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Program Support Specialist


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is calling on those who want to help protect American interests and secure our Nation. DHS Components work collectively to prevent terrorism; secure borders and our transportation systems; protect the President and other dignitaries; enforce and administer immigration laws; safeguard cyberspace; and ensure resilience to disasters. We achieve these vital missions through a diverse workforce spanning hundreds of occupations. Make an impact; join DHS.

FEMA is calling all problem-solvers, relationship builders, and humanitarians! FEMA is a mission-driven, people-focused Agency. Our mission is to help people before, during, and after disasters. We coordinate with other federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial partners to make sure America is equipped to prepare for and respond to disasters. At FEMA we strive to reflect the diversity of the communities we serve. We are looking for citizens capable of bringing diverse perspective of thought, experience, or culture to help us achieve our mission. Everyday FEMA employees are inspired by that mission and are working tirelessly to make a difference.



This announcement is being used to develop a non-competitive applicant pool of eligible Peace Corps and AmeriCorps Vista personnel for various positions throughout the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA is filling various positions including mission critical positions. You may be selected for a competitive service career or career-conditional appointment. For more information on positions across FEMA visit Careers at FEMA |

This announcement covers the following series:

0301 - Program Support Specialist
0343 - Management & Program Analyst
0089 - Emergency Management Specialist

What else do I need to know?

At FEMA, our mission is to help people before, during and after disasters, and every employee at FEMA has a role in emergency management. Every FEMA employee has regular and recurring emergency management responsibilities, though not every position requires routine deployment to disaster sites. All positions are subject to recall around the clock for emergency management operations, which may require irregular work hours, work at locations other than the official duty station, and may include duties other than those specified in the employee's official position description. Travel requirements in support of emergency operations may be extensive in nature (weeks to months), with little advance notice, and may require employees to relocate to emergency sites with physically austere and operationally challenging conditions.

FEMA is committed to ensuring that its workforce reflects the diversity of the nation. At FEMA, our workforce includes the many identities, races, ethnicities, backgrounds, abilities, ages, cultures, and beliefs of the people we serve. To learn about FEMA's ongoing diversity and inclusion efforts, reasonable accommodation process, and the FEMA Core Values, please visit

Promotion Potential: Future promotions will be dependent on your ability to perform the duties at a higher level, the continuing need for an employee assigned to the higher level, and administrative approval.



Conditions of Employment

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, successfully pass, and maintain a background investigation for Public Trust as a condition of placement into this position. This may include a credit check after initial job qualifications are determined, a review of financial issues, such as delinquency in the payment of debts, child support and/or tax obligations, as well as certain criminal offenses and illegal use or possession of drugs (please visit: Mythbuster on Federal Hiring Policies for additional information). For more information on background investigations for Federal jobs please visit OPM Investigations.

Please ensure you meet the qualification requirements described below.

Key Requirements:

  1. You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this position.
  2. You must successfully pass a background investigation.
  3. Selective Service registration required.
  4. Current federal employees must meet time-in-grade requirements.
  5. You must be able to obtain and maintain a Government credit card.
  6. Please review "Other Information" section for additional key requirements.


Current Federal employees must have served 52 weeks at the next lower grade or equivalent grade band in the Federal service. The time-in-grade and qualification requirements must be met within 30 days of the closing date of this announcement.

To qualify for a GS-09 level, you must possess one full year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-07 level in the Federal government, which has equipped you with the skills needed to successfully perform the duties of the position. Experience may be obtained in the federal government, a state or local government, or private sector.
master's or equivalent graduate degree - or 2 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree -or- LL.B. or J.D., if related.
Combination of education and experience

To qualify for a GS-11 level, you must possess one full year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-09 level in the Federal government, which has equipped you with the skills needed to successfully perform the duties of the position. Experience may be obtained in the federal government, a state or local government, or private sector.
Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree -or- 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree -or- LL.M., if related.
Combination of education and experience

To qualify for a GS-12 level, you must possess one full year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-11 level in the Federal government, which has equipped you with the skills needed to successfully perform the duties of the position. Experience may be obtained in the federal government, a state or local government, or private sector.

Any individual who previously served satisfactorily as a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) for two years, and/or any individual who previously served satisfactorily as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer for two years may be certified by the Peace Corps' Director for Noncompetitive Eligibility (NCE).

Any individual who was employed as a Peace Corps Staff for 36 months of continuous employment may be certified by their Office of Human Resources. Any individual who previously served satisfactorily as an AmeriCorps VISTA member for one year may be certified by AmeriCorps.

Please note: NCE does not mean that RPCVs are entitled to federal employment. Non-competitive eligibility permits, but does not require, an agency to hire non-competitively an RPCV who meets the minimum qualifications for the position. The decision whether to hire an RPCV under non-competitive eligibility is at the discretion of the hiring agency which provides some federal agencies the flexibility to hire you in an expedited manner.

Please read the following important information to ensure we have everything we need to consider your application:

  • Do not copy and paste the duties, specialized experience, or occupational assessment questionnaire from this announcement into your resume as that will not be considered a demonstration of your qualifications for this position.
  • Please limit your resume to five pages. If more than five pages are submitted, only the first five pages will be reviewed to determine your eligibility and qualifications.
  • Your resume serves as the basis for experience related qualification determinations, and you must highlight your most relevant and significant work experience and education (if applicable), as it relates to this job opportunity. Please use your own words, be clear, and specific when describing your work history. We cannot make assumptions regarding your experience.

Are you qualifying based on your work experience?

  • Qualifications are based on your ability to demonstrate in your resume that you possess one year of the specialized experience for this announcement at a comparable scope and responsibility. To ensure all of the essential information is in your resume, we encourage you to use the USAJOBS online Resume Builder. If you choose to use your own resume, it must contain the following information organized by experience/position: (1) job title, (2) name of employer, (3) start and end dates of each period of employment (from MM/DD/YY to MM/DD/YY), (4) detailed description of duties performed, accomplishments, and related skills, and (5) hours worked per week (part-time employment will be prorated in crediting experience). Federal experience/positions must also include the occupational series, grade level, and dates in which you held each grade level.
  • Are you a current or former FEMA Reservist/Disaster Assistance Employee (DAE)? To accurately credit your experience from intermittent positions and Reservist Deployments, you must list the dates (from MM/DD/YY to MM/DD/YY) of deployments that are relevant to your qualifying experience, along with the job title and specific duties you were responsible for during each deployment.
  • Determining length of General or Specialized Experience is dependent on the above information. Failure to provide the above information in your resume may result in your application being found "not qualified."
  • 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 provides valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.
  • For additional information on crediting experience and/or education, please reference the OPM General Schedule Qualification Standards


GS-9 and GS-11 only Education substitution: This position permits applicants to qualify based on education (or a combination of education and experience), as outlined in the "requirements" section. If you are using education to qualify, you must submit a copy of your transcripts (unofficial are acceptable) with your online application. Once selected and prior to appointment, applicants must provide official college transcripts.

GS-12 only No Educational Substitution: There is no educational substitution for this position, and you must meet the qualifications listed in the "requirements" section of this announcement.

Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet Federal qualification requirements if you can show that your foreign education is comparable to education received in accredited educational institutions in the United States. For example, specific courses accepted for college-level credit by an accredited U.S. college or university, or foreign education evaluated by an organization recognized for accreditation by the Department of Education as education equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. college or university. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence with your application. Visit the Department of Education's Recognition of Foreign Qualifications for more information.

Application instructions

Required Documents

Do not include photos, personally identifying information (PII) (including birthday and social security numbers), or personal information such as age, gender, medical history, etc. Resumes that include any of this information will be disqualified.

You must provide the following supporting documentation for your application package, including:

  • Resume. Please limit your resume to five pages. Only the first five pages will be reviewed to determine eligibility and qualifications.
  • Responses to the job questionnaire. You will be directed to the online job questionnaire during the application.
  • Are you qualifying based on education? Submit a copy of your college transcript (unofficial is acceptable) from an accredited institution. Once selected, applicants must provide an official college transcript.
  • A letter verifying active Non-Competitive Eligibility
  • Are you a current or former federal employee? Upload documentation that supports your eligibility. Award SF-50's do not include all the required information and will not be accepted.
    • Are you eligible for appointment based on current or previous competitive status eligibility? We need to verify your competitive status eligibility and qualifications at the next lower level. You may need to upload multiple SF-50's, one that shows your competitive eligibility and another for time in grade:
      • Competitive Eligibility: Submit an SF-50 that demonstrates your current or previous appointment to a permanent or conditional competitive service position, including your current or highest grade level, career or career conditional tenure and status in the competitive service, or proof of permanent appointment if applying based on an interchange agreement. We recommend submitting your last promotion SF-50, current SF-50, or within-grade increase SF-50.
      • Time in grade: If you are applying for a higher grade, you may need to provide an additional SF-50. We recommend submitting a promotion with an effective date more than one year (1) year old or Within-Grade-Increase at the highest grade held.
  • Are you claiming special priority selection rights under the Interagency/Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP/CTAP)? Upload the following:
    • Agency Notice
    • Most recent performance rating, and
    • Most recent SF-50, with your current position, grade level and duty location.

Other Supporting Documentation (submit if applicable to you)

  • Are you a veteran? Submit Member Copy 4 of your DD-214 or other (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty) and/or documentation of service-connected disability. If applying based on eligibility under the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) Act, you must submit certification from the Armed Forces that you will be discharged or released from active duty within 120 days from the date on the certification. Certifications must be on letterhead of the appropriate military branch and contain (1) the military service dates including the expected discharge or release date; and (2) the character of service (e.g. honorable, dishonorable, general etc.). View more veterans' information.

Before responding to this announcement, please review the RPCV Career Link Terms of Use [PDF]. The Peace Corps is not able to confirm the legitimacy of every position posted to the jobs board and we ask everyone to use caution when contacting and/or sharing information with any organization while seeking employment. If you believe an announcement has violated the Peace Corps Terms of Use, please contact [email protected].

Equal Opportunity Employment

The posting employer has certified that this announcement complies with Peace Corps’ Equal Opportunity Employment policy:

The Peace Corps is committed to providing equal opportunity to all employees, Volunteers, and applicants for employment and volunteer service. Peace Corps policy prohibits discrimination and harassment because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age (40 or over), disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, parental status, political affiliation, union membership, genetic information, or history of participation in the Equal Employment Opportunity process, grievance procedure, or any authorized complaint procedure.

Does this sound like the position for you?