STUDENT TRAINEE (SOIL CONSERVATION)
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 2022 to begin the internship. Student Trainees assignments will be under direct supervision, developmental in nature and assist in gaining the competencies necessary for the duties listed below.
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 proceduresIs instructed on the use of personal computers, and file and data management.
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 scaleComplete at least 640 hrs of work experience prior to completion of degreeEnrolled at least half-time at a qualifying educational institutionA signed participant agreement is required for employment under PathwaysMust 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 institutionSuccessfully 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.Federal employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 regardless of their duty location. If selected, you will be required to submit documentation of COVID-19 vaccination by November 22, 2021 or before appointment, if after November 22.The agency will provide additional information regarding what COVID-19 vaccination information or documentation will be needed and how you can request of the agency a legally required exception from this requirement.
Program Eligibility Requirements
Applicant must meet the definition of a student that is, 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:
- GS-02 Completion of high school or possession of a GED diploma.
- 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:
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.
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.