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How hard is it to get into government contracting ?  Let's say I somehow manage to get into an internship and then get a GS-05 position how hard is it to move up as a non-vet if I'm willing to relocate anywhere? How competitive are the jobs?

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23 minutes ago, Gordon Shumway said:

it's all about who you know

True, but that can be said about virtually any job.  Are the jobs pretty competitive? It's hard to find a whole lot of info on 1102 jobs.

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And where you're willing to go.  For example, someone looking to start at Moody Air Force Base will have very few options when it comes to advancement.  However, the northern Virginia/DC area is a different story.  Where I work, an "intern" may start off at the GS-07/09/11 route for three years.  Based on your limited post, it's impossible to provide a more definitive response since we're not clear on your entire situation.

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Go to the tabs at the top of this page and click Workforce.  At the left top, you will see current openings for a variety of contracting fields and internships.  I updated them yesterday and the links now work.

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7 hours ago, jewettr said:

And where you're willing to go.  For example, someone looking to start at Moody Air Force Base will have very few options when it comes to advancement.  However, the northern Virginia/DC area is a different story.  Where I work, an "intern" may start off at the GS-07/09/11 route for three years.  Based on your limited post, it's impossible to provide a more definitive response since we're not clear on your entire situation.

Thanks for responding. As I mentioned in my initial post I'm willing to go anywhere.  What other information should I provide to get a clearer answer?  I'm still in school and haven't yet decided on a major but if I do decide on a bacerlors in business/finance I would like to intern in some type of 1102 position. I saw in one discussion board someone mentioned they get hundreds of applicants and make very few callbacks, I wasn't sure if that was area specific or not, I don't really want to get in a field that is difficult to get into/move up.  (I have seen many job postings in Virginia but I also don't know how many applicants those jobs are getting.)  Are internships hard to get?  If I received an internship and was a good worker willing to move anywhere would it be hard for me to move up grades compared to veterans or those with master degrees?

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7 hours ago, bob7947 said:

Go to the tabs at the top of this page and click Workforce.  At the left top, you will see current openings for a variety of contracting fields and internships.  I updated them yesterday and the links now work.

Thanks I'll check it out.  And I visit the usajob postings for 1102 positions quite frequently too, there seem to be a lot of openings but I'm worried that I'll be one of hundreds submitting my resume to one job.  There's not a lot of info on 1102 positions in terms of how competitive it is and what not so I'm not sure if I should try to get into the field or not.

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Milkenhiem

You can review some information at http://www.secnav.navy.mil/rda/workforce/pages/nadp.aspx as related to the Naval Acquisition Development Program (NADP); we have both NADP and Marine Corps interns at our office.  They are two similar but slightly different tracks; if you'd like to message me, I can provide more details.  But you'll definitely need to concentrate on a business degree and maintaining a high GPA.  Let's be honest, if someone is truly receiving "hundreds" of applicants, one of the easiest ways to weed out total strangers is by reviewing their GPA.  Due to our inept hiring process, in many cases by the time we see an offer letter go out, folks have already accepted positions elsewhere.  Bottom line, if you're worth your salt, and in this area, moving up is not difficult.

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Based on your situation, I'd say developmental or internship programs are the way to get into the contracting arena. Once you're in, if you're of at least average intelligence, have a good work ethic, and decent communication skills, you will advance and have opportunities. And of course, if you're willing to move to promote, you'll likely promote faster.

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On ‎2‎/‎2‎/‎2018 at 10:49 AM, VA1102 said:

I'd say developmental or internship programs are the way to get into the contracting arena

This. Specifically, research the Pathways Program.

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If you're willing to be mobile and do a good job (or at least make people think you are), then you can move pretty quickly up the ranks.  I know this person who was a GS-7 in 2003 (after 14 years as a GS-4 and GS-6 in non-contracting work) and within 11 years became a GS-15 (you have to judge whether you consider that fast or not).  He wasn't in an intern program or anything. He simply applied and moved when opportunities that sounded good came up.  It can be done... 

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With minimal contracting experience from being in Air Force supply, I started as a GS7 and got my 14 in 6 years and my 15 in 12.  I had one 4 year stint as a Foreign Service Officer between 14 and 15.  I can not think of any field that you can move that fast but you need to keep taking training and putting that training to use.  I got my MBA with emphasis in contracting during my early years while I was still taking my mandatory FAC-C courses.  I also worked many hours of overtime whenever we were getting close to a big award.  So promotions were fast but far from easy.

But now I have 37 days left before I say goodbye to the Federal Government and hello to my travel trailer.  

 

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Guest Vern Edwards

Boof:

A person who was an American Foreign Service Officer is a cut above almost everyone else. As you know, it is very, very hard to get accepted into the U.S. Foreign Service. I don't think your experience is going to be representative of what most other persons can expect.

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1 hour ago, Vern Edwards said:

I don't think your experience is going to be representative of what most other persons can expect.

It is true that Boof's experience is not common, but it would hardly be shocking in the DC region. It certainly would not require a (DOS) FS-material candidate to accomplish. GS-09 to 13 ladders are quite common here. So it's completely plausible to go from 07 to 13 in 4 years. That leaves 2 years to get a 14 and match Boof's trajectory. Non-supervisory 14s are becoming the norm, if they're not already, and non-supervisory 15s are not unheard of. Pay bands are also becoming more common, so once someone obtains a 14-15 equivalent pay band, it's only a matter of time before he or she is "15 equivalent."

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Guest Vern Edwards

Part of the reason for that is the very high cost of living in the DC area and consequential grade inflation. A lot of those 14 jobs used to be 12 jobs.

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When I started in 1980 (in DC), a journeyman was a 12.  Being a 13 was a really big deal.  The journeyman level climbed to a 13 in the 90's.  When I retired last year I'd say the journeyman level had moved to the 14 in DC.  It took me 26 years to get to the 15.  People are getting to the 14 now in DC in less than 10 years.  In interviews for a 14, I'd ask people about their Part 15 experience.  I had more than one blank stare. Rarely did anyone indicate they had done more than a handful of Part 15 procurements.  It's a different world and I'd readily admit that a good 12 in 1980 could work circles around most people in the 1102 field today (probably including myself). 

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On 2/20/2018 at 1:45 PM, FrankJon said:

This. Specifically, research the Pathways Program.

If you are in school, college, graduate school, etc...you are in a uniquely advantageous position. It's much easier to get hired from this point, and you might not ever have this status again. Definitely look into the Pathways Program and every other "intern" or "fellowship" program you can find. It's a no-brainer.

These "from school" hiring authorities allow you to avoid the tremendous "competition" from other hiring priorities. It's incredibly harder to get the job from an open market situation. 

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DIrect from college is best route, take 24 hours of business credits with 3.0 min GPA. Navy HQ progression goes:

GS-7, intern Day 1 (GS-9 if you have MBA, but same progression thereafter)

GS-9 (After 1 year) 

GS-11 (After 2 years)

GS-12 (After 3 years)

GS-13 (After 4 years, competitive but almost a given)

GS-14 (After 5-8 years, competitive with real interviews for CO unlimited warrant)

GS-15 (After 6+ years, whiz kids move up fast and demonstrate exceptional talent).

Navy HQ is looking for new talent so DM and I can get your resume to HR.

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