Plant Protection Technician (Domestic)
Department Of Agriculture 517 reviews - San Juan, PR
Full-time, Part-time

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Relocation expenses will not be paid. This position serves the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program.

You can make a difference! The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Marketing and Regulatory Programs (MRP) needs bright, energetic and committed professionals to facilitate the domestic and international marketing of U.S. agricultural products and to protect the health and care of animals and plants in the United States. MRP offers an array of occupations and is committed to diversity in the workplace. We operate in domestic and global markets. Be part of an organization that protects the health and agriculture of the American people. Join our team!

This is a term appointment not to exceed 13 months. (Appointment may be extended up to 4 years without reannouncing.) For more details click: Term Appointments

APHIS is an emergency response agency. This means that all Agency employees may be asked or assigned to participate in rotating temporary duty assignments to support emergency programs at some time during their careers with APHIS. For details click: APHIS Emergency Response


U.S. Citizenship

The duties may include, but are not limited to:
Participates fully in planning, scheduling, and coordinating survey and control measures in assigned areas and in biocontrol, biotechnology, and other program activities.

Under direction of a PPQ Officer, Manager, or Specialist, inspects and surveys properties (e.g. farms, rangeland, nurseries, shipping points) for the presence of harmful plants and plant pests; inspections and surveys are made individually or by leading teams of lower graded employees.

Assists with enforcing Federal and/or State plant quarantines and regulatory orders which restrict movement of plants, plant products, and equipment and other regulated articles into or out of regulated areas and with issuing certificates permitting the movement of regulated articles and reviews compliance agreements.

Maintains daily records of work and program activities and prepares reports on activities and accomplishments within the assigned area, using Global Positioning System/Geographic Information System (GPS/GIS) equipment and associated software.

Independently gathers information on pest to be surveyed, requests or prepares maps used in connection with survey activities, assists in delineating and defining quarantine areas and buffer zones when trapping and/or treating for a target pest, and plans and conducts survey work following established protocols.

Services and maintains vehicles records.

Maintains all mandatory certifications and completes all mandatory trainings within prescribed timeframes.

To qualify, you MUST meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of the announcement.

Applicants can qualify by meeting the EDUCATION requirements specified below and/or the SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE requirements.


GS-5: Four-year course of study above high school leading to a bachelor's degree years that included at least 16 semester hours in courses such as biology, plant pathology, entomology, zoology, botany, forestry, chemistry, agriculture, or physics.

TRANSCRIPTS are required if:
You are qualifying for the position based on education.

You are qualifying for this position based on a combination of experience and education.

This education must have been successfully completed and obtained from an accredited school, college, or university. For more information on submitting transcripts, click: Transcripts


Applicants must have one year of specialized experience equivalent in level of difficulty and responsibility to the next lower level in the Federal Service. This experience may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors. Examples of qualifying experience include, but are not limited to:

Recognizing various agricultural commodities (fruits and vegetables identification), plant pests, and conditions that may have adverse effects on agricultural products.

Dealing with the general public and employees of Federal and State enforcement agencies.

Enforcing Federal/State agricultural quarantines which restrict the movement of plants, plant products, animal products, animal by-products, and equipment into or out of foreign and domestic areas.


Applicants may have combinations of successfully completed education and specialized experience (as specified per grade level) to meet total qualification requirements. The total percentages must equal at least 100 percent to qualify for that grade level. To learn more about combining education and experience for this series, click the following: Combining Education and Experience for Technical and Medical Support Positions .

Special Conditions:
Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered with the Selective Service.

DD214 (Member 4 copy) or other veterans' documents required to receive veterans' preference.

As a condition of employment, a background investigation may be required for this position.

Subject to satisfactory completion of one-year trial period.

Valid state driver's license required at time of hiring.

Work consists of indoor and outdoor activities with moderate exposure to sometimes uncomfortable and dangerous situations, such as working in adverse weather conditions and around large agricultural or industrial machinery. Must take precautionary measures to ensure personal safety, such as wearing personal protective equipment (e.g. protective clothing, safety glasses, breathing apparatus) and consider safety and health of others.

Requires physical exertion to walk, bend, stoop, and lift items of moderate weight. Will walk, climb, or hike on sometimes slippery and uneven ground surfaces.

Considerable travel may be required in domestic program situations. Assignments may require extended work in remote/rural areas.

Must maintain a security clearance level sufficient to perform the essential functions of this position.

Your application will be rated on the extent and quality of your experience, education and training relevant to the position. Your resume must support that you meet the specialized experience requirements described above and are proficient in the following skills or competencies below. Please note you are not required to provide specific narrative responses to the skills and competencies described in this section.

Ability to recognize agricultural products/commodities, their origin, and their condition

Knowledge of plant pests/disease detection, identification, and control

Ability to interpret and apply standards, procedures, and/or regulations, including State and Federal plant quarantine regulations

Oral and written communication and interpersonal skills

Ability to plan and organize work and lead others

Ability to use maps, mapping software, and/or mapping systems

Category rating procedures will be used to rank and select eligible candidates. The following quality categories will be used: Best Qualified, Well Qualified, and Qualified. Within each quality category, veterans' preference eligibles will receive selection priority over non-veterans.

Your final category placement will be based on your responses to the assessment questionnaire. Please ensure your resume provides enough detail to support your responses.

If, after reviewing your resume and / or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your score can / will be adjusted to more accurately reflect your abilities. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Deliberate attempts to falsify information may be grounds for not selecting you.

To preview questions please click here .

Eligibility for employee benefits depends on your type of appointment and your tour of duty (work schedule). Generally, you must be hired on a permanent basis and have a regular full or part-time work schedule. For more information on potential benefits, go to: Federal Employee Benefits

Range for GS-5: $31,315 to $40,706 (incl. 14.16% locality pay)

In addition to the salary listed, selectee will be eligible for a 4.20% Cost-of-Living Allowance.

This salary range does not reflect the general pay increase scheduled for April 2013.

For information regarding CTAP eligibility for displaced Federal employees click: Career Transition Assistance Programs

More than one selection may be made if another vacancy occurs within 90 days of the issuance of the certification of eligibles.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc) should contact: USDA's TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).

For information on filing a complaint of discrimination, click: Filing a Complaint

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