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GS-806

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Materials Engineer, GS-806


Basic Requirements for all grades, GS-5 and above

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.

Click here for information on alternate methods of qualifying without a professional degree in engineering.

 

Additional Experience and Education Requirements For GS-7 and Above

In addition to meeting the basic entry qualification requirements, applicants must have specialized experience and/or directly related education in the amounts shown in the table below:

Grade

 

Education

 

Specialized Experience

 

GS-7

1 year of graduate-level education in an accredited college or university or superior academic achievement

1 year equivalent to at least GS-5

GS-9

2 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a master's degree or master's or equivalent graduate degree

1 year equivalent to at least GS-7

GS-11

3 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. degree or Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree

1 year equivalent to at least GS-9

GS-12 and above

 

1 year equivalent to at least next lower grade level

NOTE: Education and experience may be combined for all grade levels for which both education and experience are acceptable.

 

Graduate Education: Completion of graduate level education in the amounts shown in the table, in addition to meeting the basic requirements, is qualifying for positions at grades GS-7 through GS-11 if it provided the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work. One year of full-time graduate education is considered to be the number of credit hours that the school attended has determined to represent 1 year of full-time study. If that number cannot be obtained from the school, 18 semester hours should be considered an academic year of graduate study. Part-time graduate education is creditable in accordance with its relationship to a year of full-time study at the school attended.

Specialized Experience: Experience that equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the work of the position to be filled. To be creditable, specialized experience must have been equivalent to at least the next lower grade level in the normal line of progression for the occupation in the organization.

Additional Experience and Training Provisions for Graduates of Professional Engineering Curricula:

  • Superior academic achievement at the baccalaureate level in a professional engineering curriculum is qualifying for GS-7.
  • Individuals can be converted noncompetitively to a GS-7 position if they complete all the requirements of a Federal baccalaureate level student-trainee program, including 1040 hours of work experience, 320 hours of which was at the GS-5 level.
  • A combination of superior academic achievement and 1 year of appropriate professional experience is qualifying at GS-9.
  • Applicants with an engineering degree who have appropriate experience as a technician equivalent to grade GS-5 or higher may have such experience credited for grade GS-7 only on a month-for-month basis up to a maximum of 12 months.
  • Successful completion of a 5-year program of study of at least 160 semester hours leading to a bachelor's degree in engineering is qualifying at GS-7. Completion of such a program and 1 year of appropriate professional experience is qualifying at grade GS-9.

Definition of Professional Engineering Experience: The professional engineering experience required for grades GS-7 and above is defined as non-routine engineering work that required and was characterized by (1) professional knowledge of engineering; (2) professional ability to apply such knowledge to engineering problems; and (3) positive and continuing development of professional knowledge and ability.

Professional knowledge of engineering is defined as the comprehensive, in-depth knowledge of mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences applicable to a specialty field of engineering that characterizes a full 4-year professional engineering curriculum leading to a bachelor's degree, or the equivalent.

Professional ability to apply engineering knowledge is defined as the ability to (a) apply fundamental and diversified professional engineering concepts, theories, and practices to achieve engineering objectives with versatility, judgment, and perception; (b) adapt and apply methods and techniques of related scientific disciplines; and (c) organize, analyze, interpret, and evaluate scientific data in the solution of engineering problems.

Professional work in engineering, like that in other professions, is marked by continuing personal effort to keep abreast of the advancing and changing discipline. Continuing education in engineering and related fields is an important element of full professional competence as an engineer that should be considered in evaluating the qualifications of applicants for professional engineering positions.

In some situations, experience may be creditable even if it is not clearly professional engineering work. In such cases, the experience must have been preceded by prior responsible professional engineering experience and must contribute directly and significantly to the applicant's engineering competence. For example, an engineer might be assigned to a management-type position in preparation for assumption of higher-level responsibilities in engineering project or program management.

Graduate Education:

Individuals can be converted noncompetitively to a GS-9 position if they complete all the requirements of a Federal graduate-level student-trainee program, including completion of a master's degree in engineering and completion of 640 hours of work experience, 320 hours of which was at GS-7.

Regardless of the field of undergraduate study, completion of the requirements for a master's or higher degree in engineering from an accredited college or university is fully qualifying for the grade indicated, provided the applicant's total background, i.e., education and any experience, demonstrates evidence of knowledge, skills, and abilities that are substantially equivalent to those acquired through the successful completion of the courses specified in paragraph (1).

With a bachelor's degree in engineering, graduate education in a related field is acceptable in lieu of graduate study in engineering for appropriate types of positions. For example, a BS in engineering plus a master's degree in business administration would be qualifying for Industrial Engineer, GS-9, but not for GS-9 laboratory positions in research and development. The key consideration in determining if such graduate education should be credited is whether or not the education provided the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to perform the work of the position being filled.

College Teaching:

College-level teaching of engineering may be considered as professional experience in engineering. In accepting and evaluating teaching experience, all specific qualification requirements pertaining to the evaluation of professional experience such as grade level, responsibility, scope, specialization, and knowledge required are also applicable to the evaluation of teaching experience. Teaching experience that is accompanied by a significant amount of research, direction of research, investigative, or similar work may be credited at full value in meeting a specific requirement for research, investigative, or similar experience.

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Page Last Updated: 7/13/2015 9:30 PM