Veteran Seasonal Soils Technician, Billings Field Office Bureau of Land Management

Billings, MT

Position Title: Veteran Seasonal Soils Technician

Organization: Billings Field Office Bureau of Land Management

Location: Billings, MT

Position Overview: The purpose of this position is to accomplish duties in support of soil programs. Assignments include those to improve the employee’s skill level. This vacancy is specifically a non-competitive hire as long as the applicants have veterans status. The soils tech is a crucial part of the monitoring effort for the AIM protocol and are relied on heavily for pedon and site description as well as classifying the ecological site. In addition they also collect several Dynamic Soil Properties (DSPs) on plots that further enhance the knowledge of rangeland soils. For current students or recent grads there is inexpensive summer housing available at MSU Billings. 


1. Performs the full range of aid type duties and a variety of technical duties in support of soil programs. Serves as crewmember and occasionally crew lead for specific projects. Performs the following or duties of similar complexity: 95%

a. In conjunction with a soil scientist, but often working alone will perform field inventories to identify and delineate varying soil types and develop extensive soils information; assists in analyzing data obtained during inventories; researches prior study results and soils and mineral reference sources.

b. Based on site inventory results, and past results and conclusions, offers recommendation to supervisor on such items as soil stability, erosion susceptibility, or soil productivity.

c. Complies data obtained and assembles data into a logical sequence for review and use by others specialist. Enters and retrieves data from automated databases.

2. To perform duties of this position requires the use of motor vehicles. In most cases this will be a 4-wheel drive vehicle or ATV. 5%

Performs other duties as assigned.


Factor 1 – Knowledge Required by the Position 

  • Knowledge of processes, methods, and procedures associated with aid level duties sufficient to resolve a variety of soils related problems.
  • Knowledge of basic principles of soils sufficient to evaluate data collected for accuracy, determine causes of variances, and applicability of data to the overall program/project.
  • Ability to safely operate 2 and 4-wheel drive vehicles and ATVs.
  • Knowledge of computer capabilities sufficient to produce reports with graphics, produce simple maps, develop spreadsheets, and enter, retrieve and manipulate data.
  • Ability to read maps and use GPS equipment to determine and record locations. Ability to use common hand tools.
  • Ability to operate equipment to check soil attributes and location.

Factor 2 – Supervisory Controls 

  • Supervisor or other employee makes continuing assignments by initially indicating, orally or through written instructions, such criteria as the amount of work expected, general explanation of what is to be done, advice on the location of reference material or work samples, and the nature of the limits applicable to the assignments. Additional specific instructions are provided for new, more difficult, or unusual assignments.
  • Is expected to independently accomplish work within established procedures and make minor deviations when needed. Unfamiliar situations or technical deviation from established practices are referred to others for resolution.
  • Repetitive work is reviewed for adherence to instructions, technical accuracy and timeliness. New assignments are given a more thorough review.

Factor 3 – Guidelines 

  • A number of specific guidelines cover the work including Department and BLM manuals, locally developed guidance, regulations, reference materials, past practices, maps, resource plans, and oral instructions.
  • The incumbent must use judgment in selecting the most appropriate guidance for the particular assignment and determining when minor deviations are appropriate. Situations requiring significant deviations or when guidelines are not appropriate, are referred to others for resolution.

Factor 4 – Complexity 

  • The work consists of performing a variety of standardized tasks in support of soil programs.
  • Assignments generally require the incumbent to make some choices on how to accomplish the work because of varying conditions. Incumbent is expected to identify appropriate procedures based on the circumstances and to recognize when established procedures are not appropriate.
  • The incumbent deals with factual information which may not be complete or accurate. Incumbent must obtain additional information to complete forms and reports and to correct discrepancies.

Factor 5 – Scope and Effect

  • The purpose of the work is to apply specific guidance to accomplishment a variety of duties, portions of projects, or complete assignments of limited scope.
  • Work products affect the accuracy, reliability, or acceptability of work accomplished by others using data collected by the incumbent.

Factor 6 – Personal Contacts & Factor 7 – Purpose of Contacts 

  • Contacts are with co-workers in the immediate organization, other agency employees, and land owners.
  • Purpose of contacts is to exchange factual information and receive instructions.

Factor 8 – Physical Demands 

  • Work requires some physical exertion such as bending and walking in terrain that is rough, rocky, mountainous and densely vegetated. Required to lift and carry equipment necessary to efficiently perform the work of the position, and to provide for personal comfort and safety. This can include tools, personal protective equipment, food and water for extended periods of work away from vehicles.

Factor 9 – Work Environment 

  • Office work is performed in an adequately lighted, ventilated, cooled and heated area. During fieldwork is subject to cuts and bruises, extreme and adverse weather conditions, and injuries and discomforts from pests and animals. Employee will adhere to all safety rules.

Start and End Dates: Work would begin at the end of April or beginning of May and end at the end of the 1039 appointment (if they graduated) or whenever they go back to school. 

How to apply: Applicants that are interested in the work should email a copy of their DD-214 and their resume and they’re hired.