USFWS Physical Science Technician

Physical Science Technician

GS-1311

Position Overview

Physical science technicians at the Department of the Interior assist scientists in the collection, preparation, and analysis of data.

This position is represented at the following bureaus

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

Candidate Description

The ideal candidate is someone with skill in finding, organizing, and summarizing information. They should be able to get along well with others in a team setting.

Work Environment

Work may be performed in a variety of settings, including office, field, and laboratory.

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:

    • Calibrates or installs technical equipment 
    • Prepares samples for analyses 
    • Prepares tables, maps, plots, or other data displays 
    • Gathers technical data, statistics, or maps from external sources

  • Mid:

    • Assists scientists on field phases of data collection or field observation projects 
    • Conducts measurements of physical properties of samples 
    • Uses geographic information system (GIS) techniques to archive or graphically present data 
    • Assists in preparing manuscripts

  • Journey:

    • Participates in the design, testing, calibration, and installation of instrumentation systems 
    • Advises others on instrumentation installation to ensure reliability of measurements 
    • Trains other technicians on field, laboratory, or office tasks

  • Senior:

    • Performs reconnaissance of structure, utilizing plans, drawings, and site visits 
    • Modifies instrumentation systems to meet program or project specifications 
    • Prepares reports on test results

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Strengths by Level

Entry 4-5
Mid 6-7
Journey 8-9
Senior 10-11
  • 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.
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    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 8-9
    Senior 10-11
  • Attention to Detail
    Is thorough when performing work and conscientious about attending to detail.
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    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 8-9
    Senior 10-11
  • Compliance
    Knowledge of procedures for assessing, evaluating, and monitoring programs or projects for compliance with Federal laws, regulations, and guidance.
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    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 8-9
    Senior 10-11
  • 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.
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    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 8-9
    Senior 10-11
  • 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.
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    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 8-9
    Senior 10-11
  • Information Management
    Identifies a need for and knows where or how to gather information; organizes and maintains information or information management systems.
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    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 8-9
    Senior 10-11
  • Interpersonal Skills
    Treats others with courtesy, sensitivity, and respect. Considers and responds appropriately to the needs and feelings of different people in different situations.
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    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 8-9
    Senior 10-11
  • 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.
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    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 8-9
    Senior 10-11
  • 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.
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    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 8-9
    Senior 10-11
  • 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 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 8-9
    Senior 10-11
  • 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 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 8-9
    Senior 10-11
  • 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 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 8-9
    Senior 10-11
  • 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.
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    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 8-9
    Senior 10-11

Common Pathways

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

30.8%

Biological Science Technician

Career Information Coming Soon
23.1%

Engineering Technical

Career Information Coming Soon
15.4%

Hydrologic Technician

See Position Details
90 - Guide 7.7%
303 - Miscellaneous Clerk And Assistant 7.7%
455 - Range Technician 7.7%
189 - Recreation Aid And Assistant 7.7%

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