred to as a mill or a preparation plant) is a facility where ore removed from the earth is processed into a distinct mineral of a particular size and consistency. This process typically involves separating the waste (e.g., rock, dirt, and miscellaneous other minerals) from the desired mineral, and cleaning, drying, sizing, grinding, crushing, heat treating, packaging, and shipping.

Federal law requires information be obtained about safety and health conditions in and around mines or mills by making periodic on-site inspections of the facilities. Mine operators who have small or inadequate staff, in particular, utilize the capabilities of inspectors and specialists to help them resolve problems. Inspectors and specialists establish and maintain effective working relationships with mine and mill workers, owners, and operators. They provide technical advice and guidance to mine operators on how to comply with safety and health requirements.

Aviation Safety, GS-1825

This series includes positions that involve primarily developing, administering, or enforcing regulations and standards concerning civil aviation safety, including (1) the airworthiness of aircraft and aircraft systems; (2) the competence of pilots, mechanics, and other airmen; and (3) safety aspects of aviation facilities, equipment, and procedures. These positions require knowledge and skill in the operation, maintenance, or manufacture of aircraft and aircraft systems. The vast majority of the 4,167 federal government employees in this series are all employed by the Department of Transportation. The Department of Agriculture employs 22, and the Department of the ARMY, Navy and Air Force each hire several in this category.

Aviation safety inspectors apply a broad knowledge of the aviation industry, the general principles of aviation safety, and the Federal laws, regulations, and policies affecting aviation. In addition, they apply intensive technical knowledge and skill in the operation, maintenance, or manufacture of aircraft. These three areas are discussed in more detail under Specializations and Titles.

Job Series Titles: (The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.)

Aviation safety inspectors develop, administer, and enforce the regulations and standards relating to aviation safety. They provide advice and guidance to many segments of the aviation industry and airmen in the interest of aviation safety. They perform the following types of duties:

  • Examining and issuing certificates to pilots and other airmen.
  • Evaluating and approving training methods, facilities, and equipment for pilots, mechanics, and other aviation personnel.
  • Issuing certificates and inspecting and evaluating activities of aviation organizations, such as air carriers, air taxis, and repair stations for conformance with the terms of their certification.
  • Monitoring the activities of aviation organizations including changes in their equipment, facilities, organization, key personnel, and overall scope of operations.
  • Monitoring, inspecting, and investigating civil aviation activities in their geographic areas to ensure compliance with Federal regulations and safety requirements, instituting appropriate enforcement action as necessary. Inspectors have authority to decide whether legal or administrative action is requirements, and their decisions are final.
  • Participating in accident investigations from the standpoint of Federal regulatory authority.
  • Advising persons desiring to enter some segment of the aviation industry on regulatory requirements, and on the facilities, equipment, personnel, and organization needed to operate safely.
  • Inspecting the airworthiness of aircraft, particularly those which have undergone alteration or major repair.
  • Inspecting plants that manufacture aircraft and aircraft parts to determine whether equipment, facilities, personnel, methodology, and quality control systems are adequate to produce the part or aircraft in conformance with the design specifications.
  • Conducting seminars and advising pilots, mechanics, and the general aviation public on aviation safety and accident prevention.

Three broad specializations are recognized in the titles for positions in this occupation: Operations, Airworthiness, and Manufacturing. The authorized titles for nonsupervisory positions are:

Aviation Safety Inspectors

Aviation Safety Inspector (Operations)
Aviation Safety Inspector (Airworthiness)
Aviation Safety Inspector (Manufacturing)

Positions that require supervisory qualifications are so designated by adding the prefix “Supervisory.” Positions in each of the specializations are distinguished as follows:

Aviation Safety Inspectors (Operations) apply knowledge and skills, typically acquired as airmen (pilots, navigators, flight instructors, etc.) to develop and administer regulations and safety standards pertaining to the operation of aircraft. They engage primarily in the following types of assignments: (1) Examining airmen for initial certification and continuing competence; (2) evaluating airmen training programs, equipment, and facilities; and (3) evaluating the operational aspect of programs of air carriers and similar commercial and aviation operations for adequacy of facilities, equipment, procedures, and overall management to ensure safe operation of the aircraft. Aviation Safety Inspectors (Operations) may perform a variety of other inspections, investigative, and advisory duties. However, the primary requirement for positions in this specialization is knowledge and skill in the operation of aircraft.

Aviation Safety Inspectors (Airworthiness) apply knowledge and skills typically acquired as repairmen of aircraft and aircraft parts or avionics equipment to develop and administer regulations and safety standards pertaining to the airworthiness and maintenance of aircraft and related equipment. They engage primarily in the following types of assignments: (1) Evaluating mechanics and repair facilities for initial certification and continuing adequacy; (2) evaluating mechanics training programs; (3) inspecting aircraft and related equipment for airworthiness; and (4) evaluating the maintenance aspects of programs of air carriers and similar commercial operations, including the adequacy of maintenance facilities, equipment and procedures, the competence of personnel, the adequacy of the program or schedule for periodic maintenance and overhauls, and the airworthiness of the aircraft. Aviation Safety Inspectors Airworthiness) may perform a variety of other inspections, investigative, and advisory duties. However, the primary requirement for positions in this specialization is knowledge and skill pertaining to the maintenance and airworthiness of aircraft.

Aviation Safety Inspectors (Manufacturing) apply primarily knowledge and skills pertaining to the design and production of aircraft, aircraft parts, and avionics equipment to develop and administer regulations and safety standards pertaining to the original airworthiness certification of aircraft, aircraft parts, and avionics equipment. They engage in the following types of assignments: (1) Inspecting prototype or modified aircraft, aircraft parts, and avionics equipment for conformity with design specifications; (2) inspecting production operations, including equipment, facilities, techniques, and quality control programs for capability to produce the aircraft or parts in conformance with design specification and safety standards; and (3) making original airworthiness determinations and issuing certificates for all civil aircraft including modified, import, export, military surplus, and amateur-built aircraft. Aviation Safety Inspectors apply knowledge of two or more of the above specializations, where no one specialization is predominant; or apply knowledge of an aspect of aviation safety not included in the above specializations.

Wage and Hour Investigation, GS-1849

This series covers positions which supervise, lead, or perform work involving:

  • conducting on-site investigations to obtain compliance by employers with wage and hour and related laws.
  • establishing, revising, and interpreting wage and hour program policies and guidelines; and/or
  • evaluating enforcement operations.

Work requires:

  • knowledge of related laws.
  • an understanding of business organizations, records systems, and practices related to the laws administered; and
  • the skill to apply varied investigative techniques to obtain compliance, including on-site questioning of employees and employers, negotiation and conciliation, instruction, persuasion, and litigation.

All of the 1,285 wage and hour investigators are employed by the Department of Labor. Wage and hour investigative work covers a variety of labor laws and regulations. These include minimum or prevailing wage rates, overtime pay requirements, child labor restrictions, exemption coverage, employment eligibility, family and medical leave, work visas, housing and transportation inspection in agriculture, and other employment issues in agricultural, commercial, construction, industrial, and other business establishments, public institutions, and domestic service in households. Investigators also consider the jurisdiction of various agencies, decisions and precedent-setting cases involving labor laws, and industry practices.

Wage and hour investigators, acting on complaints or leads, visit employers and supervisors in State and local government entities and industrial, commercial, agricultural, construction, service, and other business establishments to determine whether the employer has violated applicable laws and regulations. Investigators:

  • interview employers or employer representatives.
  • reconstruct events, sequences, and time elements and determine relationships, responsibilities, legal liabilities, and conflicts of interest.
  • observe work operations.
  • review business records and payrolls; and
  • interview current and former employees.

If violations are substantiated, investigators may negotiate with the employer to take appropriate action to remedy the violation and to work towards adherence to laws in the future, including paying any back wages or civil monetary penalties due. The majority of investigations are concluded independently by investigators, without requiring litigation. When voluntary compliance with wage and labor laws cannot be negotiated, investigators recommend civil or criminal action. They assist in prosecuting willful violators, working closely with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and testifying in court or before a grand jury.

Job Series Titles: (The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.)

Agricultural Warehouse Inspection, GS-1850

This series covers positions which administer, supervise, lead, or perform work involving:

  • inspecting storage facilities licensed or in the process of being licensed under Federal laws.
  • inspecting facilities storing products under a government contract or agreement.
  • inspecting the condition, quality, and amount of commodity stored in facilities; and
  • conducting and monitoring quality audits and warehouse examining projects.

Work requires knowledge of:

  • applicable laws and regulatory guidance.
  • construction, equipment, and operation of warehouses and facilities in the agricultural industries.
  • inspecting and examining techniques; and
  • business, bookkeeping, and business accounting practices, and audit methods to ensure products are safeguarded and available.

Federal law establishes Government oversight of warehouse owners under contract with farmers and Government agencies to store certain agricultural products. Owners can have their warehouses licensed under the Act, provided they and their warehouses meet certain requirements. When a warehouse owner applies for a license, an agricultural warehouse inspector examines the warehouse, equipment, and business records, and verifies legal and financial responsibility to determine whether Federal requirements are met. All of the 48 federal government employees in this series are all employed by the Department of Agriculture.

Subsequent inspections are made of the warehouse and the stored products to verify and ensure the warehouse owner continues to meet all requirements. When poor business practices or unhealthy conditions are uncovered by subsequent examinations, the warehouse owner is directed to correct these conditions. If appropriate corrections are not made within a specific time period, the warehouse license may be suspended or revoked. If the warehouse owner fails to make the proper corrections, the farmers and agencies that have a contract or agreement with the storage facility are advised of the noncompliance and the warehouse is no longer suitable for safe handling or storage of products. The warehouse is then removed from the agency register of approved facilities.

Agricultural products stored by the Government can be removed from a warehouse which has lost its license. No additional agricultural products in which the Government has a financial interest are placed in such storage until the warehouse owner has corrected the deficiencies. Inspections revealing possible fraud or conversion may lead to prosecution of the offending warehouse owner.

Depositors of agricultural products stored in a licensed warehouse under the supervision of the Federal Government are “identity preserved” and as such are assured of receiving the same products they deposited. When products are stored on a fungible basis, depositors are assured of receiving products of the same quality and quantity, or they have redress under the law. In both instances, warehouse receipts issued to depositors provide sound collateral for loans and other business transactions.
Agricultural warehouse inspectors perform three basic types of inspections: primary inspections; secondary inspections; and other compliance inspections. While the details of these inspections vary, the methods and techniques of conducting them are similar. Inspections can involve total quality systems audits of suppliers for food assistance programs. They may require interviewing Federal, State, and local Government officials, suppliers, warehouse operators, shippers, bankers, auditors, and trade associations.

Inspectors perform all inspections in accordance with quality standards; Federal, State, and local food safety laws, regulations, and requirements; and official commodity standards of the United States.

Job Series Titles: (The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.)

  • USAJOBS GS-1850 (Federal Job Lists)
    • Agricultural Inspector
    • Agricultural Warehouse Inspector

Equal Opportunity Investigation, GS-1860

This series covers positions which supervise, lead, or perform work to investigate issues and situations involving violations of equal employment, equal opportunity, and accessibility laws and regulations to eliminate illegal discrimination. All but 7 of the 841 federal government employees in this series are all employed by the Equal Opportunity Commission.
Work requires:

  • knowledge of investigative techniques, including interviewing, following leads, researching records, reconstructing events, and analyzing facts and statistical evidence.
  • knowledge of equal opportunity and civil rights laws, regulations, and precedent decisions; and
  • skill in negotiating and implementing settlement agreements.

The primary function of the work is to investigate actual and alleged violations of equal opportunity and civil rights laws, Executive and court orders, and regulations. These laws and regulations encompass a wide range of economic, social, and political activities including employment, housing, and education. The work also involves activities to bring violators into compliance.

Equal opportunity investigators collect and analyze data to:

  • determine if violations of equal opportunity and civil rights laws have occurred.
  • enforce laws prohibiting discrimination in the workplace.
  • interpret and reconcile conflicting statements during interviews and conciliation.
  • identify systemic or institutional barriers to equal opportunity; and
  • conciliate or seek appropriate remedy or relief after substantiating a violation of discrimination.

Complaints can be from either individuals or a group in a class action complaint. While investigators do not typically perform internal EEO program or policy work, they may investigate internal EEO complaints. Based on the issues and allegations, investigators must discern the type of information needed to substantiate a violation. Evidence is typically gathered through interviews, payroll and personnel records, employment applications, and population and demographic statistics.

Investigators analyze management practices, organizational structures, employment patterns, career path progression, and pay equity. Typically, the policies and practices have been institutionalized through labor agreements, other contracts, or well-established practices.

Investigators interview the charging party or parties, inform them of their rights under the law, and conduct a preliminary review of the charges to determine jurisdiction. They prepare and file charges and take affidavits of charging parties.
Investigators analyze information presented in the charge and develop an investigative plan. They obtain evidence through witness interviews and affidavits, written requests for information, on-site investigations, research of records, and when necessary, administrative subpoenas.

Investigators weigh conflicting testimony, assess witness credibility, and analyze the information obtained. They summarize and organize the evidence to develop a comprehensive report of investigative findings. Where the investigative findings warrant,

investigators perform post-investigation analysis to determine appropriate remedies for injured parties and hold formal conciliation discussions with the parties and/or their representative to achieve a mutually acceptable settlement. At any time during the investigation, investigators may conduct settlement discussions with the party or parties in an attempt to obtain a mutually satisfactory agreement. Investigators work closely with trial attorneys on cases being prepared for litigation and participate in pre-trial and trial proceedings.

Job Series Titles: (The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.)

Consumer Safety Inspection Series, GS-1862

This series includes technical positions concerned with planning and conducting inspections, investigation, and related sampling and data collection activities in support of the laws and regulations protecting consumers from foods, drugs therapeutic devices, cosmetics, fabrics, toys, and household products that are impure, unsanitary, unwholesome, ineffective, improperly labeled, or dangerous. These positions require a practical knowledge of the agency’s regulations and programs; a practical knowledge of chemical and biological processes and analytical methods; the characteristics of regulated products; pertinent manufacturing, storage, and distribution methods; and techniques of inspection, sampling, and field testing. The majority of the 3,630 federal government employees in this series are employed by the Department of Agriculture. The Department of Commerce and HHS employ less than 100 in this series. There are 31 working overseas.

Consumer safety inspectors perform inspections, sampling, and other data collection functions relating to regulated products. These products include foods, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, toys, sports equipment, flammable fabrics, and hazardous substances (a broad category that includes such things as lead-based paints, household cleaning products, and detergents). The primary purpose of their work is to obtain information needed to protect consumers from products that are impure, unwholesome, ineffective, improperly labeled, or in some other way harmful or misleading.

Job Series Titles: (The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.)

Food Inspection Series, GS-1863

This series includes positions that involve the inspection of slaughter, processing, packaging, shipping, and storing of meat and meat products, poultry and poultry products, fish and fish products, meat products derived from equines, and food establishments engaged in these activities in order to determine compliance with law and regulations that establish standards for the protection of the consumer by assuring them that products distributed to them are wholesome, not adulterated, and properly marked, labeled and packaged. Performance of the work in this series requires the knowledge of normal conditions in live and slaughtered meat, poultry, and fish; of standards of wholesomeness and sanitation of meat, poultry and fish products; and of the processing and sanitation practices of the food production industry or industries inspected. All of the 3,595 federal government employees in this series are all employed by the Department of Agriculture.

Job Series Titles: (The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.)

The title for positions in this occupation is Food Inspector, without further designation concerning the nature of the food inspected, such as meat, poultry, or fish. There are two approved specializations in this series:

  •  Slaughter Inspection, and
  •  Processed Products Inspection.

Slaughter inspection involves the ante-mortem and post-mortem inspection of cattle, swine, sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, rabbits, and equines.

Processed products inspection covers the inspection of all processed food containing the above animals, poultry, or fish. Processed products range from fresh boneless meats, ground meat and hamburgers, frozen fish fillets, and fish cakes, through ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat products to uncooked and cooked sausage, luncheon meat, canned food products, cured and smoked products, and refined lard and shortening, regardless of the meat, poultry, or fish products involved.

Positions that involve the inspection of slaughtered meat and poultry exclusively are entitled Food Inspector (Slaughter).
Positions that involve the inspection of processed products only are designated as Food Inspector (Processed Products).

Mixed positions and any other positions that do not fall in the established specializations are designated as Food Inspector, without parenthetical designation.

The prefix “Supervisory” is to be added to positions involving substantial supervisory responsibility.

The food inspection occupation covers both meat and poultry slaughter inspection, and meat, poultry, and fish processing inspection. The meat and poultry inspection program of the Federal Government is established under legislation that requires that all meat and poultry products in interstate commerce be wholesome, not adulterated, and properly marked, labeled, and packaged. Legislation also requires that meat, poultry, and meat and poultry products in intrastate commerce be inspected by State authorities in accordance with standards that are equal to those established by the Federal Government for interstate commerce. In the absence of an effective State inspection program equal to the Federal program, the Federal Government can assume responsibility for the inspection of meat and poultry products in intrastate commerce on its own authority, or at the request of the State.

Customs and Border Protection Interdiction, GS-1881

This series covers positions which supervise, lead, or perform aviation law enforcement operations to detect, interdict, apprehend, and prevent terrorists and other persons, weapons, and contraband from illegally entering or attacking the United States. All of the 668 federal government employees in this series are all employed by the Department of Homeland Security.

Positions covered by this series have in common the dual paramount requirement for knowledge of the customs and border protection activities which form the basis for the flying assignments and the knowledge and skills necessary to pilot aircraft.

Job Series Titles: (The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

The primary function of the CBP Air Interdiction Agent is to perform aviation law enforcement duties to aid in preventing illegal entry and smuggling of aliens, commercial goods, and/or contraband into the United States and to arrest persons suspected of such violations. These responsibilities are carried out through a variety of duties, which may vary because of sector requirements, geographical considerations, and program goals or objectives.

The duties of an agent require judgment and skill in aviation law enforcement involving:

  • air-to-ground border interdiction of people and conveyances illegally crossing land borders.
  • air-to-air border interdiction of aircraft illegally crossing air borders.
  • air-to-water border interdiction of conveyances illegally crossing water borders.
  • anti-terrorism detection and prevention operations (e.g., support to airspace security for designated areas and national security events as requested by the primary responsible agency).
  • enforcement of Temporary Flight Restrictions and other airspace restrictions; and
  • use of electronic equipment, such as two-way radios, night scopes, and remote monitored sensor and video systems.

Interdiction consists of several major functions including detecting, sorting, intercepting/tracking, apprehending, intelligence gathering, assisting in prosecuting, and coordinating with other law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

Import Compliance, GS-1889

This series covers positions which supervise, lead, or perform work involving the acceptance, tariff classification, appraisement, allowance of specified types of drawback claims, and/or liquidation of formal entries of imported merchandise. The major objectives of the work are to assess customs duties and associated taxes to be paid on imported merchandise, and to ensure compliance with related laws and regulations. All of the 1,033 federal government employees in this series are all employed by the Department of Homeland Security.  Work requires knowledge of:

  • tariff and other import-related laws, regulations, policies, procedures, and administrative and judicial rulings.
  • technical or physical characteristics, commercial uses, and trade practices associated with imported merchandise; and
  • import admissibility, classification and valuation of merchandise, final settlement of duties and taxes due, and related matters.

Located at seaports, international airports, border crossings, and other strategic inland locations, import specialists examine document packages submitted by importers or by representatives, called customhouse brokers. Importers or brokers must submit document packages known as “formal entries” to legally enter foreign merchandise into the commerce of the United States.
Import specialists must be alert for potential acts of misrepresentation and fraud. They request financial audits and criminal investigations when they suspect illegal activity. They identify and recommend potential areas of inquiry and explain the significance of information developed by auditors and investigators related to those inquiries. Based on their knowledge of repeat importers, they recommend whether and to what extent to consider the explanations given by penalized importers. They possess an in-depth knowledge of particular commodities and the manner in which the commodities are bought, sold, packaged, and shipped. Import specialists apply this knowledge as members of special enforcement teams established to combat fraud and smuggling.

Job Series Titles: (The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.)

Customs Entry and Liquidating Series, GS-1894

This series includes all classes of positions the duties of which are to administer, supervise, or perform work involving the examination, acceptance, processing, or issuance of documents required for the entry of imported merchandise into the United States and the initial classification of merchandise covered by the entries; the final determination of the statutory classification of merchandise covered by the entries; the determination of customs duties and applicable internal revenue taxes accruing on such merchandise; the ascertainment of drawback to be paid on exported articles manufactured with the use of duty-paid or tax-paid imported merchandise or substituted domestic merchandise; and the determination of the validity of protests against liquidation decisions on formal entries. All of the 485 federal government employees in this series are all employed by the Department of Homeland Security

These standards apply to positions the duties of which involve (a) the initial receipt, examination, and acceptance of entry documents; initial classification of merchandise; approval of estimates of duty and internal revenue tax payable; designation of packages and merchandise for the appraisers’ examination; examination and acceptance of bonds; issuance of permits to deliver merchandise; assistance in the enforcement of import restrictions and prohibitions; and the furnishing of information to the importing public concerning entry requirements, rates, customs regulations, and similar matters; and (b) the final determination of the statutory classification of imported merchandise; the final determination of duties and applicable taxes due; the ascertainment of drawback to be refunded on imported merchandise used in the manufacture of articles to be exported; and the analysis of protests against decisions concerning the classification of merchandise.

Job Series Titles: (The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

  • USAJOBS GS-1894 (Federal Job Lists)
    • Customs Entry Officer
    • Customs Liquidator

Customs and Border Protection, GS-1895

This series covers positions which supervise, lead, or perform work involving detecting and preventing terrorists and instruments of terror from entering the United States, and enforcing and administering laws relating to the right of persons to enter, reside in, or depart from the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the importation/exportation of merchandise.

All of the 21,038 federal government employees in this series are all employed by the Department of Homeland Security.

Job Series Titles: (The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.

  • USAJOBS GS-1895 (Federal Job Lists)
    • Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer
    • CBP Officer

Natalia Papachoris was interviewed for an article on our federal jobs blog titled Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer Jobs by Betty Boyd. Papachoris, Chief CBP Officer, GS-13 wanted to become a CBP Officer because it offered her the opportunity to do something that she knew would be a challenge. She stated, “I also knew it would be very rewarding. I knew I would receive invaluable training, and that this career would allow me the opportunity to positively impact many people’s lives. As an officer, I am able to interact with hundreds of travelers every day, and I work with some of the most amazing people from all parts of the country.”

Officer Papachoris gets satisfaction from knowing that all of the work the agency does has a great impact on the nation. She states, ” Of course, everyone hears about the very exciting enforcement work we do, which is outstanding; but we also do so much more! A big part of our job entails facilitating trade and tourism into the Unites States. It is very rewarding to know that the work we do not only keeps bad things and bad people out of the country, but it also has a positive impact on the US economy every day.”

The most rewarding part of her job is that she sees the clear outcomes of her work. Natalia explains that, “whether apprehending and denying entry to a traveler with nefarious intentions or seizing harmful contraband, I know my efforts make a difference. I enjoy the constantly varied challenges that are put in front of me and the ability to be flexible and adaptable to solve the problems. I am motivated by the encouragement I receive to think outside the box and be creative.”
Officer Papachoris would advise people entering the field that, “this job has unlimited opportunities. Not only do we have officers working in most every part of the country, but we have international positions as well. The work we do entails so many different jobs; a new officer will have so many possibilities.”

She further states, “We are the first line of defense on our borders! We are responsible for protecting against terrorists, apprehending individuals who attempt to enter the US illegally; for interdicting illegal drugs and other contraband, and we also protect our agricultural and economic interests from harmful pests and diseases. Most importantly, what other job can offer so much? ”

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers:

  • interview persons and examine documents to determine citizenship and immigration status;
  • make informed decisions regarding the admissibility of aliens into the United States and admitting, holding, or releasing merchandise;
  • obtain information about the description, characteristics, value, and country of origin of imported merchandise or agricultural products, by questioning and eliciting information from people;
  • search persons, baggage, cargo, and carriers for contraband;
  • monitor, examine, and process cargo containers at seaports to facilitate importing merchandise; and
  • exercise sound judgment necessary to apprehend, detain, or arrest persons at the point of entry who are violating Federal immigration, customs, agriculture, or other laws.

The work requires knowledge of laws, regulations, policies and procedures concerning the legal entry of persons and merchandise into the United States.

The work and responsibilities of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers have changed over time. Some of the aspects impacting the work are:

  • the threat of terrorist activities and weapons of mass destruction;
  • more accessible international travel and trade;
  • the examination process is frequently carried out in a language other than English;
  • the preliminary screening and processing functions for immigration, customs, and animal and plant health inspections can be carried out by one officer at border stations or passenger terminals; and
  • immigration laws are expanded to delegate removal authority under certain conditions to CBP Officers.

CBP Officers must deal with large numbers of people and nationalities (e.g., U.S. citizens, aliens, immigrants, non-immigrants, or refugees) presenting themselves for entry and the import/export of merchandise into the United States. There is a certain stress created by the examination process due to the numbers of people or amount of cargo, and the time spent waiting to be processed. People have often traveled great distances, and by the time they present themselves for examination, are tired, short-tempered, and even hostile.

CBP Officers conduct inspections at:

land ports along the borders shared with Mexico and Canada;

  • air ports of entry throughout the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands;
  • seaports along the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Great Lakes; and
  • pre-clearance sites abroad and designated foreign Container Security Initiative (CSI) cargo locations.

Border Patrol Enforcement, GS-1896

This series covers positions which supervise, lead, or perform work involving enforcing the laws that protect the Nation’s homeland by the detection, interdiction, and apprehension of those who attempt to illegally enter or smuggle any person or contraband across the Nation’s borders. All of the 20,704 federal government employees in this series are all employed by the Department of Homeland Security.

Work requires:

  • knowledge of statutes, regulations, instructions, and precedent-setting decisions pertaining to enforcement of immigration and naturalization laws and regulations;
  • knowledge of standard investigative techniques and law enforcement procedures to enforce immigration and naturalization laws and related Federal statutes;
  • skill in evaluating information rapidly, making timely decisions, and taking prompt and appropriate actions under less than optimal conditions;
  • proficiency in a foreign language; and
  • an understanding of foreign cultures and customs.

Job Series Titles: (The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series.)

Border patrol agents constitute a vital part of the enforcement function of the Federal Government. The work of border patrol agents involves detecting and preventing illegal entry and smuggling of aliens, commercial goods, narcotics, weapons, and/or contraband into the United States and arresting people suspected of such violations. Their work includes a focus on preventing terrorists and terrorist weapons, including weapons of mass destruction, from entering the United States. Individuals who enter the United States illegally may cross the border by a variety of means including walking, riding, flying, tunneling under, or swimming across the borders. Border patrol agents work autonomously in vast stretches of rugged terrain, where they are required to use their best judgment. They conduct daily risk assessments to identify, prepare for, and mitigate the hazards associated with the areas to which they are assigned.

Border patrol agents must deal effectively with individuals of different nationalities and cultural backgrounds. In their work, they may develop, evaluate, use, and control informants. Border patrol agents use standard investigative techniques, such as interviewing witnesses, searching records and databases, conducting surveillance, and analyzing intelligence information. Depending on the situation, they may use a variety of equipment and vehicles, including two-way radios, night scopes, remote-monitored sensor and video systems, and 4–wheel drive vehicles.

Border patrol agents conduct interviews, interrogations, searches, seizures, and arrests in compliance with laws and precedents regarding the rights of citizens and aliens. In order to make an arrest, there must be probable cause and reasonable suspicion a violation has occurred and the person of interest has committed it.

Border patrol agents are authorized to execute warrants and other processes issued under laws regulating the admission, exclusion, or expulsion of aliens; administer oaths; take statements; and take and consider evidence. Border patrol agents may represent the United States in misdemeanor smuggling and illegal entry cases before a magistrate. They prepare detailed paperwork to substantiate the allegations made against the defendant and present the Government’s case in court.