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Biological Science Technician, GS-0404

Definitions:

EXPERIENCE: One year of work experience is twelve months working full-time (at least 35-40 hours per week). Part-time experience can be pro-rated (i.e., a year at 20 hours per week is credited as 6 months of experience). If your position consisted of mixed duties, experience credit is given for the percentage of time that you spent on qualifying duties (i.e., if you held a position for 2 years, full-time, consisting of 25% personnel work and 75% budget work, and then applied for a budget position you could calculate your experience as follows: 2 yrs = 24 months. 24 months x 75% [percentage of time spent on budget duties] = 18 months of qualifying experience.)

EDUCATION: One year of full-time academic study is 30 semester hours, 45 quarter hours, or the equivalent in a college or university, or at least 20 hours of classroom instruction per week for approximately 36 weeks in a business or technical school. This education must have been successfully completed and obtained in an accredited business, technical school, college or university for which high school graduation or the equivalent was a prerequisite.

GRADUATE EDUCATION: In the absence of specific graduate program information, a year of graduate education is 18 semester hours or 27 quarter hours of graduate level college course work, or the number of credit hours the school attended has determined to represent 1 year of full time study. This education must have been obtained in an accredited college or university.

For GS-04:

Applicants must meet one of the following to qualify for the GS-4 level:

Six months of general experience and 6 months of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-3 level in the Federal service that is in or related to the duties of the position to be filled. NOTE: Excess specialized experience beyond the required 6 months may be substituted for general experience; i.e., one year of creditable specialized experience will meet the requirements for 6 months of general experience and 6 months of specialized experience.

General experience is any type of work that demonstrates the applicant's ability to perform the work of the position to be filled, OR experience that provided a familiarity with the subject matter or processes of the broad subject area of the occupation for which the applicant is applying.

Specialized experience may include work as a technician or aid in a research activity or control program work, nursery work that required the growing and maintenance of plants in a controlled environment, or work comparable to that with a large dairy farm where production records, animal environment, and sanitary conditions were kept in accordance with modern dairy practice if it equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position to be filled. Farming experience that was not performed in a controlled environment, or experience as a laborer who was not responsible for planning and scheduling his/her own work, but only performed assigned tasks, would not qualify as specialized experience.

Examples of GS-3 level work assignments include: 1) Weighing, grinding or mixing samples; 2) Preparing laboratory glassware, equipment, and apparatus requiring special cleaning, sterilization or washing procedures; 3) Removing dead fish and/or wildlife from ponds, raceways, and habitats; 4) Assisting higher level staff in: reading and recording results of instruments, taking samples, performing standard tests, or collecting data for studies. For examples 1-4, a designated authority made assignments by indicating generally what was to be done, limitations, quality and quantity expected, deadlines, and priority of assignments. Additional specific instructions were provided for new, more difficult or unusual assignments or those that were not straightforward and/or repetitive. Recurring assignments were carried out within established procedures and with minimal instruction.

**OR applicants may substitute successful completion of two full years of study that included at least 12 semester hours or the equivalent in any combination of courses such as biology, chemistry, statistics, entomology, animal husbandry, botany, physics, agriculture, or mathematics. At least 6 semester hours or the equivalent of courses must be directly related to the position to be filled.

**OR a combination of successfully completed post-high school education and specialized and/or general experience may be used to meet the qualification requirements for the GS-04 level. NOTE: When crediting education to meet any part of the experience requirement, such education must include the appropriate number of directly related credit hours required in any combination of courses such as biology, chemistry, statistics, entomology, animal husbandry, botany, physics, agriculture, or mathematics. When crediting this education, you must prorate the number of hours of directly related courses required as a proportion of the total education to be used. (CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO COMBINE EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE)

For GS-05:

Applicants must meet one of the following to qualify for the GS-5 level:

One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-04 level in the Federal service that is in or related to the duties of this position. Specialized experience may include work as a technician or aid in a research activity or control program work, nursery work that required the growing and maintenance of plants in a controlled environment, or work comparable to that with a large dairy farm where production records, animal environment, and sanitary conditions were kept in accordance with modern dairy practice if it equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform successfully the duties of this position. Farming experience that was not performed in a controlled environment, or experience as a laborer who was not responsible for planning and scheduling his/her own work, but only performed assigned tasks, would not qualify as specialized experience.

Examples of GS-4 level work assignments include: 1) recording instrument readings; 2) collecting a specified amount, quantity, and type of samples; 3) taking measurements; 4) operating basic equipment when performing standardized tests; 5) assisting higher level technicians with the operation of sophisticated equipment; 6) assisting higher level technicians in capturing, tagging, collaring and banding animals or fish. For examples 1-6, a designated authority made continuing assignments by initially indicating such criteria as the amount of work expected, a general explanation of what is to be done, advice on the location of reference material or samples, and the nature of the limits applicable to the assignments. Recurring assignments were carried out independently, within established procedures and with minimal instruction. New, difficult or unusual work assignments were given with specific instructions.

**OR applicants may substitute successful completion of a full four year course of study leading to a bachelor's degree (a) with major study in an appropriate field of science (i.e., biology, chemistry, statistics, entomology, animal husbandry, botany, physics, agriculture, or mathematics) or (b) that included at least 24 semester hours, or the equivalent, in any combination of courses such as biology, chemistry, statistics, entomology, animal husbandry, botany, physics, agriculture, or mathematics. At least 6 semester hours, or the equivalent, must have been directly related to the position to be filled. The successful completion of a full course of study of at least 12 months in a school for clinical laboratory technicians may be substituted for the 1 year of specialized experience required at the GS-5 level for positions involving microbiology and biochemistry technician work.

**OR a combination of successfully completed post-high school education and specialized experience may be used to meet the qualification requirements for GS-5. Only progressive education in excess of the first 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours (i.e., beyond the first two years) of a course of study leading to a bachelor's degree is creditable toward meeting the specialized experience requirement, assuming the education includes the appropriate number of directly related semester hours, or the equivalent, in any combination of courses such as biology, chemistry, statistics, entomology, animal husbandry, botany, physics, agriculture, or mathematics. (CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO COMBINE UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION AND SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE)

For GS-06:

Applicants must meet one of the following to qualify for the GS-06 level:

One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-05 level in the Federal service that is in or related to the duties of this position. Specialized experience may include work as a technician or aid in a research activity or control program work, nursery work that required the growing and maintenance of plants in a controlled environment, or work comparable to that with a large dairy farm where production records, animal environment, and sanitary conditions were kept in accordance with modern dairy practice if it equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform successfully the duties of this position. Farming experience that was not performed in a controlled environment, or experience as a laborer who was not responsible for planning and scheduling his/her own work, but only performed assigned tasks, would not qualify as specialized experience.

Examples of GS-05 level assignments include: 1) collecting insect and disease samples and assisting in the identification & damage assessment of any problems they have caused; compiling and summarizing data from surveys, biological evaluations, and pilot tests; and running routine computer programs and checking resulting data for inconsistencies; 2) assembling basic information on fish and/or wildlife populations such as habitat use, sex and age structure, seasonal movement and harvest characteristics; 3) assuming responsibility for limited projects such as maintaining a network of seasonal traps; 4) collecting anatomical materials and making preliminary assessments of such things as habitat preference and population dynamics. For examples 1-4, a designated authority made continuing assignments by initially indicating the amount of work expected, general explanation of what is to be done, advice on the location of reference material or samples, and the nature of the limits applicable to the assignments. Recurring assignments were carried out independently, within established procedures and without specific instructions. New, difficult or unusual work assignments were given with specific instructions.

**OR applicants may substitute successful completion of 1/2 year of appropriate graduate level education (9 semester hours, 13.5 quarter hours or the equivalent) in biology, chemistry, statistics, entomology, animal husbandry, botany, physics, agriculture, or mathematics or other field of study directly related to the work of this position for the required 1 year of specialized experience if it provided the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to perform the work of this position.

**OR applicants may substitute a combination of appropriate specialized experience (as described above) and appropriate graduate level education (as described above) to meet the qualification requirements. (CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO COMBINE GRADUATE EDUCATION AND SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE)

For GS-07:

Applicants must meet one of the following to qualify for the GS-07 level:

One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-06 level in the Federal service that is in or related to the duties of this position. Specialized experience may include work as a technician or aid in a research activity or control program work, nursery work that required the growing and maintenance of plants in a controlled environment, or work comparable to that with a large dairy farm where production records, animal environment, and sanitary conditions were kept in accordance with modern dairy practice if it equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform successfully the duties of this position. Farming experience that was not performed in a controlled environment, or experience as a laborer who was not responsible for planning and scheduling his/her own work, but only performed assigned tasks, would not qualify as specialized experience.

Examples of GS-06 level assignments include: 1) collecting insect and disease samples and assisting in the identification & damage assessment of any problems they have caused; compiling and summarizing data from surveys, biological evaluations, and pilot tests; and/or running routine computer programs and checking resulting data for inconsistencies; 2) assembling basic information on fish and/or wildlife populations such as habitat use, sex and age structure, seasonal movement and harvest characteristics; 3) assuming responsibility for limited projects such as maintaining a network of seasonal traps; 4) collecting anatomical materials and making preliminary assessments of such things as habitat preference and population dynamics. For examples 1-4, a designated authority initially provided direction on the priorities and objectives for work assignments and assisted with any unusual situations that did not have clear precedents.

**OR applicants may substitute successful completion of 1 year of appropriate graduate level education (18 semester hours, 27 quarter hours or the equivalent) in biology, chemistry, statistics, entomology, animal husbandry, botany, physics, agriculture, or mathematics or other field of study directly related to the work of this position for the required 1 year of specialized experience if it provided the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to perform the work of this position.

**OR applicants may substitute a combination of appropriate specialized experience (as described above) and appropriate graduate level education (as described above) that is beyond the first 1/2 year of progressive graduate study to meet the qualification requirements. (CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO COMBINE GRADUATE EDUCATION AND SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE)

For GS-08:

Applicants must meet one of the following to qualify for the GS-8 level:

One year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-7 level. Examples of GS-7 level work may include: applying an understanding of issues related to biological investigations and the specialty of the position; participating in planning projects and making decisions on the methods and procedures to be used, as well as improving, adapting, or developing techniques, procedures, or equipment.

**OR applicants may substitute successful completion of 1 1/2 years of appropriate graduate level education (27 semester hours, 40.5 quarter hours or the equivalent) in biology, chemistry, statistics, entomology, animal husbandry, botany, physics, agriculture, or mathematics or other field of study directly related to the work of this position for the required 1-year of specialized experience if it provided the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to perform the work of the position.

**OR applicants may substitute a combination of appropriate specialized experience (as described above) and appropriate graduate level education (as described above) that is beyond the first 1 year of progressive graduate study to meet the qualification requirements. (CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO COMBINE GRADUATE EDUCATION AND SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE.)

For GS-09:

Applicants must meet one of the following to qualify for the GS-9 level:
One year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-8 level. Examples of GS-8 level work may include: performing varied and complex assignments such as designing and conducting experiments and/or collecting and analyzing data; performing field identification of biological information; administering a segment of a limited project; maintaining production levels in a laboratory setting; analyzing, evaluating, and consolidating reports; and developing new procedures and techniques for use by others. Work at this level is performed independently within the general instructions relating to scope, objectives, time limitations, priorities, etc. provided at the outset of the assignment/project.  Significant discretion is exercised in selecting from among a large variety of feasible alternatives.  Approval is obtained prior to implementing significant deviations from established guides.

**OR applicants may substitute successful completion of 2 years of progressively higher level graduate education (36 semester hours, 54 quarter hours or the equivalent) leading to a master's degree or possession of a master's degree in the biological sciences or other field of study directly related to the work of this position for the required 1 year of specialized experience if it provided the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to perform the work of this position.

**OR applicants may substitute a combination of appropriate specialized experience (as described above) and appropriate graduate level education (as described above) that is beyond the first 1 1/2 years of progressive graduate study to meet the qualification requirements.

(CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO COMBINE GRADUATE EDUCATION AND SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE.)

 

 

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