Historian

History

GS-0170

Position Overview

An important part of DOI’s mission is to preserve and protect historic sites and help visitors understand and appreciate them. Historians use their knowledge and skills to support the interpretation and preservation of historic buildings and sites across the nation.

This position is represented at the following bureaus

Bureau of Land Management
Bureau of Reclamation
Department of the Interior Offices
National Park Service
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Candidate Description

The ideal candidate is an organized, detail-oriented problem solver who can research and communicate effectively with others. She or he applies understanding of historical events and human society and project planning skills to document, manage, preserve and protect important artifacts and sites. 

Work Environment

Historians perform most of their work in offices but also visit field sites which may be in remote areas.

Minimum Education Requirements

Please see the Individual Occupation Requirements and the Professional and Scientific Positions Group Qualification Standard on the OPM websites.

Career Level Requirements

Responsibilities by Level

  • Entry:

    • Researching historical information relating to a specific topic or site
    • Summarizing information from various sources into abstracts
    • Drafting letters or providing documents in response to inquiries
    • Participating as part of a team working on a restoration project

  • Mid:

    • Preparing and coordinating the writing of historical context studies, National Register of Historic Places documentation, and administrative histories
    • Negotiating cooperative and inter-agency agreements needed to carry out resource stewardship objectives
    • Drafting research documents on significant historical events or trends
    • Developing methods for future management of cultural resources

  • Journey:

    • Applying historical considerations to evaluate petitions from groups seeking Federal recognition as Indian tribes
    • Researching and managing records related to historic sites
    • Advising on and developing plans and proposals for cultural resources management projects
    • Creating and implementing long-range plans for inventory, evaluation, documentation, preservation, research, and interpretation of cultural resources
    • Developing relationships with various stakeholders to promote resource stewardship, share best practices, and advocate for common goals

  • Senior:

    • Leading the project team for a complex preservation project
    • Directing a major resources management program
    • Planning and carrying out historical studies related to sites of national significance

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Strengths by Level

Entry 5-7
Mid 9-11
Journey 12-13
Senior 14-15
  • 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.
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    Entry 5-7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Attention to Detail
    Is thorough when performing work and conscientious about attending to detail.
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    Entry 5-7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Customer Service
    Works with clients and customers (that is, any individuals who use or receive the services or products that your work unit produces, including the general public, individuals who work in the agency, other agencies, or organizations outside the Government) to assess their needs, provide information or assistance, resolve their problems, or satisfy their expectations; knows about available products and services; is committed to providing quality products and services.
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    Entry 5-7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Decision Making
    Makes sound, well-informed, and objective decisions; perceives the impact and implications of decisions; commits to action, even in uncertain situations, to accomplish organizational goals; causes change.
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    Entry 5-7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Interpersonal Skills
    Treats others with courtesy, sensitivity, and respect. Considers and responds appropriately to the needs and feelings of different people in different situations.
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    Entry 5-7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • 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.
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    Entry 5-7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • 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.
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    Entry 5-7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Problem Solving
    Identifies problems; determines accuracy and relevance of information; uses sound judgment to generate and evaluate alternatives, and to make recommendations.
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    Entry 5-7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Project Management
    Knowledge of the principles, methods, or tools for developing, scheduling, coordinating, and managing projects and resources, including monitoring and inspecting costs, work, and contractor performance.
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    Entry 5-7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Reasoning
    Identifies rules, principles, or relationships that explain facts, data, or other information; analyzes information and makes correct inferences or draws accurate conclusions.
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    Entry 5-7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Teaching Others
    Helps others learn through formal or informal methods; identifies training needs; provides constructive feedback; coaches others on how to perform tasks; acts as a mentor.
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    Entry 5-7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Teamwork
    Encourages and facilitates cooperation, pride, trust, and group identity; fosters commitment and team spirit; works with others to achieve goals.
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    Entry 5-7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • 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.
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    Entry 5-7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • 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.
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    Entry 5-7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15

Common Pathways

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

9.1%

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9.1%

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9.1%

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