Hiring Freeze Exceptions: New Cabinet Secretaries Will Be Looking to Hire in the Coming Months

Yes, there is a federal hiring freeze in effect. But there are significant exceptions to the freeze.

And as President Trump’s cabinet heads take office, most of them will be pushing to resume hiring so that they can keep the trains running as many of their employees move to the private sector or retire. Here’s a sampling of job vacancies posted on USAJOBS.gov by eight critical cabinet departments right now.

State Department

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, former Exxon Mobil CEO, will be hiring to replace a slew of appointees, retirees and others who leave the department, which is experiencing a rocky transition. Current vacancies likely to be filled will range from Foreign Service Security Engineering Office in various domestic and overseas locations, paying $69,271; to Compliance Specialists in Washington, D.C. at $66,510 to $123,234.


    With President Trump promising a military buildup, retired general James Mattis is like to be one of the few cabinet secretaries likely to increase his department’s headcount substantially. Among the more than 1,000 open positions posted in early February: Contract Specialists in various overseas locations, paying $42,823 to $133,444; and Education Research Analyst in Peachtree City, Georgia, $90,023 to $117,028.


    Ten days into his administration, the new president was already on his second acting attorney general and still pushing for his nominee Senator Jeff Sessions. But the DOJ is already looking for a Deputy Director for Intellectual Property in the Commercial Litigation Branch in Washington, D.C., at a salary of $124,406 to $187,000; and a Medical Records Technician in Atwater, California, at $42,715 to $58,319.

Homeland Security

    Border patrol hiring is making the news, but Homeland Security head John Kelly, a retired Marine general, will be bringing on a wide array of specialists to the department’s staff of about 240,000. The department, with diverse operations in every state of the union, recently posted a vacancy for a financial specialist in Las Vegas, paying $44,483 to $89,741; and many openings for Transportation Security Officers with salaries up to $52,286.


    Steven Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs executive, initially failed to disclose $95 million in assets as he was vetted for Treasury Secretary. But he and his staff are still looking for a Senior Special Agent Criminal Investigator, at $100,246 to $130,325, in its San Francisco office. Also posted: IRS clerk in the Kansas City office, paying $12.59 to $16.37 per hour.


    Andrew Puzder, a fast-food executive considered by many to be an unlikely choice for Labor Secretary given his record of fighting worker protections, will be hiring for the department nonetheless. Currently posted: Mine Safety and Health Inspectors in coal-mining states, paying $40,033 to $78,589; and Research Economist in Washington, D.C., at $79,720 to $123,234.


    As Commerce Secretary, multibillionaire Wilbur Ross will be charged with trashing or renegotiating trade agreements that candidate Trump so frequently railed against. That work will require a lot of economists, legal beagles and number crunchers, especially as many who served in President Obama’s Commerce Department head for greener pastures in the private sector. Commerce is looking for Survey Statisticians and Geographers to be based in the D.C. area, at $92,145 to $119,794.


    Ryan Zinke, a U.S. Representative from Montana, will have a lot of policy to make when it comes to the place where energy, environment and public lands meet. In the meantime, the Department of Interior is looking for folks to fight forest fires (Forestry Technicians, paying $28,886 to $37,551 in Fort Defiance, Arizona) and to combat drug trafficking (Supervisory Criminal Investigator in Phoenix, $104,503 to $135,855).

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Posted in Blog, Federal Hiring Freeze Exemption, Federal Job Search, Federal Resume Writing, USAJOBS, Veteran Federal Jobs

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