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VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT
United States Department of State
An Equal Opportunity Employer

Announcement No: IMTS-2001-1
Supersedes: IMTS-2000-1
Opening Date: March 7, 2001
Closing Date: Indefinite

Position Title: FOREIGN SERVICE INFORMATION MANAGEMENT TECHNICAL SPECIALIST (LAN/WAN NETs - TELEPHONE - WIRELESS)

Grade and Starting Salary Range: FP-5: $38,675-$50,462
  FP-6: $34,575-$45,112

Additional Benefits: Tax-Free Housing Overseas; Tax-Free Educational Allowance, etc. (See "Benefits Package" brochure for more information.)

NOTE: At the present time, eligible candidates may qualify for hiring bonus. (Current federal employees are ineligible for a bonus.)

Number of Vacancies: The Department of State is developing a rank-order hiring register for Information Management Technical Specialists vacancies. The specific number to be hired will depend on the needs of the Foreign Service.

Area of Consideration: All Sources.

Location: The Department of State in the Washington, DC metropolitan area;
Ft. Lauderdale, FL; and 18 Foreign Service posts throughout the world here technicians are assigned.

THE INFORMATION MANAGEMENT TECHNICAL SPECIALIST CAREER:

The U.S. Department of State is the lead foreign affairs agency formulating and implementing the President's foreign policy and representing U.S. interests throughout the world.

Foreign Service Information Management Technical Specialists (IMTS) are responsible for the installation, repair, and maintenance of a wide range of digital, wireless, and telephone equipment.

The ability to adapt to changing physical environments, work with differing levels of technology, and keep abreast of the latest developments and innovations in the Information Technology field are characteristics of the Department of State Information Management Technical Specialists (IMTS).

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

The following are examples of the types of duties and responsibilities assigned to Information Management Technical Specialists. IMTSs are assigned to 18 overseas locations, as well as the Washington, DC metro area and Ft. Lauderdale, FL, from which they travel extensively. The duties vary according to location, the size of the post, and the requirements of the specific diplomatic mission. This list is neither exhaustive nor in priority order, however, IMTS Specialists:

LAN/WAN Specialists must have in-depth technical knowledge of telecommunications and computer equipment and must be knowledgeable in testing techniques and trouble resolution.

Wireless Specialists must have in-depth technical knowledge of wireless systems and be able to perform major building surveys for upgrades or new VHF/UHF wireless communication systems.

Telephone Specialists must have in-depth technical knowledge of computer-based, office telephone exchanges and systems.

ASSIGNMENTS/CAREER DEVELOPMENT:

After an orientation of three weeks in Washington, DC, new IMTS employees will initially be assigned for up to 2 years in the Washington, DC metropolitan area or Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Occasionally, they will be posted directly overseas, depending on staffing needs. During this initial tour of duty, each new IMTS employee will complete several months of specialized training. Failure to complete any aspect of this training is grounds for separation.

After the first assignment, employees may request assignment in one of 18 overseas locations where there are vacancies. Assignments, domestic and overseas, will be for periods of 2-4 years. Overseas, employees can expect to travel extensively to area posts and to serve in any Information Technology area depending on the needs of the embassy/consulate served. Future assignments are made in consultation with the employee, taking into consideration the needs of the Department, the particular interests/skills of the employee, career development requirements, family circumstances, and individual preferences.

All Specialists are evaluated, in writing, once a year. The employee participates in this process. The evaluations form the basis for promotions, which are made by a panel of more senior employees that meets every year. Foreign Service career candidates are considered for tenure by a Tenuring Board after they acquire a minimum of two years' experience in the Service as a Specialist career candidate.

TRAINING:

Since technology changes constantly, frequent training is part of the Information Management Technical Specialist's career. The Department has its own School of Applied Information Technology (SAIT) with a staff of 65 and a multi-million-dollar budget. Courses at SAIT range from the Microsoft suite of products to networking essentials, data communications, satellite operations, and PBX installation/maintenance. IMTSs are also sent to outside training institutions. Developmental and specific technology courses are taken in preparation for new assignments. Besides technology training, IMTSs are also provided opportunities to take develop-mental courses. These include, but are not limited to, management and leadership courses at the National Foreign Affairs Training Center, and schools and universities in the Washington, DC area.

INITIAL SALARY AND
SALARY INCREASES:

Initial salaries are determined in accordance with paragraph 1 or 2 below, whichever provides the greater benefit.

  1. Initial salaries for new employees range from FP-6 step 5 to step 14 to FP-5 step 5 to step 14 depending on such factors as education received from accredited institutions of higher learning. To determine the specific grade/step, the candidate's education and specialized experience are considered. Higher grades/steps are given when qualifications exceed the minimum requirements described below. Salaries are determined at the time offers of employment are made.
  2. Entry-level salary for current or former Federal civilian employees will be set at the rate, within the Foreign Service grade to which they are appointed, that is nearest of their previous base salary, provided the work performed in the previous position is relevant to information management technical activities.
  3. Information Management Technical Specialists appointed at class FP-6 will be administratively promoted to class FP-5 following completion of 12 months in class with satisfactory performance and from class FP-5 to FP-4 following completion of 18 months in class with satisfactory performance. Further promotions are competitive and based on merit. Promotions to the next higher grade equal approximately six percent of base salary. Each year, employees in steps 1-9 who perform well will receive a step increase (approximately three percent of base salary). Those in steps 10-13 receive a step increase every 2 years. Meritorious step increases are occasionally awarded to outstanding performers.
  4. Based on their locations, employees may be eligible to receive additional pay and allowances. At a number of locations in the U.S., employees receive locality pay. Overseas, employees receive housing or a housing allowance. Depending on the overseas post, employees may also receive hardship pay, education, and cost of living allowances.

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES OF DUTIES:

Information Management Technical Specialists must be willing to work independently without supervision. They are very often their own technical engineers and must be innovative, especially when working at isolated overseas posts. They are frequently required to make on-site repairs or devise novel solutions to equipment problems in the field. They may be required, and must be willing, to work on equipment outside their area of specialty, should the need arise. Information Management Technical Specialists are required to travel frequently to posts in their region of responsibility. They may be required to travel approximately 60 percent of the time, or more, from a regional office to constituent posts.

QUALIFICATIONS AND REQUIREMENTS:

Grade Level

Education

Experience

FP-05

BS Degree (Related Degree)
AAS Degree (Related Degree)
Technical Certificate(s)
or 26 weeks of Specialized Training

and 0 years
and 2 years
and 3 years

FP-06

BA/BS Degree (Related Minor)
AAS Degree or Equivalent
Technical Certificate(s)
or 26 weeks of Specialized Training
Technical Certificate(s)
Or 10 weeks of Specialized Training

and 0 years
and 0 years
and 1 year

and 2 years

(Qualifying experience must have been acquired within the past six years.)

Types of qualifying specialized experience and education/training are described in the following paragraphs.

College or university students are welcome to apply one year prior to graduation. Official transcripts must be provided prior to appointment.

EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS:

BS Degree: Studies must directly relate to the duties described in this vacancy announcement; courses of study and/or degrees must be in Electrical Engineering, Electrical Engineering Technology, Electronics Engineering, Electronics Engineering Technology, Computer Engineering, or other related fields.

AAS Degree: Studies must directly relate to the duties described in this vacancy announcement; courses of study and/or degrees must be in Electrical and Electronics Technology, Electrical Engineering Technology, Electronics Engineering Technology, or other related fields.

Technical Certificates/Product Certificates: Technical Certificate(s) from an accredited Technical school (military or commercial) and/or training in fields directly related to the duties described in this vacancy announcement; courses of study and/or certificates must be in one of the specialties listed under "Specialized Experience Required."

Product Certification of the Following Industry-Recognized Products: Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP), Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE); Cisco Certified Internet-working Expert (CCIE); Certified Novell Engineer (CNE); Certified Computing Professional; A+; Certified Lotus Professional (CLP): IDNX or GDC Multiplexers; Telephone Certificates from Mitel, Nortel, GTE or, AT&T; Wireless or Satellite Certificates from Motorola, GE, Harris, Collins, Magnavox, McKay, or TWC.

MANDATORY SKILLS, KNOWLEDGE AND ABILITIES:

  1. Ability to think logically and objectively, demonstrating resourcefulness and judgment.
  2. Ability to express oneself both orally and in writing.
  3. Ability to work and deal effectively with others; tact and the ability to obtain cooperation and confidence from supervisors and subordinates in performing official duties.
  4. Ability to work with minimum job supervision and a willingness to accept responsibility.
  5. Ability to read and interpret schematic diagrams to detect circuit problems.
  6. Ability to use oscilloscopes, multimeters, and other test equipment that are used in the applicant's area of specialty.
  7. Ability to install and repair various equipment in the applicant's area of specialty.

SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE REQUIRED:

LAN/WAN: Hands-on experience in the installation, maintenance, and repair of the following types of equipment and systems: LAN/MAN/WAN environments, communications protocols to include X.25, X.400, TCP/IP and Ethernet, high-speed circuits, TDM/FDM multiplexers, CSU/DSU, modems, fiber optics, routers, switches, wripheral devices (laser printers, scanners, and OCRs). Must be knowledgeable in the use of associated test equipment for testing and trouble resolution. Experienceorkstations, network servers, and related pe must be directly related to these systems with at least 60 percent of the time in the maintenance and repair of these systems.

Wireless: Hands-on experience surveying, installing, maintaining, component-level repairing, and technically operating wireless systems. These include VHF/UHF land mobile wireless two-way systems used in intercity wireless services.

Telephone: Hands-on experience surveying, installing and maintaining new or upgraded office telephone PBX systems.

DESIRED EXPERIENCE:

LAN/WAN: Experience installing and repairing cryptographic equipment and knowledge of Tempest Standards and Red/Black installation criteria. Applicants should possess a working knowledge of Windows NT, MS Office, MS Exchange, MS BackOffice, and UNIX. Microsoft certified applicants (MCP/MSCE) are preferred.

Wireless: Experience or training on High Frequency (HF) SSB, Tactical Satellite (TACSAT), VHF/UHF land mobile wireless and International Marine Satellite (INMARSAT) systems, Data Encryption Standard (DES) used in Motorola digital equipment, and Federal Communications General class or Radiotelegraph first/second class licenses.

Telephone: Experience on AT&T, Mitel, Nortel, or similar computer-based telephone switching equipment.

INFORMATION MANAGEMENT TECHNICAL SPECIALIST
SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTIONNAIRE AND AUTOBIOGRAPHY:

Purpose: The purpose of this questionnaire is to obtain information to help determine if applicants meet minimum qualifications on the basis of work, specialized training, and volunteer experiences, and to rate those that qualified for selection for further consideration at the Assessment Center.

Instructions: A) Using plain white paper and either a typewriter or word processor, individually address each of the four items listed below, limiting each response to 300 words or less. Describe how you have used the following abilities and/or knowledge, referencing the source from which the work-related experience was acquired. Your examples can be drawn from any part of your experience, but they must describe things that you, personally, have done. B) In supplementary questionnaire format, submit an autobiography of 300 words or less, discussing your personal history, your interests and hobbies, and your motivation for a Foreign Service Career. You should compose your replies carefully, as one of the skills required of an Information Management Technical Specialist is the ability to write clearly and concisely.

QUESTIONNAIRE ITEMS:

  1. Practical Problem Solving: Using your technical knowledge of networks, and voice communications, describe what you consider to be the best example of a situation where you had to find an innovative solution to a practical problem. Indicate who was affected by the problem and in what way, and the nature of the difficulties faced.
  2. Organizing Your Own Work: Give an example of a situation that shows your ability to think logically, analyze problems, communicate with others, and apply sound judgment, particularly where you had to meet tight deadlines or work long hours. Indicate the complexity of the task you were organizing and the consequences if you had failed to meet your deadline.
  3. Handling Conflicting Priorities: Give one example which best illustrates a situation where you had to handle several different tasks at once and where it was important to ensure the quality of your work performance was maintained at a high standard. Indicate any resources you had to organize, and the pressure you were under to change, the order of priority.
  4. Withstanding the Rigors of Overseas Life: What experiences have you had which might suggest you could handle the difficulties of overseas life? List any experience of living, working or traveling abroad and any evidence of aptitude for foreign languages.

PROCEDURES FOR APPLYING:

The following materials are required for a complete application package. They become the property of the Department of State and will not be returned:

While this vacancy announcement shall remain open indefinitely, applications will be considered as the completed packages arrive in the Department. The Department of State will be hiring candidates throughout the year.

For additional information, please refer to our Web site or telephone (202) 261-8928 or (202) 261-8857. These documents should be submitted and addressed to:

U.S. Department of State
Application Evaluation Branch - 5th Floor
2401 E Street, NW
Washington, DC 20522

Applications, which are received through the Department of State's inter-office mail system, or mailed in Government-franked envelopes, will not be processed.

Executive Branch agencies are barred by 5 US Code 3303, as amended, from accepting or considering prohibited recommendations and are required to return any prohibited political recommendations to sender. In addition, as mandated by US Code 310, sons and daughters of federal employees cannot be granted preference in competing for these employment opportunities.


The Department of State is committed to equal opportunity and fair and equitable treatment for all without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, sexual orientation, disabling condition, political affiliation, marital status, or prior statutory, constitutionally protected activity.

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