Biological Science Technician

Biological Science Technician

GS-0404

Position Overview

Biological Technicians partner with DOI scientists, applying their technical skills in support of research or other projects.  Activities like gathering and processing samples, testing soil or water for toxins, and identifying and propagating native plants contribute to decision-making for the management and protection of natural resources such as wildlife, fish, plants and insects.

This position is represented at the following bureaus

Bureau of Indian Affairs
Bureau of Land Management
Bureau of Reclamation
National Park Service
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U.S. Geological Survey

Candidate Description

The ideal candidate is interested in animals, plants, or the environment and is also inquisitive and attentive to details, processes, and data.

Specialty Areas

Microbiology; Animal; Biochemistry; Invertebrates; Plants; Animal Science; Soils; Fisheries; Wildlife; Gen

Work Environment

Work is performed in an office, laboratory, and/or in the field. Lab work may include caring for live animals or handling hazardous chemicals.  Field work may include exposure to inclement weather, physical hazards, and wild animals.

Minimum Education Requirements

Please see the Individual Occupation Requirements and the Technical and Medical Support Positions Group Qualification Standard on the OPM websites.

Career Level Requirements

Responsibilities by Level

  • Entry:

    • Collect samples and data from field sites
    • Perform lab analyses on samples
    • Data entry, retrieval and record keeping

  • Mid:

    • Help conduct wildlife, fish, invertebrate, and/or plant surveys
    • Prepare charts and illustrations for reports
    • Identify and document plant and/or animal species
    • Collect and process water chemistry data

  • Journey:

    • Analyze experimental data
    • Plan and conduct plant inventories and studies
    • Install, operate and maintain sampling equipment
    • Search literature related to research topics

  • Senior:

    • Design and conduct portions of research and restoration projects
    • Recommend resource management actions based on field observations
    • Develop new sampling and testing procedures and methods
    • Manages data-sets
    • Conduct programmatic activities

Click to read more

Strengths by Level

Entry 1-4
Mid 5-6
Journey 7-8
Senior 9-11
  • Accountability
    Holds self and others accountable for measurable high-quality, timely, and cost-effective results. Determines objectives, sets priorities, and delegates work. Accepts responsibility for mistakes. Complies with established control systems and rules.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 1-4
    Mid 5-6
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Attention to Detail
    Is thorough when performing work and conscientious about attending to detail.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 1-4
    Mid 5-6
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Compliance
    Knowledge of procedures for assessing, evaluating, and monitoring programs or projects for compliance with Federal laws, regulations, and guidance.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 1-4
    Mid 5-6
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Creative Thinking
    Uses imagination to develop new insights into situations and applies innovative solutions to problems; designs new methods where established methods and procedures are inapplicable or are unavailable.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 1-4
    Mid 5-6
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Flexibility
    Is open to change and new information; adapts behavior or work methods in response to new information, changing conditions, or unexpected obstacles; effectively deals with ambiguity.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 1-4
    Mid 5-6
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Information Management
    Identifies a need for and knows where or how to gather information; organizes and maintains information or information management systems.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 1-4
    Mid 5-6
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Interpersonal Skills
    Treats others with courtesy, sensitivity, and respect. Considers and responds appropriately to the needs and feelings of different people in different situations.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 1-4
    Mid 5-6
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Oral Communication
    Expresses information (for example, ideas or facts) to individuals or groups effectively, taking into account the audience and nature of the information (for example, technical, sensitive, controversial); makes clear and convincing oral presentations; listens to others, attends to nonverbal cues, and responds appropriately.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 1-4
    Mid 5-6
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Organizational Awareness
    Knows the organization's mission and functions, and how its social, political, and technological systems work and operates effectively within them; this includes the programs, policies, procedures, rules, and regulations of the organization.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 1-4
    Mid 5-6
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Problem Solving
    Identifies problems; determines accuracy and relevance of information; uses sound judgment to generate and evaluate alternatives, and to make recommendations.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 1-4
    Mid 5-6
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Reasoning
    Identifies rules, principles, or relationships that explain facts, data, or other information; analyzes information and makes correct inferences or draws accurate conclusions.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 1-4
    Mid 5-6
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Self-Management
    Sets well-defined and realistic personal goals; displays a high level of initiative, effort, and commitment towards completing assignments in a timely manner; works with minimal supervision; is motivated to achieve; demonstrates responsible behavior.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 1-4
    Mid 5-6
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Teamwork
    Encourages and facilitates cooperation, pride, trust, and group identity; fosters commitment and team spirit; works with others to achieve goals.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 1-4
    Mid 5-6
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Technical Competence
    Uses knowledge that is acquired through formal training or extensive on-the-job experience to perform one's job; works with, understands, and evaluates technical information related to the job; advises others on technical issues.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 1-4
    Mid 5-6
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Writing
    Recognizes or uses correct English grammar, punctuation, and spelling; communicates information (for example, facts, ideas, or messages) in a succinct and organized manner; produces written information, which may include technical material, that is appropriate for the intended audience.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 1-4
    Mid 5-6
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11

Common Pathways

Candidates who made this career change most commonly held these occupations...

22.2%

Animal Caretaking

Career Information Coming Soon
22.2%

Forestry Technician

See Position Details
16.7%

Where We Are

DOI employs people at more than 2,400 locations across the United States and territories. Use the Position Locator tool to see where current DOI employees work. To check for job opportunities, scroll down and click "See jobs on USAjobs.gov."