The U.S. Department of State is developing a rank order list of eligible hires for a limited number of Foreign Service Security Technical Specialist (STS) vacancies based on the needs of the Department. Learn more about a career in the Foreign Service and about the Bureau of Diplomatic Security.
Joining the Foreign Service is more than just salary. Refer to the Benefits section for more information on total compensation.
This is a 2501 position equivalent to the 0086 Civil Service series.
Security Technical Specialists (STS) provide support for and assist in worldwide technical security programs to maintain and provide protection for Department of State personnel and facilities from technical espionage, acts of terrorism, and crime.
The duties of a Security Technical Specialist (STS) vary according to the size of the post and the requirements of the specific diplomatic mission. The following are examples of the types of duties and responsibilities assigned to a STS at posts around the world, or in domestic locations. This list is neither exhaustive, nor in priority order:
Install, maintain, repair, and troubleshoot a multitude of technical security systems to include alarms, access control systems, locks, vehicle arrest systems, security video systems, explosive detection systems, X-ray machines, computer networking equipment, and forced entry ballistic resistant doors.
Assist with and/or perform technical surveys, system specifications, and equipment installations.
Conduct technical security design evaluations based on government regulations and standards.
Prepare formal updates to architectural drawings according to government regulations and standards.
Apply IT best practices to monitor and troubleshoot networking equipment, workstations, servers, and applications.
Plan technical support trips, coordinate logistics, and travel to overseas embassies and consulates.
Use sophisticated electronic test equipment: oscilloscopes, time domain reflectometers, etc.
Manage equipment supply chain logistics– shipping, receiving, Bill-of-Materials (BOM) preparation using a Computerized Maintenance Management System.
Oversee and supervise the X-ray and explosive detection programs, to include repairing and performing radiation checks. Maintain/repair electro-mechanical systems using electronic test equipment.
Organize and maintain shops, storerooms, shop tools, equipment, parts, and supplies.
Work with or supervise host country personnel (locally employed staff) when required.
Test new-generation technical security equipment.
Provide technical security support to high level USG officials and foreign dignitaries.
Manage training programs for various technical security systems.
Train security personnel at posts as required.
Take coursework to maintain and upgrade technical skills.
Write technical reports, including project proposals, equipment and/or system evaluations, maintenance and/or installation activity reports, technical field notices, trip reports, and other documentation as required.
Assist in the project management of security contracts. Serve as Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) and as Government Technical Monitor (GTM).
Supervise regional security technicians as assigned.
Mentor and supervise junior STS personnel and write employee evaluations when assigned.
Learn department hiring and management best practices to apply them as a supervisor or when assisting in hiring processes.
50% or less – An FSS generally spends the majority of his/her career assigned to the Department of State’s overseas missions and at times, lives away from family and/or in difficult or isolated conditions. Selected applicants will be notified of an Oral Assessment (OA) requirement in Washington D.C. For selected applicants, all travel and other expenses incurred in connection with the OA are the sole responsibility of the applicant.
Conditions of Employment
Be a U.S. citizen and available for worldwide service.*
Be able to obtain a Top Secret Security Clearance.
Be able to obtain an appropriate Foreign Service Medical Clearance.
Be able to obtain a favorable Suitability Review Panel determination.**
Be at least 20 years old and at least 21 years old to be appointed.
Be appointed prior to age 60 (preference eligible veterans excepted).***
Official or unofficial transcripts may be submitted with your application. Please refer to the Education Requirements section for more information.
Driver’s License: A valid U.S. driver’s license is required.
A physical examination of each applicant offered a position is required to ensure that the candidate meets the essential physical and medical requirements necessary to perform the essential functions of the job and can meet the standards required for a worldwide medical clearance. In addition, candidates must have vision that is correctable to 20/20 in one eye and 20/40 in the other, no color blindness, adequate night vision, and good peripheral vision. In addition, candidates must have good hearing with no loss of greater than 30 decibels at 500, 1000, or 2000 Hz level. The musculoskeletal system should have no deformities, diseases, or limiting conditions that would interfere with the performance of duties. The standards for STS can be found at https://careers.state.gov/downloads/ in the Four Conditions of Diplomatic Security Employment Section.
Note: The medical examination is required only after a candidate has successfully passed the written and oral assessments. It is not part of the initial application package.
Applicants must have at least two years of specialized experience, which demonstrates the ability to troubleshoot and repair electronic, electrical, and/or electro-mechanical systems and equipment, and is supported by work experience in this discipline.
Examples of experience include, but are not limited to the following:
Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of AC power distribution systems, motor-generators
Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of motors, motor controls, disconnects, relays
Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of low voltage DC electronic systems
Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of low voltage DC electro-mechanical systems
Use, repair, and/or calibration of electronic test equipment – meters, oscilloscopes
Bench repair of electronic, electrical, and electro-mechanical equipment to the component level
Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of mechanical and electro-mechanical locking systems – electronic strikes, locks
Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of pedestrian and vehicular access control systems – door controls, vehicle barriers / arrest
Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of security video systems and supporting network components
Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of metal detectors – hand held, walk through
Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of radio communications systems, voice and digital communications networks
Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of Intrusion Detection Systems – alarms, detectors, sensors
Troubleshooting, maintenance, repair and installation of Public Address Systems – emergency notification systems, intercoms
Knowledge, Skills, and Other Characteristics
Knowledge of technology to include electronics technology, National Electrical Code (NEC), networking basics, information technology, installation practices, risk analysis techniques, basic cost analysis, basic statistical analysis, scientific method and characteristics of materials.
Knowledge of security systems to include knowledge of technical security systems (TSS), current industry trends, quality assurance process, and knowledge of safety standards and practices.
Knowledge of the logistics process and practices.
Technical skills in reading and interpreting building plans, interpreting schematic diagrams and electrical drawings, performing technical surveys and evaluating existing conditions, use of tools, various technical trades, use of fiber optics, fabricating use of computer software and technical guidance.
General skills in project management, team leading, reporting, customer service, development and implementation of training programs, evaluating, rating and reviewing the performance of others, being adaptable and resilient, maintaining awareness of working environment and self-development.
Superior oral and written communication skills: must consistently meet a high standard for English, both written (overall structure as well as grammar, spelling and punctuation) and spoken (overall structure as well as delivery, clarity and succinctness).
Color vision: ability to distinguish between all colors of the spectrum in order to read resistor color codes, identify colored wires, and distinguish between warning lights of different colors.
Other requirements: cross-cultural awareness, tolerance of travel and being on call, tolerance for working overseas, tolerance of varying work environments, world-wide availability, tolerance of living away from family, attention to detail, dependability, integrity and willingness to perform other duties.
Essential Physical Requirements:
Some of the essential functions of the Security Technical Specialist (STS) job have a physically demanding component. In the execution of the duties and tasks listed above, an STS may be required to:
See objects that are near, far, or at night.
Hear speech or other sounds including sufficient sensitivity to hear sounds of low volume or in noisy environments.
Speak clearly enough so others will understand, including speaking to groups.
Lift, push, pull, carry, climb ladders, or balance. Move heavy objects, such as crates, building materials, motor generator that may be oversized and weigh in excess of 70 lbs.
Manipulate small objects with hands or fingers. Perform manual installation operations to include hammer drilling, core drilling, pulling wire, installing conduit and terminating cable.
Perform movements repeatedly or continually including ability to stand for extended periods, bend and stretch to reach equipment for prolonged periods, and take frequent extended trips by plane or car.
Exhibit the mental endurance to concentrate for long periods, learn complex information and procedures, and think effectively after extensive travel and jet-lag.
Tolerate extreme environmental conditions, i.e. heat, cold, noise and pollution. Travel and work in hostile environments such as war zones, areas of civil and political strife and in regions of the world having extreme climates.
Climb stairs, ladders and other inclines. Work from heights to include rooftops, ledges, bucket trucks, scaffolding and extension ladders.
Crawl under, around or over objects. Work in confined areas such as crawlspaces, attics, utility pits, tunnels, manholes and other confined space.
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