Job: Security Technical Specialist (DoS)

Deadline to Apply: October 3, 2017

United States Department of State
An Equal Opportunity Employer
How to Apply

Announcement STS-2017-0002
Position Title: Diplomatic Security: Foreign Service Security Technical Specialist
Open Period: September 6, 2017 – October 3, 2017
Pay Scale and Grade: FP 06
Salary: $39,954 – $58,674
Appointment Type: Permanent – Permanent after tenure granted by a Foreign Service Specialist (FSS) Tenure Board.
Work Schedule: Full Time
Security Clearance: Top Secret
Supervisory Status: Yes

Location: Department of State Posts – Overseas and Domestic, United States

MANY vacancies

Relocation expenses reimbursed. After completing orientation and initial training in Washington, D.C., an FSS usually is assigned to two overseas tours, each two years in length, directed by the Department. After the initial two tours, assignments will be for periods of one to three years overseas or in the United States.


The U.S. Department of State, our country’s lead foreign policy agency, provides a rich international experience whether at home or abroad, and opportunities to become responsible leaders.

Each day, our employees make a difference as they defend and advance our country’s interests and values. They work on the business of diplomacy and high priority issues that impact the safety, security, and prosperity of our world – human rights, environment, energy, food security, public health, and technology – all while experiencing a unique career.

Our talented workforce reflects and champions all of our strengths and diversity – personal, professional, and educational. We offer a workplace that values and rewards leadership, collaboration and innovation, and personal and professional development.

Security Technical Specialists (STS) provide support for and assist in worldwide technical security programs to maintain and provide protection for Department of State personnel and facilities from technical espionage, acts of terrorism, and crime.

The Department of State is developing a rank-order list of eligible hires for a number of Security Technical Specialists (STS) vacancies. The specific number to be hired will be based on the needs of the Department and is subject to change.

For additional information, please visit the Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s website or the Department of State’s Career’s site.


The duties of a Security Technical Specialist (STS) vary according to the size of the post and the requirements of the specific diplomatic mission. At various times at posts around the world, or in domestic locations, the following are examples of the types of duties and responsibilities assigned to a STS. This list is neither exhaustive, nor in priority order:

  • Install technical security system equipment and components.
  • Assist with and/or perform surveys, system specifications, and installations.
  • Ensure vehicle barriers, X-ray machines, forced entry ballistic resistant (FEBR) doors, walk-through metal detectors and explosive detection equipment are fully operational.
  • Repair and preventative maintenance of technical security systems.
  • Verification-of-operation tests of technical security systems.
  • Travel to overseas embassies and consulates.
  • Use sophisticated electronic test equipment: oscilloscopes, time domain reflectometers, etc.
  • Manage equipment logistics – shipping, receiving, Bill-of-Materials (BOM) preparation.
  • Equipment Inventory – tracking, spare parts, ordering.
  • Organize workshops, shop tools, equipment, parts, and supplies.
  • Work with host country personnel (local nationals) when required.
  • Test new-generation technical security equipment.
  • Provide technical security support to high level USG officials and Foreign Dignitaries.
  • Manage training programs for various technical security systems.
  • Train security personnel at posts as required.
  • Write technical reports, including evaluation of equipment and/or systems, maintenance and/or installation activities, and other documentation as required.

In the execution of any of these duties and tasks, STS personnel may frequently be required to:

  • Work in confined areas such as crawlspaces, attics, utility pits, tunnels, manholes, and other confined spaces.
  • Work from heights to include rooftops, ledges, bucket trucks, scaffolding, and extension ladders.
  • Perform manual installation operations to include hammer drilling, core drilling, pulling wire, installing conduit, and terminating cable.
  • Move heavy objects, such as crates, building materials, motor-generators that may be oversized and weigh in excess of 70 lbs.
  • Travel and work in hostile environments such as war zones, areas of civil and political strife, and in regions of the world having extreme climates.

Travel Required

25% or less – An FSS generally spends the majority of his/her career assigned to the Department of State’s overseas missions and at times, lives away from family and/or in difficult or isolated conditions. Selected applicants will be notified of an Oral Assessment (OA) requirement in Washington D.C. For selected applicants, all travel and other expenses incurred in connection with the OA are the sole responsibility of the applicant.

Who May Apply

Must be a U.S. citizen. Potential applicants should read the entire announcement to ensure that they meet all of the requirements and understand a Foreign Service career.

Applicants may not reapply for one year after the previous application for the same position.

If a State Department Suitability Review Panel denied suitability in the last two years, you may not apply (except Diplomatic Security Special Agent (SA) candidates whose denial was based solely on the unique requirements for SAs.)


Conditions of Employment

  • Be a U.S. citizen and available for worldwide service.
  • Be able to obtain a Top Secret Security Clearance.
  • Be able to obtain an appropriate Foreign Service Medical Clearance.
  • Be able to obtain a favorable Suitability Review Panel determination.*
  • Be at least 20 years old and at least 21 years old to be appointed.
  • Be appointed prior to age 60 (preference eligible veterans excepted).**


Applicants must have at least three years of specialized experience which demonstrates the ability to troubleshoot and repair electronic, electrical, and/or electro-mechanical systems and equipment, and is supported by work experience in this discipline.

Examples of experience include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of AC power distribution systems, motor-generators
  • Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of motors, motor controls, disconnects, relays
  • Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of low voltage DC electronic systems
  • Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of low voltage DC electro-mechanical systems
  • Use, repair, and/or calibration of electronic test equipment – meters, oscilloscopes
  • Bench repair of electronic, electrical, and electro-mechanical equipment to the component level
  • Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of mechanical and electro-mechanical locking systems – electronic strikes, locks
  • Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of pedestrian and vehicular access control systems – door controls, vehicle barriers / arrest
  • Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems – monitors, cameras, switches
  • Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of metal detectors – hand held, walk through
  • Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of radio communications systems, voice and digital communications networks
  • Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of Intrusion Detection Systems – alarms, detectors, sensors
  • Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of Public Address Systems – emergency notification systems, intercoms

In addition, STS candidates must meet supplementary physical standards to include, but not limited to, additional vision and hearing requirements. The standards for the Security Technical Specialist position can be found at

Other Requirements

Applicants must demonstrate a strong command of the English language to include grammar, spelling and punctuation. FSS must consistently meet a high standard for English, both written (overall structure as well as grammar, spelling and punctuation) and spoken (overall structure as well as delivery, clarity and succinctness).

Applicants must be available for worldwide service, and be able to tolerate intensive world travel, living away from family, and working and living in difficult and/or isolated conditions.

Physical Demands

Some of the essential functions of the job have a physically demanding component. For instance, when installing or repairing technical security equipment, a STS is periodically required to perform work that requires regular and recurring periods of prolonged standing, bending, and stretching. A STS is required periodically to climb ladders and work from heights in performing the essential duties. Other essential duties of the job may involve recurring lifting of moderately heavy equipment and tools. Related activities may include crawling, maneuvering, and working in cramped spaces as well as the occasional moving and transporting of diplomatic pouches.

A physical examination of each applicant offered a position is required to ensure that the candidate meets the physical and medical requirements necessary to perform the essential functions of the job and can meet the standards required for a worldwide medical clearance. In addition, candidates must have vision that is correctable to 20/20 in one eye and 20/40 in the other, no color blindness, adequate night vision, and good peripheral vision. In addition, candidates must have good hearing with no loss of greater than 30 decibels at 500, 1000, or 2000 Hz level. The musculoskeletal system should have no deformities, diseases, or limiting conditions that would interfere with the performance of duties.

Note: The medical examination is required only after a candidate has successfully passed the written and oral assessments. It is not part of the initial application package.


Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent.

Applicants may substitute educational achievements for Specialized Experience, please see Qualifications section for Specialized Experience requirements.

Applicants may substitute qualifying educational achievement (12 semester hours or quarter hours is equivalent to one year) for specialized experience as follows:

For one year of specialized experience: One full academic year of education in any electronics or electro-mechanic specialty, or the equivalent amount of vocational, military, and/or formal job-related classroom training.

For two years of specialized experience: Completion of all requirements for an associate’s degree in any electronics or electro-mechanic specialty, or the equivalent of two full academic years of vocational, military, and/or formal job-related classroom training.

You must provide proof of academic, technical, vocational or trade school education or training, including military training or specialty, with your application to receive credit. For education above high school, you must provide a transcript (official or unofficial) with your application. Additional information is included in the Required Documents section.

Additional information

*The Department of State Suitability Review Panel and standards are defined in Chapter 3 of the Foreign Affairs Manual. For more information please visit:

**For more information about Veteran’s Preference and how it is applied in the FSS Selection Process, please visit:

No applicant will be considered who has previously been separated from the Foreign Service under sections §607, §608, §610 or §611 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, or who resigned or retired in lieu of separation under these provisions. In addition, no applicant will be considered who has previously been separated for failure to receive a career appointment under section §306 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, or who resigned or retired in lieu thereof.

An FSS separated for failure to receive a career appointment under section 306 may not re-apply to be an FSS in the same skill code, but may apply for another skill code (or to be a Foreign Service Generalist).

Executive Branch agencies are barred by 5 US Code 3303 as amended from accepting or considering prohibited political recommendations and are required to return any prohibited political recommendations to sender. In addition, as mandated by 5 US Code 3110, relatives of federal employees cannot be granted preference in competing for these employment opportunities.

It is the policy of the Federal Government to treat all of its employees with dignity and respect and to provide a workplace that is free from discrimination whether discrimination is based on race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity or pregnancy), national origin, disability, political affiliation, marital status, membership in an employee organization, age, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors.

The Department of State provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodations for any part of the application or hiring process should so advise the Department at , within one week of receiving their invitation to the oral assessment. Decisions for granting reasonable accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis.

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

Applicants will be evaluated on their total background including experience, education, awards, training, and self-development as it relates to the position. Selection for this position will be made only from among applicants possessing the best qualifications. Part-time work experience will be prorated.

Selection for this position will be made only from among candidates possessing the best qualifications. Selected applicants will be invited to an assessment which may include his/her technical knowledge, educational and professional background, written communication skills, and an oral interview. We are currently planning to conduct assessments in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area only.

To preview questions please click here.

Required Documents

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure all required documents are uploaded and the application is fully completed before the closing deadline of this announcement. Any missing required documents or incomplete applications will result in the application not being considered further.

  1. USAJobs Resume Builder is the resume format that is accepted for this Vacancy Announcement.
  2. Completed online application including the completed required Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest narratives in the online application.
  3. Uploaded/faxed all required supporting documentation including proof of educational achievements, certifications, professional licenses, or completed forms as required in this Vacancy Announcement to qualify for this position.
  4. For education above high school, you must provide a transcript (official or unofficial) with your application. Your transcript must include your name, the school’s name, and, if applicable, the degree and date awarded. A transcript missing any of these elements will not pass the minimum qualifications and the candidacy will be ended. Copies of diplomas may not be submitted in lieu of transcripts for education above high school level.

    Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education,, in order to be credited towards qualifications. Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the education requirements if you can show that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence when applying. Click on the link for a list of accredited organizations recognized as specializing in interpretation of foreign education credentials.

  5. For applicants who are age 60 to 65, you must provide your Veteran’s Preference documentation at the time of your application. If claiming a 5 pt. veteran’s preference, you must submit a copy of your DD-214 or Certification of service. If claiming a 10 pt. veteran’s preference, you must submit your VA letter and SF-15, in addition to your DD-214 or Certification of service. A Certification must be from the armed forces that certifies the service member is expected to be discharged or released from active duty under honorable condition within 120 after the Certification is submitted by the applicant and should include military service dates, date of expected discharge or release, and character of service.

The required questions provide an opportunity to describe examples and accomplishments from your education, life, and/or work experience that demonstrate your qualifications for becoming an FSS. Examples can be drawn from any part of your professional or personal experience. The information you give may be used in your oral assessment should you be invited and is an important factor in the competitive evaluation of applicants. Responses are limited to 300 words or fewer (maximum length 2,000 characters) for each item. You should compose your replies carefully, as one of the skills necessary to succeed as an FSS is the ability to write clearly and concisely. These items must be completed in the online application, not as attachment.

  1. Practical Problem Solving: Using your knowledge of technical security programs, give what you consider to be the best example of a situation where you found an innovative solution to a practical problem. Indicate the nature of the problem, who was affected by the problem and in what way, and the results or benefits of your solution.
  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. Withstanding the Rigors of Overseas Life: What cross-cultural experiences have you had, either in the United States or abroad, which might suggest you could handle the difficulties of overseas life? In addition, list any experience of living, working or traveling abroad and any evidence of aptitude for foreign languages.

Statement of Interest

Required narrative Statement of Interest equivalent to two-to-three pages typed and no more than 5000 characters, which discusses your:

  • Motivation for joining the Foreign Service,
  • Comments about your work experience, including special skills (e.g. computer), current licenses, honors, awards, special accomplishments, and/or training (with date completed) relating to this position,
  • Experience living or working in a multicultural environment, overseas or in U.S.

The Statement of Interest must be completed inside the online application, not as an attachment.

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.


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.

  • Benefits for federal employees
  • Healthcare insurance
  • Pay and leave

Health and medical coverage, federal retirement benefits, paid leave, a chance to see the world and experience different cultures. Overseas benefits include tax-free housing and tax-free education allowance for dependent children between K-12 overseas.

For information on FS salary, please visit

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

You should submit your application early, not waiting for the deadline, as application packages must be complete, submitted, and received by the closing date/time to be considered. There are no exceptions.

  1. From this Vacancy Announcement, click on “Apply.” Go to the USAJobs Log In screen and log into your USAJobs account or follow the link and instructions to create an account.
  2. Follow the USAJobs Application Process and provide your required USAJobs federal online resume. USAJobs will transfer you to the State Department online application site, Monster Government Service (MGS). Follow the instructions and answer the online questions. Your Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest responses must be completed in the online application. You may save your work and can return to the application from USAJobs at any time prior to the deadline.
  3. The application system allows up to four methods to submit required documentation: Transfer documents from a USAJOBS portfolio; upload documents from your computer; resubmit documents from a previous application; or fax. If you are submitting documents by fax, you must follow the fax directions, and generate and use the fax coversheets for your set(s) of documents.
  4. After you attach all of your required supporting documentation, answer all the required application questions, and complete the application steps, please review the entire application packet, including the links for your submitted documents.
  5. Confirm and submit your application package, which will be used to evaluate your qualifications for this position.

Application Submission Deadline: 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date of this announcement to complete the application process and successfully submit any documentation required in this Vacancy Announcement.

Application packages must be complete and received by the closing date to be considered. There are no exceptions.

You should submit your application early, and may make changes as often as needed, up until the closing date of the announcement. We strongly recommended that you go back into your application and verify that your documents are attached.

If you are having technical difficulty with the application process, please contact the Monster Help Desk by calling 1-866-656-6830 or by emailing The Monster Help Desk is available Monday through Friday from 7 am to 7 pm Eastern Time.

Next steps

Once submitted, your application status on USAJobs will change from “received” to “referred” or “not referred” after the close of the announcement. This status on USAJobs will not be updated further.

All applicants will be notified via his/her Monster account about the outcome of the initial application review and if they will be further considered for this FS position. Additional notifications to applicants concerning the application status will be by e-mail from the U.S. Department of State.

Due to the high volume of applications, we ask all applicants to remain patient and await communication. It is not uncommon for several months to pass before you are informed of the results of your applications.

We recommend adding the Department of State domain ( as an approved sender.

For more information, please visit