Federal Resume

By Kathryn Troutman

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Where The Federal Jobs Are – Department of Commerce

Website:  https://www.commerce.gov/

Secretary:  Penny Pritzker (2013 – present)

Headquarters:  The Executive and Policy Offices as well as specific bureau offices are located in Washington, D.C.  Many of the Bureaus have headquarters in the D.C. metropolitan area.

TIP 1:  For a list of Commerce Services and Offices, link to http://2010-2014.commerce.gov/about-commerce/services.

Mission: To create the conditions for economic growth and by promoting job creation, sustainable development and improved standards of living for all Americans by working in partnership with businesses, universities, communities and our nation’s workers.

Strategic Goals:  The Department’s Bureaus drive progress in 5 key goal areas:

  • Trade and investment
  • Innovation
  • Environment
  • Data

Operational Excellence

Link to a summary of the Fiscal Year 2014–2018 Strategic Plan at: https://www.commerce.gov/sites/commerce.gov/files/media/files/2014/doc_fy14-18_goals_and_objectives.pdf.

Number of Civilian Employees: Approximately 35,000 employees.

TIP 2:  The Department of Commerce was ranked 5th among 19 large federal agencies in the Partnership for Public Service’s 2015 edition of “The Best Places to Work in the Federal Government.”

Department of Commerce Organization Structure:  The Department’s leadership structure includes the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Chief of Staff, Under Secretaries, Assistant Secretaries and Directors of numerous Bureaus, Administrations, Agencies, Institutes (referred to collectively as Bureaus) and executive and policy Offices.


Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). BEA provides a quantitative view of U.S. domestic production, consumption and investment and releases estimates of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  Along with the Census Bureau and the Office of the Chief Economist, BEA is part of the Department’s Economics and Statistics Administration.  Approximately 450 employees, many of whom are economists, economics analysts and statisticians.
Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). The Department’s licensing, regulatory, and enforcement agency that advances U.S. national security, foreign policy, and economic objectives.  Approximately 350 employees.  BIS’s team of special enforcement agents and analysts enforce export control regulations.  The special enforcement agents are located in offices in nine major U.S. cities and in six major economic hubs abroad.
U.S. Census Bureau (Census). Census is the leading source of data about the nation’s people and economy.  In addition to conducting he census of every household in the nation every 10 years, it prepares comprehensive manufacturing and trade censuses every 5 years.  Along with the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Office of the Chief Economist, Census is part of the Department’s Economics and Statistics Administration.  Over 5,000 employees work at the Census headquarters in Suitland, MD.  Others work at the Bureau’s 6 Regional Offices across the country.  Census employs many statisticians, analysts, IT specialists, and seasonal field workers/interviewers.
Economic Development Administration (EDA). Focused exclusively on economic development, the EDA fosters regional economic development in economically distressed communities through strategic and sustainable grant investments.  Approximately 150 staff.
Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA).  Serves as the administrator of the Department’s statistical programs, providing economic analysis and disseminating national economic indicators.  The ESA oversees the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the Office of the Chief Economist.  Census collects, BEA compiles, and OCE analyzes the most comprehensive, consistent, confidential, credible and publicly available socio-economic data on our nation’s economy, businesses, and individuals.  Employees include statisticians, economic and business analysts, budget analysts, program analysts, and IT specialists.
Office of the Chief Economist. Chief advisor on economics matters to the Under Secretary for Economic Affairs and the Secretary of Commerce.
International Trade Administration (ITA). Strengthens the competitiveness of U.S. industry, promoting trade and investment, and compliance with trade laws and agreements.  Consists of three (3) business units:  Industry and Analysis; Enforcement and Compliance; and Global Markets.  ITA has approximately 2,100 employees across the nation and overseas.  The senior staff operates from the Washington, D.C. Headquarters.  Positions include trade specialists, trade compliance analysts, management and program analysts, economists, and positions in business, finance and accounting.  The Global Markets organization includes Foreign Service Officers assigned to foreign posts such as U.S. Embassies and Consulates.

TIP 3:  U.S. Foreign Commercial Service Officers promote the export of U.S. goods and services; advance and protect U.S. commercial interests overseas; and attract investment.  Although typically assigned to foreign posts, Commercial Service Officers often begin their careers by serving a tour of duty at an Export Assistance Center in the U.S. or at Commerce Headquarters.  For more information, see http://www.trade.gov/jobs/world-of-opportunity.html.

Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). Only federal agency established specifically to foster the growth and global competitiveness of minority-owned U.S. businesses.  MBDA conducts research; stimulates minority entrepreneurship and business ownership; and coordinates and leverages public and private sector resources to provide access to capital, contracts and markets.  Provides technical assistance and access through a national network of more then 40 MBDA Business Centers.
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). One of the Nation’s oldest physical science laboratories, the Institute supports U.S. industry and innovation, partnering with business, universities, and other government agencies.  NIST’s central programs include:  the NIST Laboratories Program; the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership; and the Baldridge Performance and Excellence Program.  With headquarters in Gaithersburg, MD,  NIST employs approximately 3,000 staff.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). America’s environmental intelligence agency, NOAA provides scientific information to millions of Americans.  Its products and services are used by decision makers around the country to better understand risk and prepare for the future.  Headquartered in Silver Spring, MD, NOAA has program and research locations across the country and over 11,000 employees Including scientists, engineers and program analysts.  It has staff and corporate offices as well as the following “line offices”:

  • National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service
  • National Marine Fisheries Service
  • National Ocean Service
  • National Weather Service
  • Office of Marine and Aviation Operations
  • Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research

TIP 4:  NOAA has a Commissioned Officer Corps, a uniformed service, that operates its ships and aircraft.  For information, see http://www.noaacorps.noaa.gov/index.html.

National Technical Information Service (NTIS). The largest central resource for government-funded scientific, technical, engineering, and business-related information.  Located in Alexandria Virginia, the NTIS has approximately 100 employees including program managers, IT specialists and staff providing customer service.
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Advises the President on telecommunications and information policy issues.  NTIA’s programs and policymaking focus largely on  broadband Internet access and adoption in America   It works with other Executive Branch agencies to develop domestic and international telecommunications and information policy.  Approximately 300 employees including grant administrators, policy analysts, telecommunications specialists, and economists.


U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
The USPTO grants U.S. patents and registers trademarks.  The Office advises on intellectual property (IP) policy, protection, and enforcement; and promotes stronger IP protection around the world.  In addition to its Headquarters in Alexandria, VA, the Office maintains 4 regional offices (Detroit, MI; Denver, CO; San Jose, CA; and Dallas, TX.  It employs a total of more than 12,000 staff, including approximately 9,000 Patent Examiners (Job Series 1224) who have degrees in engineering or the sciences (or a combination of qualifying education and experience).  The Office’s approximately 400 trademark examiners are all attorneys (Job Series 0905).  Other positions include program analysts, attorneys, administrative patent judges, IT specialists, finance specialists, and administrative personnel.

TIP 5:  In 2015, the USPTO was ranked #13 (out of 320) among Large Federal Agency Subcomponents in the Partnership for Public Service’s “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government.”

TIP 6:  The USPTO career website provides extensive information regarding employment opportunities and procedures for applying for positions.  It includes a helpful “Examiner Hiring Process Timeline Page”  delineating the roughly  10-week process.  See http://careers.uspto.gov/


  • Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships\
  • Office of Business Liaison
  • Office of Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration
  • Office of Chief Information Officer
  • Office of Chief of Staff
  • Office of Deputy Secretary
  • Office of Executive Secretariat
  • Office of General Counsel
  • Office of Inspector General
  • Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs
  • Office of Policy and Strategic Planning
  • Office of Public Affairs
  • Office of White House Liaison

TIP 7:  In 2015, The Commerce Secretary launched the Commerce Data Service, a government start-up organized within the Office of the Secretary.  The Data Service assists the 12 Department Bureaus to rapidly create and develop projects to advance its mission.  It tackles cores infrastructure issues such as enabling experimentation in a safe and collaborative environment, and providing insight and architecture for open data solutions and emerging open data applications. The Service is currently hiring a diverse team of top staff of designers, data engineers, data scientists, front-end and infrastructure engineers.  For more information, go to https://www.commerce.gov/dataservice/.

Data Services

Civilian Career Fields:

  • Scientists (Job series 1300)
  • Engineers (Job series 0800)
  • IT Specialists (Job series 2210)
  • Economists (Job series 0110)
  • Statisticians (Job series 1529/1530)
  • Management and Program Analysts (Job series 0343)
  • Trade Specialists (Job series 1140)
  • Trade Analysts (Job series 1801)
  • Financial Specialist (Job series 0501)
  • Accountants (Job series 0510)
  • Investigators (Job series 1800)
  • Project Management Specialists (Job series 0301)
  • Telecommunications Specialists (Job series 0391)
  • Geographers (Job Series 0150)
  • Meteorologists (Job Series 1340)
  • Patent Examiners (qualifications include a bachelor’s degree in physical science, life science, engineering discipline or computer science) (Job series 1224)
  • Trademark Examiners (qualifications include a law degree) (Job series 0905)
    As is the case throughout the federal government, career opportunities also exist for Administrative personnel, HR Specialists, and Attorneys.

TIP 8:  For a concise webpage providing descriptions of the range of Commerce-Wide Opportunities as well as links to specific Bureaus, see https://www.commerce.gov/page/career-opportunities-and-internships.

Current Vacancies:  There are currently 117 Department of Commerce General Schedule (GS) vacancies for civilian positions posted in USAJOBS for “U.S. Citizens.”  Many are between the GS-7 and GS-15 levels.  Occupations with the most current vacancies are:

  • IT Specialists (Job series 2210)
  • Management and Program Analysts (Job series 0343)
  • Engineers (Job series 0800)
  • Scientists (Job series 1300)
  • Economists (Job series 0110)
  • Contract Specialists (Job series 1102)
  • Patent Examiners (Job series 1224)
  • Statisticians and Survey Statisticians (Job series 1529/1530)

Posted by Kathryn Troutman on Apr 26, 2016 at 12:26 PM

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