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U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security - Chemist

Job Title:Chemist

Department:Department Of Homeland Security

Agency:Customs and Border Protection

Job Announcement Number:IHC-708360-CLM-DE


$41,563.00 to $65,371.00 / Per Year


Wednesday, August 08, 2012 to Friday, August 17, 2012




Full Time - Permanent




3 vacancies in the following location(s):
Savannah, GA United States
Los Angeles, CA United States
San Juan, PR United States


United States Citizens


CBP:  Securing America's Borders

Do you desire to protect American interests and secure our Nation while building a meaningful and rewarding career? If so, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is calling.

DHS components work collectively to prevent terrorism, secure borders, enforce and administer immigration laws, safeguard cyberspace and ensure resilience to disasters.  The vitality and magnitude of this mission is achieved by a diverse workforce spanning hundreds of occupations.  Make an impact; join DHS.

Discover a challenging and rewarding career with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the sole organization responsible for securing the nation's borders.  At CBP, we:

  • Screen passengers, vehicles, and shipments entering our country
  • Seize illegal narcotics, vehicles, and agricultural products
  • Prevent unauthorized entry into the country
  • Rescue individuals who fall into dangerous conditions traversing our border

For more information about CBP's mission, activities, and careers, please visit our website at:

Joining the CBP Office of Information and Technology will allow you to use your research and analytical skills to provide superior scientific services.  Apply for this exciting opportunity to strengthen CBP’s ability to meet it’s challenging Homeland Security mission.

Who May Apply:

  • Open to all U.S. Citizens

For definitions of terms found in this announcement, please see

Organizational Location:  This position is with the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Information and Technology, Laboratories and Scientific Services, Los Angles, CA; Savannah, GA and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Relocation Expenses: Relocation expenses will not be paid.

Note: One or more selections may be made using this vacancy announcement

The salary shown above is the base pay for GS-09 and GS-11.  Salaries vary by grade level and are adjusted for the locality.  The following link displays the locality pay tables by geographic area. If you do not see your geographic area listed select the last table titled, "Rest of the United States".


A)  A bachelor's or higher degree from an accredited college or university in physical sciences, life sciences, or engineering that included 30 semester hours in chemistry, supplemented by course work in mathematics through differential and integral calculus, and at least 6 semester hours of physics,


B)  A combination of education and experience--course work equivalent to a major as shown in "a" above including at least 30 semester hours in chemistry, supplemented by mathematics through differential and integral calculus, and at least 6 semester hours of physics, plus appropriate experience or additional education. The quality of the combination of education and experience must be sufficient to demonstrate that you possess the skills needed to perform the job duties and be comparable to that normally acquired through the successful completion of a full 4-year course of study.


  • You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this position
  • You must successfully pass a background investigation
  • Selective service registration
  • Residency Requirement
  • Drug Testing
  • College Transcripts


  • Provide advice to other chemists and officials on sampling and analysis techniques.
  • Attend technical meetings, read relevant reports and publications, and appear as a witness before courts.
  • Utilize scientific equipment to search for and identify Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), process crime scenes, or participate in mobile laboratory field operations.


You qualify for the GS-9 level if you meet the basic requirements and possess one year of specialized experience that demonstrates the ability to:

  • Perform chemical analyses, making computations and applying correction factors; plotting preliminary prediction values.
  • A master’s degree or equivalent graduate degree or 2 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree from an accredited or pre-accredited college or university.
  • A combination of successfully completed graduate level education and experience.  This will be calculated using your resume and unofficial transcriptsPlease click here for more information on combining education and experience,

You qualify for the GS-11 level if you meet the basic requirements and possess one year of specialized experience that demonstrates the ability to:

  • Conduct chemical analyses of imported products; calibrating and operating chemical analytical instruments, such as the gas chromatograph mass spectrometer and liquid chromatograph, with computerized equipment; and performing country of origin and related types of studies.
  • Successful completion of a Ph.D. or equivalent degree or three years of full-time graduate education leading to such a degree may be substituted for the experience required at the GS-11 if you meet the basic requirements described above. This education must have been obtained from an accredited college or university and demonstrate the skills necessary to do the work of the position.  A course of study in physical sciences, life sciences, or engineering is qualifying.
  • A combination of successfully completed graduate level education and experience.  This will be calculated using your resume and unofficial transcripts. Please click here for more information on combining education and experience,

- For more information on the education requirement please see:

The qualifications listed above must be met by Friday, August 17, 2012 and are subject to verification at any stage of the application process.

The qualifications listed above must be met by Friday, August 17, 2012 and are subject to verification at any stage of the application process.


We will review your resume and supporting documentation to ensure you meet the basic qualification requirements.  If you meet the minimum qualifications, we will use an online self-assessment questionnaire to place you in one of three categories based on your experience, education and training.  If you are eligible for placement under the Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP), you must earn a score of  87 or above to be considered well qualified. In addition, you must submit the supporting documents listed in the "Required Documents" section of this announcement. If you have never worked for the Federal government, you are not CTAP/ICTAP eligible.  Information about ICTAP or CTAP eligibility can be found at: .  

The KSAs for this position are:


If you meet the minimum qualifications, you will be placed in one of the following categories:

  1. 1. Best Qualified :  Applicants possessing a background that demonstrates a superior level of all evaluation criteria.
  2. 2. Well-Qualified :  Applicants possessing a background that demonstrates a satisfactory level of the evaluation criteria.
  3. 3.  Qualified :  Applicants possessing the basic qualifications, with general knowledge, skills, and abilities.

If you are best qualified, you may be referred to the hiring manager for consideration and may be called for an interview.

Veterans: Veterans with 5 point preference who meet the eligibility and qualification requirements are placed above non-preference eligibles within the category in which they qualify.  Veterans who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10% are listed in the best qualified category, regardless of score, except when the position being filled is scientific or professional at the GS-09 grade level or higher.  This position is considered scientific/professional.  For information on veterans' preference, please see:


DHS offers competitive starting salaries and an attractive benefits package, including: health insurance, Thrift Savings Plan (similar to a 401(k)), Flexible Spending Account, retirement plan, life and long-term care insurance, Employee Assistance Program, personal leave days and paid Federal holidays.  Other benefits may include: flexible work schedules, telework, tuition reimbursement, transportation subsidies, uniform allowance, health and wellness programs, and fitness centers.  DHS is committed to employee development and offers a variety of employee training and development opportunities.  For more information, go to and select "Benefits".


Background Investigation: To ensure the accomplishment of our mission, CBP requires every employee to be reliable and trustworthy.  To meet these standards, selected applicants will be required to undergo, and must successfully pass, a background investigation for placement into this position.  This may include a polygraph examination, a review of financial history, and disclosure regarding criminal offenses and illegal use or possession of drugs.

Travel:  You may be required up to 25% per year.

Drug Testing: This job has been identified as "testing designated" under our Drug-Free Workplace Program.  You must satisfactorily complete a drug test prior to being hired. The agency will schedule, provide and pay for the drug test. Once on board, you will be subject to random drug testing.

Promotion Potential: There is no obligation to provide future promotions to you if you are selected. Future promotions will be dependent on your ability to perform the duties at a higher level, the continuing need for an employee assigned to the higher level, and supervisory approval.

Probationary Period:  All employees new to the federal government must serve a one year probationary period during the first year of his/her initial permanent federal appointment to determine fitness for continued employment.  Current and former federal employees may also be required to serve or complete a probationary period.

CBP uses E-Verify to validate all newly hired applicants' ability to work legally in the United States. To learn more about E-Verify, please click this link:

Relocation:  Expenses will not be paid.

Residency: If you are not currently a CBP employee, you must meet one or more of the following primary residency criteria for the last three years prior to applying to this announcement:

  1. Resided in the United States or its protectorate or territories (excluding short trips abroad such as vacations); or
  2. Worked for the United States government as an employee overseas in a federal or military capacity; or
  3. Have been a dependant of a United States federal or military employee serving overseas.

Exceptions may be granted to applicants if they can provide complete stateside coverage information required to make a suitability/security determination. Examples include: the stateside addresses of anyone who worked or studied with the applicant while overseas; the company headquarters where the applicant's personnel file is located; professor(s) in charge of the applicant's "Study Abroad" program or; church records for the applicant's overseas church missions. Applicants must provide this information with their application for employment.


To begin your online application, click the "Apply Online" button and follow the prompts to register or sign into Application Manager.  Your application packet must include a completed assessment questionnaire, a resume, and any applicable and/or required supporting documentation.  Please see the "Required Documents" section for additional information.  All application materials must be submitted by 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time on Friday, August 17, 2012

You are not required to submit official documentation as part of your application package. However, if selected, you must provide the required official documentation prior to appointment. 

We strongly encourage you to apply online. If you cannot apply online, you may FAX your résumé, assessment questionnaire, and supporting documents to (478) 757-3144. You must print a copy of and document your responses to the assessment questionnaire View Occupational Questionnaire using OPM Form 1203-FX and use the official FAX cover sheet .

If any part of your application is not received, it will be evaluated solely on the information available


  • Resume:
  • Completed online self-assessment questionnaire
  • Transcripts
  • Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) eligibility:  You must submit a separation notice; SF-50; an agency certification that you cannot be placed after injury compensation has been terminated; an OPM notification that your disability annuity has been terminated; or a Military Department of National Guard Bureau notification that you are retired under 5 U.S.C. 8337(h) or 8456.  Information about ICTAP or CTAP eligibility can be found at
  • Veterans Preference:
  • Five Point Preference:  DD Form 214 showing the dates you served, your discharge type and the campaign badges or expeditionary medals you earned.
  • Ten Point Preference:  DD Form 214, as described above, and supporting documentation as listed on the Standard Form 15 (application for 10-Point Veteran's Preference).  Click this link for a copy of the SF-15:
  • If you are currently serving on active duty:  A statement of service from your unit identifying the branch of service, period(s) of service, campaign badges or expeditionary medals earned, and the date you will be separated or be on approved terminal leave. If selected for this position, your preference will be verified using your separation DD Form 214, as described above.

For more information about veteran's preference, please click this link:

It is your responsibility to verify that information entered, uploaded, or faxed (i.e., resume, veterans documentation, completed assessment, and SF-50's) is received and accurate.  Human Resources will not modify or change any part oftr your application.  If a document is not in a legible format, you will not be able to view it in Application Manager and you must again upload or fax the documentation by the closing date of this announcement.

Applications and supporting documentation will not be accepted by mail or e-mail. The address below is for inquiries only.  If you are unable to apply on-line, please contact the Hiring Center listed at the end of this job announcement at least two days prior to the closing date of this job announcement for further instructions.  You may apply more than once; however, only your most recent application will be used.


Indianapolis Hiring Center
Phone: (317)715-3000

Agency Information:
CBP Indianapolis Hiring Center
6650 Telecom Drive
Suite 100
Indianapolis, IN


Once the job announcement has closed, Human Resources will assess your experience and training, identify the best qualified applicants, and refer those applications to the hiring manager for further consideration and/or interviews.  You will be notified by email upon completion of each step.  Your status will also be updated on USAJOBS throughout the process.  To check your status, log on to your USAJOBS account, click on "Application Status" and then click "More Information". If you are referred, you will receive an electronic disposition notification within 120 days or less. 

Follow U.S. Customs and Border Protection on twitter @CustomsBorder

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