Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Air Conditioning Equipment Mechanic in Northampton, Massachusetts

Job Overview

Job Overview

Vacancy Identification Number (VIN): 1983723

OUR MISSION: To fulfill President Lincoln's promise – "To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan" – by serving and honoring the men and women who are America's Veterans. How would you like to become a part of a team providing compassionate care to Veterans?

You Can Make a Difference

The Medical Center serves over 25,000 patients at its main campus and six community based outpatient clinics in Central and Western Massachusetts. Core missions are primary care, mental health inpatient and outpatient care, and extended care. The Medical Center is engaging employees in a 'Culture of Improvement', utilizing a variety of Process Improvement techniques to improve efficiency of clinical operational functions to the benefit of veterans and staff.

Special Employment Consideration: VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply, including those eligible for hiring under 5 CFR 213.3102(u), Schedule A, Appointment of persons with disabilities[i.e., intellectual disabilities, severe physical disabilities, or psychiatric disabilities], and/or Disabled veterans with a compensable service-connected disability of 30% or more. Contact the Agency Contact on the last page of the JOA for information on how to apply under this appointment authority via the Selective Placement Coordinator.

For more information on the "Who may apply" eligibility requirements, please refer to the OHRM Status Candidates and Other Candidate Definitions document.

This position does not require the filling of a Financial Disclosure Statement upon entering the position and annually thereafter.


This position is located in the Facilities Management Service, Maintenance and Operations Section of the VA Medical Center, Northampton, MA. The Air Conditioning Equipment Mechanic (ACEM) will perform a wide range of work involving installing and recognizing the cause of faulty refrigeration and air conditioning equipment and making repairs on large systems that provide for a variety of air conditioning functions such as heating, cooling, humidifying, dehumidifying, cleaning, filtering, and circulating. Major duties and responsibilities include:

  • Calculates airflow and the pressure-temperature characteristics for different systems; locates and repairs faulty equipment swiftly in order to reduce inoperative time to a minimum; locates trouble before dismantling, and makes repairs which insure proper functioning after assembly.

  • Performs complex repairs such as installing and fitting connecting rods, crank shafts, piston rings, bearings, and bushings; overhauling valves by adjusting or replacing gaskets, springs, floats, diaphragms, valve fittings, seals, and couplings; and aligning motors and flywheel drives.

  • Checks out the refrigeration cycle of a variety of commercial and industrial systems to locate and check elements such as those that control low side and high side pressure; the temperature of the cooling units; the temperatures of the liquid and suction lines; and the running time of the various mechanisms. Examines equipment components visually and audibly for the probability of leaks; and performs prescribed test procedures, and explores probable reasons for equipment failure.

  • Identifies faulty equipment causes and makes repairs on large systems that provide for a variety of air conditioning functions such as heating, cooling, humidifying, dehumidifying, cleaning, filtering, and circulating. These systems use a variety of methods of air conditioning such as mechanical compression, vapor compression, absorption and steam jet or air cycle.

  • Performs other duties assigned.

Work Schedule: Monday-Friday, 7:00 am to 3:30 pm

Position Description Title/PD#: 631-00469-A, A/C Equipment Mechanic

Supervisory Status


Promotion Potential


Travel Required
  • Occasional Travel
  • Travel to the Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOC) in Greenfield, Springfield, Pittsfield, Fitchburg and Worcester, MA
Relocation Authorized
  • No
Who May Apply
This job is open to…

Status Candidates (Merit Promotion and VEOA Eligibles)

Questions? This job is open to 2 groups.

Job Requirements

Job Requirements
Key Requirements
  • You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this job.
  • Subject to a background/suitability investigation.
  • Designated and/or random drug testing may be required.
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.

QUALIFICATIONS: You must be able to do the work of an Air Conditioning Equipment Mechanic that includes performing the full range of air conditioning and refrigeration equipment repair. Knowledgeable in the principles and theories of air conditioning, refrigeration and heat transfer and able to use appropriate refrigeration charts and tables. Ability to select, maintain and safely use the tools, measuring equipment, testing devices and instruments required at the journeyman level; repair, replace and install, different types of motors and controls; capable of checking, testing and adjusting tasks; able to read from blue prints and diagrams when performing tasks; knowledgeable in computer operated environment control systems.

(Applicants wishing to receive credit for such experience must indicate clearly the nature of their duties and responsibilities in each position and the number of hours a week spent in such employment.)

CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENT: The position requires a current Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved Universal Certification. This is in accordance with Section 608 of the Clean Air Act. (NOTE: You will be required to provide a copy of the certification if referred for interview.)

EXPERIENCE: A specific length of training and experience is not required, but you must show evidence of training or experience of sufficient scope and quality of your ability to do the work of this position. Evidence which demonstrates you possess the knowledge, skills, and ability to perform the duties of this position must be supported by detailed descriptions of such on your resume or OF-612. Applicants will be rated in accordance with the OPM Qualification Standard Handbook X-118C ( ).

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religions; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

SCREEN-OUT ELEMENT: Your qualifications will first be evaluated against the prescribed screen out element, which usually appears as question 1 in the on-line questionnaire. Those applicants who appear to possess at least the minimal acceptable qualification requirement are considered for further rating; those who do not are rated ineligible and are eliminated. The potential eligibles are then rated against the remainder of the questions. The screen-out element for this position is Ability to do the job of a Air Conditioning Equipment Mechanic without more than normal supervision.

JOB ELEMENTS: Those who meet the minimum level of experience and training for the screen-out element will then be evaluated in each of the following job elements:

  1. Equipment Assembly, Installation, Repair

  2. Interpret Instructions, Specifications (includes blueprint reading)

  3. Technical Practices

  4. Troubleshooting

  5. Use and Maintain Tools and Equipment

Physical Effort: The work requires carrying of equipment, tools and testing devices that seldom weigh over 50 pounds. Most of the equipment can be reached from the floor or from ladders. Occasionally, platforms and scaffolding are needed to reach parts of the systems such as fans, electrical and water lines and duct work. The incumbent is required to stoop, stretch, bend, kneel and work in tiring and uncomfortable positions.

Working Conditions: Most of the work is usually performed inside, but the incumbent is frequently subject to sudden temperature changes when working on equipment such as walk-in freezer units. S/he is occasionally subjected to cuts, burns, electrical shocks, and respiratory ailments; and exposed to repeated, prolonged or concentrated amounts of refrigerant gases that may cause toxic effects on eyes, skin, and internal organs. There are frequent requirements to work outside, on top of tall buildings, in drafty attic spaces and in cramped areas with low overheads.

Emotional Demands: Many emotional demands are made upon an employee of a psychiatric hospital. The employee will be required to maintain composure and a calm demeanor at all times. Employees will exhibit an unbiased and non-judgmental attitude in working, with patients/ residents/ families and significant others as well as with interdisciplinary staff.

Security Clearance

Public Trust - Background Investigation

Additional Information

Additional Information
What To Expect Next

After we receive application packages (including all required documents) and the vacancy announcement closes, we will review applications to ensure qualification and eligibility requirements are met. During our review, if your résumé and application package do not support your questionnaire answers, we will adjust your rating accordingly. After the review is complete, a referral certificate(s) is issued and applicants will be notified of their status by email (if provided); otherwise, applicants will receive a notification letter via the U.S. Postal Service. Referred applicants will be notified as such and may be contacted directly by the hiring office for an interview. All referred applicants receive a final notification once a selection decision has been made.

You may also check the status of your application at any time by logging onto your USAJobs account and clicking on "Application Status." For a more detailed update of your status, click on "more information." Information regarding applicant notification points can be found in the USAJobs Resource Center.


VA offers a comprehensive benefits package. This link provides an overview of the benefits currently offered:

Telework is not authorized for this position.

Other Information

The Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) and Career Transition Assistance Plan CTAP) provide eligible displaced Federal competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. To be qualified you must submit appropriate documentation and be found well-qualified (have a final rating of 85 or more before any Veterans preference points) for this vacancy. Information about ICTAP and CTAP eligibility is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website.

Receiving Service Credit for Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave : Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employees credit for their job-related active duty uniformed military service. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave.

It is the policy of the VA to not deny employment to those that have faced financial hardships or periods of unemployment.

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

This job originated on For the full announcement and to apply, visit Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at will be considered.

Open & closing dates: 2017-07-17 to 2017-08-01

Salary: $22.51 to $26.34 / per hour

Pay scale & grade: WG 10

Series: 5306 Air Conditioning Equipment Mechanic

Appointment type: Permanent

Work schedule: Full Time

Job announcement number: TK-17-ZKR-1983723-BU

Control number: 474582600