This position is located in the Administrative Unit of the Smithsonian Exhibits (SIE), Smithsonian Institution. The employee provides comprehensive cost estimating in all phases of exhibition development, design and production, from preliminary cost estimates, final quotes, change orders for scope increases and decreases, progressively detailed cost estimates aligned with design milestones, and consultation on cost-effective value analysis.
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This Exhibits Specialist (Cost Estimating) Trust position has the following Major Duties:

  • Prepares detailed cost estimates for all phases of exhibit design and production of museum exhibitions.
  • Works with project teams throughout the design and production phases to update and maintain progressively detailed cost estimates.
  • Assists in the specification, sourcing and/or purchasing of products, materials, services and/or vendors.
  • Develops and maintains SIE's cost estimating process and tools.

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • Pass Pre-employment Background Investigation
  • Complete a Probationary Period
  • Maintain a Bank Account for Direct Deposit/Electronic Transfer

Qualification requirements must be met within 30 days of the job announcement closing date.


You must meet these Basic Education Requirements:

BASIC QUALIFICATIONS: Possess undergraduate or graduate education: Major study — illustrative design, commercial art, fine arts, industrial design, architecture, drafting, interior design, or other fields related to the position. Advanced training in a vocational school, technical institute, or art institute above the high school level in one of the fields listed above is creditable as general experience on a month-for-month basis.


Possess experience in the actual type of work for which application is made. Unpaid experience is creditable, provided the work done was of a quality level and demonstrated the ability required for the position. This includes work in the appropriate field, e.g.,., design, modelmaking, art, taxidermy, or restoration.

In addition to the Basic Requirements above you must have the following:


You qualify for this position if you possess one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the grade 9 level in the Federal Service or comparable pay band system. For this position Specialized experience is defined as preparing progressively detailed cost estimates for the design and production of museum exhibitions.

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; religious; 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.

Part-time and/or unpaid experience related to this position will be considered to determine the total number of years and months of experience. Be sure to note the number of paid or unpaid hours worked each week.

Or Education:

Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree


3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree


LL.M., if related

Such education must demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work.

One year of full-time graduate education is considered to be the number of credit hours that the school attended has determined to represent 1 year of full-time study. If that information cannot be obtained from the school, 18 semester hours should be considered as satisfying the 1 year of full-time study requirement.

Part-time graduate education is creditable in accordance with its relationship to a year of full-time study at the school attended.

Or a Combination: Education and experience may be combined to meet the basic qualifications; for example, a half year of experience and a half year of education in the field may be qualifying.

Special Instructions for Foreign Education: If you are qualifying by education and/or you have education completed in a foreign college/university described above, it is your responsibility to provide transcripts and proof of U.S. accreditation for foreign study. For instructions on where to fax these documents, see the "Required Documents" section of this announcement.


Additional information

Please see Benefits at www.sihr.si.edu for a complete

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

Your application will be evaluated first for the basic qualifications described above. The applications that meet the basic qualifications will be evaluated further against the following criteria

  • Expert Knowledge and skill in preparation of cost estimates at all phases of exhibit planning, design, production, installation, maintenance and gallery preparation. The Incumbent must possess the ability to adapt his/her knowledge of exhibit design and production cost estimating to the unique situations that are specific to museum exhibits.
  • Skill in meeting the technical demands associated with estimating museum-quality exhibit design and production, to ensure project success, such as understanding the quality of fabrication necessary.
  • Strong commitment and ability to promote teamwork within the office
  • Thorough knowledge and skill in developing exhibit cost estimates (for labor resources, materials, and potential outside contract support) related to finished exhibit components from layouts, design drawings, sketches and detailed diagrams submitted by the Design department, Production departments, Project management team and the Incumbents supervisor.

Important Note: The review of your resume will determine your final rating and should provide sufficient information regarding how your education and experience relate to this position, including the major duties and qualifications criteria listed.

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Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Not Required

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk

Trust determination process

Required Documents

Your application package should include the following documents:

  • Detailed resume created in the USAJOBS Resume Builder.
  • Unofficial school transcripts, if the position has an education requirement or if you are using education to qualify. If selected for the position, you must provide an official transcript before appointment.
  • Proof of U.S. accreditation for foreign study, if applicable.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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