Smithsonian Institution IT Specialist (Systems Administration) in Cambridge, Massachusetts

  • Duties



* The list of arms embargoed destinations is drawn from 22 CFR §126.1 and State Department Federal Register notices related to arms embargoes (compiled at**

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is part of what is arguably the largest and most diverse astrophysical institution in the world, where the staff carries out a broad program of research in astronomy, astrophysics and earth and space sciences. If you would like to join this exciting organization, apply today!

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Provides network administration for a switched network supporting a mix of Windows and Linux computers, including the development and installation of systems and tools to improve network performance and enhance the network environment. Major areas of responsibility are (1) general network administration supporting Cisco switches and routers, firewalls, VPN and wireless; (2) Network system monitoring and alerting; (3) user support; (4) studies to determine and implement future needs, both long and short term; and (5) network security.

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential


Who May Apply
This job is open to…

All qualified candidates. Employment is dependent upon the ability to obtain export license approval. Note: Countries subject to U.S. arms embargoes are identified by the State Department through notices published in the Federal Register. * First consideration may be made 14 days after the opening date.

Questions? This job is open to 1 group.

  • #### Job family (Series)

2210 Information Technology Management

Similar jobs
  • Computer Occupations, All Other

  • Requirements


Conditions of Employment
  • Pre and Post appointment background check
  • May be required to serve a one-year probationary period
  • Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer required for salary payment
  • Employment is dependent upon the ability to obtain export license approval

Qualification requirements must be met within 30 days of the job opportunity announcement closing date. For information on qualification requirements, see Qualification Standards Handbook for General Schedule Positions viewable on the web at


For all positions individuals must have IT-related experience demonstrating each of the four competencies listed below. Attention to Detail - Is thorough when performing work and conscientious about attending to detail. Customer Service - Works with clients and customers (that is, any individuals who use or receive the services or products that your work unit produces, including the general public, individuals who work in the agency, other agencies, or organizations outside the Government) to assess their needs, provide information or assistance, resolve their problems, or satisfy their expectations; knows about available products and services; is committed to providing quality products and services. Oral Communication - Expresses information (for example, ideas or facts) to individuals or groups effectively, taking into account the audience and nature of the information (for example, technical, sensitive, controversial); makes clear and convincing oral presentations; listens to others, attends to nonverbal cues, and responds appropriately. Problem Solving - Identifies problems; determines accuracy and relevance of information; uses sound judgment to generate and evaluate alternatives, and to make recommendations.

In addition to the basic requirements listed above applicants must possess a minimum of one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the grade 12 in the normal line of progression for this occupation which should demonstrate skill in leading the organization of a large complex system of computers into a cohesive network; skill in leading network design and working with complex external interfaces; skill in developing procedures; skill in interfacing with external groups as a lead; and the accomplishment of independently completing computer project assignments requiring a wide range of knowledge of computer requirements and techniques where the applicant analyzed a number of alternative approaches in the process of advising management concerning major aspects of system design that are most appropriate for a given project.

Additional information

The Smithsonian does not pay relocation expenses but may pay a recruitment bonus.

The Smithsonian embraces diversity and equal employment opportunity (

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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.

Your application will be evaluated first for the basic qualifications described above. The applications that meet the basic qualifications will be evaluated further against the following criteria:

  • Advanced skill in defining, performing, and providing recommendations based on studies relating to LAN security, system performance, network performance, equipment and software evaluation.
  • Advanced knowledge of and skill in using current network technologies such as Ethernet and current networking protocols such as TCP/IP. This also includes detailed knowledge of the implementation of these protocols on the various computer platforms
  • Advanced knowledge of electronics to carry out installation and maintenance of equipment
  • Expert knowledge of and skill in administering operating systems including Windows and Linux with specific emphasis on management and networking aspects of the systems.
  • Expert knowledge of and skill in systems management practices and procedures of complex operating systems
  • Expert knowledge of and skill in implementing current common services including webservers, email servers and file servers, and the detailed knowledge of their implementations within the networks and possessing comprehensive intensive ,practical knowledge of advanced networking techniques and technologies and skill in applying this knowledge to the development of new methods and procedures
  • Expert knowledge of and skill in maintaining the Local Area Networks and understanding of this technology’s capabilities and limitations and common problems. Knowledge of current LAN services such as accounts, authentication ,email, ftp, printing and web
  • Expertknowledgeofandskillinmanagingcurrentnetworkfilesystemsandnetworkattachedstorageandstorageareanetworks
  • Expert knowledge of and skill in implementing current IT security concepts and technologies
  • Knowledge of IT and Chandra X-ray Observatory(CXO) safety principles and practices
  • Skill in interpersonal relations
  • Advanced Skill in oral and written communications

To preview questions please click here.

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Background checks and security clearance
Security clearance

Q - Sensitive

  • Required Documents


Required Documents

Your application package must include the following documents:

  • Detailed resume
  • School transcripts, if you are using education to qualify for the position.
  • Proof of U.S. accreditation for foreign study, if applicable.
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.

  • Benefits for federal employees
  • Healthcare insurance
  • Pay and leave!benefits.hms?orgId=1&jnum;=45538

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

Click on the "Apply Online" button on the upper right side of the page. If you are applying for this position and do not have a social security number, please contact Mary Hebert, at 617-496-7816.

Please Note:

  • You must apply for this position online through the 'Apply Online' button.
  • Faxes are received by an automated system, not a physical fax machine. Documents that are faxed as part of the application process must be sent with the system generated cover sheet by the closing date. Documents faxed without the system generated coversheet are not retrievable and cannot be considered as part of the application package.
  • Clicking the "DONE" tab does not submit your application. The "DONE" tab allows you to exit the system and save your information for completion at a later time. To submit your application, click the "FINISH" tab.
  • The complete application package, including any required documents, is due in the Smithsonian Office of Human Resources on the closing date of the announcement by 11:59 PM Eastern Time.

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Agency contact information
Mary Hebert

617 496-7816


617 495 7263



SMITHSONIAN Human Resources 60 Garden Street Cambridge, MA 02138 Cambridge, Massachusetts United States

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Next steps

You will receive an e-mail to acknowledge that your application has been received. Please be aware that the confirmation e-mail could reside in your "junk" or "bulk" mail folder depending on your filters. The Smithsonian receives many applications for each job. Each application is reviewed carefully which may take a few weeks. We will send you an e-mail to update you as we go through phases of the application review process. You may also check your application status by logging into and selecting the tab "My USAJOBS;" e-mailing; or by contacting the Office of Human Resources Representative listed.

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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) office at OPM
  • Office of Equal Opportunity

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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 and hiring process 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: 06/16/2017 to 10/31/2017

Salary: $94,520 to $122,875 per year

Pay scale & grade: IS 13

Work schedule: Full-Time - Full Time

Appointment type: Permanent - Trust Fund Indefinite. This is not a federal position