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Open to Recent Graduates: Individuals who have graduated from an accredited educational institute or certificate program within the last 2 years or 6 for veterans.


  • This is a developmental position with promotion potential to a Contract Specialist, GS-1102-12. At the lower levels, the selectee will perform developmental assignments under closer supervision than that required at the full performance level of GS-12. Assignments become progressively more difficult until the next performance level is reached. At the full performance level of this position (GS-12), some of the duties include:
  • Perform pre-award procurement functions of varying complexity for contracts of good, systems, and services; advises senior management on long term procurement strategies to ensure acquisition projects are consistent with mission requirements
  • Advise technical personnel on statements of work, resolves contract audit recommendations, and serves on Source Evaluation Boards to provide input on a variety of contract related services.
  • Evaluate contract solicitations, negotiate contract terms and conditions, and prepare memoranda for price and award documentation associated with contracts.
  • Determine milestones and administer contracts for procurement of goods, systems, and services; ensures contractor performance is in compliance of terms and conditions and regulatory guidelines.
  • Prepare briefings and reports on status of ongoing contracts, identifies issues that require attention, and recommend appropriate actions to resolve acquisition related problems.
  • The Recent Graduates Program affords developmental experiences intended to promote possible careers in the civil service to individuals who have recently graduated from a qualifying educational institutions or programs. Participants who successfully complete the program may be converted to a term or permanent position, conversion is not mandatory


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a United States Citizen.
  • This employer participates in the e-Verify program.
  • See "Other Information" section regarding Selective Service requirements.
  • Resume and question responses MUST be submitted online
  • Subject to satisfactory security and suitability determinations

To be considered for this Recent Graduate position, you must:
  • Have completed, within the previous two years, a qualifying associates, bachelors, masters, professional, doctorate, vocational or technical degree or certificate from an accredited educational institution;
  • Veterans who were unable to apply for Pathways Recent Graduate jobs due to active military service are eligible for two years after release or discharge from active duty, up to six years after completing degree requirements.

To be eligible for conversion to a permanent or term position, conversion is not mandatory or guaranteed, Recent Graduates must:
1. Be a United States citizen.
2. Have successfully completed at least one-year of continuous service in addition to all requirements of the Program.
3. Demonstrate successful job performance.
4. Meet the Office of Personnel Management's qualifications for the position to which the Recent Graduate will be converted.

  • Subject to the appropriate background investigation to determine suitability or fitness for federal employment.
  • This position is included in a Bargaining Unit.
  • This position is included in the Department of Energy's Acquisition Career Management Program. The selectee will be required to meet specific certification requirements within a reasonable period of time (typically 24 months) from the date of placement in the position.
  • The duration of a Pathways appointment under Sch D is a trial period.
  • Must complete a Pathways Recent Graduates Program Participant Agreement


Basic Requirements for GS-5 through GS-12 1102

  1. A 4-year course of study leading to a bachelor's degree with a major in any field;
  2. or
  3. At least 24 semester hours in any combination of the following fields: accounting, business, finance, law, contracts, purchasing, economics, industrial management, marketing, quantitative methods, or organization and management.
  • In addition to meeting the "Basic Requirements" described above, you must also meet the "Specialized Experience Requirements" described below.
  • You must also submit a copy of your college or university transcripts (official or unofficial photocopy) to support your educational claims. Failure to submit this documentation by the closing date will result in disqualification from further consideration. Official transcripts will be required if you are selected to fill the position. College transcripts are still required if you currently occupy or previously occupied the series for which you are applying.
  • This position is covered under the Federal Acquisition Certification (FAC-C) Program.
  • For the GS 7, If you are not currently certified you must achieve certification of FAC-C level I within 24 months of appointment
  • For the GS 9, If you are not currently certified you must achieve certification of FAC-C level II within 24 months of appointment

  • In addition to the basic education requirement listed above, to qualify at the GS-07 level, applicants must possess one the the following:
  • At least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the next lower grade level GS-05 grade level in the Federal service.
  • Specialized experience for this position is defined as: 
  • Assisting in the review of procurement actions to determine cost effectiveness and compliance with legal and regulatory requirements
  • Assisting Senior Contract specialists by helping prepare procurement documentation and solicitation packages;
  • Assisting with periodic briefings and written reports on the status, issues, and progress of the procurement process to assigned site management.
  • Superior Academic Achievement. Superior academic achievement is defined as any of the following: 
  • standing in the upper third of the graduating class in the college, university, or major subdivision
  • grade point average of 3.0 out of a 4.0 overall or during the final 2 years of the curriculum
  • grade point average of 3.5 out of 4.0 in the major field overall or during the final 2 years of the curriculum
  • Election to membership in a national scholastic honor society. Grade-point averages are to be rounded to one decimal place. For example, 2.95 will round to 3.0 and 2.94 will round to 2.9
  • One full academic year of graduate education or law school or superior academic achievement
  • An academic year of graduate education is defined as 18 semester hours or 27 quarter hours should be considered as satisfying the 1 year of full-time study requirement or the number of credit hours that the school attended has determined to represent 1 academic year of full-time study. 
In addition to the basic requirements listed above, to qualify at the GS-09 level, applicants must possess one of the following:
  • One year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-07 grade level in the federal service.
  • Specialized experience for this position is defined as: 
  • Assisting in the development of procurement plans by reviewing previous history, market conditions, and specifications or technical data packages.
  • Supporting other specialists by negotiating extensions, adjustments, and other routine contract modifications.
  • Working as part of a team to collect and process data submitted by management, and contractors, using collected data to develop and maintain spreadsheets; and assisting in collecting required information for special reports.
  • Maintaining suspense files/system for subcontracts submitted by contractors for approval and assists Senior Contract Specialists in obtaining concurrences from program officials, legal staff, and review board members.
  • Two full academic years of progressively higher level graduate education or masters or equivalent graduate degree or LL.B. or J.D.
  • Your application and resume should demonstrate that you possess the following knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs). Do not provide a separate narrative written statement. Rather, you must describe in your application how your past work experience demonstrates that you possess the KSAs identified below. Cite specific examples of employment or experience contained in your resume and describe how this experience has prepared you to successfully perform the duties of this position. DO NOT write "see resume" in your application!
  1. Knowledge of business and industrial practices that support contracting initiatives.
  2. Ability to develop contract negotiation strategies and positions demonstrated by experience or coursework requiring development of negotiation skills.
  3. Analytical ability sufficient to review potential contractor bids and proposals and perform analyses using historical trends and market pricing as demonstrated by experience or coursework requiring development of analytical skills.
  4. Skill in conducting research, summarizing results, and making sound recommendations to meet established needs.  
  • "Experience" refers to paid and unpaid experience. Examples of qualifying unpaid experience may include: volunteer work done through National Service programs (such as Peace Corps and AmeriCorps); as well as work for other community-based philanthropic and social organizations. Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills; and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

  • CTAP/ICTAP candidates: To be considered "well qualified" you must meet all of the requirements as described in this section.
  • You must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of this announcement.


  • Your unofficial/official transcripts MUST be submitted with your application package to be considered for this position.
  • For the GS-1102, Contract Specialist, Grades GS-5 through GS-12, you must possess the following Basic Requirements:
  • A. Degree: A 4-year course of study leading to a bachelor's degree with a major in any field
  • OR
  • B. At least 24 semester hours in any combination of the following fields: accounting, business, finance, law, contracts, purchasing, economics, industrial management, marketing, quantitative methods, or organization and management.
  • Additional information regarding GS-1102 qualifications can be found on the OPM website at: Contracting Series, 1102
  • Education at the GS-7 & GS-9 positions:
  • If you are qualifying based on education alone, you must meet the following criteria in addition to the basic requirements specified above.
  • GS-07 level: 1 year of graduate-level education or superior academic achievement.
  • GS-09 level: 2 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a master's degree, or master's or equivalent graduate degree, or LL.B or J.D., or a combination of specialized experience and education as described below.
  • Graduate Education
  • To qualify for GS-1102 positions on the basis of graduate education, graduate education in one or a combination of the following fields is required: accounting, business, finance, law, contracts, purchasing, economics, industrial management, marketing, quantitative methods, or organization and management.
  • Education must be obtained from an accredited institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Foreign education must be reviewed by an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. For special instructions pertaining to foreign education and a list of organizations that can evaluate foreign education, see the Department of Education website.

Additional information

How You Will Be Evaluated

  • You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
  • The Department of Energy uses an application tracking system to evaluate the responses you provide in the applicant assessment questionnaire to place you into an initial quality category via OPM's Category Rating procedures. Then, the HR Office and/or Subject Matter Expert (SME) will conduct a quality review of your application and supporting documentation to ensure you have been placed into the appropriate quality category.
  • Your application is rated based on the extent and quality of your experience, education (when applicable), and training as described in your resume and applicant assessment. Your credentials are measured against the established duties of the position at the grade level(s) being advertised.
  • The quality categories are usually defined as "Best Qualified", "Well Qualified", and "Qualified", although they may differ slightly based on individual agency policy.
  • If you are eligible for career transition assistance plans such as ICTAP or CTAP, you must meet the definition of "well qualified" which is defined as having a score of 85 or better.
  • If you are a Veteran Preference eligible candidate, you will be listed at the top of whichever quality category your rating places you in. CP/CPS veterans are placed at the top of the highest category for all positions except professional and scientific positions at GS-9 and higher.
  • If your resume is incomplete or does not support the responses you provided in your online questionnaire, or if you fail to submit all required documentation before the vacancy closes, you may be rated 'ineligible', 'not qualified', or your score may be adjusted accordingly.
  • To preview questions please click here.

Required Documents

Please carefully review the following list to determine what documentation you need to submit. Some documents may not apply to all applicants.

If you are unsure, click the link for each document type to read more.

ALL APPLICANTS: You must submit a resume supporting your specialized experience and responses to the online questionnaire.
  • Your resume should list all work experience (paid and unpaid); you must list the full name and address of the each employer.
  • For all types of work experience, you should indicate the start and end dates (include month, day, and year); you must also list the average number of hours per week that you worked.
  • For paid work experience, please indicate your starting salary for each position and the highest salary you earned (if different).
  • Your resume should also include any education and training you have completed (list the program title, subject area, number of hours completed, and completion date).
  • For more information about what to include in your resume, please view this USAJOBS Resume Tutorial video on YouTube.
  • Most DOE offices will allow you to submit a resume in the format of your choice (as an attached document or as a USAJOBS Resume Builder format). However, some offices may require one specific format. You will be notified at the time you click 'Apply Online' which type of resume is acceptable. It is important that you are complete and thorough in your resume. If any of the above information is not included in your resume, we may not be able to fully credit you for your experience.
  • If specific educational requirements are indicated for this vacancy: Documentation verifying your educational claims which can include unofficial transcripts or any report listing institution, course title, credits earned and final grade. Please see the Education section for more information.
  • Veterans: veteran eligibility documentation (DD-214 Member #4 Copy, VA Letter, Standard Form (SF) 15 as applicable). Please note: If you are a veteran who has not yet been discharged, you may provide a statement of intent to discharge from your agency to receive Veterans Preference under the VOW (Veterans Opportunity to Work) to Hire Heroes Act of 2011.
  • Persons with Disabilities: Individuals with intellectual disabilities, severe physical disabilities, or psychiatric disabilities may apply for appointment through the Schedule A hiring authority. Certified verification of a disability from a licensed medical professional; a licensed vocational rehabilitation specialist; or any Federal, state, or District of Columbia agency or U.S. territory that issues or provides disability benefits will be required.
  • Displaced Federal employees who qualify for CTAP/ICTAP: If you are a former Federal employee who was displaced due to a Reduction-in-Force (RIF) or surplused by some other means, please submit a copy of the separation letter or RIF notice from your agency. To be selected under I/CTAP, you must still be found well-qualified for this position. Please see the OPM Guide to Career Transition for more information.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
  • 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.
  • Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.