How to Become a CBP Contract Specialist

Candidates for CBP Contract Specialist jobs must also meet the following basic requirements:

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Pass a security background check
  • Pass a drug test
  • Register with Selective Service

Educational Requirements for CBP Contract Specialist Jobs

The minimum educational requirement to become a CBP Contract Specialist is a bachelor’s degree or at least 24 semester hours of coursework in any combination of the following concentrations:

  • Accounting
  • Contracts
  • Law
  • Finance
  • Business
  • Purchasing
  • Economics
  • Marketing
  • Quantitative methods
  • Industrial Management
  • Organization
  • Management

The academic background of the candidate should include knowledge of the following topics:

  • Development of procurement plans
  • Quotations requests
  • Solicitations
  • Contract awards
  • Management of contracts
  • Cost analysis
  • Comparative analysis of proposals
  • Negotiation strategies
  • Cost negotiation
  • Federal contract laws and regulations

Those candidates who obtain a master’s degree may experience greater ease in acquiring a job, entering at a higher pay level, or advancing through pay grade levels.  Contract specialists may enter the agency at the Grade Scale 9 level or the Grade Scale 11 level.  GS-9 candidates should possess one year of specialized experience within a procurement and contracting field that is pertinent to the position.  For example, this may include requisitions, purchase descriptions, or solicitation documents.  GS-11 candidates should also have at least one year of experience within a specialized area of procurement that is related to the job position.  GS-11 candidates should possess more advanced knowledge of contracting and developmental assignments.

What to Submit When Applying for CBP Contract Specialist Jobs

Candidates should submit an application package including

  • Resume
  • Occupational questionnaire—This form will assess skills and knowledge of acquisition regulations including the Federal Acquisition Regulation, contracting, analytical techniques for evaluating proposals and negotiating contracts.
  • College transcripts
  • SF-50 form if previously employed by the federal government
  • Proof of eligibility.
  • Following a review by the Department of Homeland Security, successful applicants will be contacted within 90 days to schedule an interview.

Professional Certifications

Some positions within the procurement division of the CBP may require that candidates possess one or more of the following certifications

  • Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act ( DAWIA) – This certification is available at the Basic or Entry, Intermediate or Journeyman, or Advanced or Senior levels and allows specialization in one of the following areas
    • Business, Cost Estimations, and Financial Management
    •  Auditing
    • Contracting
    • Facilities Engineering
    • Information Technology
    • Industrial/Contract Property Management
    •  Life Cycle Logistics
    • Program Management
    • Purchasing
    • Production, Quality and Manufacturing
    • Program Systems Engineering
    • Science and Technology Manager
    • Systems Engineering
    • Test and Evaluation
  • Federal Acquisition Certification-Contracting (FAC-C) – This certification is available at the I, II, or III level.
    • A course in Department of Defense Acquisition must be completed.  Ongoing training must continue and be reviewed every two years to maintain this credential.

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