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Agricultural Research Service Maintenance Mechanic in Ames, Iowa


This position is located int he Agricultural Research Service (ARS), National Centers for Animal Health (NADC), in Ames, IA. In this position you will construct, repair, and maintain high pressure piping systems and equipment, and select materials and parts to be used.


Install steam traps, automotive control valves, backflow preventer valves, float-control valves, pressure-reducing valves, filters and other work needed.

Locate defects or malfunctions in gas, water, steam and sewage systems and repairs by repacking of replacing pmis or lines or whatever is necessary for proper circulation, flow, pressures, leak-free joints, and operation.

Plan, lay out, install, and repair steam and hot water heat exchangers, heating coils, steam traps, pressure reducing valves, plumbing fixtures and pumps, including general and silver soldering.

Clean sewer drains and works on all types of drain cleaning equipment, including manual and motorized cable cleaners and high-pressure jet cleaning equipment.

Prepare assemblies for installation, performs cutting, threading, welding, pipe hanging, laying concrete, clay or iron pipes and connects valves and pressure gauges.

Perform tests of work upon completion for proper circulation, flow, pressure, leak-tightness, or proper function.

Frequently work from rough sketches, blueprints, general work orders, parts diagrams, or oral assignments, which lack definite details or dimensions.

Use of dividers, chalklines, plumb bobs, templates, star drills, grinders, flanges, hand and powered pipe threaders and cutters, pipe wrenches, mercury gauges, closet augers, hydrostatic pumps, hand torches, and welding rods.

Knowledge of steam service lines up to and including 125 psi pressure and include the skilled use of electric arc and oxyacetylene welding in various positions, and other methods for repair and maintenance work.


Conditions of Employment


Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement including time-in-grade restrictions, specialized experience and/or education, as defined below. In order to qualify for this position you must meet the following by the closing date of the vacancy announcement:

04/21/2021Qualifications will be determined under the Job Element Rating System X-118C, Qualifications Standard Handbook. While a specific length of time and experience is not required for most Wage Grade positions, you must show through experience and training that you possess the best qualified level of knowledge and skill necessary to perform the duties of this position. Qualification requirements emphasize the quality of experience, not necessarily the length. The responses to the questionnaire and your resume should be in significant detail to provide the person rating your application with a good understanding of your ability to do the job, technical knowledge, work, and training experience, etc. (For example You must have the ability to perform the duties of a Maintenance Mechanic, without more than normal supervision (Screen Out)). Applicants who do not meet the SCREEN OUT ELEMENT will not be given further consideration. Physical Efforts: Work is performed on benches, supports, ladders, scaffolds, roof, on catwalks, in modules, manholes, ditches, around fixtures and piping which requires continuous standing, stooping, bending, climbing, working overhead in stretched, cramped and awkward positions, and holding welding torch and rod suspended for short intern1ittent periods of time; involves arm strain when required to weld in awkward positions. May lift and carry items up to 40 lb., and occasionally lift items weighing 50 lb. or more. Working Conditions:Subject to fumes from welding, soldering and sparks, gases, and toxic fumes; to injury and continuous exposure to hazards of cuts, bruises, noise, vibrations, burns, dust, dirt and danger from flying chips when using powered and hand tools; and to falls when working on ladders and scaffolds. Performs work both indoors and outdoors under all weather conditions. Clothing changes are provided by the center while at duty station. May be required to shower prior to reporting to duty station in accordance with entrance/exit safety protocols for specific areas of the center. Must wear a full face respirator when working in biological control areas; restrictions of facial hair may be imposed for proper use of personal protective equipment.


This position does not have an education qualification requirement.

Additional Information

Security Clearance: SAC, MBI and SRA. This position requires the selectee to undergo a Special Agreement Check (SAC), Security Risk Assessment (SRA), and a full background investigation (Moderate Risk/Public Trust - Minimum Background Investigation (MBI)). Any offer made is considered a tentative job offer pending the outcome of the SAC. Retention in the position is contingent on a favorable SRA and full background investigation (MBI). The incumbent will be subject to periodic reinvestigations. Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP), Reemployment Priority List (RPL), or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): Visit the OPM website for information on how to apply as a CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP eligible. To exercise selection priority for this vacancy, CTAP/RPL/ICTAP candidates must meet the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors. CTAP/ICTAP candidates must be rated and determined to be well qualified (or above) based on an evaluation of the competencies listed in the How You Will Be Evaluated section. When assessed through a score-based category rating method, CTAP/ICTAP applicants must receive a rating of at least 85 out of a possible 100. Veterans who are preference eligible or who have been separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions after three years or more of continuous active service are eligible for consideration under the Veteran's Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA). Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Employees: Permanent County employees without prior Federal tenure who are selected for a Civil Service position under Public Law 105-277 will be given a career-conditional appointment and must serve a 1-year probationary period. For more information on applying under special hiring authorities such as the Veteran's Recruitment Act (VRA), 30 percent disabled veterans, certain military spouses, Schedule A Disabled, etc., explore the different Hiring Paths on the USAJOBS website. Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act (LMWFA) provides current or former temporary or term employees of federal land management agencies opportunity to compete for permanent competitive service positions. Individuals must have more than 24 months of service without a break between appointments of two or more years. Service must be in the competitive service and have been at a successful level of performance or better. Refer to PUBLIC LAW 114-47-AUG. 7, 2015 for more information. This position is being concurrently announced under Delegated Examining Announcement Number ARS-S21Y-11079574-KL. This announcement is open to all qualified candidates. Applying to both announcements may expand the possibilities of consideration since different referral criteria apply to each type of announcement. See the above announcement for more information. Recruitment or Relocation Incentive may be authorized. Final determination to pay an incentive will be made by the hiring official at time of job offer. This position is located in a bargaining unit. This position may be eligible to telework up to four days per week, based upon the duties of the position. This position may also be eligible for flexible work arrangements as determined by agency policy and any applicable collective bargaining agreements.