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Blue-collar employees are paid under the Federal Wage System (FWS). FWS positions are craft, trade, and laboring positions and include several different pay plans (WS, WG, WL, etc.). FWS positions are paid on an hourly basis. For current FWS rates, please visit http://www.opm.gov/oca/wage/Wagesch.asp and select a state and county for the corresponding wage schedule.
Some agencies have statutory authority to administer their own pay systems. Employees within these agencies may be paid under separate pay systems (e.g., pay bands) with separate pay plan codes. For instance, the YA pay plan is used only by the Department of Defense for positions classified under the National Security Personnel System (NSPS). The VN pay plan is specific to nursing positions within the Department of Veteran Affairs. Because of variations in independent personnel systems across the Federal Government, it is recommended applicants contact the hiring agency directly to obtain definitive information about pay plans other than the GS.
To apply for a job, there are four basic steps:
1. Create an account
Note: Visit USAJOBS' Resource Center for more information on Getting Started
Please note that you do not need to create a "My Account" to search for jobs, but you must create an account to apply for jobs online.
2. Search jobs
3. Apply for jobs
4. Manage Your Career
When a vacancy is open to “all sources”, it means anyone may apply. While there are no restrictions on the groups of candidates who may apply to these types of announcements, in most cases, U.S. citizenship is required. In rare cases, agencies may hire certain non-citizens when there are no qualified U.S. citizens available, unless the appointment is prohibited by statute. In addition, Congress frequently restricts agencies’ ability to hire non-citizens into the excepted service as well, through appropriations provisions.
“Status applicants” refers to those individuals who are current or former Federal civilian employees who hold or held non-temporary appointments in the competitive service, not the excepted service.
NOTE: Certain veterans eligible under the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA) may also apply and be considered under vacancy announcements limited to status candidates. For information on VEOA eligibility, please visit: http://www.opm.gov/veterans/html/vetguide.asp#Veterans_Employment_Opprtunities_Act_of_1998.
Reinstatement eligibility refers to the ability for those individuals who previously held a career or career-conditional appointment to apply for jobs in the competitive Federal service open to status applicants. There is no time limit on reinstatement eligibility for those who either have veterans' preference, or acquired career tenure by completing 3 years of substantially continuous creditable service. For more information on reinstatement, please visit: www.usajobs.opm.gov/ei2.asp.
Generally, applicants for most Federal jobs must be (1) at least 18 years old, or (2) at least 16 years old and:
• Have graduated from high school or been awarded a certificate equivalent to graduating from high school; or
• Have completed a formal vocational training program; or
• Have received a statement from school authorities agreeing with their preference for employment rather than continuing their education; or
• Be currently enrolled in a secondary school and either work only during school vacation periods or work part-time during the school year under a formal student employment program.
Some positions, like those in law enforcement have a maximum entry age and the age may vary from agency to agency but generally falls within the range 34 yrs to 37 yrs. Please review the job opportunity announcement or call the agency directly to find out specific information about the job of interest to you. What does status candidate means?
The Office of Management and Budget has mandated that agencies are responsible for evaluating and providing status to applicants at four points which are:
Applicant Referred or Not Referred to Selection Official
Applicant Selected or Not Selected
Although each agency is different, generally, you will hear from the hiring agency in about 15-30 days after the job opportunity announcement (JOA) closes. If you have not heard from the agency, you should contact the agency that posted the JOA to inquire about the status of your application. You may also go to "My Account" to view your application history.
The contact information for each announcement is listed in the lower portion of the JOA and also on the floating menu on the right hand side of the JOA. If the JOA has closed and no longer appears on the USAJOBS® website, you can contact the human resources office of the hiring agency for additional information and assistance or feel free to click on Contact Us.
The following are a few examples where special appointment authorities may be used.
Federal hiring officials are authorized to use a special appointment authority when considering certain people with disabilities (e.g., those with intellectual disabilities, severe physical disabilitie, or psychiatric disabilities). Use of this authority is at the discretion of each agency. Individuals may contact agency Special Placement Program Coordinators (SPPC) to inquire about opportunities under this authority. SPPC contact information can be found by visiting: http://apps.opm.gov/sppc_directory/. For more information on Federal employment for people with disabilities, please visit: http://www.opm.gov/disability/appempl.asp.
Veterans Recruitment Appointment (formerly known as the Veterans Readjustment Appointment or VRA): the VRA is an excepted appointment, made without competition, to positions otherwise in the competitive service. Use of the authority is entirely discretionary, and no one is entitled to a VRA. This special authority allows agencies to non-competitively appoint a qualified covered veteran to any position for which he or she is qualified up to a GS-11 or equivalent. Upon completion of two years of satisfactory service, the covered veteran is converted to the competitive service. For more information on the VRA, including eligibility requirements, please visit: http://www.usajobs.opm.gov/EI4.asp.
30% Disabled Veterans: Federal agencies have the authority, by law, to give a non-competitive temporary or term appointment of not less than 60 days to any veteran who has a compensable service-connected disability of 30% or more and who meets the qualification requirements of the position. Like the VRA, this authority is discretionary with the agency. To be eligible, the individual must be a disabled veteran who has a compensable service-connected disability of 30% or more officially documented by the Department of Defense or the Department of Veterans Affairs. For more information on this hiring authority, please visit: http://www.opm.gov/veterans/html/vetsinfo.asp.
For blue-collar employees, basic pay is set under the Federal Wage System (FWS). There are 132 appropriated fund and 125 non-appropriated fund local wage areas. For current FWS rates, please visit http://www.opm.gov/oca/wage/Wagesch.asp and select a state and county for the corresponding wage schedule.
White-collar and blue-collar employees in certain occupations and/or geographic areas may receive special rates. Special rates are higher rates of pay than GS and locality rates.
Some agencies have statutory authority to administer their own pay systems. Employees in these agencies are compensated through alternative pay systems established by their employing agency.
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