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We’re Hiring: Director of the Laboratory and Analytical Services Division

USGS hiring for LASD Director 2022

Date Posted March 24, 2022 Last Updated July 19, 2023
Author Gary Rowe (he/him)
Reading Time 5 minutes Share
A banner announcing that the USGS Water Mission Area is hiring for the Director of the Laboratory and Analytical Services Division. Apply online at Accepting Applications March 28th-April 15th.

The U.S. Geological Survey’s Water Mission Area (WMA) is looking to hire an outstanding leader and manager to serve as the Director of the WMA’s Laboratory and Analytical Services Division (LASD). We are committed to inclusive hiring practices that build a healthy workplace where diversity is a strength, and everyone has the support they need to succeed. We encourage applicants who are BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, have a disability, or are of any marginalized identity.

Apply online at USAJobs, where the position will be open for submission of applications from Monday, March 28 to Friday, April 15, 2022. This job will close when we have received 75 applications, which may be sooner than the closing date.

USAjobs announcement:

About the position

The LASD Director is responsible for overseeing all WMA-supported laboratories that conduct chemical analyses of water, sediment, and tissue samples collected by USGS Water Science Centers and our partners. We are looking for an experienced and dynamic individual with strong technical, communication, and management skills who will be tasked with overseeing the development and implementation of next generation analytical methods on an array of existing and emerging contaminants while also fostering collaborative research into new water-quality monitoring technologies such as eDNA, in-situ sensors, and remote-sensing technologies.

Other LASD Director duties include developing strategic plans for new and cost efficient services, methods, techniques and/or programs; serving as senior scientist responsible for oversight and leadership of scientific and technical guidance and policy; coordinating enterprise quality assurance/quality control practices to assure data quality and integrity; ensuring consistent, effective transition of research methods into production; establishing and maintaining contact with senior officials and technical leaders as well as non-Federal entities; and ensuring that all WMA laboratories are operated and maintained in a safe and responsible manner by complying with all relevant regulations and ordinances.

The position is a GS-15 supervisory chemist with an annual salary of $144,612 (Step 01) to $176,300 (Step 10). The position will be in Lakewood, Colorado; some relocation expenses will be provided.

About the LASD

The LASD currently employs about 110 employees and 30 contractors, has a total budget of approximately $28M annually, and consists of 20 laboratories that range from large fee-for-service laboratories to smaller specialty labs that support WMA research on hydrologic, water-quality, and ecologic processes. The LASD is comprised of four Branches: Strategic Laboratory Science Division (SLSB), Quality Systems Branch (QSB), Projects Laboratory Branch (PLB), and the National Water Quality Laboratory (NWQL). The NWQL is located on the Denver Federal Center in Lakewood, Colorado.

The NWQL is the WMA’s flagship laboratory: it analyzes tens of thousands of water, sediment, and tissue samples annually. These samples are analyzed for hundreds of chemical constituents and physical properties and approximately 2 million individual analytical results are produced each year. These results are used by USGS scientists, partners, and stakeholders to evaluate the quality of the Nation’s water resources, their suitability for use as drinking-water supplies, to assess the health of aquatic ecosystems, and study the impacts of human activities and climate change on water quality temporally and spatially.


Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions you have, we are here to help! Contact the hiring manager, Gary Rowe (he/him), at

Additional Information

Calculating the value of the job

General Schedule Grades – The pay and responsibilities of these Federal jobs are defined by general schedule (GS) Grades, which are roughly equivalent to the levels concept used elsewhere. The position will be advertised at GS-15.

Pay – The annual salary of the position ranges from $144,612 (Step 01) to $176,300 (Step 10). The “steps” are intermediate performance-based pay increases. Typically, new hires into the federal government start at “Step 1”.

Benefits – These positions include health and life insurance, 5% retirement match, 11 federal holidays, 13 sick days + 13 vacation days per year, paid parental leave, and accrual of federal service to count towards a pension (typically an additive 1% of the average of your highest 3 years of salary for each year of service). See USGS human resources pay and benefits page here for more details.

Intangibles - If the mission of public service towards advancing water-resource monitoring, assessment, modeling, and research resonates with you, there will be no shortage of energy and motivation available when working with great colleagues on these challenges. Likewise, a flexible schedule and emphasis on work life balance are important components to work at the USGS.

Applying for the job

Creating a USA Jobs account - This position will be posted and filled using a public vacancy announcement on If you are remotely interested in applying to any of the positions mentioned here or elsewhere, get ahead by creating an account as soon as you can. Having an active account will allow you to set up job filters and get a jump start on getting your application materials together.

Qualifying for GS grades - We recognize that individuals from a wide range of backgrounds and different experiences will be able to excel at this job. That said, federal pay grades have requirements that applicants must meet for the system to pass you on to the pool that we can then review. We CAN’T STRESS THIS ENOUGH: see USGS tips for combining education and experience and spell out how you meet the grade and Chemist job series qualifications.

Materials – You’ll need a resume and educational transcripts (unofficial are OK). Again, to make sure HR can see that you’re qualified, make sure your resume explicitly ties your experience to each of the qualifications listed for the position.

Application Window – The application window will be open on USAJobs from Monday March 28th to Friday April 15th. This vacancy is limited to the first 75 applications received and will close at midnight Eastern Time (ET) on the day this application limit is reached regardless of the closing date specified in this announcement.

Common Questions

Q: Is this open to non-U.S. citizens?

A: You must be a U.S. citizen or national (residents of American Samoa and Swains Island) to work for the Federal Government, but there are some exceptions. More information here:

Q: Should I use my CV/resume or the USAjobs template?

A: Either is fine. Whichever format you choose, we recommend taking time to explicitly spell out how your experience meets the qualification requirements for the job seriesand GS level.

USGS tips on combining education and experience

Job series qualifications for Chemist (job series 1320)


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