U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
JOB OPPORTUNITIES AT THE LABORATORY
CURRENT JOB OPENINGS: 1
Now Open: Firearms Position
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory has an immediate opening for a full time, permanent, Firearms Examiner. The recruitment will be open from Wednesday, January 21, 2015 to Tuesday, February 3, 2015, and will be offered at the GS-9, GS-11 and GS-12 levels based on qualifications. Salaries range from $48,403 to $91,255, plus benefits. Relocation expenses will not be covered.
All applicants must possess a certification in Firearm Evidence Examination and Identification (FA-AFTE) through the Association of Firearms and Tool Mark Examiners (AFTE).
For more information, call Dr. Ed Espinoza, Deputy Director, at 541-488-6513, or Darrell Hegdahl, Administrative Chief, at 541-488-6501.
Link to the Job Announcement: https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/391308500
Job announcements are posted on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management Web site at USAJOBS.
For current salary tables and other Federal Service employment information, visit the United States Office of Personnel Management.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT JOBS AT THE LAB
Do I have to be a U. S. citizen to apply for a position with your facility?
Yes. The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service regulations prohibit us from hiring non-US citizens.
How can I give myself the best chance to get a job with the National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory?
Do a neat, thorough and careful job of filling out your application. Remember that the initial impression we have of you will be from our review of this form.
Do I have to fill out a separate application if I want to apply for more than one job in the Laboratory, or for all three levels of a specific job (ie: Forensic Scientist position which can be hired at the GS-7, GS-9 or GS-11 level)?
Yes, a separate application must be submitted for each job (and for each grade level that you want to be considered as an applicant within a job, if a job is advertised at more than one grade level). That is, you might want to apply at the GS-11 and GS-9 levels for a GS-7/9/11 job, but not the GS-7 level). You can xerox most of the relevant information but note that each form must have an original date and signature.
What is the difference between a Forensic Scientist and a Laboratory Technician?
First of all, the Forensic Scientists get paid more. They are usually scientists or highly skilled technical experts. They also have specific responsibilities regarding evidence handling, research, casework, travel and trial testimony as to their analytical results (whereby they earn their extra pay). The laboratory technicians usually assist in the research and casework performed by the Forensic Scientists and conduct more routine tasks, rarely travel, and do not testify in court.
Can I work as a Forensic Scientist without testifying (in other words, just do research and/or casework and let someone else with more experience do the testimony)?
No. The job of Forensic Scientist specifically involves casework and the corresponding possibility of testimony.
When and how do I apply for a position with Laboratory?
When positions are available, they are posted at the top of this page. We recommend you check this page at least monthly to see what is open.
Can you explain the hiring process?
The following is an extremely simplified version of the hiring process:
Office of Personnel Management?
Yes. Applications sent to the Laboratory do not count. After a job is announced, you must send your application directly to the Regional Office of Personnel Management. We cannot forward any applications to OPM (they cannot be received in Government mailing envelopes). All applications sent to the Laboratory will be discarded.
What happens if a job that I want to apply for closes before I get a chance to get my application in?
Once the job closes, no further applications are accepted that are postmarked after the closing date. While we try to provide all interested applicants with relevant and timely information on all the positions, it is ultimately the applicant's responsibility to search out information on federal jobs and meet the application deadline.
What is the Laboratory's smoking policy?
In view of current regulations regarding smoking in Federal Government facilities and fire safety in general, the entire laboratory facility is designated a No Smoking Area.
Is there a publication available to help me understand the Federal Government?
The Federal Employees' ALMANAC is highly recommended for anyone who is unfamiliar with Federal Government rules and regulations regarding employees (which includes, we suspect, most Federal employees). This publication (not published by the Federal Government) will actually answer almost all of your questions about working for the Federal Government. To order, call 1-800-989-3363.
You can also check out the OMB's USAJOBS site for the latest information on the hiring process.
If I am selected for a position, will the government pay my moving costs?
We may be able to reimburse the authorized moving costs of successful applicants who are currently Federal Government employees; however, we will not be able to pay the moving costs for successful applicants who are not currently Federal Government employees (combination of Federal regulations and Fish & Wildlife Service policy).
What type of housing is available in the area?
Ashland is a beautiful community of approximately 20,000 residents, and the towns of Talent, Phoenix, Medford and Jacksonville are about 2, 5, 12, and 15 miles north of Ashland on Interstate 5.
If you are seriously interested in applying for one of our positions, you might consider getting subscriptions to the local newspapers (Ashland Daily Tidings, Medford Mail Tribune) to find out about the availability and cost of housing.
What are the applicant requirements?
In general, we hire personnel with extensive forensic experience (in evidence identification and comparison, expert witness testimony, etc.) for most — but not necessarily all — of the higher grade (GS-13, 12 & 11) Forensic Specialist positions. Less stringent education and experience requirements will apply to the lower grade Forensic Specialist and Technician positions. Applicants come from a wide range of sources, including Federal, State and local police and wildlife-related laboratories, museums, zoos and universities.
What type of education and/or background would you recommend for this type of work?
What other federal job information is available?
Check out the OMB's USAJOBS site for the latest information. They have a powerful search engine that can help you find the right job.
Are volunteer activities available?
Yes. A volunteer application is available online or may be requested by mail or phone. The decision to bring on volunteers is made by the Branch Chief and the Section Chiefs based on available work stations, number of volunteers currently on board, and time spent in supervision.
Are college and/or senior high school student projects available?
Yes. Contact Edgard O. Espinoza, Deputy Laboratory Director via phone (541) 482-4191 or via email at Ed_Espinoza@fws.gov.