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General Engineer/Physical Scientist

Open & closing dates
  •  01/21/2021 to 01/28/2021
  • Competitive

Pay scale & grade
  • GS 11
  • $70,989 to $92,290 per year
Appointment type
  • Permanent
Work schedule
  • Full-Time


1 vacancy in the following location:

Relocation expenses reimbursed

Telework eligible
Yes as determined by agency policy

This job is open to

The public

Announcement number

Control number



  • This position is in the Office of Air and Radiation, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, Assessment and Standards Division, Fuels Center.
  • If selected, you must work at the location stated in this announcement. 
  • About the Office of Air and Radiation.
  • Learn more about this agency


  • At the entry level of this position, you will:
  • Gather and analyze scientific data and information to assist in developing Agency policies on fuel control strategies;
  • Participate in evaluating and modeling projects on fuel changes to assess the impact on vehicle/engine emissions and performance;
  • Assist in the evaluation and modeling of new renewable and alternative fuels to assess environmental and marketplace impacts;
  • Participate in projects representing the Agency’s operating programs for transportation fuels to provide recommendations for advancing programs and methods.
  • When entering a Federal job at a grade level lower than the highest promotion potential level, you may be promoted to more complex duties and work more independently, as your career progresses.
  • You will spend less than 25% of your work time on contracts, grants/cooperative agreements, and/or interagency agreements.

Supervisory status
  • No
Promotion Potential
  • 13

Job family (Series)

  • 0801 General Engineering
  • 1301 General Physical Scientist


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. citizen.If you are selected, a pre-employment background check is required.You must submit a resume and required documents--see How to Apply section.Position has education requirements--see Qualifications/Education section.EPA and non-EPA applicants must submit transcripts/course listings.You may be required to travel less than 25% of each month.This position is designated as Moderate Risk and requires a background investigation. Unless an appropriate background investigation is already on record with the Office of Personnel Management, you must undergo a background investigation. All conditions of the pre-employment security process must be met before an official letter of employment can be issued with a report for duty date.
  • If you are selected, you may be required to complete a one-year probationary period.
  • If you are selected, you will be required to complete a Confidential Financial Disclosure form within 30 days of your first day of employment and annually thereafter.


  • In addition to the educational requirements, we are looking for at least one year of specialized experience related to this position as described below:
  • To qualify for the GS-11 level, you need to have at least one year of full-time experience equivalent to the GS-09 level defined as analyzing and/or interpreting environmental policies and regulations; and evaluating and/or participating in scientific modeling projects.
  • - OR Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree; or 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree in the academic discipline as described below
  • - OR an equivalent combination of education and experience.

  • Your application package will be used to evaluate your competencies in the following areas: 1) Knowledge of emissions testing standards and methods; 2) Knowledge of scientific modeling techniques and principles; 3) Ability to assess the technical and economic effectiveness of the chemical and/or biological processes used to produce conventional and alternative fuels; 4) Skill in analyzing the impact of transportation policy options on criteria and greenhouse gas emissions; 5) Ability to work collaboratively with internal and external stakeholders to analyze and interpret environmental policies and regulations; 6) Ability to independently interpret scientific material and information for both technical and non-technical audiences; 7) Skill in oral communication; 8) Skill in written communication.
  • 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, 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.

  • If you have part-time work experience, read this: EPA Announcement Policies and Procedures.


  • You need a degree or combination of education and experience as described below to qualify for this position.
  • Physical Scientist: You must have a bachelor's or higher degree from an accredited or pre-accredited college or university in one of the following: physical science, engineering, or mathematics that included 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science such as mechanics, dynamics, properties of materials, and electronics; OR a combination of education and experience with education equivalent to one of the majors listed that included at least 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science, plus appropriate experience or additional education. 
  • General Engineer: All applicants must meet one of the following requirements to qualify for consideration for an engineering position:
  • Successful completion of a professional engineering degree at an accredited university or college
  • OR
  • Have a combination of college level education or training AND technical experience that has furnished you with (1) a thorough knowledge of the physical and mathematical sciences underlying professional engineering, and (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 as an engineer.
  2. Evidence of passing the Engineer-in-Training written test.
  3. Successful documented completion of at least 60 semester hours of courses in the physical, mathematical, and engineering sciences as described by OPM.
  4. Successful completion of a curriculum leading to a bachelor's or higher degree from an accredited or pre-accredited college or university in engineering technology or in an appropriate professional field and at least 1 year of professional engineering experience acquired under professional engineering supervision and guidance.

Additional information

  • Except in special circumstances, those new to the federal government will be hired at the starting salary (step 1) of the applicable grade range listed above.
  • EPA participates in E-Verify. E-Verify is an Internet based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA) that enables participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees. For additional information: EPA Announcement Policies and Procedures.
  • Are you a Displaced Federal Employee? If so, please read the Required Documents section and visit the EPA website for additional information: EPA Announcement Policies and Procedures
  • Position has portable work and selectee may be authorized to telework after meeting eligibility requirements if approved by the supervisor/manager.
  • If you are selected, travel, transportation, and relocation expenses will not be paid by EPA. Any travel, transportation, and relocation expenses associated with reporting to work in this position will be your responsibility.
  • This position is in the bargaining unit.
  • One or more positions may be filled.
  • Read more

How You Will Be Evaluated

  • You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
  • This position is being filled through the Office of Personnel Management’s government-wide direct-hire authority. Under the provisions of the direct-hire authority, category rating, veterans’ preference, and traditional rating and ranking of applicants do not apply. All eligible applicants will be forwarded to the selecting official for further consideration, and you may be subject to assessments during the selection process. If you are selected, we will review your resume and required documents to ensure you meet the qualification requirements.

  • To preview questions please click here.
  • Read more

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Drug test required
  • No
  • Required Documents
  •  Help

Required Documents

  • Documents to be submitted online:

  • NOTE: You should ensure your social security number, date of birth, and any other personal information are redacted.

  • --Resume clearly stating your experience related to this position as described in the Duties section and Qualifications section. In describing your experience, you need to be clear and specific. We may not make assumptions regarding your experience.
  • --Responses to the online assessment questionnaire (you must complete this online - it is not a document you need to upload).
  • --College transcripts - required to submit either unofficial transcripts or a list of courses that includes school(s) attended, school address, course title, grades earned, completion dates, department, and quarter or semester hours earned. NOTE: Official educational transcripts are not required at the time of application; however, if you are selected, you must provide official transcripts before you start work with EPA. IF EDUCATION WAS COMPLETED AT A FOREIGN INSTITUTION: You must submit an equivalency evaluation with your application as described here: EPA Announcement Policies and Procedures.
  • --Displaced Federal employees under ICTAP/CTAP: copy of your most recent performance appraisal, proof of eligibility, and your most current SF-50 noting position, grade level, tenure, and duty station.

  • To learn more about submitting documentation, visit Uploading Documents to USAJOBS.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:


  • A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.
  • Join EPA in protecting human health and the environment and enjoy many work life quality options! Working for the EPA offers you a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation, sick leave, holidays, life insurance, health benefits, and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System. To learn more about us, visit Life and Careers at EPA.
  • Review our benefits
  • Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.
  • How to Apply
  •  Help

How to Apply

  • You are strongly encouraged to read the entire announcement before you submit your application for this position.

  • To begin the application process, click the Apply button to the right on this screen, follow the prompts to log-in/register, submit all required documents, and complete the assessment questionnaire. To be considered, you must submit a complete application package by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on the day the announcement closes.

  • All required supporting documents will be collected electronically via the USAJOBS document portfolio feature.

  • If you cannot apply online, you must contact the Human Resources Office listed below for assistance no later than three business days prior to the closing date of this announcement. You must provide complete application materials by the day the announcement closes.

  • For detailed instructions to assist you in ensuring your application package is received, go to EPA Announcement Policies and Procedures.