NASA's Pathways Recent Graduate Opportunities, Aerospace Engineer
National Aeronautics and Space Administration - Hampton, VA

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NASA, the world's leader in space and aeronautics is always seeking outstanding scientists, engineers, and other talented professionals to carry forward the great discovery process that its mission demands. Creativity - Ambition - Teamwork - A sense of Daring - and a Probing Mind - That's what it takes to join NASA, one of the best places to work in the Federal Government.

This Aerospace Engineer (AST Aerospace Flight Systems) position will be filled under the NASA Pathways Recent Graduate Program. The work involves research and development of opto-mechanical design solutions for advancement of remote sensing technologies with application to science instrument and space exploration systems. Utilizing an understanding of optical systems and mechanical design the incumbent will define operational requirements, perform trade studies, develop mechanical designs integrating optical components and assemblies, perform analyses, and evaluate optical-mechanical systems associated with aerospace and aeronautical flight systems, vehicles and payloads.

The position will be filled either at the GS-7, GS-9 or the GS-11 levels with promotion potential to GS-13. Your application must indicate the lowest grade you will accept. Salary range for GS-7 begins at $44,176; GS-9 begins at $54,028 and salary for GS-11 begins at $57,408.

To receive consideration, you must submit a resume and answer NASA-specific questions. The NASA questions appear after you submit your resume and are transferred to a NASA web site. If you successfully apply, USAJOBS will show your application status as 'resume received - complete.' If your status is 'Application Started,' you have not successfully applied. Do not rely on a USAJOBS email to confirm successful application only an email from NASA confirms a successful application.

****To receive consideration, your resume MUST contain your complete degree information (i.e., type of degree received, year degree received, G.P.A, and major area of study).You MUST include the descriptive title, and number of semester/quarter hours. If this information is not provided, your education may not be appropriately evaluated and you may lose consideration for this position. Please note that degrees in engineering technology are not considered to be qualifying for this position. If you are selected for this position, you will have to provide an official copy of your transcripts prior to entering on duty.
  • Relocation expenses will not be authorized
  • Applicants must possess at least a Bachelor's Degree or equivalent
  • Must have received qualifying degree within 2 years of appointment date
  • Occasional travel may be required
  • Position is Excepted Service-Excluded from the Career Transition Program.

DUTIES: The Recent Graduates Program affords developmental experiences in the Federal Government intended to promote possible careers in the civil service to individuals who have recently graduated from qualifying educational institutions or programs. Successful applicants are placed in a dynamic developmental program with the potential to lead to a civil service career in the Federal Government.

-This is a one year appointment in the excepted service which may lead, at the agency's discretion, to a term or permanent appointment in the competitive service.
-Recent Graduates will enter a formal training program with a mentor and execute an Individual Development Plan outlining training requirements and program expectations.
-Recent Graduates must receive at least 40 hours of formal training directly linked to their employment field.
-Recent Graduates serve a trial period for the duration of their excepted service appointment.
-Recent Graduates will be required to sign a Pathways Recent Graduate Participant Agreement.

QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED: NASA Pathways candidates will meet the qualification requirements consistent with NASA and the OPM qualification standards applicable to the position being filled. Candidates will be required to meet NASA's Aerospace Technologist (AST) qualification standards for the position(s) for which they are applying.

GS-7: In addition to the basic education requirement (see Educational Qualifications in the next section):
a. One year of appropriate professional experience at least equivalent to GS-5 in a related professional engineering field; or
b. One full academic year of graduate level education in an appropriate field; or any equivalent combination of experience and graduate study; or
c. Completion of all requirements for a bachelor's degree which meets one of the following SUPERIOR ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT STANDARDS:
1. A standing in the upper third of your college class or major subdivision (e.g., school of engineering) at the time you apply; or
2. A grade point average of 2.90 of a possible 4.0 or its equivalent for all courses completed, either: (a) at the time of application; or (b) during the last two years of your undergraduate curriculum; or
3. A grade point average of 3.5 of a possible 4.0 or its equivalent for all courses completed in a qualifying major field of study, either: (a) at the time of application; or (b) during the last two years of your undergraduate curriculum; or
4. Election to membership in one of the national honorary societies (other than freshman societies) that meets the requirements of the Association of College Honor Societies.
Seniors may be rated provisionally eligible under c-2. or 3. if they have the required average after the junior year. They will be required to submit proof that they maintained the required average in their senior year, or
d. Twelve months of student trainee experience (does not include periods of leave without pay) that includes at least one work period (two months or 320 hours) equivalent to GS-5 or at least 15 months of appropriate student trainee experience which includes one work period equivalent to the GS-4 level; or
e. For engineering positions, successful completion of a five-year program of study (i.e. one designed to be completed in no less than five years) of at least 160 semester hours;
f. For engineering positions, if you have a professional engineering degree, up to 12 months of appropriate experience gained as a technician or technologist equivalent to the GS-5 level or higher may be credited in qualifying for GS-7; or
g. Successful completion of all requirements for two bachelor's degrees, one in an appropriate field of science or engineering; or
h. Six months aggregate of specialized experience or training, including three months gained after the junior year in a subprofessional, semiprofessional or technician status, which may have been obtained in a laboratory or elsewhere during a summer period or assisting a professor, or on active military duty; or
i. Honors or elective positions indicating superior leadership other than scholastic, provided that your academic standing was in the upper half of your graduating class; or
j. Patterns of courses which have unusual preparatory value or direct relatedness to the particular aerospace specialty for which you are being considered; or
k. Creative research aptitude or special talent for NASA scientific or engineering work, as shown by evidence obtained and documented by means of certifications from college professors or officials, standardized questionnaires or similar techniques.

GS-9: In addition to the basic education requirement (see Educational Qualifications in the next section):

a. One year of professional experience in an appropriate field at least equivalent in difficulty and responsibility to GS-7 level in the Federal service within or closely related to opto-mechanical design and analysis; or
b. Completion of all requirements for a master's or equivalent graduate degree in an appropriate field or;
c. Two full academic years of graduate education in an appropriate field; or
d. An equivalent combination of experience and graduate study.

GS-11: Completion of all requirements for a doctoral degree (Ph.D. or equivalent) in an appropriate field; or three full academic years of graduate education in an appropriate field.

SELECTIVE PLACEMENT FACTOR: To determine the highest qualified candidates a selective placement factor will be used. This position requires an understanding of both optical systems and mechanical design to support research and development of remote sensing technologies with application to science instruments and space exploration systems. It requires a minimum of 9 semester hours of education at the baccalaureate level or above in any combination of optics, optical systems, remote sensing, light sources and detectors and opto-mechanical engineering. Resumes must contain sufficient data to determine if the courses listed in the resume meet the selective placement factor.

Successful completion of a standard professional curriculum in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's degree with major study in an appropriate field of engineering (not engineering technology), or majors listed below is required. The degree must include or be supplemented by course work appropriate to the AST specialty for which application is made; refer to the section, "Appropriate Fields of Study," under each AST specialty. (In some cases a graduate degree in an appropriate field by an accredited institution may be submitted. For applicants qualifying on the basis of graduate education and/or experience, any of the undergraduate majors shown below is acceptable if the required graduate study and/or professional experience is closely related to this type of work and provides the knowledge, skills and abilities required in the position being filled.)

Appropriate academic fields of study:
Aeronautical Engineering, Aeronautics, Aerospace Engineering, Astronautical Engineering, Astronautics, Biomedical Engineering, Materials Engineering, Materials Science, Applied Mechanics, Engineering Mechanics, Mechanical Engineering, Metallurgical Engineering, Metallurgy, Nuclear Engineering, Nuclear Engineering Physics, Physics, Applied Physics and Engineering Physics, Structural Engineering, Welding Engineering.

The following majors are qualifying if they include or are supplemented by two courses nine semester hours (or the equivalent) in machine design, mechanics, hydraulics, dynamics, thermodynamics, mechanical design, or mechanical measurement. These majors are: Ceramic Engineering, Ceramics, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Math (Applied or Pure).

A major in Industrial engineering is qualifying, unless it is in production, transmission, and use of large-scale industrial electrical power.

U.S. EDUCATION: Institutions located within the United States that have attained accreditation are listed on the U.S. Department of Education's website. To verify your institution's accreditation, please assess this website A complete listing of all institutions, including those located outside of U.S. territories, may be found in Accredited Institutions of Post-Secondary Education, a handbook published annually by the American Council on Education (ACE).
FOREIGN EDUCATION: If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show that the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university. For further information, visit:

U.S. citizenship is required.

HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED: Candidates will be assessed either based solely on basic eligibility requirements or may include a qualitative rating of candidates. NASA Pathways candidates will meet the qualification requirements consistent with the OPM qualification standards applicable to the position being filled. Where appropriate, candidates will be required to meet NASA's Aeronautics, Scientific, and Technical (AST) qualification standards for the position(s) for which they are applying. Veterans' preference applies to all selections made under the Pathways authority in accordance with Part 302 of 5 CFR. Candidates who meet the minimum qualification requirements need not be further evaluated; however, if no further evaluation is done, qualified veterans have absolute preference. If candidates are further evaluated using NASA's category rating process, qualified veterans have absolute preference within the appropriate category.

BENEFITS: NASA offers excellent benefit programs and competitive salaries. To learn more about pay and benefits at NASA, visit the NASA Jobs website .

OTHER INFORMATION: . Any applicant tentatively selected for this position may be required to undergo a pre-employment background investigation. As a condition of employment, male applicants born after December 31, 1959, must certify that they have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law. Your USAJobs account asks you to assign a name to each of your resumes. When you apply to a NASA position, we will show you the text of the resume you have submitted, but we do not maintain the name you have assigned to that resume. If you wish to keep track of that information, we recommend you make note of it at the time you apply.

Additional selections for similar positions may be made from this announcement within 90 days of closing date if additional vacancies occur.

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