Student Trainee (Engineering)

  • Duties
    Help Duties Summary

    The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is the research arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture whose mission is finding solutions to agricultural problems of high national importance.  The Pathways Student Internship Program provides students with a meaningful paid work experience in a Federal agency while still in school.   Internships are open to individuals who have been accepted for enrollment or who are currently enrolled and seeking a degree (diploma, certificate, etc.) from a qualifying educational institution on a full or half-time basis. 

    Salary listed in this announcement is a basic rate of pay.  Locality pay will be determined based on the duty location of the position.

    This appointment in not-to-exceed 1 year and may be extended in increments not-to-exceed 1 year or less for up to 8 years in total, as long as the student remains eligible for the program. Upon successful completion of the internship program, students MAY be non-competitively converted to a term or permanent position; however, conversion eligibility is not an entitlement of the Student Internship Program. 

    MANRRS or Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences is a great source of high quality, early career scientist.  ARS is announcing Pathways Inter position to coincide with the MANRRS annual conference in Greensboro, North Carolina, on April 4-7, 2018.  Interested candidates can apply to these Intern positions with NTE dates via USAJOBS.
    ARS advertises student internship positions on USAJOBS throughout the year as part of our overall recruitment strategy.  Please visit USAJOBS for additional internship opportunities.

    Pathways intern positions with not-to-exceed dates are not career ladder positions.  Applicants may apply for multiple grades but if selected, will be selected for one grade interval only and cannot be promoted in the Pathways position.  Incumbents may or may not be converted to competitive service appointments at the same grade or to a position with a higher career ladder.  Typical career ladders for this position are up to GS-09.
    Learn more about this agency

    Major Duties:
    As a trainee, you will perform duties to orient you to the mission of the unit assigned. You will assist and/or receive training in performing routine duties in support of research projects. Typical, but not all-inclusive, duties are illustrated by performance of any combination of the following in a laboratory, shop, or field setting:

    Applying initiative and resourcefulness in planning non routine assignments of substantial variety and complexity; selecting appropriate guidelines to resolve operational problems not fully covered by precedents; developing revisions to standard work methods and procedures; modifying parts, instruments, and equipment; and taking action or making recommendations based on preliminary interpretation of data or results of analyses.

    Constructing, assembling, installing new equipment, and making modifications and repairing to experimental or other equipment.

    Planning, installing, and calibrating instrumentation for collecting research data. Performing field maintenance on instrumentation to ensure proper operation throughout the test period.

    Assembling and installing complex precision instruments and devices; modifying or adapting instruments and equipment to obtain desired performance characteristics; devising experimental techniques; and observing significant trends in experimental data.

    Assembling, tabulating, and conducting analyses of collected data, with responsibility for recognizing and correcting errors, inconsistencies and other deficiencies in the data. Determining the causes of deviations in the test data, e.g., equipment malfunctions, sampling technique, or observational errors. Using appropriate computer software in assembling and tabulating data.

    Selecting the best methods for presenting the data and preparing drafts, drawings, charts, graphs, figures, and reports illustrating and summarizing research results. Assisting the research scientist in making accurate research interpretations and drawing accurate conclusions.

    Keeping work-site in a neat and orderly manner.

    Travel Required
    Not required

    Supervisory status

    Promotion Potential

    Who May Apply This job is open to… U.S. Citizens and Nationals, Permanent Residents and Foreign Nationals who meet both Immigration and Annual Appropriations Law requirements.

    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.

    Questions? This job is open to 2 groups.

  • Job family (Series)
    0899 Engineering And Architecture Student Trainee

  • Requirements
    Help Requirements Conditions of Employment
    • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
    • Must be a US citizen or National, Permanent Resident, or Foreign National
    • U.S citizen for non-competitive conversion to term or permanent position
    • Must be at least 16 years of age and meet state and federal employment laws
    • Must successfully pass a background check/security investigation
    • Student enrolled at least half-time at qualifying educational institution
    • Must be in good academic standing (2.0 GPA or higher)
    • May require drug testing dependent on position/location
    • Must sign a Pathways Participant Agreement prior to appointment
    • Complete atleast 640 hours of work experience prior to completion of degree

    Students must be at least 16 years of age and meet Federal, State and Local laws governing the employment of minors.

    Must be in good academic standing as defined by the educational institution

    Have your salary sent to a financial institution of your choice by Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer.

    If you are newly hired, the documentation you present for purposes of completing the Department Homeland Security (DHS) Form I-9 on your entry-on-duty date will be verified through the DHS "E-VERIFY" system. Federal law requires the use of E-VERIFY to confirm the employment eligibility of all new hires. Under this system, the new hire is required to resolve any identified discrepancies as a condition of continued employment.

    Must be a U.S. citizen prior to non-competitive conversion to a term or permanent position.


    Applicants must meet all qualification and eligibility requirements by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on the closing date of the announcement.

    Program Eligibility Requirements
    • Applicants must be currently enrolled or accepted for enrollment from a qualifying educational institution on a full or half-time basis. Applicants must be seeking a degree (diploma, certificate, etc.) and be in good academic standing (GPA of 2.0 or equivalent) throughout the duration of their program.
    • The duties of the position must be related to either the student's academic or career goals.

    Qualification Requirements
    • Applicants will be assessed/evaluated through application of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Group Coverage Qualification Standard for Schedule D, Pathways Internship Positions.

    GS-0899-05: Completion of all requirements for a bachelors degree or equivalent degree.

    GS-0899-06: Completion of 1 full academic year of graduate level education.

    GS-0899-07: Completion of 1 full academic year of graduate level education; or eligibility under the Superior Academic Achievement Provision after completing a bachelors degree.


    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 .

    A post-secondary certificate program must have been completed at a qualified educational institution equivalent to at least 1 academic year or full-time study that is part of an accredited college-level, technical, trade, vocational, or business school curriculum.

    Additional information

  • BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION AND FINGERPRINT CHECK: Selection and retention in this position is contingent on a successfully adjudicated FBI National Criminal History Check (fingerprint check) and a background investigation.
  • Career Transition Assistance Plan(CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): If you are claiming CTAP/ICTAP eligibility, provide proof of eligibility to include your most recent performance appraisal, SF-50, and proof of eligibility such as a RIF separation notice or letter from OPM/your agency. CTAP/ICTAP eligibles will be considered well-qualified if achieving a rating of 85 or above. Information about CTAP/ICTAP eligibility is on OPMs Career Transition Resources website at .
  • Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc) should contact: USDAs TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).
  • More than one selection may be made if another vacancy occurs within 90 days of the issuance of the certification of eligibles.

    Additional helpful hints can be found regarding information on:
  • Federal Jobs by College Major and Internship/Recent Graduate Opportunities: (
  • Federal Benefits (

    EEO Policy Statement:

    Reasonable Accommodation Policy Statement:

    Veterans Information:

    Read more

    How You Will Be Evaluated

    You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

    Individuals will be evaluated against the OPM Group Coverage Qualification Standard for Schedule D, Pathways Internship Positions.

    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.

    To view the application form, visit:

    Read more
    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance

  • Required Documents
    Help Required Documents
    • A resume should be provided. It should include relevant work experience (start/end dates stated in month/year, description of duties and salary), applicable education at a minimum, and your contact information. For current or previous Federal employees, it should also include the Pay Plan, Series and Grade for each work experience entry.
    • Please provide a copy of your College transcript(s) which support those qualifications for which you wish to have considered.

    The following documents are required for your application to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in mail service, your system failure or downtime, etc. Encrypted and digitally signed documents will not be accepted. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.
    • Resume must include: 1) personal information; 2) education; 3) work experience including work schedule, hours worked per week, dates of employment; and title, series and grade if applicable; 4) supervisors phone number, e-mail address for each work period listed, and whether or not we may contact them for reference checks; and 5) other qualifications.
    • Proof of enrollment or acceptance of enrollment and good academic standing:
    • In the form of letters, records, or statements issued from a high school, vocational institution, college or university. The documentation provided must be issued from an authorized source (example: university registrar's office). AND/OR
    • A copy of your most recent transcripts which show your field of study, school name, students name, current GPA or academic standing, past and current course work, degree program, and major/concentration. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application; however, if selected, an official college transcript will be required prior to entering on duty.

    You must submit the documents below if you claim any of the following:
    • Veterans, if claiming preference: DD-214, Certificate of Release from Active Duty showing dates of service and type of discharge. Disabled veterans must include VA letter & SF-15 if claiming 10 pt. preference. Current active duty members must submit certification that they are expected to be discharged or released from active duty under honorable conditions no later than 120 days after date the certification is submitted.

    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. Please verify that documents you are uploading 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. Uploaded resumes must be less than 3MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word (DOC or DOCX).

    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 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 .

    You can review our benefits at:

    USDA-ARS will provide the following benefits to their student hires: All students hired under the USDA Pathways Internship Program are entitled to benefits such as: -Commuter Transit Subsidy (pending the availability of budgeted funds/allocations) -Telework and/or Flexible work schedule (upon supervisor approval)

    Student interns with a NTE date may be eligible to enroll in the Federal Employee's Health Benefits (FEHB) Program if they meet the criteria as described in the Federal Register Vol. 79, No. 201, October 17, 2014
    The cost of premiums is split between the employee and the agency, as it is for all permanent employees. (See 5 CFR 870.202 for life insurance and 5 CFR 890.102 for health 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 How to Apply

    Please read the entire announcement and all the instructions before you begin. The following instructions outline our application process.
    • You must complete this application process and submit all required documents electronically by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.
    • We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday - Friday). Applying online is highly encouraged. If applying online poses a hardship, please contact our office during business hours well before the closing date for an alternate method. All hardship application packages with supporting documents must be submitted no later than noon 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. Please contact us if you require this for any part of the application and hiring process.

    Step 1: Create a USAJOBS account (if you do not already have one) at It is recommended that as part of your profile you set up automatic email notification to be informed when the status of your application changes. If you choose not to set up this automatic notification, then you will have to log into your USAJOBS account to check on the status of your application.

    Step 2: Create a Resume with USAJOBS or upload a Resume into your USAJOBS account. You may want to customize your resume to ensure it documents duties and accomplishments you have gained that are directly related to this position in order to verify that qualifications are met. In addition, your resume must support your responses to the online questionnaire (you may preview the online questionnaire by clicking on the link at the end of the How You Will Be Evaluated section of the job announcement).

    Step 3: Click "Apply Online" and follow the prompts to complete the Occupational Questionnaire and attach any additional documents that may be required. You can update your application or documents anytime while the announcement is open. Simply log into your USAJOBS account and click on "Application Status." Click on the position title, and then select "Update Application" to continue. NOTE: Verify that uploaded documents from USAJOBs transfer into the Agency's staffing system. Once in the Agency's staffing system you will have the opportunity to upload additional documents. Uploaded documents must be less than 3MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word (DOC or DOCX).

    Read more
    Agency contact information Lynda Jensen

    (970) 492-7040
    (970) 492-7389
    [email protected]


    5601 Sunnyside Ave
    Beltsville, MD,

    Learn more about this agency
    Next steps

    USDA Student Trainees who study veterinary or biological science or attend an 1890 Land Grant university, 1994 Tribal College, or Hispanic Serving Institution, may be eligible for the USDA Scholars Program to receive scholarship as well as a university grant for room and board.

    If you set up your USAJOBS account to send automatic email notifications, you will receive an email acknowledging: 1) the submission of your online Occupational Questionnaire and resume was successful, 2) if you were referred to the selecting official for consideration, and 3) if you were selected or not selected. If you choose not to set up automatic email notifications, you must check your USAJOBS account for the latest status of your application. Your application may be reviewed to verify that you meet the qualifications and eligibility requirements for the position prior to issuing lists to a selecting official. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. Normally, a final job offer to the selected candidate is made within 30-60 days after the issuance of the certificate.

    Read more
  • 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

    Read more 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 and hiring process 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.

    Read more Legal and regulatory guidance
    • Financial suitability
    • Social security number request
    • Privacy Act
    • Signature and false statements
    • Selective Service
    • New employee probationary period

This job originated on . For the full announcement and to apply, visit . Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at will be considered.
Agricultural Research Service
Full time
Albany, California, US