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Department of Defense

Career Path: Department of Defense

Your Title:

The specific job title and duties depend on which branch or agency to which you are assigned within the Department of Defense (DOD).

  • Work/Life Specialist (or Consultant)
  • Community Readiness Specialist (or Consultant)
  • Personal Financial Management Program Specialist (or Counselor)
  • Financial Readiness Program Specialist (or Counselor)

What You Will Do: 

Most financial counseling positions fall under the 0101 federal job series.

Responsibilities will depend on federal pay grade (information below) but initial responsibilities may include:

  • Provide financial advice, guidance and administrative services to service members and families members.
  • Plan, implement, administer, and counsel service members and family members on career, transition, relocation, family, financial, and other work/life services and activities.
  • Implement each service’s emergency relief program. See here for more information:

What Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Will Make You Successful: 

GS7 and GS9 (Practitioner/Specialist; Social Services Delivery Team Member):

  • Knowledge of and ability to apply social services delivery systems as well as a wide range of concepts, principles, theories, and practices relating the social or behavioral science fields.
  • Ability to analyze social and behavioral data to assess trends, concerns, and needs.
  • Knowledge of and ability to apply practices, theories, and techniques, of money management and consumer affairs.
  • Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.

GS11 (Practitioner/Consultant; Social Services Team Member):

  • Skill in conducting interviews to establish the nature and extent of concerns/issues, provide assistance in developing goals and plans, and determine appropriate referral services/options when frequently there is difficulty in determining clients’ needs or wants or in convincing them to accept that problems exist.
  • Skill in establishing and maintaining effective working relationship using tact and diplomacy in interactions with individuals/families, leadership of organizations, and with program representatives and officials.
  • Assist in identifying and prioritizing goals, and provide guidance and direction for the development and implementation of effective plans and tools to address needs.

Where You Should Start: 

Bachelor (or Masters degree for advanced placement) in a behavioral or social science; or related disciplines appropriate to the position; or:

1) Combination of education (>24 credit hours) and experience that provided the applicant with knowledge of one or more of the behavioral or social sciences equivalent to a major in the field.

2) Certification as an Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC®).

Applicants may initially enter at one of the following federal pay grades depending on the level of education, credentials, and experience.

  • GS7 and GS9 (Practitioner/Specialist; Social Services Delivery Team Member)
  • GS11 (Practitioner/Consultant; Social Services Team Member)

Federal employees are eligible for promotion based on merit to the next-higher pay grade after 1-year time-in-grade.

Your Salary Potential:

GS7: $34k – $44k
GS9: $41k – $54k
GS11: $50k – $66k
GS12: $60k – $79k (growth potential)

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