Skip Navigation

Vacancy Questions Preview

Vacancy Questions Preview

Grade: 07
* 1.GS-7 Choose one answer that best describes your education or combination of education and experience as it pertains to the mandatory basic educational requirements for Geologist positions.
  1. I have completed all requirements for a bachelor’s or higher degree in geology from an accredited college/ university. A degree includes 24 semester hours in geology plus 20 additional semester hrs in a combination of mathematics, physics, chemistry, biological science, structural, chemical, civil, mining or petroleum engineering, computer science, planetary geology, comparative planetology, geophysics, meteorology, hydrology, oceanography, physical geography, marine geology, and cartography.
  2. I have a combination of education and experience with coursework as described above and additional education and/or experience (see below for acceptable experience). The combination of education and experience is sufficient to demonstrate that I have the knowledge, skills and abilities required to perform the duties of a professional geologist AND is comparable to completion of a full 4-year course of study.
  3. I do not meet any of the requirements as described above.


Acceptable experience may have been gained through a geological field or laboratory work that provided a means of obtaining professional knowledge of the theory and application of the principles of geology and closely related sciences (e.g. geophysics, geochemistry, or hydrology). Such experience must have involved making close observations, taking samples, handling various types of instruments and equipment assembling geologic data AND analyzing and reporting findings orally and in writing.

* 2.GS-7 In addition to meeting the basic education requirements, choose one response that best describes your professional experience, education or a combination of both.
  1. I have at least one year of professional experience in geology equivalent to the GS-5 level in the Federal service. Examples of such experience may include taking measurements and collecting information; learning to take proper samples, conducting routine calculations, plotting, and checking of numerical data; preparing graphs and data; and accomplishing routine analysis in the field of geology.
  2. Superior Academic Achievement - I meet 1 of the following: Upper 1/3 of graduating class based on completed courses; 3.0 or higher out of a possible 4.0 based on 4 years of education, or based on final 2 years of curriculum; 3.5 out of a possible 4.0 based on average of required major courses or required major courses in final 2 years of curriculum; Member national scholastic honor society which meets requirements of Assoc. of College Honor Societies.
  3. I have completed at least one full year of graduate level education in geology or other directly related field.
  4. I have a combination of graduate level education and professional experience that meets 100% of the qualification requirements for this position.
  5. I do not meet or exceed the education or experience requirement as described above.


3.I have a geology degree with a major in or special emphasis in engineering geology or geologic engineering.
  1. Yes
  2. No


4.I have successfully completed a summer field program or a semester of off-campus study specific to geological field investigations.
  1. Yes
  2. No


5.Please select the one response that describes your experience developing the scope for and/or conducting a geologic field investigation.
  1. This has been a central or major part of my work. I have designed the parameters for and have conducted geologic field investigations. Such investigations typically incorporate technologies, methods and equipment in the collection, testing and analyzing of geological data for use in the design, construction or structural evaluation of civil engineering projects. I have served as a consultant to others in the performance of this task.
  2. I have regularly and independently conducted geologic field investigations involving various technologies, methods and equipment in the collection, testing and analyzing of geologic data for use in the design, construction or evaluation of various civil engineering projects.
  3. I have experience participating in field investigations involving different technologies, methods and equipment in the collection of geologic data for use in the design, construction or evaluation of various civil engineering projects. My work is monitored closely by a supervisor or senior employee to ensure compliance with proper procedures.
  4. I have limited experience participating or assisting geologists in the field investigations.
  5. I have received college level instruction and training in geologic field investigations but have not performed them on the job.
  6. I have not had education, training or experience conducting field investigations.


Grade: 09
* 1.GS-9 Choose one answer that best describes your education or combination of education and experience as it pertains to the mandatory basic educational requirements for Geologist positions.
  1. I have completed all requirements for a bachelor’s or higher degree in geology from an accredited college/ university. A degree includes 24 semester hours in geology plus 20 additional semester hrs in a combination of mathematics, physics, chemistry, biological science, structural, chemical, civil, mining or petroleum engineering, computer science, planetary geology, comparative planetology, geophysics, meteorology, hydrology, oceanography, physical geography, marine geology, and cartography.
  2. I have a combination of education and experience with coursework as described above and additional education and/or experience (see below for acceptable experience). The combination of education and experience is sufficient to demonstrate that I have the knowledge, skills and abilities required to perform the duties of a professional geologist AND is comparable to completion of a full 4-year course of study.
  3. I do not meet any of the requirements as described above.


Acceptable experience may have been gained through a geological field or laboratory work that provided a means of obtaining professional knowledge of the theory and application of the principles of geology and closely related sciences (e.g. geophysics, geochemistry, or hydrology). Such experience must have involved making close observations, taking samples, handling various types of instruments and equipment assembling geologic data AND analyzing and reporting findings orally and in writing.

* 2.GS-9 In addition to meeting the basic education requirements, choose one response that best describes your professional experience, graduate education or a combination of both.
  1. I possess a master’s degree or equivalent degree or I have successfully completed at 2 years of progressively higher-level graduate education leading to a master’s degree in geology or other directly related field.
  2. I have one year of professional experience in geology equivalent to the GS-7 level in the Federal service. Examples of such experience may include performing observations, measurements, computations and analyses to assist geologists in carrying out assignments; following established methods and procedures, or detailed instructions using judgment in apply basic principles and procedures; possessing a good general working knowledge of geology.
  3. I have a combination of graduate level education and professional experience that meets 100% of the qualification requirements for this position.
  4. I do not meet or exceed the education or experience requirement as described above.


3.Select the response that best describes your highest level of experience managing geologic field investigation projects.
  1. I have served as project manager or team leader responsible for managing geological field investigation projects involving multiple methods that are/were in progress concurrently. Responsibility included establishing scopes of work, cost estimates, schedules and description of deliverables to include monitoring budget, milestones and work performed in-house or by contractors.
  2. I have served as project manager or team leader responsible for managing a geologic field investigation project that included multiple methods. Responsibility included establishing scopes of work, cost estimates, schedules, and description of deliverables to include monitoring budget, milestones and work performed in-house or by contractors.
  3. I have been responsible for carrying out components of a geologic project that involved preparing scopes of work, costs estimates, schedules and description of deliverables which may have included monitoring budget, milestones or work performed by others.
  4. I have experience performing segments or participated in the management of a project. My work was monitored closely by a supervisor or senior employee to ensure compliance with proper procedures.
  5. I have completed formal education or formal training in project management principles and methods but have not yet applied it in actual work experience.
  6. I have not performed this task.


4.Please select the one response that best describes your experience inspecting the installation and monitoring geotechnical instrumentation used to monitor the performance of engineering structures.
  1. I do not have experience performing this task.
  2. I have successfully completed college level instruction and training in theories, methods and principles used to monitor geotechnical instrumentation, but I have not performed them on the job.
  3. I have participated as a team member in the installation or monitoring of geotechnical instrumentation of civil engineering structures. My work is monitored closely by a supervisor or senior employee to ensure compliance with proper procedures.
  4. I have routinely and independently inspected and monitored the performance of geotechnical instrumentation used to monitor the performance of engineering structures.
  5. None of the above.


5.Please select the one response that describes your experience developing the scope for and/or conducting a geologic field investigation.
  1. This has been a central or major part of my work. I have designed the parameters for and have conducted geologic field investigations. Such investigations typically incorporate various exploration technologies, methods and equipment in the collection, testing and evaluation of foundation stability, excavation requirements, slope support and geological data for use in determining liquefaction potential in support of proposed and existing civil engineering projects. I have served as a consultant to others in the performance of this task.
  2. I have regularly and independently conducted geologic field investigations involving various exploration technologies, methods and equipment in the collection, testing and evaluation of foundation stability, excavation requirements, slope support and geological data for use in determining liquefaction potential in support of proposed and existing civil engineering projects.
  3. I have experience participating in field investigations involving various exploration technologies, methods and equipment in the collection, testing and evaluation of foundation stability, excavation requirements, slope support and geological data for use in determining liquefaction potential in support of proposed and existing civil engineering projects. My work is monitored closely by a supervisor or senior employee to ensure compliance with proper procedures.
  4. I have limited experience participating or assisting geologists in the field investigations.
  5. I have received college level instruction and training in geologic field investigations but have not performed them on the job.
  6. I have not had education, training or experience conducting field investigations.


6.Select the response that best describes your experience observing and documenting “as-excavated” foundation conditions during the construction of engineered structures.
  1. I have not had education, training or experience in performing this task.
  2. I have completed formal education or training in performing this task but have not yet performed it on the job.
  3. I have performed this task on the job under close supervision by a supervisor manager or senior employee to ensure compliance with correct procedures.
  4. I have performed this task as a regular part of a job, independently and usually without review by a supervisor, manager or senior employee.
  5. This task has been a central or major part of my work. I have performed it myself routinely, and I have trained others in performance of this task and/or others have consulted me as an expert for assistance in performing this task.


7.Select the response that best describes your experience inspecting and monitoring the performance of damaged or distressed civil engineering structures resulting from landslides, uncontrolled seepage, or foundation instability or settlement.
  1. I do not have experience performing this task.
  2. I have successfully completed college level instruction and training in theories, methods and principles used to investigate geologic conditions caused by landslides, sinkholes, seepage or foundation stability, but I have not performed them on the job.
  3. I have participated as a team member in the inspection or monitoring of damaged or distressed civil engineering structures. My work is monitored closely by a supervisor or senior employee to ensure compliance with proper procedures.
  4. I have routinely and independently inspected and monitored the performance of damaged or distressed civil engineering structures to evaluate the geologic conditions contributing to landslides, sinkholes, uncontrolled seepage or other foundation instabilities.
  5. I have routinely and independently inspected and monitored the performance of damaged or distressed concrete or earth water storage and water conveyance structures to evaluate the geologic conditions contributing to landslides, sinkholes, uncontrolled seepage or other foundation instabilities.


Grade: 11
Acceptable experience may have been gained through a geological field or laboratory work that provided a means of obtaining professional knowledge of the theory and application of the principles of geology and closely related sciences (e.g. geophysics, geochemistry, or hydrology). Such experience must have involved making close observations, taking samples, handling various types of instruments and equipment assembling geologic data AND analyzing and reporting findings orally and in writing.

* 1.GS-11 Choose one answer that best describes your education or combination of education and experience as it pertains to the mandatory basic educational requirements for Geologist positions.
  1. I have completed all requirements for a bachelor’s or higher degree in geology from an accredited college/ university. A degree includes 24 semester hours in geology plus 20 additional semester hrs in a combination of mathematics, physics, chemistry, biological science, structural, chemical, civil, mining or petroleum engineering, computer science, planetary geology, comparative planetology, geophysics, meteorology, hydrology, oceanography, physical geography, marine geology, and cartography.
  2. I have a combination of education and experience with coursework as described above and additional education and/or experience (see below for acceptable experience). The combination of education and experience is sufficient to demonstrate that I have the knowledge, skills and abilities required to perform the duties of a professional geologist AND is comparable to completion of a full 4-year course of study.
  3. I do not meet any of the requirements as described above.


* 2.GS-11 In addition to meeting the basic education requirements, choose one response that best describes your professional experience, graduate education or a combination of both.
  1. I possess a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree or at least 3 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. in geology or other directly related field.
  2. I have one year of professional experience in geology equivalent to GS-9 level in the Federal service. Experience includes independent responsibility for a defined study or phase of a study requiring planning and conducting routine geologic work. Such work involved selecting and adapting procedures; handling unexpected conditions, following set guidelines and recognizing factors that may affect findings. I have a sound working knowledge of geology in performance of responsible scientific work.
  3. I have a combination of graduate level education and professional experience that meets 100% of the qualification requirements for this position.
  4. I do not meet or exceed the education or experience requirement as described above.


3.Select the response that best describes your highest level of experience managing geologic field investigation projects.
  1. I have served as project manager or team leader responsible for managing geological field investigation projects involving multiple methods that are/were in progress concurrently. Responsibility included establishing scopes of work, cost estimates, schedules and description of deliverables to include monitoring budget, milestones and work performed in-house or by contractors.
  2. I have served as project manager or team leader responsible for managing a geologic field investigation project that included multiple methods. Responsibility included establishing scopes of work, cost estimates, schedules, and description of deliverables to include monitoring budget, milestones and work performed in-house or by contractors.
  3. I have been responsible for carrying out components of a geologic project that involved preparing scopes of work, costs estimates, schedules and description of deliverables which may have included monitoring budget, milestones or work performed by others.
  4. I have experience performing segments or participated in the management of a project. My work was monitored closely by a supervisor or senior employee to ensure compliance with proper procedures.
  5. I have completed formal education or formal training in project management principles and methods but have not yet applied it in actual work experience.
  6. I have not performed this task.


4.Select the response that best describes your experience observing and documenting “as-excavated” foundation conditions during the construction of engineered structures.
  1. I have not had education, training or experience in performing this task.
  2. I have completed formal education or training in performing this task but have not yet performed it on the job.
  3. I have performed this task on the job under close supervision by a supervisor manager or senior employee to ensure compliance with correct procedures.
  4. I have performed this task as a regular part of a job, independently and usually without review by a supervisor, manager or senior employee.
  5. This task has been a central or major part of my work. I have performed it myself routinely, and I have trained others in performance of this task and/or others have consulted me as an expert for assistance in performing this task.


5.Please select the one response that describes your experience developing the scope for and/or conducting a geologic field investigation.
  1. This has been a central or major part of my work. I have designed the parameters for and have conducted geologic field investigations. Such investigations typically incorporate various exploration technologies, methods and equipment in the collection, testing and evaluation of foundation stability, excavation requirements, slope support and geological data for use in determining liquefaction potential in support of proposed and existing civil engineering projects. I have served as a consultant to others in the performance of this task.
  2. I have regularly and independently conducted geologic field investigations involving various exploration technologies, methods and equipment in the collection, testing and evaluation of foundation stability, excavation requirements, slope support and geological data for use in determining liquefaction potential in support of proposed and existing civil engineering projects.
  3. I have experience participating in field investigations involving various exploration technologies, methods and equipment in the collection, testing and evaluation of foundation stability, excavation requirements, slope support and geological data for use in determining liquefaction potential in support of proposed and existing civil engineering projects. My work is monitored closely by a supervisor or senior employee to ensure compliance with proper procedures.
  4. I have limited experience participating or assisting geologists in the field investigations.
  5. I have received college level instruction and training in geologic field investigations but have not performed them on the job.
  6. I have not had education, training or experience conducting field investigations.


6.As a project geologist, I have been responsible for documenting and evaluating “as-excavated” geologic conditions for the following types of projects.
  1. Excavation, including foundations for civil engineering structures
  2. Cutslope stability and support requirements
  3. Dewatering/unwatering of excavations
  4. Underground excavation methods (drill and blast, tunnel boring machines, road header)
  5. Mapping and logging of tunnels
  6. Tunnel Support Requirements (TSR)
  7. None of the above


7.Select the response that best describes your experience inspecting and monitoring the performance of damaged or distressed civil engineering structures resulting from landslides, uncontrolled seepage, or foundation instability or settlement.
  1. I do not have experience performing this task.
  2. I have successfully completed college level instruction and training in theories, methods and principles used to investigate geologic conditions caused by landslides, sinkholes, seepage or foundation stability, but I have not performed them on the job.
  3. I have participated as a team member in the inspection or monitoring of damaged or distressed civil engineering structures. My work is monitored closely by a supervisor or senior employee to ensure compliance with proper procedures.
  4. I have routinely and independently inspected and monitored the performance of damaged or distressed civil engineering structures to evaluate the geologic conditions contributing to landslides, sinkholes, uncontrolled seepage or other foundation instabilities.
  5. I have routinely and independently inspected and monitored the performance of damaged or distressed concrete or earth water storage and water conveyance structures to evaluate the geologic conditions contributing to landslides, sinkholes, uncontrolled seepage or other foundation instabilities.


8.Please select the type of structures you have inspected to document and evaluate geologic problems affecting civil engineering structures such as landslides, uncontrolled seepage, or foundation instability.
  1. Concrete dams
  2. Embankment dams
  3. Canals
  4. Tunnels
  5. Pipelines
  6. Soil structures such as cut-slopes, embankments and levees
  7. Highways, streets and roads
  8. Buildings
  9. Bridges
  10. Reservoirs
  11. Power/pumping plants
  12. None of the above


9.Please select the one response that most accurately reflects your highest level of involvement in Safety of Dams inspections.
  1. I have served as the primary geologist responsible for performing Safety of Dams inspections to evaluate foundation conditions of dams.
  2. I have participated as a team member in Safety of Dams inspections to evaluate foundation conditions.
  3. I have limited experience in Safety of Dams inspections.
  4. I have no experience associated with Safety of Dams inspections.


10.Please select all of the following areas that you are proficient in, or have routinely participated as a technical member of a multi-disciplinary team, evaluating dam safety issues.
  1. Liquefaction of dam embankments and soil foundations
  2. Internal erosion of dam embankments and soil foundations, including piping
  3. Stability of dam embankments and soil foundations under static loads
  4. Stability of rock foundations under static or seismic loads
  5. Performance of concrete dams, including alkali aggregate reaction
  6. Evaluation of instrumentation performance
  7. Risk assessment of dams
  8. None of the above


Grade: All Grades
1.Please select any of the following you are proficient in performing independently in geologic field investigations.
  1. Geologic field mapping
  2. Logging of drill holes
  3. Logging rock that included reporting of engineering properties (such as, weathering, fracture density/frequency, strength/hardness, RQD)
  4. Logging soils in accordance with USCS
  5. Performing standard geotechnical field tests for soils, including the Standard Penetration Test, Electronic Cone Penetrometer Test, or Becker Penetration Test
  6. Geologic interpretation of aerial photographs
  7. Designing and installing observation wells
  8. Performing permeability tests (such as packer, slug or well permeameter tests) to determine reservoir water holding capability/foundation seepage potential
  9. Performing permeability tests(such as packer, slug or well permeameter tests) to evaluate dewatering/unwatering requirements for proposed construction/excavation
  10. Conducting aquifer pump tests
  11. None of the above


2.Please select any of the following that you have investigated and presented your findings of the geologic site conditions.
  1. Landslide conditions and hazards
  2. Foundation stability and percolation characteristics of foundations
  3. Groundwater conditions
  4. Seismotectonic hazards
  5. Excavation difficulty and excavation stability
  6. Earth materials suitability for construction
  7. None of the above


3.Please select the one response that best describes your highest level of experience in the documentation and presentation of geological data collected from geological field investigations.
  1. I have not had education, training or experience in performing this task.
  2. I have completed formal education or training in performing this task but have not yet performed it on the job.
  3. I have performed this task on the job under close supervision by a supervisor manager or senior employee to ensure compliance with correct procedures.
  4. I have performed this task as a regular part of a job, independently and usually without review by a supervisor, manager or senior employee.
  5. This task has been a central or major part of my work. I have performed it myself routinely, and I have trained others in performance of this task and/or others have consulted me as an expert for assistance in performing this task.


4.Select the geologic methods you regularly and independently used to describe and interpret data collected by geologic field investigations.
  1. Isopach maps
  2. Structure contour maps
  3. Soil Horizon, Soil taxonomy
  4. Trench Maps
  5. Surface Maps
  6. Geologic Sections
  7. None of the above


5.Select the types of documentation and presentation of field data you prepared regularly and independently to describe geologic site conditions.
  1. Geologic structural maps
  2. Geologic drill hole logs of rock foundations
  3. Geologic drill hole logs of soil foundations
  4. Geologic logs of test pits and trenches
  5. Geologic maps and cross-sections
  6. Data tables
  7. Hydrographs
  8. Photographs and diagrams of site conditions
  9. Other


6.Select the response that best describes your experience communicating geological information in writing.
  1. I successfully prepared a variety of geology reports and documents as part of my college level instruction and training.
  2. I prepared various documents to explain technical phases of projects, including geologic investigations to audiences with the same technical background.
  3. I have prepared a variety of correspondence and documents to provide geological technical information and project related issues to both technical and non-technical audiences.
  4. I prepared fact sheets, issue papers and correspondence covering geololgical technical information for persons within and outside my organization.
  5. I prepared final comprehensive geological reports comprised of analyses, identified problems, recommendations and conclusions for use by senior level officials within and outside my organization.
  6. None of the above.


7.From the following examples of reports or data presentation, please select all those in which you are proficient in producing routinely and independently.
  1. Technical reports regarding geologic or geotechnical field investigation data
  2. Comprehensive technical reports regarding geologic design data in support of civil engineering construction projects
  3. Site/structure inspection reports regarding foundation conditions of damaged or distressed civil structures
  4. Construction geology reports with geologic drawings and analysis of geologic data
  5. Short trip reports documenting site conditions
  6. Status reports of on-going field investigations or exploration programs
  7. Reports of groundwater pump tests (test results, site aquifer geotechnical characteristics)
  8. Scope of work/work plan development (specific to geologic or engineering projects)
  9. None of the above


8.Please select the one response that best describes your highest level of experience presenting project information to others.
  1. I have prepared and presented formal presentations and/or informational briefings to present project information on the overall status of projects.
  2. I have prepared and presented formal presentations to senior management officials and stakeholders to gain understanding and support for projects.
  3. I have prepared and presented formal presentations to officials inside or outside my employing organization to resolve differences of opinion and persuade or motivate them to take or accept a course of action, revise procedures or expend resources.
  4. I have prepared and presented formal presentations and briefings to diverse audiences to negotiate, justify, defend, and resolve complex or controversial project issues. Audiences include senior level management from within the organization and from other Federal and state agencies, major stakeholders/customers, private industry representatives, and the general public.
  5. None of the above


9.Select the software programs/systems in which you are proficient and have used as a regular part of your job.
  1. Word processing software (e.g., Microsoft Word, Word Perfect)
  2. Computer logging programs (e.g., g INT)
  3. Gantt charts or bar charts
  4. Presentation software (e.g., Microsoft PowerPoint)
  5. GIS-based systems
  6. GPS software
  7. Groundwater and surface water modeling software programs
  8. Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) software programs
  9. Spreadsheet software (e.g., Microsoft Excel, Lotus)
  10. Project management software (e.g., MS Project)
  11. Visual Basic
  12. Database Programs
  13. None of the above


* 10.Do you currently possess a valid driver’s license?
  1. Yes

        BRANCHED: 1.Provide your driver’s license number, state in which issued, and expiration date of license.

       Maximum length of 250 characters.
  2. No


11.Where did you learn about this vacancy?
  1. Asianlife.com
  2. Diversenote.com
  3. NativeAmericanJobs.com
  4. WorkplaceDiversity.com
  5. Department of Veterans Affairs/Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment
  6. Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR)
  7. National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)
  8. Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)
  9. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)
  10. Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU)
  11. Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)
  12. Referral from a Professor or Academic Advisor
  13. Referral from a College/University Career Placement Office
  14. Referral from a Professional Organization
  15. Job/Career Fair
  16. Referral from a friend or family member
  17. Reclamation Employee
  18. Reclamation Internet Site
  19. Referral from a State or Local government
  20. Referral from another Federal Agency/employee
  21. OPM USAJOBS Internet Site
  22. Other Internet Site
  23. Other






This is a Federal job application system. Providing false information, creating fake IDs, or failing to answer all questions truthfully and completely may be grounds for not hiring, for disbarment from Federal employment, or for dismissal after the applicant begins work. Falsifying a Federal job application, attempting to violate the privacy of others, or attempting to compromise the operation of this system may be punishable by fine or imprisonment (US Code, Title 18, section 1001).