What is a Federal “Career Ladder” Position?


Upward Career Mobility

A “Career Ladder” position is a federal job that allows you to MOVE UP THE LADDER. For example, you may be hired as a GS-5, but if the position has promotion potential to GS-11, then you could move up from GS-5 to GS-11 in as little as THREE YEARS!

We found one interesting job opening with this kind of promotion potential: Quality Assurance Specialist, Defense Contract Management Agency, Central Regional HC Center, Rockford, IL. This fabulous Career Ladder job starts as a GS-5 or 7, at $31 to $50K per year. You are eligible to receive your grade level promotions after you have been at a GS level for one year, so you could potentially work a year as a GS-5, then a year as a GS-7, and a year as a GS-9 to reach GS-11 after working for three years (or two years if hired as a GS-7).

Announcement Details

This position is an Internship in the DCMA Keystone Program. DCMA uses the Expedited Hiring Authority to recruit and attract exceptional individuals into the Federal Workforce. During the Keystone Program, participants will receive specialized formal classroom training, computer-based training, and on-the-job (OJT) training. If you have the qualifications needed to apply for this position, get your federal resume ready, because this great job closes on Nov. 24th, 2014. In order to get Best Qualified, make sure you have the QUALIFICATIONS clearly identified in and the KEYWORDS added to your federal resume.


Here are the top 10 keywords and phrases for your federal resume:

  • Surveillance of contractors manufacturing
  • Quality management
  • Quality control, quality inspection
  • Contracting and purchasing
  • Supply and storage
  • Test and evaluation
  • Research and engineering; maintenance
  • Validate manufacturing processes
  • Technical surveillance of contractor facilities
  • Conduct the performance of pre-award and post-award contract review
  • Ability to communicate orally

Qualifications Required:

You can qualify for this position with a four year degree or 3 years of general experience and one year experience equality to the GS 4 level (which would be approximately $25K. The General Experience is as follows:

“Experience in quality control; quality inspection; contracting and purchasing; supply and storage; industrial or production planning; research and engineering; maintenance; or test and evaluation that provided (1) experience with quality assurance or related work, (2) experience with product or process , (3) experience interpreting and applying contract requirements and engineering specifications, or (4) experience with others in person-to-person work relationships.”

Benefits (AMAZING!):

The Department of Defense offers excellent benefits programs some of which may include:

  • Comprehensive health and life insurance
  • Competitive salaries
  • Generous retirement programs
  • Paid holidays, sick leave, and vacation time
  • Flexible work environment and alternate work schedules
  • Paid employment related training and education
  • Possible student loan repayment
  • Payment of licenses, certification, and academic degrees as applicable
  • Bonuses, incentives, and awards as appropriate for the job

Read the full USAJOBS announcement here: https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/386475000

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