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Soil Conservationist GS-457-5/7/9 Qualifications Standards

BASIC REQUIREMENT: Successfully completion of a full four (4) year course of study (including junior and senior level courses)from an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree that included a major field of study in 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. You must submit transcripts to support this requirement.

OR 

A combination of education and experience in Soil Conservation or a related agricultural or natural resource. The study includes at least 30 semester hours, (including junior and senior level courses), in natural resource or agricultural fields, 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 are in soils and 3 semester hours in crops or plant science. You must submit transcripts to support this requirement.

AND

This position includes a Selective Placement Factor (skill, knowledge, ability or other worker characteristic basic to - and essential for - satisfactory performance of the job). Selective Placements Factors are a prerequisite to appointment and represent minimum requirements for a position. Applicants who do not meet it are ineligible for further consideration.  

The selective placement factor for this position is: A valid and current State Driver’s License. To receive credit for this requirement, it must be documented in your application/resume. 

IN ADDITION TO THE REQUIREMENTS, THE GS-5 REQUIRES:One (1) year of specialized experience that equipped you with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of this position, and that is typically in or related to the work of the position. To be creditable, specialized experience must have been equivalent to the next lower grade level of Federal service. Examples of related experience include: knowledge of soil properties and characteristics; knowledge of agency soil and water conservation programs; ability to communicate soil and water conservation methods, measures, and techniques to small and moderate sized groups; knowledge of the principles, methods, and techniques of soil conservation and related sciences including agronomy, hydrology, biology, and engineering practices; ability to interpret soil survey data; and communicating with a wide variety of people. Experience may vary. Please read announcement for experience needed to qualify.

OR


GS-5 EDUCATION: Successful completion of four (4) years of post high school education leading to a Bachelor’s degree with a major study in Soil Conservation or a related agricultural or natural resources discipline. Transcripts (unofficial or official) must be submitted.

OR
GS-5 COMBINATION: An equivalent combination of specialized experience and education as described for the GS-5 that demonstrates your ability to perform the duties of this position. To calculate the combination of education and experience, determine the amount of experience you have as a percentage of the experience required for the grade level. Then determine the amount of education you have as a percentage of the education required for the grade level. Add the two percentages; the total percentage must equal at least 100% to qualify for the grade level. Experience must be detailed in your resume to receive full credit and transcripts must be submitted.

IN ADDITION TO THE REQUIREMENTS, THE GS-7 REQUIRES:One (1) year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-5 level that includes: knowledge of the principles, methods, and techniques of soil conservation and related sciences including agronomy, hydrology, biology, and engineering practices sufficient to develop soil and water conservation plans employing conventional, as well as establishes, criteria and techniques; assisting in planning conservation measures such terraces, waterways, water control structures, strip cropping drainage systems, etc.; explaining soil and water conservation methods, measures, and techniques to small and moderate sized groups; knowledge of agency soil and water conservation programs, eligibility requirements for landowners participation, and payment provisions; interpreting soil survey data; and communicating with a wide variety of people. Experience may vary. Please read announcement for experience needed to qualify.

OR
GS-7 EDUCATION: Successful completion of one (1) year (18 semester hours) of graduate study leading to a master's degree in Soil Conservation or a related agricultural or natural resources discipline. Transcripts (unofficial or official) must be submitted.

OR


GS-7 COMBINATION: An equivalent combination of specialized experience and education as described for the GS-7 that demonstrates your ability to perform the duties of this position. To calculate the combination of education and experience, determine the amount of experience you have as a percentage of the experience required for the grade level. Then determine the amount of education you have as a percentage of the education required for the grade level. Add the two percentages; the total percentage must equal at least 100% to qualify for the grade level. Experience must be detailed in your resume to receive full credit and transcripts must be submitted.

OR

GS-07 SUPERIOR ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT:  Superior Academic Achievement at the baccalaureate level degree in Soil Conservation or a related agricultural or natural resources curriculum may be qualifying at the GS-7 level. Superior academic achievement is based on class standing, grade-point average, or honor society membership. 

Class Standing:  Applicants must be in the upper third of the graduating class in a college or university. 

Grade-point average (G.P.A.):  Applicants must have a grade-point average of; 3.0 or higher out of a possible 4.0 ("B" or better) as recorded on their official transcript or 3.5 or higher out of a possible 4.0 ("B+" or better) based on the average of the required courses completed in the major field or the required courses in the major field completed during the final two (2) years of the curriculum. 

Honor Society Membership-Election to membership in a National Scholastic Honor Society:  Applicants can be considered eligible based on membership in one of the national scholastic honor societies. (Transcripts required.)

IN ADDITION TO THE REQUIREMENTS, THE GS-9 REQUIRES:One (1) year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-7 level that includes: knowledge of the principles, methods, and techniques of soil conservation and related sciences including agronomy, hydrology, biology, and engineering practices sufficient to develop soil and water conservation plans employing conventional, as well as establishes, criteria and techniques; assisting in planning conservation measures such terraces, waterways, water control structures, strip cropping drainage systems, etc.; explaining soil and water conservation methods, measures, and techniques to small and moderate sized groups; interpreting and using potential and deficiencies and advising landowners or agricultural operators of sound erosion control and drainage techniques; locating and interpreting land features on a variety of maps such as topographic, aerial, and soils maps for a specific unit of land; knowledge of agency soil and water conservation programs, eligibility requirements for landowners participation, and payment provisions; interpreting soil survey data; and communicating with a wide variety of people. Experience may vary. Please read announcement for experience needed to qualify.

OR

GS-9 EDUCATION:Successful completion of two (2) years (36 semester hours) of graduate study leading to a master's degree or master's or equivalent graduate degree in Soil Conservation or a related agricultural or natural resources discipline. Transcripts (unofficial or official) must be submitted.

OR

GS-9 COMBINATION:An equivalent combination of specialized experience and graduate level education as described that demonstrates your ability to perform the duties of this position is fully qualifying at the GS-9 level. Experience must be detailed in your resume to receive full credit and transcripts must be submitted.

***All grades may be required to work outdoors, often under adverse weather conditions and with exposure to wildlife.***

For more information on these qualification standards, please visit the United States Office of Personnel Management's website at http://www.opm.gov/qualifications.