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Experience and Education Requirements

The following table shows the amounts of education and/or experience required to qualify for computer clerk and assistant positions in the GS-335 series:




OR Education







3 months


High school graduation or equivalent


6 months


1 year above high school


1 year


2 years above high school



1 year equivalent to at least GS-4

4 years above high school

GS-6 and above


1 year equivalent to at least next lower grade level

Generally, not applicable

Equivalent combinations of education and experience are qualifying for all grade levels and positions for which both education and experience are acceptable. Proficiency requirements are described below.


General Experience: Progressively responsible clerical, office, or other work that indicates ability to acquire the particular knowledge and skills needed to perform the duties of the position to be filled.

Specialized Experience: Experience that equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA's) to perform successfully the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the position to be filled. To be creditable, specialized experience must have been equivalent to at least the next lower grade level. Applicants who have the 1 year of appropriate specialized experience, as indicated in the table, are not required by this standard to have general experience, education above the high school level, or any additional specialized experience to meet the minimum qualification requirements. Click here for examples of specialized experience.

Education: Successfully completed education above the high school level in any field for which high school graduation or the equivalent is the normal prerequisite is creditable at grades GS-3 through GS-5. This education must have been obtained in an accredited business, secretarial or technical school, junior college, college or university. One year of full-time academic study is defined as 30 semester hours, 45 quarter hours, or the equivalent in a college or university, or at least 20 hours of classroom instruction per week for approximately 36 weeks in a business, secretarial, or technical school.

As a general rule, education is not creditable above GS-5 for most positions covered by this standard; however, graduate education may be credited in those few instances where the graduate education is directly related to the work of the position.

Intensive Short-Term Training: Completion of an intensive, specialized course of study of less than 1 year may meet in full the experience requirements for GS-3. Courses of this type normally require completion of up to 40 hours per week of instruction rather than the usual 20 hours per week, and are usually of at least 3 months duration. Such courses may have been obtained through a variety of programs such as those offered by business or technical schools, and through military training programs. To be creditable, such a course must have been designed specifically as career preparation for the work of the position being filled, and must have provided the applicant with the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to do the work.

Proficiency Requirements

Positions with parenthetical titles of (Typing), (Office Automation), or (Stenography): In addition to meeting experience or education requirements, applicants for these positions must show the ability to type 40 words per minute.

Examples of Specialized Experience:

For GS-5: 1) utilizing a terminal/computer equipment and software to enter data/information and retrieving all or parts of program outputs on demand; 2) monitoring accuracy and integrity of computer tracking reports; 3) providing assistance to computer operators and/or systems analysts to correct operational and control problems; 4) providing clerical support to an office when that included utilizing knowledge of word processing and data base systems. For examples 1-4, a designated authority provided assignments by clearly defining objectives, priorities, and deadlines. Initiative was used in carrying out recurring assignments independently. New or unusual problems were referred to a designated person for decisions or assistance. Work was reviewed for adequacy, technical soundness, and compliance with instructions or established procedures.

For GS-6: application of principles and concepts of microcomputer systems; entering and retrieving information; familiarity with software applications; recognizing and solving common or recurring computer data entry problems; network administration under close supervision; application of commercial database, word processing, and spreadsheet software.

For GS-7: performing a wide range of preparation, advice, assistance, coding and procedures relating to problem solving; using knowledge of data processing rules, operating procedures and processing methods; performing system configuration and assisting in the migration of application software among various software libraries using knowledge of hardware/software program capabilities; retrieving non-standard data and reports; advising and training users of new instructions and hardware.

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Page Last Updated: 7/13/2015 9:29 PM