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About FNS
 
 

Careers in the Food and Nutrition Service

The mission of the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to increase food security and reduce hunger in partnership with cooperating organizations by providing children and needy people access to food, a healthful diet, and nutrition education in a manner that supports American agriculture and inspires public confidence.

A better diet means better health. FNS administers food assistance programs which make better diets possible for millions of Americans, particularly low-income Americans. The program offers participants access to wholesome foods and information about the relationship between foods and health.

Where you fit in. 

Local agencies, States and FNS share the responsibility for operating the food assistance programs. This means that local agencies serve program participants directly, and the States guide their local agencies' activities. Federal employees in FNS provide overall direction, administer the funds, and monitor program operation. If you want to apply your knowledge and skills to these food program administrative activities, there may be a challenging and rewarding career for you with FNS.

FNS employees work at the national Headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, in seven regional offices, and in field offices across the country.

Federal Career Benefits:

  • good salaries,
  • opportunities for advancement,
  • paid annual and sick leave,
  • a retirement plan,
  • health and life insurance options; and
  • alternative work schedules.

In addition, FNS provides excellent opportunities for specialized training through its own facilities and outside resources. Career guidance and on-and off-the-job training programs are tailored to an individual employee's needs. Training programs are designed not only to help employees perform present duties, but also to prepare them for more difficult and responsible jobs.

For those who are hearing impaired, FNS has an on-site staff sign language interpreter, who provides interpreting services for applicants, employees, supervisors and managers located at Headquarters. If you need interpreting services, please contact the Human Resources Division.

CAREERS IN PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION

Program Analysts/Specialists:

  • draft regulations and instructions that put program legislation into effect.
  • approve States' plans for operating the programs.
  • develop national models and systems to improve program efficiency and effectiveness.
  • develop training materials for State and local personnel and conducting training sessions.
  • monitor program operations.
  • collect and analyze information to evaluate State and local program operation.
  • respond to letters from the public requesting program information.
  • conduct analyses and studies of program activities.
  • communicate effectively with others in writing as indicated by the needs of the audience.
  • understand written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • identify the things that must be changed to achieve a goal.
  • know how to find information and identifying essential information.
  • identify the nature of problems.
  • talk to others to effectively convey information.
  • find ways to structure or classify multiple pieces of information.
  • use logic and analysis to identify strengths and weaknesses of different approaches.
  • listen to what other people are saying and asking questions as appropriate.
  • problem solve.

Investigators:

  • plan and conduct confidential reviews of firms and persons suspected of committing Food Stamp violations.
  • travel extensively.
  • problem solve.
  • ability to evaluate all possible investigative alternatives and data to develop the proper approach.
  • work under cover.
  • ability to communicate with law enforcement officials, and with others.
  • ability to accurately document information.
  • ability to interview.
  • ability to communicate accurately in writing.
  • ability to conduct investigations.

Advancement: Positions are generally filled at the GS-5 and GS-7 grade levels with promotion potential to the GS-11 level based on performance, experience, and location.

CAREERS IN MANAGEMENT

Accountants:

  • arrange financial operations to meet program objectives.
  • provide financial advice.
  • develop and review budgets and measure results against expectations.
  • ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
  • communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • ability to see details of objectives at a close range.
  • ability to understand and organize a problem and then to select a mathematical method or formula to solve problems.

Budget Analysts:

  • ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
  • formulate budget estimates for operating the programs.
  • prepare, present, and support budget estimates.
  • give testimony before examining, reviewing, and fund-granting authorities.
  • ability to understand and organize a problem and then to select the mathematical method or formula to solve the problem.
  • ability to understand information and ideas presented through spoken words or sentences.
  • communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Information Technology Specialists:

  • design or put into effect systems for solving problems or accomplishing certain tasks by using computers.
  • control computer functions by using programs, setting up functions, writing software, or otherwise communicating with computer systems.
  • observe, receive, and otherwise obtain information from all relevant sources.
  • provide information to supervisors, fellow workers, and subordinates. This information can be exchanged fact-to-face, in writing, or via telephone/electronic transfer.
  • compile, code, categorize, calculate, tabulate, audit, verify, or process information or data.
  • identify underlying principles, reasons, or facts by breaking down information or data to separate parts.
  • keep up-to-date technically and knowing oneís own jobsí and related jobsí functions.
  • originate, invent, design, or create new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • enter, transcribe, record, store, or maintain information in either written form or by electronic/magnetic recording, implementing ideas, programs, etc.
  • problem solve.

Public Affairs Specialists:

  • provide information about FNS activities to the general public and to specialized audiences through the most appropriate media.
  • advise program administrators about the information needs for various audiences and how to best meet those needs.
  • read and understand information and ideas presented in writing communicating information and ideas in writing and other methods so others will understand.
  • to apply general rules to specific problems to come up with logical answers.
  • to correctly follow a given rule or set of rules in order to arrange things or actions in a certain order.
  • problem solving.

Human Resources Specialists:

  • review staffing needs and place qualified candidates.
  • classify jobs according to Government standards.
  • handle the employee retirement plan, health and life insurance programs, and employee grievances.
  • establish employee training programs.
  • listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • speak clearly so that it is understandable to a listener.
  • communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • weigh the relative costs and benefits of a potential action.
  • motivate, develop, and direct people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
  • generate a number of different approaches to problems.
  • adjust actions in relation to othersí actions.
  • problem solve.

Management Analysts:

  • develop, analyze, evaluate, and improve the effectiveness of work methods, organization, personnel utilization, delegations of authority, information and documentation systems.
  • communicate information and ideas in speaking so that others will understand.
  • speak clearly so that it is understandable to the listener.
  • gather information.
  • ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong and solving the problem.
  • listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • identify things that must be changed to achieve a goal.
  • know how to find information and identifying essential information.
  • identify the nature of problems.
  • find ways to structure or classify multiple pieces of information.
  • use logic and analysis to identify strengths and weaknesses of different approaches.
  • problem solve.

Contract Specialists:

  • develop and implement contracts, project grants, and cooperative agreements.
  • negotiate and administer contract and procurement activities.
  • ability to communicate in writing.
  • ability to communicate orally.
  • gather information
  • analyze and evaluate information.
  • problem solve.

Advancement: Most positions are filled at the GS-5, and GS-7 grade levels, with promotion potential to the GS-11 level based on performance, experience, and location.

Careers in Nutrition:

Dietitians and Nutritionists:

  • give technical help to the programs in areas of food and nutrition.
  • develop nutrition education materials.
  • keep program specialists informed of significant developments in nutrition research.
  • administer a national nutrition education and training program.
  • develop guidance material.
  • ability to communicate concerning nutritional information in written correspondence, reports, etc.
  • ability to communicate orally with all types of people.
  • ability to give technical assistance to include advisory, consultation, with respect to technical/regulatory aspects at issue.
  • evaluate meal pattern requirements and review patterns for administrative feasibility with respect to food service systems.

Advancement: Most positions are filled at the GS-5, 7, or 9 levels, with promotion potential to the GS-11 level based on performance, experience and location.

 

 
Last modified: 02/19/2013