Securing Travel, Protecting People - At the Transportation Security Administration, you will serve in a high-stakes environment to safeguard the American way of life. In cities across the country, you would secure airports, seaports, railroads, highways, and/or public transit systems, thus protecting America's transportation infrastructure and ensuring freedom of movement for people and commerce. For additional information about our agency please: Click Here
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As a Transportation Security Specialist – Explosives Detection Canine Handler (TSS-EDCH) with Security Operations (SO), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), you will be responsible for conducting Passenger Screening Canine (PSC) and other Explosives Detection Canine (EDC) threat assessment/mitigation activities to ensure the safety of the traveling public and mitigate potential threats, in coordination with Airport Screening Operations. You will also apply knowledge gained through formal canine handler training to develop skills necessary to evaluate and reward canine behavior, guide canines during threat mitigation activities, and ensure effective utilization of canines. Other duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
Utilizing canines to assess passengers in screening queues for potential explosives threats.
Interacting with traveling public to respond to inquiries, establish a calm environment, and maximize the canine's ability to search.
Coordinating and collaborating with other EDC program members, in scheduling work and training activities.
Traveling to explosives magazine storage to obtain identified explosives to be used for canine training and ensuring variation of aids used to ensure canine proficiency. Loading explosives in designated containers and transporting to airports or other training locations.
Utilizing risk-based security techniques and intelligence information to determine areas in which to use canines to conduct random sweeps, support playbook exercises, and to act as a visible deterrent to potential terrorist threats or criminal activity and to align training to mitigate known threats.
Evaluating potential threats based on canine response (passenger or object) to determine action to be taken (e.g., have canine respond or call appropriate authorities).
Performing a variety of administrative functions to include: logging work activities/time; updating training and utilization in canine-specific tracking systems to ensure documentation of canine behavior, potential training needs, and actions taken to correct canine behavior(s); entering vehicles usage/maintenance data; and entering/validating time and attendance, etc.
Utilizing a variety of technology (e.g., iPhone, iPad, laptop, radio) to perform core work functions.
If selected for the Transportation Security Specialist - Explosives Detection Canine Handler position, in addition to the duties outlined above, you will also be responsible for performing daily care of the canine including health maintenance, feeding/watering, exercising, and grooming, as well as maintaining safe and sanitary conditions of TSA-issued equipment (e.g., kennel, vehicle, office space, and home environment).
Note: The duties of this position are observed and reviewed frequently for technical accuracy, application of canine handling methods and techniques, and results.
Occasional travel - A minimum of one (1) week of travel in a full-time duty status will be required within 90-days of entry on duty to complete TSA’s in residence New Hire Training. This training will occur away from the employee’s duty station of record. Employees will be paid for compensable hours and reimbursed for authorized travel expenses per TSA Travel Policy.
Job family (Series)
1801 General Inspection, Investigation, Enforcement, And Compliance Series
Conditions of Employment
You must possess U.S. Citizenship or be a U.S. National.
You must complete a favorable Background Investigation (BI).
Must pass pre-employment drug screening AND random drug/alcohol testing.
You must successfully complete a training course & pass medical evaluation.
Selective Service registration is required.
See additional "Conditions of Employment" and "Other Information" sections.
You must meet the qualification requirements for this position no later than the closing date of the vacancy announcement.
This position is not covered by Law Enforcement Availability Pay or Law Enforcement Retirement.
This is an emergency essential position.
To qualify for the SV-G Pay Band, you must meet one of the qualification requirements (A, B, OR C) as outlined below:
A. Experience: For those qualifying using experience, your application must clearly outline three (3) years of progressively responsible general experience, one (1) year of which was equivalent to at least the SV-F or GS-4 grade level in the Federal service or equivalent in the private sector. Such experience will demonstrate the ability to: analyze problems, gather pertinent data, and recognize solutions; plan and organize work; and communicate effectively orally and in writing.
B. Education: Bachelor's or higher-level degree in any field from an accredited college or university.
C. Combining of Education and Experience: Combinations of successfully completed post-high school education and experience may be used to meet total qualification requirements, and may be computed by first determining the total qualifying experience as a percentage of the experience required for the position; then determining the education as a percentage of the education required for the position; and then adding the two percentages. The total percentages must equal at least 100 percent to qualify for the position.
Note: For positions requiring positive education requirements, or if you are using education to meet all or part of the qualification requirements, you MUST submit a copy of your transcripts or an itemized list of college courses from an accredited college or university, which includes equivalent information from the transcript (course title, semester/quarter hours, and grade/degree earned) in your resume. The information must be provided with the application by the closing date of the announcement. If selected, the applicant must supply a transcript or certification of degree.
National Service Experience (i.e., volunteer experience): 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.
Note: Credit for experience is given based on a 40-hour workweek. Part-time experience is credited on a part-time ratio, i.e., working 20 hours per week for two months equals one month of experience. No additional credit is given for overtime.
Physical Demands: You must be able to perform the essential job functions described in the TSA Medical Guidelines for Explosives Detection Canine Handlers (for more information, click here). Other physical demands include, but are not limited to:
Ability to lift and carry up to 80 pounds for a continuous distance of 100 feet at waist or chest level
Ability to push and pull up to 50 pounds
Ability to walk continuously for a minimum of 1.5 hours without a break
Ability to stand continuously for a minimum of 1.5 hours without a break
Ability to sit continuously for up to 2 hours
Maintain physical ability to bend, kneel, squat, reach overhead, and run
Maintain ability to ascend and descend steep stairs and walk backwards
Conditions of Employment: TSA canine handlers are generally granted the use of a Government vehicle, typically referred to as Home-to-Work authority, for the efficient care and transportation of canines. The Department of Homeland Security prohibits authorization of Home-To Work Transportation to employees who live more than 50 miles from their duty station of record. Therefore, as a condition of employment, all persons hired to canine handler positions must reside within 50 miles (driving miles) of the official duty station for the position (unless waiver request is approved prior to entering on duty).
Work may require driving or traveling by motor vehicle and occasionally involves regular and recurring exposure to moderate risk or discomforts that require special safety precautions.
You must meet and maintain medical requirements for EDCH as stated in the TSA Medical Guidelines for Explosives Detection Canine Handlers (for more information, click here).
You must pass a Background Investigation (BI) and maintain eligibility for a clearance at the Secret level.
You must possess U.S. Citizenship or be a U.S. National.
You must pass pre-employment drug screening AND you will be subject to post-employment random drug and alcohol testing.
You must hold and maintain a valid driver's license.
You must obtain and maintain SIDA (Security Identification Display Area) driving privileges.
You must maintain, at all times, housing suitable for the canine.
You must successfully complete the TSA Canine Handler Training Course.
You must successfully meet and maintain annual certification standards.
You must successfully complete all NEDCTP-lead (National Explosives Detective Canine Team Program) training and assessment requirements (e.g., Cycle 2, 3, and 4 for Real Time Threat Assessment [RTTA]).
You must be available to work various shifts to include nights and weekends.
You must be willing to undertake extensive travel, at times overnight, as required.
You must be able and willing to safely work with various hazardous explosives and hazardous chemicals used in the regular and reoccurring training of canines.
Eligibility to apply for other Federal positions: TSA is an Excepted Service agency exempt from most of Title 5 United States Code, including regulations which apply to displaced Federal employees (CTAP/ICTAP) of other agencies, and employment with TSA does not confer "Competitive Status" that generally results from selection and service in Competitive Service agencies. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has established an Interchange Agreement, which allows most permanent TSA employees to apply and be considered for vacancies in Competitive Service agencies. Information from OPM on this or other Interchange Agreements is available at: http://www.opm.gov .
To ensure the accomplishment of our mission, DHS requires every employee to be reliable and trustworthy. To meet those standards, all selected applicants must undergo and successfully pass a background investigation as a condition of placement into this position.
DHS uses E-Verify, an Internet-based system, to confirm the eligibility of all newly hired employees to work in the United States. Learn more about E-Verify including your rights and responsibilities.
TSA employees who are absent for the purpose of performing military duty may apply for any vacancies announced in their absence.
It is the policy of the Government not to deny employment simply because an individual has been unemployed or has had financial difficulties that have arisen through no fault of the individual. Information about an individual’s employment experience will be used only to determine the person’s qualifications and to assess his or her relative level of knowledge, skills, and abilities. Although an individual’s personal conduct may be relevant in any employment decision, including conduct during periods of unemployment or evidence of dishonesty in handling financial matters, financial difficulty that has arisen through no fault of the individual will generally not itself be the basis of an unfavorable suitability or fitness determination. For more information, click here .
Payment of relocation expenses (Permanent Change of Station) is not authorized.
Qualified non-competitive eligible candidates may be referred for consideration on a separate, unranked list.
More than one position may be filled from this announcement.
If you are entering TSA employment on an appointment without time limitations, you must serve a basic trial period unless you have already met the requirement.
This position is within the Technical category of TSA's Core Compensation Plan.
TSA policy requires verification of Selective Service registration for male applicants born after 12/31/59. For more information click here .
View common definitions of terms found in this announcement.
Veterans and persons with disabilities possess a wealth of unique talents, experiences, and competencies that can be invaluable to the DHS mission. If you are a member of one of these groups, you may not have to compete with the public for federal jobs. To determine your eligibility for non-competitive appointment and to understand the documentation that is required, click on the links above or contact the Servicing Human Resources Office listed at the bottom of this announcement.
How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
You will be evaluated based on a comparison of the position requirements against the quality and extent of the experience and/or related education as reflected in your resume and supporting documentation. You are encouraged to ensure work experiences clearly show possession of the competencies required for this position. We will compare your resume and supporting documentation to your responses on the assessment questionnaire. If, after reviewing your resume and any supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have rated yourself higher than is supported by your application materials, your category placement may be adjusted and/or you may be excluded from consideration for this job.
When completing the assessment questionnaire for this position, you will be prompted to elect if you wish for your application to be considered as External (where Veterans’ Preference applies), as Status (current or former Federal Employees), and/or Internal to TSA as a current permanent or competitive temporary employee. At that time, please select the answer(s) that apply to you and your application to this position.
The candidates with the highest self-assessment scores will be invited and required to take the Canine Handler Assessment Battery (CHAB), which is a computer based test, soon after the closing date of this announcement. The CHAB must be scheduled and completed within fourteen (14) calendar days of the invitation being sent in order to remain under consideration for the position. The score obtained on the CHAB will account for 100% of the overall score used to determine those who are best qualified for consideration.
Candidates will be rated and ranked using Category Grouping procedures. Under Category Grouping, candidates will be rated and ranked into one of three categories:
Best-Qualified: Applicants possessing experience that substantially exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position and demonstrate high proficiency in all of the critical competencies, including all Selective Placement Factors (SPF) and appropriate Desirable (Quality Ranking) Factors as determined by the job analysis.
Well-Qualified: Applicants possessing experience that exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position and demonstrates acceptable proficiency in all of the critical competencies, including all SPFs as determined by the job analysis.
Qualified: Applicants possessing experience that meets the minimum qualifications of the position and demonstrate basic proficiency in most of the critical competencies, including all SPFs as determined by the job analysis.
Veterans: Qualified veterans who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10% are listed in the best-qualified category, except when the position being filled is scientific or professional at the GS-09 grade level, or higher. (This position is not considered scientific/professional.) Other 10-point preference eligibles and veterans with 5-point preference who meet the eligibility and qualification requirements are placed above non-preference eligibles within the category in which they qualify. View information on veterans’ preference .
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Background checks and security clearance
Drug test required
In addition to a resume and the assessment questions, you must submit copies of any of the following documents if you are applying based on current or former Federal Government Status (if you are not a current TSA employee), Veterans' Preference, or education or a combination of education and experience:
SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action - Current TSA employees are not required to submit an SF-50 to support eligibility for internal/status consideration.
If you are not a current TSA employee: you must submit your most recent personnel action SF-50 (or equivalent document) to support your eligibility for Status consideration. If you elect Status for the consideration of your application without submitting an SF-50 demonstrating your current or previous permanent Federal employment status, and you are not a current TSA employee, your application may not receive Status consideration.
DD-214 - If you are claiming Veterans' Preference, provide a copy of your DD-214 (Member Copy 4) Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, or other appropriate documentation to prove your entitlement and to provide verification of an Honorable Discharge. Failure to provide this documentation will result in your application not receiving 5-point preference.
SF-15 and VA Letter - If you are claiming Veterans' Preference based upon a Compensable Disability, Widow or Spouse Entitlement, or as a Purple Heart recipient, you must submit your DD-214 or other proof of entitlement; an SF-15, and the required proof of disability, i.e., Department of Veterans Affairs letter dated 1991 or later. Failure to provide this documentation will result in your application not receiving 10-point preference.
Transcripts - If you are qualifying based on education OR if there are mandatory education requirements listed under the Qualifications and Evaluations section, you MUST submit a copy of your college transcript(s) with your application. If selected, an official/sealed college transcript(s) will be required to verify education prior to employment.
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.
DHS offers competitive salaries and an attractive benefits package, including: health, dental, vision, life, and long-term care insurance; retirement plan; Thrift Savings Plan [similar to a 401(k)]; Flexible Spending Account; Employee Assistance Program; personal leave days; and paid federal holidays. Other benefits may include flexible work schedules; telework; tuition reimbursement; transportation subsidies; uniform allowance; health and wellness programs; and fitness centers. DHS is committed to employee development and offers a variety of employee training and developmental opportunities. For more information, go to the DHS Careers website and select “Benefits.” Disabled veteran leave will be available to any Federal employee hired on or after November 5, 2016, who is a veteran with a service-connected disability rating of 30 percent or more.
Employees who transfer to TSA from an agency that allows employees to maintain an annual leave balance higher than the maximum accumulation for the appointed position will have their leave ceiling set to the maximum accumulation for the appointed position (e.g., United States duty location - 240 hours, foreign duty location - 360 hours, or TSES position - 720 hours). TSA will not make a monetary payment for any leave forfeited under these circumstances.
Review our 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.