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National Telecommunications and Information Administration Student Trainee (Engineer) Pathways Internship Program in Boulder, Colorado

  • Duties



Located in Boulder, Colorado, the Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) is the research and engineering laboratory of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). ITS supports NTIA by performing the research and engineering that enables the U.S. Government, national and international standards organizations, and many aspects of private industry to manage the radio spectrum and ensure that innovative, new technologies are recognized and effective.

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The Institute for Telecommunication Sciences is seeking bright, innovative, results-oriented individuals to join our Pathways Internship Program (IP). Internships can be seasonal (spring, summer, fall) or year-round. Interns may work full-time while on academic breaks or part-time (up to 20 hours per week) while attending school. The Internship Program under the Pathways Program is designed to provide students enrolled in a wide variety of educational institutions, from high school to graduate level, with opportunities to work in Federal agencies and explore Federal careers while still in school and getting paid for work performed. At the successful conclusion of this program, you may be eligible for non-competitive conversion to a Federal career or career-conditional position. For more information on our work, please visit our website:

The selectee will serve as a Student Trainee in the electrical or computer engineering field assisting senior computer and electronics engineers. This position entails a variety of opportunities including:

For electrical engineering interns: Duties will include assisting technical staff in measurements of radio wave propagation, research and development of spectrum monitoring tools, radio wave propagation research, development of electromagnetic compatibility tools, assessment of over-the-air radio frequency transmissions, or evaluation of systems’ susceptibility to interference. Student trainees will work with senior engineers to configure measurement system hardware, configure systems for instrument control, conduct measurements in both field and lab environments, and post-process and analyze data. Students will apply established methods, tests, procedures, and techniques, and recording actions and results. Applicants will be working in a team-based environment, where they will meet regularly to provide status updates. Students will contribute to technical reports, refereed journals, and technical presentations. Prior course work in electromagnetic fields and waves, physics, mathematics, experimental science and experience with Matlab®, python or software defined radios is desired and it is expected that applicants will be able to adapt their knowledge to additional tasks.

For computer engineering interns: Duties will include implementing complex mathematical algorithms; developing, validating, and verifying of software implementations; improving and validating radio wave propagation models; and implementing novel RF measurement methods. Interns will be responsible for computer software programming development, testing, and documentation and applying engineering methods and techniques on communication systems. Applicants will be working in a team-based environment, where they will meet regularly to provide status updates through project management and source control tools. Proficiency in modern programming concepts is preferred and it is expected that applicants will be able to adapt their knowledge to additional tasks.

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential

03 - A person may be non-competitively promoted to the next band without further competition; however, promotions are not automatic or guaranteed and are given at the discretion of the supervisor.

  • #### Job family (Series)

0899 Engineering And Architecture Student Trainee

  • Requirements


Conditions of Employment
  • U.S. citizenship required.
  • You must be suitable for Federal employment.
  • You must be registered for Selective Service (, if applicable.
  • Must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a degree-seeking student.
  • Relocation expenses will not be paid.

Applicants must meet ALL application requirements, to include a complete online resume, by 11:59 p.m. EASTERN TIME ZONE (ETZ) on the closing date of this announcement. Applicants must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement. The duration of this Pathways appointment will serve as a trial period.

Any required investigations and clearances must be completed before the selectee can be placed in the position.


To qualify for either band, the candidate must be:

  • U.S. Citizen or U.S. National.
  • Must be at least 16 years of age at the time of appointment.
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a student on at least a half-time schedule at a qualifying educational institution in a certificate, degree, or diploma program. Qualifying Educational Institutions are any of the following: 1) A public high school whose curriculum has been approved by a State or local governing body; 2) A private school that provides secondary education as determined under State law; 3) A home school that is allowed to operate in a State; 4) Any of the following educational institutions or curricula that have been accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education: A technical or vocational school; a 2-year or 4-year college or university; a graduate or professional school (e.g. law school, medical school); or a post-secondary home school curriculum.
  • Be in good academic standing (at least a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) or better in the defined scientific curriculum above).
  • If selected, must sign Student Pathways Program Agreement and provide official transcript at the time of appointment and at the end of each academic term to ensure eligibility. Your college transcript is used to verify successful completion of degree, or college course work. Official transcripts will be required before you can report to duty.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and 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 employments. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Qualification requirements in the vacancy announcement are based on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Qualification Standards Handbook, which contains federal qualification standards. This handbook is available on the Office of Personnel Management website located at


To qualify for the ZP-I Student Trainee (Engineering) position you must possess the following:

Completion of high school or GED diploma (equivalent to GS-2); completion of I full academic year of post-high school study (equivalent to GS-3); completion of 2 full academic years of post-high school study or an associate's degree (equivalent to GS-4); or completion of 4 academic years of post-high school leading to a bachelor's degree or equivalent degree (equivalent to GS-5).

To qualify for the ZP-II Student Trainee (Engineering) position you must possess the following:

Completion of 1 full academic year of graduate level education; or Eligibility under the Superior Academic Achievement Provision and completion of a bachelor's degree (equivalent to GS-7); or completion of 2 academic years of graduate level education, or a master's degree or equivalent graduate degree (equivalent to GS-9).


One year of specialized experience at the next lower grade level (GS-5 or equivalent pay band) in the Federal service. Specialized experience is defined as experience with computer or electrical engineering concepts. Developing, validating, and verifying software implementations (computer engineering) or configuring measurement systems, and processing and analyzing research data (electrical engineering).


A combination of experience and education.

Additional information

Interns may be converted to a permanent (or, in some limited circumstances, to a term position lasting 1-4 years) within 120 days of successful completion of the program. Program requirements for conversion include:

  • Complete at least 640 hours of work experience acquired through the Internship Program.
  • Complete their degree or certificate requirements.
  • Meet the qualification standards for the position to which the Intern will be converted.
  • Meet agency-specific requirements as specified in the Participant's Agreement.
  • Perform their job successfully.

This appointment may continue until the selectee earns 640 work education hours AND education program requirements have been completed, at which time the individual may, at the agency's discretion, be converted to a term or permanent appointment. Pathways intern are not conferred any rights nor guarantee for conversion at the end of the appointment.

Additional Pathways Program Internship information can be found at

The Department of Commerce provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the Human Resources Office. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be on a case-by-case basis. TTY users can contact the Human Resources Office via the Federal Relay Service, 1-800-877-8339.

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How You Will Be Evaluated

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

We will review your transcripts, resume, optional cover letter, and supporting documentation to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications for the position. If you meet the minimum qualifications stated in the vacancy announcement, your application will be referred to the hiring manager in unranked order by veterans preference status: (1) Preference eligible; (2) Candidates not eligible for veteran's preference. To preview questions please click here.

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Background checks and security clearance
Security clearance


Drug test required


  • Required Documents


Required Documents

A complete application consists of the following:

  • Resume showing relevant experience; cover letter optional. Your resume must indicate your citizenship and if you are registered for Selective Service if you are a male born after 12/31/59. Your resume should also list your educational and work experience including the start and end dates (mm/dd/yy) of each employment along with the number of hours worked per week.
  • Veterans' Preference documentation. Please indicate on your resume the type of veterans' preference you are claiming and provide the appropriate supporting documentation (DD-214 stating disposition of discharge or character of service, VA letter, SF-15, etc.) to validate your claim. For more information regarding eligibility requirements, please go to:
  • Education.This position requires proof of higher education, and you must submit an unofficial transcript or a list of courses that includes the following information: name of accredited institution, grades earned, completion dates, and quarter and semester hours earned. Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the requirements. Please refer to for more information. You are not required to submit official documents at this time; copies are sufficient.
  • Transcript(s). All applicants MUST furnish a copy of their academic transcript(s); unofficial copies are acceptable. If selected, you will be required to provide official transcripts showing enrollment or course registration for the current academic semester. If selected, you will need to provide official transcripts to verify your educational qualifications prior to entrance on duty. Students who are unable to provide a transcript will be required to submit a letter of verification from his/her education institution showing proof of enrollment in school for the current academic semester either as a part-time or full-time degree-seeking student (diploma, degree, etc.).

You are not required to submit official documents at this time; copies are sufficient. FAILURE TO SUBMIT (VIA FAX OR UPLOAD) THE APPLICABLE DOCUMENTS MAY EXCLUDE YOU FROM FURTHER CONSIDERATION.

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.

  • Benefits



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.

  • How to Apply


How to Apply

Your complete application, including required documents, must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.

To apply on-line, you must complete and submit an application by accessing the USAJOBS website at To begin, click the Apply Online button near on the right side of this screen and follow the prompts to register into your USAJOBS account, answer the questions, and submit all required documents.

To return to your saved application, log in to your USAJOBS account at and click on "Applications" Click on the position title, and then select "Update Application"

If you have problems completing your on-line application, including problems submitting your supporting documents, please contact the Help Desk by e-mail at or phone at 866-656-6831. The help desk is available Monday-Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET.

For instructions on submitting your application in another format please contact or 202-482-6320

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Agency contact information
Armand Patterson




NAT'L TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND INFO ADMINISTRATION 1401 Constitution Ave NW Room 7412 Attn: Human Resources Washington, Colorado 20230 United States

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Next steps

You will be notified of your application status through USAJOBS at four points during the hiring process, as applicable. You can check the status of your application by accessing the USAJOBS website at and clicking on “Applications". The status will be visible next to the corresponding positions. The four points of notification are:

  1. Application Received or Application Incomplete;

  2. Minimum Qualification Requirement Met or Minimum Qualification Requirement Not Met;

  3. Referred or Not Referred; and

  4. Selected or Not Selected

By submitting your application, you are certifying the accuracy of the information contained in your application. If you make a false statement in any part of your application, you may not be hired; you may be terminated after you begin work; or, you may be fined or jailed. After making a tentative job offer, we will conduct a suitability/security background investigation.

You will be required to submit official documentation prior to appointment. The agency will then verify the information provided on your application (i.e., degree, veterans' preference, disability, etc.).

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  • Fair & Transparent
Fair & Transparent

The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.

  • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) for federal employees & job applicants

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Reasonable Accommodation Policy

Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.

Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:

  • An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.

You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Learn more about disability employment and reasonable accommodations or how to contact an agency.

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Legal and regulatory guidance
  • Financial suitability
  • Social security number request
  • Privacy Act
  • Signature and false statements
  • Selective Service
  • New employee probationary period

This job originated on For the full announcement and to apply, visit Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at will be considered.

Open & closing dates: 04/12/2019 to 04/26/2019

Service: Excepted

Pay scale & grade: ZP 01 - 02

Salary: $24,058 to $80,404 per year

Appointment type: Internships - Temporary appointment NTE 12 months.

Work schedule: Full-Time - Pathways Program Internship (Student Trainee) Excepted Service Appointment