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Trade Specialist, GS-1140

Education and Experience Requirements

The following table shows the amounts of education and/or experience required to qualify for Trade Specialist positions. Click here for information on how experience and education may be combined.


Education xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx OR Experience








4-year course of study leading to a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major study in marketing, business administration, political science, public administration, history, business or commercial law, economics, finance, international trade, or international relations.  

3 years, 1 year of which was equivalent to at least GS-4



1 full year of graduate level education or superior academic achievement


1 year equivalent to at least GS-5


master's or equivalent graduate degree

or 2 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree

or LL.B. or J.D., if related


1 year equivalent to at least GS-7


Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree

Or 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree

Or LL.M., if related


1 year equivalent to at least GS-9

GS-12 and above



1 year equivalent to at least next lower grade level

Equivalent combinations of education and experience are qualifying for all grade levels for which both education and experience are acceptable.


Undergraduate Education: One year of full-time undergraduate study is defined as 30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours in an accredited college or university.

Graduate Education: Education at the graduate level in an accredited college or university in the amounts shown in the table meets the requirements for positions at GS-7 through GS-11. Such education must demonstrate 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 information cannot be obtained from the school, 18 semester hours should be considered as satisfying the 1-year of full-time study requirement.

Part-time graduate education is creditable in accordance with its relationship to a year of full-time study at the school attended.

General Experience: general experience is 3 years of progressively responsible experience, 1 year of which was equivalent to at least GS-4, that provided an understanding of the principles of merchandising, market research, sales promotion, and advertising, and similar aspects of the distribution of goods and services.

Specialized Experience: Experience that demonstrated knowledge of:

  • Marketing that included economic, psychological, and sociological influences bearing upon consumption patterns;
  • Business practices pertaining to wholesale, retail, manufacturers' distribution, distribution costs, finance and tax structure, and similar areas of activity or concern; and
  • For International Trade Specialist positions, international economic and political factors influencing balance of payments, monetary exchange and tariffs, and their bearing on the distribution of commodities.

Examples of qualifying specialized experience include:

  • Promotional work with trade associations or Chambers of Commerce.
  • Export-import management, sales promotion, and advertising.
  • Investment analysis.
  • International relations work in the commercial field.
  • Area economics development planning.
  • Foreign trade documentation and forwarding activities.
  • Work with international insurance companies.
  • Teaching college-level courses in the fields listed above under "Undergraduate and Graduate Education."

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