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Ground Enterprise Directorate - General Engineer - Senior Level at National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)

Ground Enterprise Directorate - General Engineer - Senior Level

National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) Chantilly, VA (Onsite) Full-Time


For sixty years, the NRO has developed, acquired, launched and operated the satellites that are the foundation for America’s advantage and strength in space. Using a diversified architecture of spacecraft, NRO collects and delivers the best space-based intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance content on the planet.

Learn more at .

Basic Eligibility For A Position With The NRO

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen
  • You must be 18 years of age or older
  • You must be able to obtain and maintain a TS/SCI security clearance
  • You will be subject to pre-employment and periodic drug testing
  • You will be subject to pre-employment and periodic polygraph examinations

Federal Employee Vaccination Requirement 

To ensure compliance with nationwide COVID-19 vaccine protocols, please visit to review the latest guidance.

Where You Will Work 

The NRO Cadre is collecting resumes for consideration against current opportunities for Engineers (occupational series 0801 in the Ground Enterprise Directorate (GED).  GED is the single National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) entity that acquires and enhancesinnovate develop,software to solve the most challenging intelligence problems while identifying and defining the future ground architecture.  We use automation, data analytics and software tools to turn raw mission data into actionable intelligence by delivering capabilities that optimize

As part of the GED team, you will…

… be empowereddirect mission impact

… have global

… have the ability to do hands-oncutting-edge technology and software

… have the ability to work with all NRO acquisitions and systems

… work in a truly dynamicrewarding

… join a team of innovators, enablers, processors, and collaborators

… gain invaluable experience

The NRO Cadre is collecting resumes for consideration against current and future opportunities for full performance level (GG-14/GG-15), General Engineer, occupational series 0801. 

Your resume may be considered for other positions which your skills and experience may be a good match.

This is a full-time position that is a continuous announcement.

Who May Apply

  • This position is open to the public and requires U.S. Citizenship plus the ability to hold a Top Secret Security Clearance.
  • Federal government employees MUST currently be at the grade level or higher as indicated in this announcement.
  • Federal applicants who exceed the advertised grade may voluntarily request acceptance at the lower grade per IAW DoD 1400.25 Volume 2006.
  • The NRO is only accepting external applicants for this job announcement.  Current NRO Cadre or IC employees should apply internally or via the Joint Duty Assignment process.

What You Will Be Doing 

  • Influence and lead acquisitions, to ensure both requirements and designs address operational needs via requirements reviews, increment planning sessions, design reviews, increment demonstrations, etc.  Lead activities with functional specialists, including contracting, engineering, manufacturing program control, configuration/data management, test, and logistics and operations support.
  • Manage cost, schedule, and performance of complex contracts to develop, deliver, and sustain overhead reconnaissance systems, including spacecraft hardware, ground and communication components, and mission software applications.
  • Ensure the end-to-end operational readiness of new satellite missions, to include successful delivery of all ground systems; completion of systems test and operational exercises; development of initial and final operational capability criteria with stakeholders; and assessment of ability to support launch, initialization, and operations.
  • Apply Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Machine Learning (ML) techniques to optimize overhead collection, operations and data usability.
  • Collaborate with operational stakeholders both internal and external to the NRO, to include acquisition offices and mission partners in support of mission operations.
  • Manage technical issues and risks to minimize impacts to ensure mission success while minimizing operational impacts.
  • Apply modern software development and systems engineering principles, techniques, services, and practices at the appropriate level of the architecture to ensure a disciplined approach to meeting intelligence needs with NRO systems.
  • Investigate and make recommendations to improve mission operations, in areas, such as efficiency, availability, resiliency, and operability.  Ensure completion of milestone readiness criteria and coordination with decision authorities to bring new satellite missions and ground capabilities into operations.
  • Opportunity to identify and work on innovative technology solutions and approaches with real time impact to the existing Ground Segments.
  • Works closely and substantially with program Contracting Officer's Technical Representatives (COTRs) and prime contractors to provide leadership and ensure program objectives are achieved within stringent cost, schedule, and technical performance requirements.
  • Provides authoritative recommendations, briefings, and other formal and informal feedback and status to NRO management on all aspects of program status, contractor technical performance and for all significant decision points.
  • Plans, organizes, and coordinates activities with functional specialists, including contracting, engineering, manufacturing, program controls, configuration/data management, test, logistics and operations support.
  • Continually studies, reviews and evaluates program progress.

Qualifying experience may have been acquired in any public or private sector job, but will clearly demonstrate past experience in the application of the particular competencies/knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to successfully perform and is typically in or directly related to the duties of the position as described above.  Experience must be reflected in your resume.

What You Need

  • The General Engineer position requires minimum education of a Bachelor’s degree. STEM degrees (e.g., engineering technology, physics, chemistry, computer science, mathematics,) are preferred, however a Bachelor's degree in a technical field, with a combination of technical coursework, licenses, training, and applicable work experience may be considered.

While we are always pursuing candidates across a breadth of technical backgrounds, our current hiring priority is for the following degrees and experience.

  • Aerospace or Astronautical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Electronics or Computer Engineering
  • Software Engineering (including AGILE development)
  • Systems Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Physics
  • Applied Mathematics (including operations research)
  • Computer Science (including AI/ML)
  • If appointed as a Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative (COTR), employee must attend the NRO Acquisition COTR training in NI 40-1-1. If appointed as a Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative (COTR), employee must attend the NRO Acquisition COTR training in NI 40-1-1.

Other Information

  • Overtime Statement:  MAY be required to work other than normal duty hours, which may include evenings, weekends, and/or holidays.
  • Travel Statement:  MAY be required to travel in military or commercial aircraft to perform temporary duty assignments.
  • Financial Disclosure:  MAY be required to file an OGE Form 450, Confidential Financial Disclosure Report, upon appointment and will be required to file annually.
  • Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) coded positions: If selected for a DAWIA coded position, the incumbent must meet appropriate certification requirements IAW the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) no later than 24 months after accepting this position. Individual shall maintain, at a minimum 80 continuous Learning Points every 24 months via the services acquisition management system. DAWIA requirements may be located at the .
  • Geographic Mobility Agreement: MAY be subject to directed reassignment as required to address mission effectiveness, and/or career development.
  • Information Assurance (IA): Must achieve the appropriate IA certification within six months of assignment.
  • Emergency Essential: Certain positions MAY be deemed emergency essential and incumbents must be willing to meet all position requirements.


Chantilly, VA

Telework is not available and you must be able to work at the specified location(s).


2023 salary range for the Washington, DC area:

   GG-14 $132,368- $172,075

   GG-15 $155,700- 183,500

**This position is a senior level DCIPS position. The NRO is accepting applications from U.S. Citizens and current federal government employees for this position. To qualify for the position, federal government employees MUST currently be at the GG-14 or GG-15 grade level and may ONLY apply for a lateral reassignment at their current grade level and step.

Hiring Incentives

The NRO may offer hiring incentives and other entitlements at management’s discretion.

Trial Period

All new will be required to serve a 2-year trial period.

Veterans’ Preference

DoD Components with DCIPS positions apply Veterans’ Preference to preference eligible candidates as defined by Section 2108 of Title 5 USC, in accordance with the procedures provided in DoD Instruction 1400.25, Vol 2005, DCIPS Employment and Placement.  If you are a veteran claiming veterans’ preference, as defined by section 2108 of Title 5 USC, you must submit documents verifying your eligibility upon request.

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.

Reasonable Accommodation Policy

Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.

Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:

  • An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.

You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis. Please send your request to .

Privacy Act Notice

Privacy Act Notice (PL 93-579): We use this information to determine qualifications for employment. This is authorized under Title 5 U.S.C. 3302 and 3361.

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