Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Daily Pump Trap: 8/6/13 edition

Good morning! Between August 1 and August 5, there were 77 new positions posted on the C&EN Jobs website. Of these, 8 (10%) are academically connected and 50 (65%) are from Kelly Scientific Resources.

West Lafayette, IN: BASi is hiring for 4 analytical chemistry positions, including a senior scientist/team leader position (M.S./Ph.D., 5+ years experienced desired.)

Florence, KY: Aristech Acrylics is looking for a senior development chemist; Ph.D., 3+ years experience in the plastics industry desired.

College Park, MD: FDA is hiring chemists for regulatory review; analytical and polymer chemists desired. 62-115k/yr -- nice!

Detroit, MI: Fairmount Minerals is looking for a development chemist for resins; B.S., 5+ years experience in industry desired. 


  1. The devil is in the details with GOV jobs. No one will be hired and given a $115k salary starting off. That is the pay a GS-13 Step 10 receives and to reach Step 10 requires being in the position for 20 years, assuming no merit step bonuses.

    So for the truth in advertising, this is a GS-11 position with potential to be promoted to GS-13, eventually. Starting salary for GS-11 is the lower, $62k. Assuming satisfactory performance, a person could reach GS-13 Step 1 in two years which pays around $88k.

  2. The same FDA job was posted exactly two years ago on the ACS board, in association with the National ACS meeting in Denver. Back then, it was posted as a permanent GS12 job. One year ago, it appeared again, now as a fellowship position with limited benefits, and definitely temporary. This new announcement seems to have it both ways - it gives a salary range that is for a permanent position, but most of the announcement describes the temporary fellowship position.
    A year and a half ago, I got as far as a phone interview with the supervisory chemist at the FDA who had the opening. It was an interesting experience, to say the least. Perhaps sometime I'll relate the twists and turns the experience took.

  3. Ha. I've been stuck at GS-11 for, oh, five years now. $69k for a Ph.D. scientist.

  4. Hey! At least you get the 6 h of PTO every PP, plus comp/credit time, right? That's worth getting paid half the salary of a chemist working in industry, right? RIGHT?!

    And Congress will eventually get its act together...

    The sequester will end...

    Woah, must have fell asleep and started dreaming for a moment there...

    Hang in there! And apply for every 12+ opening that looks good to you. You might also keep in mind that you can FOIA the application of every position filled and see how your application stacked up against the person selected. If someone less qualified was selected, contact the OSC and file a complaint. You can do all of these things completely anon. Perhaps you already knew of these things.

    I've been with the GOV 2.5 years. I had been stuck at 11, but just got picked up for a 12/13 opening with a different agency. I FOIA'ed several selectee applications and found most of the time there was an internal promotion or similar shady close tie to a contractor they wanted to hire into the GOV. I put in an OSC complaint for preselection on a postdoc that was brought to the agency he was postdoc'ing for. I scored 95 for the opening and was forwarded to the selecting official and was never contacted for an interview. The opening was in the SAME BUILDING where I was currently working. The complaint came back as baseless, because its okay for an agency to post a position with requirements fitted specifically for someone they want.

    You have to fight hard these days to move up. I hope your chance comes soon, and you're not having to take tons of furlough days.

    1. I refuse to b&tch in public, but I'm done fighting. I've discussed with my supervisor what I need to do, and it basically comes down to "Do GS-12 work for while, and you may get promoted." The emphasis is on "may" due to the sequester and the ridiculous competition at the GS-11 level.

      So I'm looking for a job in the private sector right now. If/when something suitable comes along, I'm gone.

      I wonder how much attrition is going on at the GS-11 level across agencies...especially with Mr. Obama's pay freeze.