United States Department of Veterans Affairs
United States Department of Veterans Affairs


VA Specialized Skilled Occupations - Trades Careers

5306 - Air Conditioning Equipment Mechanic

This occupation includes jobs involved in repairing and modifying a variety of equipment and systems that achieve regulated climatic conditions. This work requires a knowledge of principles of air conditioning, the ability to recognize and determine the best method for correcting malfunctions, and the skill to make repairs to a variety of air conditioning and cooling unit systems.


5415 - Air Conditioning Equipment Operator

This occupation includes jobs concerned primarily with the operation of air conditioning systems for large buildings or complexes of buildings. Also included are jobs that involve the operation and regulation of cold storage and specialized climate simulation facilities. The work requires the ability to adjust equipment for maintaining desired temperatures and humidity; start, operate, and stop the air handling equipment and centrifugal compressors or absorbers; and detect and diagnose malfunctions in equipment. Operators must know the purposes and locations of all equipment in the systems and the auxiliary equipment (cooling towers, water pumps, air compressors, liquid circulating pumps, fans, etc.).

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Types of VA Jobs

VA Career Categories:

5048 - Animal Caretaker

This occupation includes jobs that involve providing care for mammals, reptiles, birds, and fish. This work requires knowledge of the animals' characteristics, needs, and behavior, and skill in observing, handling, and controlling them.

5402 - Boiler Plant Operator

This occupation includes jobs that involve the operation and operational maintenance of single and multiple fuel water or fire tube boilers and associated auxiliary and pollution control equipment. These boilers operate at various pressures and temperatures in automatic or manual modes to produce steam or high temperature hot water, to operate industrial and institutional facilities and equipment, and to generate electricity.

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4607 – Carpenter

This occupation includes jobs involved in constructing, altering, and repairing buildings and structures, fittings, panels, partitions, and other wood or wood substitute articles.


4754 - Cemetery Caretaker

This occupation includes jobs involved in the maintenance and upkeep of cemeteries, requiring the use of a variety of trade practices associated with occupations such as motor vehicle operating, gardening, tractor operating, laboring, and forklift operating. Such work includes digging graves, setting and aligning headstones, erecting mourners' shelters, setting up casket-lowering devices, and maintaining the appearance of the surrounding grounds.

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7404 – Cook

This occupation includes jobs involved in cooking regular or special diet foods and meals. This includes cooking meats, fowl, fish, and seafood; cooking frozen, canned, dried, or fresh vegetables; measuring and mixing ingredients for soups, stews, sauces, and special dishes; adding seasoning to food; and regulating cooking temperatures.


7408 - Food Service Worker

This occupation includes jobs involved in food service or simple food preparation, or a combination of both. This includes setting and waiting on tables; attending food counters; serving food; assembling trays for hospital patients; washing dishes, pots, and pans; transporting food, equipment, and supplies by manual or motorized carts; assisting in food preparation by cutting vegetables, making salads, etc.

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3566 - Custodial Worker

This occupation includes jobs involving janitorial and custodial work such as sweeping, scrubbing, and waxing floors; washing windows and walls; dusting and polishing furniture and fixtures; and emptying waste cans. Work is done by hand or with powered equipment.


2805 – Electrician

This occupation includes jobs involved in the installation, maintenance, troubleshooting, and repair of electrical wiring systems and associate fixtures, controls, and equipment in industrial, institutional, office, and residential buildings, and on ships. These jobs require knowledge and application of electrical principles, materials, and safety standards.

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5716 - Engineering Equipment Operator

This occupation includes jobs that involve the operation of gasoline or diesel-powered engineering and construction equipment with wheeled or crawler-type traction, such as graders, tractors with bulldozer or angle-dozer blades, front-end loaders, backhoes, trench diggers, and large industrial tractors with pan or scraper attachments. This equipment is used to perform such functions as cutting, moving, digging, grading, and rolling earth, sand, stone, and other materials, and to maintain ditches, road shoulders and beds, and firelines.


0802 - Engineering Technician

This series covers technical positions that require primarily application of a practical knowledge of: (1) the methods and techniques of engineering or architecture; and (2) the construction, application, properties, operations, and limitations of engineering systems, processes, structures, machinery, devices, and materials. The positions do not require professional knowledge and abilities for full performance and therefore do not require training equivalent in type and scope to that represented by the completion of a professional curriculum leading to a bachelor's degree in engineering or architecture. Excluded from this series are positions that are specifically covered by a more specialized technical series.

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0081 - Fire Protection and Prevention Specialist

This series covers positions that supervise or perform work to control and extinguish fires, rescue people

endangered by fire, and reduce or eliminate potential fire hazards. It also covers fire service positions that control hazardous materials incidents; train personnel in fire protection and prevention; operate fire communications equipment; develop and implement fire protection and prevention plans, procedures, and standards; and advise on improvements to structures for better fire prevention. Positions in this series require a knowledge of firefighting and fire prevention theory and techniques, a knowledge of fixed and mobile firefighting equipment operation; and/or the ability to plan, direct, or carry out fire protection and prevention programs and operations.


5003 – Gardener

This occupation includes jobs requiring knowledge of gardening procedures and skill in growing and tending lawns, flowers, shrubs, and trees. The work includes preparing soil for plants, seeding, thinning, transplanting, trimming, pruning, fertilizing, aerating, mulching, spraying, dusting of grass, ground cover, flowers, shrubs, and trees.

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3502 – Laborer

This occupation includes jobs that require mainly physical abilities and effort in doing laboring duties involving little or no specialized skill or prior work experience. Typical of this occupation are such duties as: loading and unloading trucks and boxcars; moving furniture, supplies, etc., by hand or handtruck; digging ditches; mowing lawns; washing cars; etc. Such jobs are found in a wide variety of work situations such as road maintenance, railroad maintenance, ground maintenance, warehouses, shops, etc.


1658 - Laundry Operations Specialist

This series covers all positions the duties of which are to advise on or to manage and direct the operation of a laundry, a dry cleaning plant, or a combined laundry and dry cleaning plant, when the duties require: (1) skill in performing managerial functions associated with the operation of a laundry and/or dry cleaning plants; and (2) a combination of a practical knowledge of laundry and/or dry cleaning equipment and processing operations.

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7304 - Laundry Worker

This occupation includes jobs involved in receiving, sorting, and marking soiled linen and apparel; processing flatwork and roughdry items; and assembling and issuing clean laundry. This includes classifying and marking; shaking out wet laundry; feeding into the flatwork ironer; catching, folding, and stacking ironed flatwork; folding roughdry laundry; sorting by identification number; and wrapping bundles.


4749 - Maintenance Mechanic

This occupation includes jobs involved in the maintenance and repair of grounds, exterior structures, buildings, and related fixtures and utilities, requiring the use of a variety of trade practices associated with occupations such as carpentry, masonry, plumbing, electrical, air conditioning, cement work, painting, and other related trades, and the performance of the highest level of work in at least two of the trades involved.

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0305 - Mail and File Clerk

This series covers positions involving the administration, supervision, or performance of clerical work related to the processing of incoming or outgoing mail and/or the systematic arrangement of records for storage or reference purposes, the scheduled disposition of records, and the performance of related work when such duties require the application of established mail or file methods and procedures, knowledge of prescribed systems for governing the flow and control of communications, and/or the filing or storage and retrieval of records, and knowledge of the organization and functions of the operating unit or units serviced.

5703 - Motor Vehicle Operator

This occupation includes jobs involved in the operation of gasoline, diesel, or electric powered vehicles, some of which may be equipped with special-purpose powered equipment. The vehicles are used within or between Government installations, commercial and industrial facilities, or over public roads. They may be used to haul cargo or passengers or to tow equipment.

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4102 – Painter

This occupation includes jobs involved in applying coating materials (for example, paint, varnish, lacquer, shellac, epoxy resin, and Teflon) on wood, metal, glass, synthetic, concrete, and other surfaces. This coating work is done with brushes, rollers, spray guns, and other related methods and techniques, and is performed on the inside and outside of buildings, aircraft, vessels, mobile equipment, fittings, furnishings, machinery, and other surfaces.


4204 – Pipefitter

This occupation includes jobs involved in the installation, maintenance, and repair of high-temperature water and high-pressure piping systems such as hydraulic, nitrogen, oxygen, steamheating, and steam-generating systems.

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0083 - Police Officer / Federal Protective Officer

This series covers positions the primary duties of which are the performance or supervision of law enforcement work in the preservation of the peace; the prevention, detection, and investigation of crimes; the arrest or apprehension of violators; and the provision of assistance to citizens in emergency situations, including the protection of civil rights. The purpose of police work is to assure compliance with Federal, State, county, and municipal laws and ordinances, and agency rules and regulations pertaining to law enforcement work.

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1654 - Printing Officer

This series covers all positions that involve planning, administering, supervising, reviewing, evaluating, or

performing work in connection with the management of a program that provides printing services. Characteristic of positions in this series is the application of a knowledge of the instructions that a printer must have before he/she can reproduce manuscript received for publication; knowledge of the capabilities of printing equipment and processes; and ability to manage a printing production organization. Positions in this series may, in addition, involve supervision of related functions such as editing, illustrating, and distributing printed materials.

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2091 - Sales Store Clerk

This series covers all classes of positions the duties of which are to supervise or perform checkout, sales clerk, customer assistance, or other clerical duties that are involved in the retail sale of merchandise or stock items and that require the application of clerical knowledge, procedures, and/or practices that are peculiar to sales store operations.

3806 - Sheet Metal Mechanic

This occupation includes jobs involved in the fabrication, modification, repair, assembly, and installation of sheet metal parts, items, and assemblies. Metals include but are not restricted to the following metals: galvanized and black iron, aluminum and aluminum alloys, stainless steel, copper, and brass sheets, lead alloys, and bronze. Sheet metal has no specific thickness. Metals one-fourth inch thick or less are usually considered to be sheet metal. ( Note: The layout and operational skills involved in working with heavier gauge plate are sufficiently similar to warrant inclusion in this series.)

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0391 - Telecommunications Specialist

This occupation includes positions that involve: (1) technical and analytical work pertaining to the planning, development, acquisition, testing, integration, installation, utilization, or modification of telecommunications systems, facilities, services, and procedures; (2) managerial and staff work in the planning, implementation, or program management of telecommunications programs, systems, and services; or (3) line supervision over communications operations, when such work includes responsibility for management functions such as planning, recommending changes and determining organizational structure, staffing, training, and budgetary requirements.

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0382 - Telephone Operator

This series covers one grade interval work that involves operating or supervising the operation of telephone

switchboard equipment to connect incoming and outgoing calls. The work involves routing the calls to their proper destinations and providing telephone and organizational information to callers.

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2102 - Transportation Clerk / Assistant

This series covers positions that involve supervising or performing work to arrange transportation for or perform other actions in connection with the movement of freight, passengers, or personal property by Government or commercial means. This series also includes other transportation support work not covered specifically by another one grade interval series in the Transportation Group (e.g., fleet management, safety or regulatory program support, quality control and inspection, carrier performance evaluation, or transportation report analysis and preparation). The work requires a practical knowledge of the regulations and methods governing traffic management or transportation programs.

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4742 - Utility Systems Repairer Operator

This occupation includes jobs that primarily involve repairing and operating one or more utility systems (air conditioning, heating, water, sewage, electricity generation and distribution, etc.). The work requires the ability to start, stop, and regulate the utility or utilities for optimum efficiency and troubleshoot, maintain, and repair them, and knowledge of the locations and functions of all equipment in the system(s) and the kind and quality of materials to be used in repairs. The levels of work performed in repair and operation must be the same and must represent the highest level of work performed.

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1715 - Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist

This series covers positions requiring the application of knowledge of training programs and occupational

information in relation to vocational rehabilitation problems of the physically or mentally disabled, or of other individuals whose backgrounds and lack of job skills impair their employability. The work involves planning training programs for these individuals; placing them in gainful employment; and supervising them while in training and during adjustment to the job. The duties require knowledge of vocational training concepts and practices; of the employment market; of training facilities; and of skill demands and environmental condition in occupations and specific jobs in relation to their suitability for the training and employment of the persons served by the rehabilitation program. The work also involves the application of counseling techniques and methodology in motivating these individuals and helping them to adjust successfully to the training or work situation; however, full professional counseling knowledge is not required.

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