U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > District of Columbia > Washington, DC
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 06-23-2011, 02:49 PM
 
12 posts, read 53,014 times
Reputation: 10

Advertisements

I currently work at a Private company in NOVA as a System Admin. The Federal contracting field is highly volatile now and I am applying for some Federal positions through USAJOBS. I have a couple of questions to ask of those who work for the Feds or are knowledgeable with Fed hiring practices.

First of all, I make slightly more than $83k. The Fed jobs I have applied for at the GS-13 is many times a supervisory position but not always. I have worked with many in the GS-13 2210 series and they do the same thing I do. Not sure I will find a job there so I jump down to one grade (GS-12). As you can see from the 2211 pay scape on OPM's website...the starting pay with locality is something like $71K.

Lets say I get a job offer after an interview...and the know I make $83k. The advertised series is GS-12 so will they start me at Step 1? That would mean I take a $12K pay cut...which is a whopper LOL. Does the Federal Gov often match what you make in the private industry? If they match my salary of
$83k that means I would be at the top end of the GS-12 Step 10 range...

So my questions is...do they always start new hires at Step 1. And if they do...is it often suggest that you can negotiate a extra vacation week like getting 6 HRS every 2 weeks instead of 4 hrs?

How does the Federal Gov work this out since they know that often Private industry workers have a slightly different pay sacle.

Not only that...but the GOV often keeps advertising same job (IT Specialist) over and over and they probably cannot/unlikely find someone in the GS-12 range who wants to start at Step 1 with $71K when they may be making in the $80k's range.

I'd like some input from those who know how this works...and if they negotiate on something when they see someone making $85k applying for a GS-12 series.

Thanks for any input.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 06-23-2011, 03:52 PM
 
2,633 posts, read 3,225,857 times
Reputation: 1682
- In the DC area, most of the supervisory positions in the 2210 series are at GS 14/15. Which agencies are you looking at?

- If you do get hired at GS-12, there is a process called "Superior Qualification" where your hiring manager needs to justify bringing you in at a higher step to match your currenty salary. You need to start this process after you've accepted a tentative offer and before you begin working for the federal government. Besides salary, the SQ needs to be based on "level of responsibility".

- Vacation and other benefits are usually not negotiable. The only exception is if you have previous military service, then this will affect your "Service Computation Date", which affects some benefits.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-23-2011, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC
3,921 posts, read 4,306,936 times
Reputation: 6850
I'll add to what Smoke Jaguar said. First off, if you are a non-veteran, you'll need some luck just to be reachable, they can't select you if qualified vets are above you on the cert list (highly probable). You should feel fortunate even if they only opt to pay you at the step 1, because you can increase your income once in. Getting that first appointment as a non-vet is tough unless you have skills that are rare... Systems Admin isn't rare anywhere, let alone DC.

But if you are reachable, they can consider superior qualifications but it is up to them. If they have a 2nd or 3rd choice they may not need to. It depends on the agency and manager. The annual leave credit works similarly. These are all optional recruitment incentives, not entitlements. And right now the Gov't is in a frugal mood.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-23-2011, 04:53 PM
 
12 posts, read 53,014 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoke_Jaguar4 View Post
- In the DC area, most of the supervisory positions in the 2210 series are at GS 14/15. Which agencies are you looking at?

- If you do get hired at GS-12, there is a process called "Superior Qualification" where your hiring manager needs to justify bringing you in at a higher step to match your currenty salary. You need to start this process after you've accepted a tentative offer and before you begin working for the federal government. Besides salary, the SQ needs to be based on "level of responsibility".

- Vacation and other benefits are usually not negotiable. The only exception is if you have previous military service, then this will affect your "Service Computation Date", which affects some benefits.
I have a GOV manager who is GS-13 but he is probably the newest...for lack of better word. I know vacation is usually not neg and I brought this up because I saw a couple of posts somewhere on the 'net where a couple of hired Fed workers got 6 hrs every pay period instead of the customary 4 hrs because they were brought in well under their pay at their prior jobs. However we all know how the 'net is often full of it. I have often read that any benefits with the GOV is not negotiable except with salary.

The agency I was contacted via email (and gave a score of 90 out of 70 - 100) is Homeland Security ICE. This email was just a notification of my score...nothing more.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-23-2011, 05:05 PM
 
12 posts, read 53,014 times
Reputation: 10
Back to NE,

I know if qualified vets are rated above me I stand a very slim chance of getting in the GOV. However I have read that for Vets to have this preference...they need to be "well" qualified...per OPM's website I think that is where I read that...and also on a few job posting on OPM website.

Maybe System Admins are a dime a dozen...but my company has a tough time finding them. And I hear from others that is because those with System Admins tend to want to be paid in the top of their professions...entirely understandable...when they HAVE seen SysAdmins making upwards of $95K a year. So my company does not want to pay those guys...they want to "grow" you.

I presume this is the same with GOV...they cannot/do not want to hire someone who wants $90K...that is start at GS-13 only to find them not to their liking. This is why I am willing to start at GS-12. But I know a difference of $13k will easily take 6 years to get back where I was.

I also know the GOV is not going to find skilled UNIX Admins for the salary they want to pay....that is the way it is. Windows SysAdmins are easy to find for my company. Many people shudder at UNIX Admin LOL

I also know two "hubbys" of my wife's friend who got a job offer with NGA but they are in the financial area and they moved from private to government.

Basically...I know the GOV is in a frugal mood but they often have positions they want to fill. Especially if they are cutting out 20% or so of contractors in the hope of saving money by hiring Government workers.

We we will see. But the only reason I am applying for a GOV job is I will sacrifice salary for job security...because I can see how the Contractor market is operating. BTW...I am hearing impaired and I "do not" think I applied as a disability but I cannot be too sure.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-23-2011, 08:16 PM
 
885 posts, read 1,371,853 times
Reputation: 180
The Federal hiring process takes a long time. Just don't expect to start working as a Fed within the next 6 months EVEN if you got chosen. And, apply to at least 100 jobs to even get a decent chance.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-23-2011, 09:13 PM
 
2,633 posts, read 3,225,857 times
Reputation: 1682
Full disclosure, I'm a 2210 hiring manager.

For 2210s, we have Direct Hiring Authority, which means many of the hiring rules are relaxed. For example, veterans preference does not apply. Vets get a 5 or 10 point boost, which may change their qualification group. On a typical hiring certificate, I'll get a list of the ~30 best qualified applicants, of which 1/2 are vets; however I can hire anyone on the list.

I did see some advertised 2210-GS13 that required unix/linux. Unix SA's in the Fed are worth their weight in gold since a lot of our 'heavy iron' runs on a REAL operating system </bias>

Regarding your disability, the federal government is a very accomodating place. In my office we have a hearing impaired person with a video phone and some of the other cool devices.

Regarding how soon can you get hired, the target is 180 days. The notification email you get is the first step. You'll get a follow up email if you're in the 'best qualified' group, which gets forwarded to the hiring manager. The hiring manager then has 30 days to review resumes, perform interviews, and contact references. One he makes his selection, the selectee will be notified by H.R. for paperwork. This will typically take 4 - 6 weeks. If the position requires a security clearance, that needs to be resolved before you can start work. This could take 6 weeks to 6 months, depending on the clearance type and your history.

Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-24-2011, 07:02 AM
 
12 posts, read 53,014 times
Reputation: 10
Smoke_Jaguar4,

I know the GOV is *supposed* to be very accomodating but they will be accomodating if you are already in and working. The Schedule A thing I have given to several agency HR's but I have mostly applied straight for jobs on USAJOBS because I feel I am a UNIX Admin and I have IA expertise. I know about UNIX being a solid platform for business applications/databases because we rarely have issues with UNIX compared to Windows.

I have to read the full advertised positions and find if it has a particular UNIX requirement and if it is in the flavor of UNIX I have experience with because otherwise it will be a waste of my time.

One particular agency has given me a "Eligible - Not referred to Hiring Official" with 3 or 4 positions I applied to so I presume my application is getting noticed but most agencies do not rate me eligible. Hard to say what the reason is but I simplified my Fed Resume with bullet style for easier to read. I am thinking I may go back to being more detailed and see how it goes. The biggest problem with applying for Federal jobs is a person does not get any feedback from how their resume is set up so you really cannot improve on anything.

I think I mentioned before but for a hearing impaired person, keep looking for a job is not well suited to hearing impaired because for the most part...private companies WILL hire a hearing person before a hearing impaired person. I have seen this with all private companies even internally as well externally. Its a job to keep looking for a job being that the GOV scrutnizes contracts now and cutting out alot of programs. It also helps that a person can talk well and the vibes they get with managers will often get them jobs whereas a deaf person does not often communicate well. So I got to do what is best for me.

I see alot of people use buzz words. I know my BIL is in a SES with a Fed Agency and he said when he was a Program Manager he would get alot of applicants who stated they knew alot and used alot of buzz words but hav e very little real experience with systems.

I am confortable with my skills and can talk fairly well and know my skills are on par with my coworkers. So the best I can do is apply for positions and hope to get some interviews and if I do not get an interview and lose my job so be it. That is the life I've been dealt.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-24-2011, 07:29 AM
 
1,783 posts, read 3,541,046 times
Reputation: 1381
From my own federal career experience, the people at GS13+ all started out much lower than that. In other words, the federal government is a ladder climbing organization. You start out at 5/7/9 and work your way up. I'm sure some agencies and occupation series are different but in my agency, from the director to the top officers, team leads, high level professionals...they all started much lower.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-24-2011, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC
3,921 posts, read 4,306,936 times
Reputation: 6850
Quote:
Originally Posted by M700lefty View Post
I also know the GOV is not going to find skilled UNIX Admins for the salary they want to pay....that is the way it is. Windows SysAdmins are easy to find for my company. Many people shudder at UNIX Admin LOL

Basically...I know the GOV is in a frugal mood but they often have positions they want to fill. Especially if they are cutting out 20% or so of contractors in the hope of saving money by hiring Government workers.

We we will see. But the only reason I am applying for a GOV job is I will sacrifice salary for job security...because I can see how the Contractor market is operating. BTW...I am hearing impaired and I "do not" think I applied as a disability but I cannot be too sure.
OK, skilled UNIX Admins probably are tough to fill so you probably can pull it off. And if you submit your disability letter, you can apply to merit-promotion vacancies where vets can't block you and your odds of referral are much higher. Good luck!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > District of Columbia > Washington, DC

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top