Student Trainee (Soil Conservationist)
Please see full job announcement and apply through external link.
Open & closing dates
- Opening and closing dates 10/13/2020 to 10/19/2020
Pay scale & grade
- GS 2 - 3
- $25,479 to $37,700 per year
Help Help Location
many vacancies in the following location:
Relocation expenses reimbursed
Yes as determined by agency policy
Help Help This job is open to
- Current students enrolled in accredited educational institutions from high school to graduate level. Includes internships, pathways and other student programs.
Clarification from the agency
WHO MAY APPLY: Students who are currently enrolled or accepted for enrollment on at least a half-time basis at a qualifying educational institution in a certificate, degree, or diploma program with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
Duties Help Help Duties
- Position is under the Pathways Student Internship Authority, designed to provide students enrolled in a variety of educational institutions, from high school to graduate level paid work opportunities in agencies to explore federal careers while in school.
- If selected you must report no later than June 2021 to begin the internship.
- Learn more about this agency
- This position is designed to provide a career-oriented introduction to the background, philosophy, concepts, and scope of the NRCS Soil Conservation Management Programs and a practical understanding of the policies of the employing organization.
- Assists in program and conservation planning for a variety of soil and water practices such as terraces, diversions, waterways, farm drainage systems, and others.
- Learns to perform surveys and set construction stakes for a variety of practices. May operate rod or chain or other specialized instruments to lay out simple practices.
- Assignments are developmental in nature and, in conjunction with formal education, the Intern will gain the necessary competencies leading to conversion to a permanent professional position in Soil Conservation.
- Work assignments are selected to ensure that the Intern receives on-the-job training and exposure to one or more program functions.
- Receives training in the principles, concepts, work processes, and regulations of one or more functional areas of Soil Conservation and Biological Sciences.
- As training advances and proficiency is demonstrated, work assignment are increasingly more demanding, and are designed to provide experience in a variety of activities.
- On a scheduled basis, following the Pathways Participant Agreement, receives assignments in various Soil Conservation and Biological Sciences functions.
- Receives formal and on-the-job training in OPM, Department of Agriculture and Natural Resource Conservation Service policies, rules, regulations, and procedures
- Is instructed on the use of personal computers, and file and data management.
- Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.
Job family (Series)
Requirements Help Help Requirements
Conditions of Employment
- Must be a U.S. Citizen or National or be lawfully permitted to the U.S. as a permanent resident or otherwise authorized to be employed. Must be a U.S. citizen at the time of conversion to the competitive service.
- If you are a males born after 12/31/1959, certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System or are exempt from having to do so.
- Must be in good academic standing as defined by USDA as a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale
- Complete at least 640 hrs of work experience prior to completion of degree
- Enrolled at least half-time at a qualifying educational institution
- A signed participant agreement is required for employment under Pathways
- Must be suitable for Federal employment as determined by a background investigation.
- Direct Deposit: Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to their financial institution
- Successfully pass the E-Verify employment verification check. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, visit https://www.e-verify.gov/
- The incumbents of Internship positions may be reassigned/relocated to any geographical location where the employee's services are needed as determined by management. Mobility agreement may be required.
- This position requires the incumbent to possess a valid state driver's license.
- The candidate's academic and career goals must be related to the position that they are appointed to.
- May be required to successfully complete a probationary/trial period.
- There are multiple internship positions available throughout the state of Wisconsin being filled under the Pathways Student Internship Authority. If selected, the actual duty location will be determined by the State/Selecting official. The available locations are as follows:
- Baraboo, WI
- Barron, WI
- Chippewa Falls, WI
- Lancaster, WI
- Madison, WI
- Manitowoc, WI
- Mauston, WI
- Medford, WI
- Portage, WI
- Rhinelander, WI
- Waupaca, WI
- West Bend, WI
- Program Eligibility Requirements
- Applicant must meet the definition of a student that is, be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an accredited technical or vocational school, two-year or four-year college or university, graduate or professional school. You must be taking at least a half-time academic course load leading to a degree or certificate. A certificate program is defined as a post-secondary education, in a qualifying educational institution, equivalent to at least one academic year of full-time study that is part of an accredited college-level, technical, trade, vocational, or business school curriculum. Applicants must be enrolled at least half-time as defined by your educational institution;
- Applicants must be in good academic standing (GPA of 2.5 or equivalent) to qualify for the intern program and to stay throughout the duration of their intern in, or related to, the internship opportunity being advertised.
- Examples of relevant educational fields for this position include but are not limited to: Agriculture, Soil Conservation, Soil Science, Plant Science, Crop Science, Agronomy, Forestry, Rangeland Management, Ag Engineering, Natural Resources, Environmental Science, or other natural resource-related disciplines that will allow applicants to qualify for the conversion requirements listed below.
- This internship is intended to last for more than one year in order for the selected applicants to gain the required experience and meet all the requirements of the pathways program.
- Position Qualifications: Applicants must meet position qualifications requirements as shown below at the time of appointment. The agency must be able to verify that the education was completed successfully before the applicant can be appointed.
- Below is the education requirement to be qualified for this position:
- For GS-02 Completion of high school or possession of a GED diploma.
- For GS-03 Completion of 1 full academic year of post-high school study.
- One full academic year of undergraduate education is defined as 30 semester hours, 45 quarter hours or the equivalent as defined by the accredited college or university.
- One full academic year of graduate education is defined as 18 semester hours or the equivalent as defined by the accredited college or university.
- Conversion Information: Candidates selected from this announcement may be eligible for non-competitive conversion to the entry-level for the target occupation within 120 days of successful degree completion. Non-competitive conversion is to a permanent position in the competitive service, provided that all terms of the Internship Program are met and there is an available position. Entry level for these positions are typically at the GS-05, GS-07 or GS-09 level. The actual grade level at the time of conversion depends on academic achievement and other factors. Conversion is not mandatory or guaranteed and is at agency discretion.
- Pathways Interns may convert to a permanent position for which they qualify for (e.g., GS-457). Upon conversion to the competitive service, this position will have a career ladder up to the GS-09 full performance level. To be eligible for conversion, you must satisfactorily complete all Pathways Program requirements:
- Complete at least 640 hours of work experience prior to graduation, typically one summer of full time work (40 hours per week) is equivalent to 320 hours;
- Complete all mandatory training requirements;
- Meet performance expectations and be recommended for conversion;
- Meet suitability requirements; and
- Meet the position's Qualification Requirements of the associated occupational series as outlined in the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, General Schedule Qualifications Standards. See the link below:
- After conversion to a permanent position in the Competitive Service, progression from the entry-level to the full performance level for this occupation will depend on successful completion of all requirements for promotion to the next higher grade level. Promotions may be considered after a year at each grade level, but are not guaranteed to occur on a specific time schedule.
- The GS-0457 Basic Requirement is:
- Degree: soil conservation or related agricultural or natural resource discipline such as agronomy, soil science, forestry, agricultural education, or agricultural engineering. The study must have included 30 semester hours in a natural resource or agricultural field, including at least 12 semester hours in a combination of soils and crops or plant science. Of the 12 semester hours, a minimum of 3 semester hours must have been in soils and 3 semester hours in crops or plant science.
- The duty station for these positions will be at one of the duty locations listed in this announcement. Final determination of the duty station will be made by the selecting official at the time of the job offer. Salary range as shown is the locality pay area of Rest of U.S. (RUS). Pay rates vary depending on location and may be higher or lower than the amount shown. Please visit the Office of Personnel Management's website for additional information on pay rates:
- College Transcripts: You must submit a copy of your college transcript or high school diploma/GED certificate as proof that you meet the educational requirements for the grade to which you are applying. You may submit unofficial copies of transcripts at the initial phase of the application process; however, if selected, you will be required to submit official transcripts prior to entrance-on-duty. See "Required Documents" section for more details.
- MUST PROVIDE all transcripts/proof of enrollment/acceptance, and/or current class schedule.
- All academic degrees or course work must be completed in an educational institution that has obtained accreditation from an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. For a list of schools that meet this criteria, see http://www.ed.gov/
- The Internship Program is designed to provide students enrolled in a wide variety of educational institutions, from high school to graduate level, with opportunities to work in agencies and explore Federal careers while still in school and while getting paid for the work performed. This Student Trainee position will be filled as an Intern appointment. The appointment is indefinite and is expected to last for the duration of the student's academic attendance.
- Student Trainees assignments will be under direct supervision, developmental in nature and assist in gaining the competencies necessary for the duties listed below.
- Physical Demands: Work requires regular and recurring physical exertion such as walking on rough terrain, jumping ditches and furrows, climbing steep banks, or negotiating other terrain features.
- Work Schedules: Selected Interns will be expected to work full-time (40 hours per week) during school summer breaks, and may be allowed to work part-time during the school year, depending on location/state selected.
- Promotion Potential: If you are selected for a position with further promotion potential, you will be placed under a career development plan, and may be non-competitively promoted if you successfully complete the requirements and if recommended by management. However, promotion is neither implied nor guaranteed.
- Depending on budget, NRCS may authorize a one-time gross housing stipend for the summer if the location selected for is outside the local commuting area of your temporary or permanent address, AND may also provide reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses necessary to get to and from duty station at the end of the work period (summer). Availability and the gross amount will vary by location.
- Training/IDP: This position requires 40 hours of formal, interactive training. An Individual Development Plan (IDP) must be completed and approved by the supervisor within 45 days of appointment.
- Student Trainees will perform the following duties under direct supervision. Assignments will be developmental in nature and will assist the employee in gaining the competencies necessary for a career.
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How You Will Be Evaluated
- You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
- Your application will be reviewed to determine if you meet the Position Qualifications and Pathways Intern Program Eligibility Requirements listed in the "Qualifications" section above. Applicants who meet these requirements will be placed on the certificate of eligibles per the grade qualified and forwarded to the selecting official for further review and consideration. Selections will be made from the certificate of eligibles. Interviews may be conducted but are not guaranteed.
- Veteran's preference applies in the arrangement of qualified applicants for all USDA Pathways Programs positions (5 CFR 302.101(a). Qualified applicants eligible for veteran's preference will be referred and considered ahead of non-veterans.
- NOTE: If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you provided false documentation, you will be removed from consideration.
- Clicking the link below will present a preview of the application form; i.e. the online questionnaire. The application form link below will only provide a preview and does not initiate the application process. To initiate the online application process, click the "Apply" button to the right.
- To view the application form, visit: https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/10932616
- If you are graduating in the same semester or term in which you are appointed, you must be able to complete 640 work hours prior to graduation. Spring 2021 graduates will be required to provide proof of continued enrollment for Fall 2021. If no proof of continued enrollment is provided, you will be deemed ineligible for an internship.
- These positions have a targeted effective date of Spring-Summer 2021. The tour of duty is full-time and may be filled at the GS-02, GS-03 grade level with promotion potential to G-04, with a target conversion position of GS-0457-09.
- Before you submit an application for any of our vacancies, you should completely review the announcement and requirements. You should only apply for positions you meet the required minimum qualifications AND program requirements described in the announcement. Do not apply to a duty
- location if you are not willing to accept or travel to that location.
- If you have reviewed the announcement and believe that you meet both the minimum qualifications and the program requirements, you should document your experience and education in your resume. Since traditional resumes do not provide all the information needed to determine your status, you should create a more detailed resume to use when applying to Federal positions. Please ensure that your resume contains your full name, permanent address, contact phone number and email address.
- Please ensure that your resume contains your full name, permanent address, contact phone number and email address.
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Background checks and security clearance
Drug test required
Position sensitivity and risk
Trust determination process
Required Documents Help Help Required Documents
- The following documents are required for your applicant package to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, your system failure, etc. Encrypted documents will not be accepted. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.
- Resume that includes:1) personal information such as name, address, contact information; 2) education; 3) detailed work experience related to this position as described in the major duties including work schedule, hours worked per week, dates of employment; title, series, grade (if applicable); 4) other qualifications.
- Transcripts: A copy of your most recent transcripts is required showing field of study, school name, student's name, current GPA or academic standing, past and current course work, degree program, and major/concentration. Please be sure to submit all available transcripts to help ensure that you are properly evaluated for the qualification requirements of this position. Note: An unofficial copy of your transcripts is sufficient with this application; however, if selected, official college transcripts will be required prior to entering on duty.
- Enrollment Verification: If your transcripts reflect current/in-progress enrollment, separate enrollment verification is not required. If your transcripts do not reflect current/in-progress enrollment, you must provide proof of current enrollment or acceptance in the form of letters, records, or statements issued from an authorized source (i.e. University Registrar's Office).
- Academic Verification: If your transcripts do not reflect current Academic Standing/GPA, please provide proof of your academic standing in the form of letters, records, or statements issued from an authorized source (i.e. University Registrar's Office).
- If claiming veteran's preference, you must submit a DD214, Certificate of Release from Active Duty, which shows dates of service and discharge under honorable conditions .If currently on active duty you must submit a certification of expected discharge or release from active duty service under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted. Veteran's preference must be verified prior to appointment. Without this documentation, you will not receive veteran's preference and your application will be evaluated based on the material(s) submitted.
- If claiming 10-point veteran's preference you must provide the DD214 or certification requirements (see above bullet), plus the proof of entitlement of this preference as listed on the SF-15 Application for 10-point Veterans' Preference. The SF-15 should be included but is not required. Failure to submit these documents could result in the determination that there is insufficient documentation to support your claim for 10-point preference. For more information on veterans' preference visit FEDSVISITVETS.
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
- Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
- Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.
Benefits Help Help Benefits
- 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.
- 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 Help How to Apply
- Please read the entire announcement and all instructions before you begin. You must complete this application process and submit all required documents electronically by 11:59p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.
- Applying online is highly encouraged. We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00a.m. - 4:00p.m., Monday - Friday). If applying online poses a hardship, contact the Agency Contact listed below well before the closing date for an alternate method. All hardship application packages must be complete and submitted no later than noon ET on the closing date of the announcement in order to be entered into the system prior to its closing.
- This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis; contact the Agency Contact to request this.
- To begin, click "Apply Online" and follow the instructions to complete the Assessment Questionnaire and attach your resume and all required documents.
- NOTE: If a document is resubmitted, it replaces the previous submission, which means the previous document is no longer available to the Human Resources Office. If you are adding to, rather than replacing a previous submission, you must upload both the old document and the new document. You must verify that uploaded documents from USAJOBS transfer into the Agency's staffing system as there is a limitation to the number of documents that can be transferred. However, once in the Agency's staffing system, you will have the opportunity to upload additional documents. Applicants may combine all like required documents (e.g. SF-50s or veteran docs) into one or more files and scan for uploading into the application. Each file must not exceed 3MB. Grouping like documents into files will simplify the application process. Documents must be in one of the following formats: GIF, JPEG, JPG, PDF, PNG, RTF, or Word (DOC or DOCX). Uploaded documents may not require a password, digital signature, or other encryption to open.
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Agency contact information
Michelle King Michelle King
- Natural Resources Conservation Service
- 1400 Independence Ave SW
- Washington, DC 20250
- Learn more about this agency
- Your application will be reviewed to verify that you meet the eligibility and qualification requirements for the position prior to issuing referral lists to the selecting official. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. Log in to your USAJOBS account to check your application status.
- Multiple positions may be filled from this announcement .
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Fair & Transparent Fair & Transparent
- The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.
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.
- Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) for federal employees & job applicants
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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.
- Learn more about disability employment and reasonable accommodations or how to contact an agency.
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Legal and regulatory guidance
- Financial suitability
- Social security number request
- Privacy Act
- Signature and false statements
- Selective Service
- New employee probationary period