Position Description and Application Information
This position is located within a USDA Natural Resources Conservation state, area, or field office within a designated state.
This position provides assistance to the Soil and Water Conservation District assigned to the field office within the assigned Natural Resources area; and to work with landowners to apply and maintain a number of conservation practices and review of financial assistance requests under the provision of federal, state, and local agriculture programs.
- Provides information to farmers, ranchers and other rural residents on the kind of assistance available from NRCS and other USDA agencies.
- Assists with conducting engineer surveys to design mechanical practices to be utilized in conservation planning.
- Advises landowners on eligibility prerequisites and conditions that must be satisfied to qualify for program acceptance and payments.
- Provides technical support to conservation planners in resource planning by utilizing survey tools and planning software.
Conditions of Employment
- You must be a US Citizen or US National.
- Males born after 12/31/1959 must be Selective Service registered or exempt.
- Subject to satisfactory adjudication of background investigation and/or fingerprint check. If selected you will be sent instructions on obtaining fingerprints. Please note we are not able to reimburse any fees incurred for fingerprints.
- Successful completion of one-year probationary period, unless previously served.
- Direct Deposit: Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to their financial institution.
- Successfully pass the E-Verify employment verification check. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, visit E-Verify at https://www.e-verify.gov/.
- Must possess and maintain a valid state motor vehicle operator's license for the type of vehicle(s) operated to perform the duties of this position.
Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement including specialized experience and/or education, as defined below.Minimum Qualification Requirement:
To be considered minimally qualified for this position, you must demonstrate that you have the required specialized experience and/or education for the respective grade level(s) in which you are applying:NOTE TO APPLICANTS:
The GS-0458 Soil Conservation Technician series is a technical position. Education is not a requirement for this position; however, this series allows individuals without experience in this field to substitute education in lieu of experience.GS-04Specialized Experience:
One year (12-months) of specialized experience. Examples of specialized experience at this level include: Providing information and assistance to install and maintain conservation measures on public or privately owned land including cropland, grazing land (range or pasture), parks, shoreline, refuse waste sites, dams and reservoir areas, water and sewer sites, road embankments, forests, and wildlife habitats; OR;Education:
Successful completion of 2 years of study that included at least 12 semester hours in any combination of courses such as forestry, agriculture, crop or plant science, range management or conservation, wildlife management, watershed management, soil science, natural resources (except marine fisheries and oceanography), outdoor recreation management, civil or forest engineering, or wildland fire science. No more than 3 semester hours in mathematics is creditable.GS-05Specialized Experience:
One year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-04 grade level in the Federal service which includes: 1.) Installing and maintaining agricultural land soil and water conservation measures on farms and ranches; Participates in efforts to implement conservation practices in conjunction with cropping, irrigation, and grazing systems and wildlife habitat management; AND/OR 2.) participation with an NRCS co-op organization such as a Conservation District, State Conservation Agency or Conservation Non-Governmental Organization. OR;Education:
Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study leading to a bachelor's degree (a) with major study in forestry, range management, agriculture, or a subject-matter field directly related to the position, or (b) that included at least 24 semester hours in any combination of courses such as forestry, agriculture, crop or plant science, range management or conservation, wildlife management, watershed management, soil science, natural resources (except marine fisheries and oceanography), outdoor recreation management, civil or forest engineering, or wildland fire science. No more than 6 semester hours in mathematics is creditable. OR;Combination of experience and education:
You must have a combination of education and experience as listed above which when combined totals 100% of the necessary education and experience to qualify for this position. Only education in excess of the first 60 semester hours of a course of study leading to a bachelor's degree is creditable toward meeting the specialized experience requirements. Two full academic years of study, or 60 semester hours, beyond the second year is equivalent to l year of specialized experience. The total percentage must equal at least 100 percent to qualify an applicant for GS-5.GS-06Specialized Experience:
One year of specialized experience, equivalent to at least the GS-05 grade level in the Federal service, performing the following duties:
- advising landowners on the use of one or more conservation practices such as terraces, grassed waterways, diversions, underground outlets, irrigation system improvements, cropping systems, fencing, livestock water development, or nutrient management etc. to address individual resource concerns including soil erosion, water quality degradation, or declining range health.
- installing and maintaining agricultural land soil and water conservation measures on farms and ranches.
- performing engineering surveys, processing survey data, preparing engineering designs, and conducting construction inspection activities for various soil erosion stabilization and water diversion practices.
- providing advice on integrating multiple conservation practices using established client objectives. OR;
One full year of graduate education from an accredited college or university leading to a master's degree with a major course of study in Soil Conservation, Soil Science, Agricultural Engineering, Civil Engineering, Engineering/Construction Technology (Auto CAD/Drafting, Surveying, GIS), Agronomy, Agri-Business/Economics.
For more information on the qualifications for this position, click here: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-standards/0400/soil-conservation-technician-series-0458/
Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE.
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
You must submit a copy of your transcripts to include course number, title, completion and grade. Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. If a relevant course is not clearly qualifying (e.g. special topic, seminar, research, thesis, obscure or misleading course title, etc.), please submit an official course syllabi and/or detailed course description from the university/college for that particular course to ensure you are properly evaluated. Please note that qualifications determinations are based solely on the information submitted for each particular vacancy announcement.
Important: If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. Click on this link for more information.
Failure to provide all of the required documents/information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.
- Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP), Reemployment Priority List (RPL), or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): Visit the OPM website for information on how to apply as a CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP eligible. To exercise selection priority for this vacancy, CTAP/RPL/ICTAP candidates must meet the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors. CTAP/ICTAP candidates must be rated and determined to be well qualified (or above) based on an evaluation of the competencies listed in the How You Will Be Evaluated section. When assessed through a score-based category rating method, CTAP/ICTAP applicants must receive a rating of at least 85 out of a possible 100.
- Active-Duty Service Members You must submit a statement of discharge/certification of release or an official written document from the armed forces that certifies you are expected to be discharged or released from active-duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions no later than 120 days from the date the certification is signed. Enlisted Record Briefs and military identification do NOT qualify as official documentation. Although veteran preference points are not assigned under category rating procedures, veteran preference eligibles are listed ahead of non-veterans within each category for which they are qualified. In addition, qualified veterans with a compensable service-connected disability of 10% or more are placed at the top of the highest quality category (i.e., Best Qualified).
- If you are selected for a position with further promotion potential, you will be placed under a career development plan, and may be non-competitively promoted if you successfully complete the requirements and if recommended by management. However, promotion is neither implied nor guaranteed.
- Physical Demands: The work requires regular and routine prolonged walking over field terrain and bending, lifting, and stretching when utilizing survey instruments and equipment.
- Work Environment: The work involved regular and recurring exposure to agricultural and construction type equipment while in operation. There may be exposure to heat, snow, and ice as well as herbicide and chemical spray operations, which require safety precautions.
- PLEASE NOTE: In the interest of filling these positions as efficiently as possible, we are requiring the following:
- If called for an interview, applicants must be available to interview within 3 business days of being contacted.
- If a tentative job offer is extended, selectee will have 2 business days in which to accept or decline.
- This position is eligible for telework within the local commuting area of the position and other flexible work arrangements. Current USDA policy includes telework for an 8-hour workday, 4 days per week; other flexibilities are possible dependent upon availability and/or the position and its associated duties. Employee participation is at the discretion of the supervisor.
- Recruitment and/or relocation incentives may be authorized.