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Technical Analyst with STEM Master's/PhD degree (ETIC) - Full Performance

For sixty years, the NRO has developed, acquired, launched and operated the satellites that are the foundation for America’s advantage and strength in space. Using a diversified architecture of spacecraft, NRO collects and delivers the best space-based intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance content on the planet.

Learn more at

Basic Eligibility For A Position With The NRO

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen
  • You must be 18 years of age or older
  • You must be able to obtain and maintain a TS/SCI security clearance
  • You will be subject to pre-employment and periodic drug testing
  • You will be subject to pre-employment and periodic polygraph examinations

Federal Employee Vaccination Requirement 
To ensure compliance with nationwide COVID-19 vaccine protocols, please visit NRO Apply Now to review the latest guidance.

Where You Will Work
Do you enjoy designing, creating, and exploring possibilities? Are you a recently graduated or a candidate for a STEM PhD looking for an exciting challenge? Does designing complex and innovative overhead reconnaissance systems interest you? Does a career with an “out of this world” mission sound intriguing? 

If so, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) is looking for you!

The NRO seeks recently graduated or early career STEM Master's or Doctorate degree professionals to serve as Technical Analysts. NRO will select multiple motivated, team-focused, highly qualified individuals to engage in the NRO mission by applying creative solutions to complex technical and operational problems.

Selectees will join the Advanced Systems & Technologies Research Open Laboratory Environment (ASTROLABE) office as a member of the Enterprise Technical Innovation Corps (ETIC). During their 1-2 year assignment in ASTROLABE, ETIC activities focus on developing the knowledge, skills, and abilities to become a technical leader within the Government with direction aimed at learning the NRO, understanding emerging technology, and applying this knowledge to help advance NRO programs.

The NRO Cadre is collecting resumes for consideration against current and future opportunities for Entry Level or Full Performance Level (GG-09-GG-12), Technical Analysts, occupational series 0801, 1301, or 1501. For more information on the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) occupational series, click here.

Your resume may be considered for other positions which your skills and experience may be a good match.

This is a full-time position that is open until filled.

Who May Apply

  • This position is open to the public.
  • Federal government employees MUST currently be at the grade level or higher as indicated in this announcement. This is NOT a promotion opportunity for current Federal government employees. If selected for the position, Federal government employees will transition laterally at their current grade level and step.
  • Federal applicants who exceed the advertised grade may voluntarily request acceptance at the lower grade per IAW DoD 1400.25 Volume 2006.
  • The NRO is only accepting external applicants for this job announcement. Current NRO Cadre employees should apply internally.

What You Will Be Doing  

  • Prepare, provide, and evaluate conventional plans, designs, design specifications, and related documentation determining and/or executing actions for a wide range of assignments involving a combination of complex features.
  • Provide advice to senior colleagues and/or management officials responsible for broad program operations.
  • Research trends and patterns; develop new methods and criteria; propose new policies and practices; conduct technical analysis and field laboratory work to achieve products or services.
  • Evaluate the value and applicability of new or improved technology, strategies, trends, or applications.
  • Assess project and program effectiveness interacting with NRO-user community with respect to system and/or operational requirements.
  • Provide expertise and advice on program planning and policy-making functions covering a broad range of engineering and scientific program and plans. Develop and advise on and implement critical projects and/or segments of NRO programs, projects, or activities.
  • Initiate and conduct thorough and comprehensive analytical studies or other complex studies involving varied subject matters. Studies vary in complexity based on scenario and the number of analytical models employed. Define the problem, formulate scope, establish objectives, formulate methodologies, coordinate research contributions of others and identify significant findings. Produce insightful findings, alternative courses of action, solutions to critical problems, etc., which have significant impact in changing or improving practical and/or theoretical concept development to future special operations.
  • Conduct systemic exploration of problems and analysis of alternatives. Present trend analysis data ascertaining potential problem areas. Define the problems involved, formulate concepts in addressing these problems, and review and evaluate the final outcomes of the study. Identify and clarify major factors and issues of the study. Establish the objectives and approach; formulate methodologies; and plans, advise on and coordinate study activities.
  • Plan, execute and report on original studies or ongoing studies requiring a fresh approach to resolve new problems, modifying and adapting standard procedures, methods and techniques to address problems.
  • Plan, coordinate, implement, test, and conduct projects, serving as an advisor to other scientists or engineers.
  • Perform scientific and technical evaluation, correlation, synthesis and presentation or important data in a complex field making significant technical and scientific recommendations and decisions.

What You Need 

This position requires Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) Doctorate degree which falls in the 0801, 1301, or 1501 OPM occupational series. Degree areas are outlined below:

  • For the 0801 Series:
Degree: Professional Engineering. To be acceptable, the curriculum must: (1) be in a school of engineering with at least one curriculum accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) as a professional engineering curriculum; or (2) include differential and integral calculus and courses (more advanced than first-year physics and chemistry) in five of the following seven areas of engineering science or physics: (a) statics, dynamics; (b) strength of materials (stress-strain relationships); (c) fluid mechanics, hydraulics; (d) thermodynamics; (e) electrical fields and circuits; (f) nature and properties of materials (relating particle and aggregate structure to properties); and (g) any other comparable area of fundamental engineering science or physics, such as optics, heat transfer, soil mechanics, or electronics.

  • For the 1301 Series:
Degree: 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.

  • For the 1501 Series:
Degree: Mathematics, statistics, or actuarial science. The degree must be in a major field of study (at least at the baccalaureate level) that is appropriate for the position.
Qualifying experience may have been acquired in any public or private sector job but will clearly demonstrate past experience in the application of the particular competencies/knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to successfully perform and is typically in or directly related to the duties of the position as described above. Experience must be reflected in your resume. 

Desired Qualifications
  • Computer and Data Science with emphasis on Autonomy, Machine Learning, and Data Networks
  • Aerospace, Electrical, Mechanical Engineering with emphasis on Controls, Communications, Signals Processing
  • Physics with emphasis on Remote Sensing
  • Mathematics

Other Information
  • Overtime Statement: May be required to work other than normal duty hours, which may include evenings, weekends, and/or holidays.
  • Travel Statement: May be required to travel in military or commercial aircraft to perform temporary duty assignments.
  • Financial Disclosure: May be required to file an OGE Form 450, Confidential Financial Disclosure Report, upon appointment and will be required to file annually.
  • Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) coded positions: If selected for a DAWIA coded position, the incumbent must meet appropriate certification requirements IAW the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) no later than 24 months after accepting this position. Individual shall maintain, at a minimum 80 continuous Learning Points every 24 months via the services acquisition management system. DAWIA requirements may be located at the Defense Acquisition University website.
  • Geographic Mobility Agreement: May be subject to directed reassignment as required to address mission effectiveness, and/or career development.
  • Information Assurance (IA): Must achieve the appropriate IA certification within six months of assignment.
  • Emergency Essential: Certain positions are deemed emergency essential and incumbents must be willing to meet all position requirements.

Chantilly, VA

2023 salary range for the Washington, DC area:
GG-09: $64,957 - $84,441
GG-11: $78,592 - $102,166
GG-12: $94,199 – $122,459

**This position is a Full Performance level DCIPS position. The NRO is accepting applications from U.S. Citizens and current federal government employees for this position.  To qualify for the position, federal government employees MUST currently be at the GG-09, GG-11, or GG-12 grade level and may ONLY apply for a lateral reassignment at their current grade level and step. Federal applicants who exceed the advertised grade may voluntarily request acceptance at the lower grade per IAW DoD 1400.25 Volume 2006.

Hiring Incentives
The NRO may offer hiring incentives and other entitlements at management’s discretion.

Trial Period
All new DCIPS employees will be required to serve a 2-year trial period.

Veterans’ Preference
DoD Components with DCIPS positions apply Veterans’ Preference to preference eligible candidates as defined by Section 2108 of Title 5 USC, in accordance with the procedures provided in DoD Instruction 1400.25, Vol 2005, DCIPS Employment and Placement. If you are a veteran claiming veterans’ preference, as defined by section 2108 of Title 5 USC, you must submit documents verifying your eligibility upon request.

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.

Reasonable Accommodation Policy
Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.
Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:
  • An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.
You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis. Please send your request to

Privacy Act Notice
Privacy Act Notice (PL 93-579): We use this information to determine qualifications for employment. This is authorized under Title 5 U.S.C. 3302 and 3361.
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