IT Specialist (NETWORK)

U.S. Federal Government - Cambridge, MA4.3

30+ days agoFull-time$96,000 - $130,000 a year

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is part of what is arguably the largest and most diverse astrophysical institution in the world, where the staff carries out a broad program of research in astronomy, astrophysics and earth and space sciences. If you would like to join this exciting organization, apply today!

This is an opening for a network administrator in the operations division of the Chandra X-ray Observatory Science Center to work on the Chandra operations network. The network supports Chandra real-time operations and satellite communication as well as monitors and protects the systems in a 24/7 environment. The successful candidate will provide network administration for a switched network supporting a mix of Windows and Linux computers, including the development and installation of systems and tools to improve network performance and enhance the network environment.

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Duties may include but are not limited to:
Design, develop, test, install data networks
Design, develop, test, install IT security infrastructure.
Network development and maintenance through all phases of the systems development lifecycle.
Systems/network documentation for operations and users.
Problem analysis and evaluation in support of operations.
Supervisory status

Promotion Potential

Job family (Series)
2210 Information Technology Management

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Conditions of Employment
Pre and Post appointment background check
May be required to serve a one-year probationary period
Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer required for salary payment
Employment is dependent upon the ability to obtain export license approval
Qualification requirements must be met within 30 days of the job opportunity announcement closing date.
For information on qualification requirements, see Qualification Standards Handbook for General Schedule Positions viewable on the
web at

For all positions individuals must have IT-related experience demonstrating each of the four competencies listed below.
Attention to Detail - Is thorough when performing work and conscientious about attending to detail.
Customer Service - Works with clients and customers (that is, any individuals who use or receive the services or products that your work unit produces, including the general public, individuals who work in the agency, other agencies, or organizations outside the Government) to assess their needs, provide information or assistance, resolve their problems, or satisfy their expectations; knows about available products and services; is committed to providing quality products and services.
Oral Communication - Expresses information (for example, ideas or facts) to individuals or groups effectively, taking into account the audience and nature of the information (for example, technical, sensitive, controversial); makes clear and convincing oral presentations; listens to others, attends to nonverbal cues, and responds appropriately.
Problem Solving - Identifies problems; determines accuracy and relevance of information; uses sound judgment to generate and evaluate alternatives, and to make recommendations.

In addition to the basic requirements listed above applicants must possess a minimum of one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the grade 12 in the normal line of progression for this occupation which should demonstrate skill in leading the organization of a large complex system of computers into a cohesive network; skill in leading network design and working with complex external interfaces; skill in developing procedures; skill in interfacing with external groups as a lead; and the accomplishment of independently completing computer project assignments requiring a wide range of knowledge of computer requirements and techniques where the applicant analyzed a number of alternative approaches in the process of advising management concerning major aspects of system design that are most appropriate for a given project; skill in utilizing Cisco networking equipment and IOS for switching and routing; knowledge of and skill in utilizing Cisco ASA, FirePOWER and Cisco VPN services; the ability to understand TCP/IP protocols, and to work with network load balancing, high availability; knowledge of SolarWinds NPM and deploying and managing SNMP monitoring.

Experience with nginx, VMware, scripting languages Perl/Python, relational database servers, web and linux application servers is a plus. Cisco certifications such as CCNA or CCNP are preferred, but not required

Additional information
The Smithsonian does not pay relocation expenses but may pay a recruitment bonus.

The Smithsonian embraces diversity and equal employment opportunity (

How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

Your application will be evaluated first for the basic qualifications described above. The applications that meet the basic qualifications will be evaluated further against the following criteria:

Advanced Skill in defining, performing, and providing recommendations based on studies relating to LAN security, system performance, network performance, equipment and software evaluation
Advanced knowledge of and skill in using current network technologies such as Ethernet and current networking protocols such as TCP/IP. This also includes detailed knowledge of the implementation of these protocols on the various computer platforms
Advanced knowledge of and skill in administering operating systems including Windows and Linux with specific emphasis on management and networking aspects of the systems. Expert knowledge of and skill in systems management practices and procedures of complex operating systems
Advanced knowledge of and skill in implementing current common services including web servers, email servers and file servers, and the detailed knowledge of their implementations within the networks and possessing comprehensive intensive, practical knowledge of advanced networking techniques and technologies and skill in applying this knowledge to the development of new methods and procedures
Expert knowledge of and skill in maintaining the Local Area Networks and understanding of this technology’s capabilities and limitations and common problems. Knowledge of current LAN services such as layer 2, layer 3, firewalls, wireless controllers, network management and troubleshooting
Expert knowledge of and skill in implementing current IT security concepts and technologies
Ability to work as part of a team

To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance
Security clearance
Public Trust - Background Investigation

Drug test required

Required Documents

Required Documents
Your application package must include the following documents:
Detailed resume
School transcripts, if you are using education to qualify for the position.
Proof of U.S. accreditation for foreign study, if applicable.
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.


A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits .

Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.