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COMBINING EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE

By Valerie Olson,2014-08-18 01:25
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COMBINING EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE

    COMBINING EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE

    Professional, Specialist, and Analyst Positions

    Follow the instructions below to see if you qualify for a professional or administrative position based on a combination of your education and experience.

    GENERAL:

    1. You may use a combination of education and experience to qualify for GS-5, GS-7, GS-9, and GS-11 level positions.

    2. You need four years of undergraduate study (120 semester or 180 quarter hours) to qualify for a GS-5 level position. You do not have to have completed a Bachelor’s

    degree. However to be creditable, the courses completed must have been progressively more difficult and in a curriculum leading to a Bachelor’s degree. Four years of study that consisted primarily of entry or lower level courses is not qualifying. 3. You may count graduate courses if they were part of a program or curriculum that leads to an advanced degree, but you do not have to have completed the graduate degree.

    4. You may count each course only once. If you repeated a course, do not count the credit hours twice.

    5. You must have completed your academic work in an accredited college or university. 6. When computing the number of years of graduate education you have completed, use the number or units that your school has determined to equal a full academic year. If you do not know what that number is, use the government standard of 18 semester units per year if your school is on the semester system, or 27 quarter units per year if it is on the quarter system.

    7. To find out if you qualify for the position based on a combination of your education and experience, you must determine the percentage of qualifying education and the percentage of qualifying experience that you posses, and then add the two percentages. DETERMINING PERCENTAGES:

    1. Determine how much qualifying experience you have. (Refer to each vacancy announcement for examples of qualifying experience.)

    a) If you are applying for a GS-5 level position, you need 36 months of general experience. Count the number of months of general experience that you have and then divide the total by 36. For example, if you have 18 months of qualifying general experience, divide 18 by 36. The result is 50% of the general experience requirement. In this case, you would need another 18 months of general experience to qualify for the position.

    b) You need 12 months of SPECIALIZED experience to qualify for GS-7, 9, and 11 level

positions.

    ; If you have 9 months of qualifying specialized experience, divide 9 by 12. The

    result is 75% of the specialized experience requirement. You would need another

    3 months of experience to qualify for the position.

    ; GS-7 level: Only combine experience that is comparable to the type of qualifying

    experience described in the vacancy announcement for the GS-7 level.

    ; GS-9 level: Only combine experience that is comparable to the type of qualifying

    experience described in the vacancy announcement for the GS-9 level.

    ; GS-11 level: Only combine experience that is comparable to the type of

    qualifying experience described in the vacancy announcement for the GS-11

    level.

    2. Count how many undergraduate/graduate units you have completed. (Refer to each vacancy announcement for examples of qualifying fields of study.)

    a) GS-5: If you are applying for a GS-5 position on the basis of your education alone, you must have completed four years of undergraduate study or a Bachelor’s degree. If you have less than that amount of education, divide the number of semester hours you have completed by 120. Divide the number of quarter hours by 180. For example, if you have completed 90 semester hours, divide 90 by 120. The result is 75% of the general experience requirement. In this case, you would need 9 more months of general experience to qualify for the position at the GS-5 level.

    b) GS-7: If you are applying for a GS-7 position on the basis of your education alone, you need one year of full-time graduate education in a qualifying field. If you have less than one full year of graduate study, divide the number of GRADUATE hours you have completed by the number of hours your school considers to be one full year of graduate study or by 18 semester or 27 quarter hours, whichever is appropriate. For example, if you have completed 9 semester hours, divide 9 by 18. The result is 50% of the specialized experience requirement. As such, you would need 6 more months of appropriate specialized experience to qualify for the position at the GS-7 level. c) GS-9: If you are applying for a GS-9 position on the basis of your education alone, you need two full years of graduate study, a Masters, or an equivalent degree. If you have less than that amount of graduate education, divide the number of creditable graduate hours completed by the number of hours your school considers to be one full year of graduate study or by 18 semester or 27 quarter hours, whichever is appropriate.

    ; Only combine education with experience if you have completed more than one

    full year of graduate study.

    ; Divide the number of hours completed IN EXCESS OF THE FIRST YEAR by the

    number of credit hours your school considers equal to one full year of graduate

    study or by 18 semester or 27 quarter hours.

    ; For example, if 18 semester hours equal a graduate year of study and you have

    completed 27 semester hours, subtract 18 from 27 and then divide the remaining

    9 hours by 18. The result is 50% of the specialized experience requirement.

    Therefore, you would need another 6 months of appropriate specialized

    experience to qualify for the position at the GS-9 level.

    d) GS-11 level: If you are applying for a GS-11 position on the basis of your education alone, you need a doctoral degree or three full years of graduate education leading to such a degree. If you have less than that amount of graduate education, divide the number of creditable graduate hours completed by the number of hours your school considers to be one full year of graduate study or by 18 semester or 27 quarter hours, whichever is appropriate.

    ; Only combine education with experience if you have completed more than the

    number of hours that your school considers equal to two years of graduate study

    or 36 semester or 54 quarter hours.

    ; Divide the number of hours IN EXCESS OF THE SECOND YEAR by the number

    of credit hours your school considers equal to two full academic years, or by 18

    semester or 27 quarter hours.

    ; For example, if 18 semester hours is equal to a year and you have completed 48

    hours, subtract 36 (the equivalent of two years) from 48 and then divide the

    remaining 12 hours by 18. The result is 66.6% of the specialized experience

    requirement. Therefore, you would need another 4 months of appropriate

    specialized experience to qualify for the position at the GS-11 level. 3. ADD THE PERCENTAGE for your experience (step 1) and the percentage for your education (step 2).

    ; If the two percentages total at least 100% of the qualification requirement for a

    particular grade, you qualify for that grade.

    ; If the total is less than 100%, you do not qualify under this provision.

    ; For example, at the GS-5 level in 1(a), you had 50% (18 months) of qualifying

    work experience. In 2(a), you had 75% (27 months) of qualifying education.

    When added together, you have 125% of the required general experience. You

    therefore qualify for the position at the GS-5 level based on a combination of your

    education and experience.

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