Environmental Engineer/Physical Scientist/Life Scientist

US Government Other Agencies and Independent Organizations Richland, WA
* Duties

Help Duties Summary

Earth Day is every day at EPA! At EPA, you can protect human health and the environment of all Americans, and you'll discover that EPA is one great place to work! We offer great benefits and work flexibilities, and our diverse workforce connects to more than just a career--we share a common passion to promote a cleaner, healthier environment. Discover how exciting safeguarding our natural resources and protecting human health can be. Find yourself at EPA.

This position is located in Region 10, Office of Environmental Cleanup, Remedial Cleanup Program in Seattle, WA, Boise, ID, Portland, OR, and Richland, WA. For more information on this office, visit their website:Region 10 Webpage

Except in special circumstances, those new to the federal government will be hired at the starting salary (step 1) of the applicable grade range listed above.

Learn more about this agency


At the entry level of this position, you will:

1. Determine appropriate cleanup actions, methods, and tools for toxic and hazardous waste sites.

2. Direct contractual work efforts to assure that federal funds are properly expended and that contractors are utilized effectively and efficiently.

3. Serve as a senior resource for complex site situations that involve toxic and hazardous waste cleanup.

4. Participate in, lead, or monitor enforcement activities.

5. Perform community relations activities within a public forum as a representative of the Agency.

When entering a Federal job at a grade level lower than the highest promotion potential level, you may be promoted to more complex duties and work more independently, as your career progresses.

You will spend at least 25% of your work time on contracts, grants/cooperative agreements, and/or interagency agreements.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - You may be required to travel 1-5 days per month.

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential


Who May Apply This job is open to…

U.S. Citizens

Questions? This job is open to 1 group.

* Job family (Series)

0401 General Natural Resources Management And Biological Sciences

0819 Environmental Engineering

1301 General Physical Science

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* Requirements

Help Requirements Conditions of Employment

* If you are selected, a pre-employment background check is required.

* You must submit a resume and required documents (see How to Apply section).

* Position has educational/degree requirements (see Qualifications section).

* EPA and non-EPA applicants must submit transcripts/course listings.

* You must be a U.S. citizen.

* You may have limited exposure to hazardous materials.

This position is designated as Moderate Risk and requires a background investigation. Unless an appropriate background investigation is already on record with the Office of Personnel Management, you must undergo a background investigation.

If you are selected, you must complete a one year probationary period.

Participation in the medical monitoring program is required.

If you are selected, you will be required to complete a Confidential Financial Disclosure form within 30 days of your first day of employment and annually thereafter.


You need a degree or combination of education and experience as described below to qualify for this position.

Life Scientist: You must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited or pre-accredited college or university in one of the following: Biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position; OR a combination of education and experience with courses equivalent to a major, as listed.

Environmental Engineer: All applicants must meet one of the following requirements to qualify for consideration for an engineering position: Successful completion of a professional engineering degree at an accredited university or college OR Have a combination of college level education or training AND technical experience that has furnished you with (1) a thorough knowledge of the physical and mathematical sciences underlying professional engineering, and (2) a good understanding, both theoretical and practical, of the engineering sciences and techniques and their applications to one of the branches of engineering.

The adequacy of such background must be demonstrated by one of the following: 1. Professional registration as an engineer; 2. Evidence of Passing the Engineer-in-Training Written Test; 3. Successful documented completion of at least 60 semester hours of courses in the physical, mathematical, and engineering sciences as described by OPM; 4. Successful completion of a curriculum leading to a bachelor's degree in engineering technology or in an appropriate professional field and at least 1 year of professional engineering experience acquired under professional engineering supervision and guidance. Please review the OPM page on specifics about required curriculum and for more information on qualifications, please visit GS-800: All Professional Engineering Positions Qualifications

Physical Scientist: You must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited or pre-accredited college or university in one of the following: Physical science, engineering, or mathematics that included 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science such as mechanics, dynamics, properties of materials, and electronics; OR a combination of education and experience equivalent to one of the majors shown above that included at least 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

As part of the application process, you are required to submit college transcripts or a list of courses as described in the Required Documents section of this announcement. However, if you are selected, you must provide official educational transcripts before you start work with EPA. More information on verification of education can be found here: EPA Announcement Policies and Procedures.

In addition to the educational requirements, we are looking for at least one year of specialized experience related to this position as described below:

To qualify for the GS-12 level, you need to have at least one year of full time experience at the GS-11 level, defined as knowledge and skill to assess the impact and risk of hazardous and toxic waste on public safety and the environment, including conducting studies on site characterization for determining public and environmental health risks, conducting evaluations for site remediation and design, and selecting alternatives for site design implementation.

To qualify for the GS-13 level, you need to have at least one year of full time experience at the GS-12 level, defined as knowledge of environmental laws, regulations, and statutes; project management experience at environmental cleanup sites and the ability to communicate effectively in written and oral form.

Your answers to the online assessment will be used to evaluate your competencies in the following areas:

1. Knowledge of environmental laws, regulations, and statutes.

2. Ability to evaluate and utilize hazardous waste site cleanup techniques and technologies.

3. Knowledge of Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), cost control procedures, and cost accounting record keeping and procedures.

4. Ability to establish goals and assess progress toward their achievement and to adjust work operations and program objectives to meet targets.

5. Knowledge of enforcement case development involving hazardous waste site investigation and remediation, fact-finding, and collection and preservation of evidence.

7. Skill in oral communication.

8. Skilled in written communication.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.


See Qualifications Section.