CAREERS

'THINK BIG, THINK FUTURE, THINK SEMPER CITIUS'

By fiscal year 2023, SDA will have 110 civilians and service members from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Space Force. Space Development Agency personnel are directly responsible for orchestrating the Department’s National Defense Space Architecture and accelerating the development and fielding of new military space capabilities necessary to ensure U.S technological and military advantage in space for national defense.

As a new Defense Agency, SDA is assembling a diverse set of expert talent focused on creating and delivering capabilities to the warfighter. We’re looking for individuals with background experience and education in career fields such as engineers, program managers, operations research analysts, cyber security / information technology specialists and other support positions. SDA has offices in the National Capitol Region (Pentagon and Chantilly, VA); Los Angeles, CA; Huntsville, AL; Colorado Springs, CO; and Melbourne, FL.

SDA is seeking team members who are focused on and value on-time delivery. Check out the SDA website to understand what the agency motto “Semper Citius” conveys in terms of our expectations of staff. We are committed to delivering relevant capabilities into the hands of the warfighter as soon as possible. #TeamSDA is lean and agile and modeled on commercial spiral development to field technology incrementally.

INTERESTED IN JOINING THE SPACE DEVELOPMENT AGENCY TEAM?

You may learn more about our current job opportunities by clicking the USAJobs button below and searching 'Space Development Agency'.

Follow SDA on LinkedIn where we promote current job listings. You may also submit your resume directly to us here.

Below are a few of the career fields we are currently seeking:

Program Management:
• Manages schedule, cost and, technical performance of major contracts and/or programs to develop, deliver, and sustain systems including spacecraft hardware, ground and communication components, and mission software applications.
• Performs programmatic assessment of complex space systems and architectures. Plans, organizes, directs, and coordinates significant and complex projects which represent critical segments of major operating programs and which entail a variety of complicating factors, interaction with other engineering specializations, and consideration of the life-cycle of items/systems.

Engineering / Technical
• Provides technical expertise in support of operations, launch, and other SDA missions.
• Performs multidisciplinary engineering work involving the application of electronics, mechanical, aerospace, and/or other engineering disciplines to determine the business and technical needs of customers in the acquisition, development, or sustainment of space systems, sub-systems, support systems, equipment items, or an equivalent product.
• Promotes interchange of information on requirements, capabilities, deficiencies, and technology applications of specialization.

DOD CIVILIAN ACQUISITION WORKFORCE PERSONNEL DEMONSTRATION PROJECT (ACQDEMO)

The Department of Defense (DoD) AcqDemo is a human resource management system that transforms civilian personnel management policies and procedures to better support DoD’s acquisition mission. Specifically, AcqDemo aims to provide a system that retains, recognizes, and rewards employees for their contributions, and supports their personal and professional development. Most SDA civilian positions fall under the AcqDemo management system.

In AcqDemo, professions are organized into four broadband salary groups (I through IV), not General Schedule (GS) Grades or Steps. Instead, our flexible and responsive personnel management system offers employees the opportunity to grow within their positions, in salary and in responsibility.

AcqDemo provides several advantages:

• Offers potential for faster advancement than the standard federal promotion process
• Grants supervisors the flexibility to adequately compensate (salaries and awards) employees
• Links employee work assignments to the organization's mission
• Expands training and development opportunities across a variety of platforms

AcqDemo promotes a culture where the contributions of SDA civilian employees are recognized and rewarded. Minimum and maximum pay ranges are created throughout the broadband levels. AcqDemo uses the salary ranges from the banded GS grades. For example, the entry-level pay rate of any given broadband level is that of the lowest GS grade (Step One), and so forth. Likewise, pay ranges adjust periodically with natural overlap in the GS Grade salaries generally occurring in January of each year.

For more details about AcqDemo, visit: http://acqdemo.hci.mil/.

BENEFITS

Job-related benefits at the SDA go beyond a competitive salary. You will work in an environment that supports a healthy balance between career and leisure time.

Additionally, the Department of Defense offers excellent benefits programs, some of which may include:

• Competitive salaries
• Vacation and sick leave, 10 paid federal holidays
• Flexible work environment and alternative work schedule
• Paid employment-related training and education
• Possible student loan repayment
• Bonuses, incentives, and awards as appropriate for your position
• Flexible Spending Accounts – Health Care (HCFSA) and Dependent Care (DCFSA)
• Comprehensive health benefits (FEHB)
• Life insurance (FEGLI)
• Generous defined retirement program (FERS)
• Long-Term Care (FLTCIP)
• Possible paid Relocation/Permanent Change of Station (PCS)
• Possible paid Recruitment/ Retention Incentive, to include Creditable Service for Annual Leave Accrual for Non-Federal Work Experience and Experience in the Uniformed Services
• 401K style investment plan with matching employer contributions (TSP)

Health Insurance: The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program allows employees to choose among several types of health insurance plans. The FEHB program consists of over 100 statewide/nationwide health plans. Each plan provides comprehensive coverage for employees, their spouses and their children under age 26. These include Preferred Provider Organizations/Fee for Service, Health Maintenance Organizations, and High Deductible plans. Enrollment in a health plan is voluntary and is paid for by contributions from you and the federal government, whereby the government pays approximately 72% of the entire premium. The FEHB does not place limitations on enrollment due to pre-existing conditions. Eligible employees have 60 days from their entry on duty date to enroll in FEHB. For additional information, visit http://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/healthcare.

Dental and Vision Program: The Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) allows dental and vision insurance to be purchased on a group basis, which means competitive premiums and no pre-existing condition limitations. Enrollees pay 100 percent of the premiums. New federal employees are eligible to enroll in FEDVIP if eligible for Federal Employees Health Benefits. Eligible employees have 60 days from their entry on duty date to enroll in FEDVIP. For additional information, visit the enrollment site at http://www.benefeds.com/.

Long Term Care: Cadre employees may enroll in the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP). Long-term care is the assistance received to perform activities of daily living—such as bathing or dressing oneself—or supervision require due to a severe cognitive impairment, such as Alzheimer’s Disease. Enrollment in the FLTCIP is on an individual basis. Eligible federal employees’ spouses, adult children at least 18 years old, parents, parents-in-law, and step-parents are also eligible to apply for coverage, even if employees do not. Employees must be eligible for FEHB and have 60 days from their entry on duty date to apply for coverage using the abbreviated underwriting application. After 60 days, they must apply using the full underwriting application. For additional information, visit the FLTC program at http://www.opm.gov/insure/ltc/.

Life Insurance: The Federal Employee Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) is group term life insurance available for employees. It has no cash value and no loan privileges. However, no medical exams are required, and there is no waiting period. Most federal employees are eligible to enroll in FEGLI and will be automatically enrolled in basic insurance, unless they are excluded by law or regulation. An enrollee may also obtain coverage for eligible family members, including: spouses and unmarried dependent children under age 22. (Note: If a child was/is incapable of self-support on or after age 22 due to a mental or physical disability that existed before the child reached age 22, the child is considered to be eligible for FEGLI coverage.) Eligible employees have 60 days from their entry on duty date to increase coverage, otherwise they may do so during a qualifying life event or with a medical exam. For additional information, visit http://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/life-insurance.

Flexible Spending Account Program: The Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS) allows employees to use pretax dollars to pay for eligible out-of-pocket dependent and health care expenses. The savings on Health Care or Limited Expense Health Care FSAs are usually for items that typically aren’t covered by an employee’s FEHB plan, the Federal Employees Dental, and Vision Insurance Program or other health insurance coverage. The Dependent Care FSA offers savings on costs associated with child-care or elder-care expenses. Enrollment is voluntary and must be completed within 60 days of an employee’s entry on duty date, and before 1 October of the current year. For additional information, visit https://www.fsafeds.com/.

Federal Employees Retirement System: The Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) is a three-tiered retirement plan for federal employees. FERS benefits are portable and allow employees to take an active role in planning their retirement. Two of the three parts of FERS (Social Security and the Thrift Savings Plan) can follow you to your next job if you leave the Federal Government before retirement. The Basic Benefit and Social Security components of FERS require that you pay your cost share each pay period and the government pays its share as well. Following retirement, you will be entitled to receive annuity payments every month for the rest of your life. FERS is composed of the following components:

Basic Benefit Plan: Establishes an annuity amount based upon an employee’s age, years of service, and average highest salary attained over a consecutive 3-year period.
Social Security: Benefit payments made from Social Security Fund at retirement are based on employee’s age, benefit applied for, and earnings history.
Thrift Savings Plan (TSP): The TSP is a tax-deferred retirement savings and investment plan, similar to 401 (k) plans offered by private employers. The TSP part of FERS is an account that is automatically set up for you and FERS employees receive an automatic 1 percent contribution starting immediately after entering duty. The government will then match your contributions dollar for dollar on the first 3 percent and 50 cents on the dollar for the next 2 percent. These contributions are tax-deferred. TSP also accepts rollovers from other 401(k)/qualified retirement plans. For additional information, visit http://www.tsp.gov/.

For additional information regarding the Federal Employees Retirement System, visit https://www.opm.gov/retirement-services/fers-information.

WORK/LIFE BALANCE

The Space Development Agency believes in balancing work with personal obligations. To help achieve this, we offer a range of federal personnel flexibilities and programs that support employees’ physical and emotional well-being. Some examples of these work/life balance programs include:

Telework: The flexibility to balance onsite work with an off-site schedule in various locations on a regular/reoccurring or situational basis, upon approval from your supervisor. SDA does not have any remote positions.

Flexible Hours: Your schedule can include hours outside of the normal 8am – 5 pm workday. Your schedule may also vary from the standard M-F, as either a flexible or maxi-flex schedule, upon approval from your supervisor.

Leave: Each employee receives 10 paid holidays each year and earns 4 hours of sick leave every 2 weeks and, depending on length of service, between 13-26 days of annual leave. Employees may also receive compensatory time when traveling for official business. Employees have the opportunity to donate a portion of their annual leave to another employee during personal emergencies or to take care of family responsibilities.

Annual Leave: Annual leave is an authorized absence with pay from a regularly scheduled workday and may be used for vacations, personal or emergency purposes.
Sick Leave: Sick leave can be used for a variety of purposes including personal illness, medical/dental appointments, care of sick family members including their medical appointments, family bereavement, and child adoption. Unlimited hours of sick leave can be accumulated and carried over to succeeding years.
Family Medical Leave: The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), allows eligible employees to take up to 12 administrative workweeks of leave without pay during any 12-month period. FMLA leave is only charged on scheduled workdays. FMLA may be used during birth or adoption of a child, care for a seriously ill family member or during a serious health condition where the employee is unable to perform assigned duties.
Voluntary Leave Programs: Under the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program, a covered employee may donate annual leave directly to another employee who has a personal or family medical emergency and who has exhausted his or her available paid leave. This program allows employees who experience a medical emergency or a medical emergency of a family member to receive annual leave donations from fellow coworkers.

Wellness Programs: SDA employs a wellness initiative that allows civilian government employees to exercise at their duty location for up to three (3) hours per week as an excused absence from duty - without utilizing their personal leave. The program is designed to allow employees the flexibility they need in order to make physical fitness a part of their life.

Employee Wellness Program: Today’s employees face a growing array of personal issues or problems that can interfere, not only with their quality of life but also with job performance. The SDA Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides confidential individual counseling, financial counseling, workshops, support groups, crisis intervention, and referral services to employees and family members at no cost.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - HIRING AND HUMAN RESOURCES:

Where is SDA?
The SDA Headquarters is located in the Pentagon, Washington, DC. However, a majority of our work will be performed in Chantilly, VA, about 25 miles outside of Washington, DC. We also have sites in Los Angeles, CA; Huntsville, AL; Colorado Springs, CO; and Melbourne, FL.

How can I learn more about positions available?
Please visit USAJobs.gov and search ‘Space Development Agency’. Follow SDA on LinkedIn where we promote current openings. You may also submit your resume directly to SDA, here. Once you submit your resume, you’ll receive an automated response that it was received. Should your experience match an open position, SDA HR will reach out to determine further interest and set up relevant discussions.

What is involved in the application process? How long does it take?
Because SDA positions require security clearances, our hiring process can take a little longer than one might expect. Depending on a candidate’s personal circumstances, such as the frequency of residential and employment moves and overseas travel, the total process may take as little as two months or more than a year. The following steps are part of the SDA hiring process after a candidate is given a tentative offer of employment:
• Background Investigation and Adjudication
• Drug Screen

What are the eligibility requirements to work at the SDA?
All candidates looking to work at SDA must be a citizen of the United States of America, 18 years or older, and be able to obtain, and maintain a Security Clearance. SDA does not assist individuals in applying for US citizenship.

Will I need to get a security clearance?
SDA employees must be able to obtain and maintain a security clearance from the DoD.

If I do not have a degree, will experience count?
The degree requirements depend on the position description. If a degree is required it will be clearly identified in the Job Opportunity Announcement under requirements. If not specified as a requirement, having an undergraduate degree is not mandatory, but may be highly desired. Relevant professional experiences are taken into consideration.

What if I used drugs or still use drugs; will this disqualify me from employment?
To be considered suitable for employment with any government agency, applicants must not have used illegal drugs or misused prescription drugs within the last 12 months. The issue of illegal drug use prior to 12 months ago is carefully evaluated during the medical and security processing. Drug abuse is one of the common reasons applicants are denied a security clearance. Many jobs within the DoD require the applicant to be able to obtain and maintain a security clearance. All SDA jobs also require drug testing for safety or national security reasons.

Is the SDA an Equal Opportunity Employer?
SDA is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, or sexual orientation.

What can I do if I feel I have been discriminated against during the hiring process?
Applicants or employees who believe they have been discriminated against on the basis of race, national origin, color, age (40 and over), religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a parent, disability, genetic information, and/or reprisal for prior participation in the EEO process can raise their concerns through DLA’s EEO Office (571-767-6777). To preserve the full range of your rights under federal law in the Federal EEO Complaint Process, you must contact an EEO counselor within 45 calendar days of the date the alleged discriminatory action(s) occurred, or when you knew or reasonably should have known of the discriminatory action(s). For more information about the Federal EEO Complaint Process, please visit the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.