The folks driving this bus

So I'm job searching in this terrible economy and I definitely wouldn't mind working for the feds. True they have a two year pay freeze on but they also get to work with some pretty cool equipment. You may wonder past the terribly long hiring time and low pay why the feds have trouble recruiting good people. You may think it's all the veterans taking your jobs. You'd be wrong.
GS-5:  To qualify for GS-5 entry-level engineering positions in the Federal government, you must meet specific education requirements or possess a combination of qualifying education and experience.
SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE: GS-07 ONLY:   In addition to meeting the Basic Requirement, applicants must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-05 grade level in the Federal service. Specialized experience is experience such as: assisting to resolve technical issues on ship system design, installation, alteration, repair, inspection, maintenance, safety, and life cycle management; assisting to develop and monitor shipboard planned, preventive, and predictive maintenance systems.   Only experience acquired after graduation is creditable.   

To qualify at the GS-07 level based on Superior Academic Achievement you must have a bachelor's degree in engineering which meets one or more of the following areas listed below.   You may be appointed based on claimed academic achievement, pending verification of final grades.   However, if the required grades were not maintained through your senior year, you may not be able to retain the GS-07 grade level.

1.   A grade-point average of 3.0 or higher out of a possible 4.0 ("B" or better) based on 4 years of education, or based on courses completed during the final 2 years (60 semester hours minimum) of curriculum.

2.   A grade-point average of 3.5 or higher out of a possible 4.0 ("B" or better) based on the average of the required courses completed in the major field or the required courses in the major field completed during the final 2 years of curriculum (60 semester hours minimum).

That's right. Feds don't care what kind of internships you had while you were working on your degree. They only care what kind of GPA you got. In fact they're shooting their own vets in the foot. What about a vet who was an aircraft mechanic, reads and understands drawings, goes back to school on the GI bill, and graduates? He/she can not benefit from the experience of their stint in the military (true it does add to their total fed service time, but as the federal retirement benefits were obliterated and turned into a 401k-like system this is mostly useless).
So way to go federal government. Way to hand it to the guys who got the best GPA and didn't have to work while in college. I'm sure more silver spoon engineers is exactly what we need. They can also afford to take the appallingly low GS-7 pay for having an engineering degree.


  1. Wow, I didn't know they were that archaic in their requirements. I managed a 3.7 in UG and held down a full time job while moonlighting on the side waiting tables.

    GPA isn't really anything. With grade inflation and students complaining (or worse parents), GPA is a terrible standard to go by.

    Good luck in the job search

  2. I agree GPA is a horrible standard to go by: it puts students at some of the most challenging, rigorous institutions at a disadvantage to students who took the easy route. What about relevant coursework? Practical experience?

    As someone who could very reasonably be classified as a "silver spoon engineer", I find it appalling I'd get hired over someone with more applicable experience simply because I have better grades in classes which may be completely irrelevant to the position.

    Many federal job postings are also nearly indecipherable, referencing several other standards without any sort of indication of where one might find said standards. I'm sure it doesn't help increase applicant pool when most applicants have no idea if they're qualified for the position in the first place.

  3. wow, that's something I thought "we've" moved on from... I mean, GPA might mean something but once there is other experience and stuff - what does it really mean in the end?

    And what about that "don't care about internship during studies"... it's all so odd. Wouldn't you want someone who did internship AND maintained a decent grade (therefore got some other experience than "just" studying?). Guess I'm talking subjectivly here since I did stuff on the side of my studying and really thought that meant good things for my future career (and matureness and skill set). Also, I'd rather hire (or at least be interested in interviewing) someone who had skills and grades than "only" the grades - if you get what I mean.

    I wish you good luck. maybe these "rules" are bendable if you get someone from the inside to be interested in interviewing you? (aka "getting through HR and thier prerequisites"....)