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Posted on: October 9, 2020

NBAF to Hire More Than 60 Facility, Animal Care Positions in FY2021; Scientist Jobs to Follow

NBAFMANHATTAN, Kan. — If you are interested in a career supporting the mission of the USDA National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) nearing completion in Manhattan, Kansas, it’s time to start pulling your resumé together.  

NBAF will fill about 60 vacancies in the next year with more than 30 to be announced in the coming months, mostly in the facilities and animal care units. Currently, just under 200 people work for the facility, with about 60 of those coming onboard via telework since the pandemic started in March. 

“All our units are pulling together with the same goal in mind — to stand up NBAF operational capabilities and be ready to support the facility’s science activities,” said Dr. Alfonso Clavijo, director of NBAF. “With many daily responsibilities, there’s not enough time to truly contemplate how much our team has accomplished in the last year.”

Total employment will be around 400 people when the facility is fully operational. While positions will either be hired by USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) or Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), employees from both agencies work collectively to operate as one NBAF. 

Many general schedule, or GS, jobs at NBAF will be filled in 2021, including an emergency operations manager (GS-13), a security operations center supervisory security specialist (GS-13), an industrial hygienist (GS-11), and safety technicians (GS-07 to GS-09). Starting annual salaries for those GS positions range from $43,250 to $118,000.

A variety of facility operations positions — listed as Federal Wage System jobs — also will be hired in the coming months, including a maintenance mechanic supervisor (WG-08), piping systems group maintenance worker(WG-08) and air conditioning equipment mechanic helper (WG-05). Starting hourly pay for these positions range from $19 to $24.50. 

All jobs will be posted on and applications must be submitted through that website. To learn more about federal government series and grades—and to view current pay scales, visit

The new facility will replace and expand on the mission of the 65-year-old Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC) in New York. NBAF will become the nation’s premiere center for emerging, transboundary, and zoonotic animal disease experts capable of assisting the international community to protect animal and human health. 

The majority of scientific positions that will open in the coming months will be assigned a temporary duty at PIADC, then, as research is relocated to Kansas, those employees will return to NBAF. Additional scientific positions in Kansas will be posted closer to the facility’s opening in 2023.   

Learn More About NBAF and Manhattan, Kansas

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