Plant Protection Technician – Domestic
Department Of Agriculture 517 reviews - Vero Beach, FL
Full-time, Part-time

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Relocation expenses will not be paid. The incumbent serves as a technician for Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) and is assigned a geographic area for which they have responsibility for helping PPQ Officers with the planning, coordinating, and directing the survey, control, and regulatory functions for PPQ programs, including biocontrol and biotechnology activities.
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 KEY REQUIREMENTS

U.S. Citizenship DUTIES:
The duties described are for the full-performance level. At developmental grade levels, assignments will be of more limited scope, performed with less independence and limited complexity. The duties may include, but are not limited to:

Participates fully with the supervisor in planning, scheduling, and coordinating survey and control measures conducted within an assigned area by furnishing specific information about the work area that will allow successful program accomplishment; similar participation is also done for biocontrol and biotechnology activities.

Inspects and surveys properties (farms, rangeland, nurseries, shipping points, etc.) for the presence of harmful plants, insects, and plant diseases; inspections and surveys are made individually or by using lower graded employees under their direction.

Directs/Conducts approved control and eradication measures, including the adoption of cultural practices , sanitation measures, biological controls, and the application of herbicides , insecticides, nematicides, and fungicides in proper proportions or dosages.

Enforces federal and/or state plant quarantines and regulatory orders which restrict movement of plants, plant products, and equipment into or out of regulated areas; issues certificates permitting the movement of regulated articles; and reviews compliance agreements, taking steps to ensure conformance.

Maintains daily records of inspection work, control measures, and regulatory procedures applied; prepares reports on activities and accomplishments within the assigned area, some of which are prepared through the use of Global Positioning System units and computer data input; prepares maps used in connection with survey activities; and services and maintains vehicles records.

To qualify, you MUST meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of the announcement.
Applicants can qualify by meeting the EDUCATION and/or SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE requirements specified below.
GS-5: Four-year course of study above high school leading to a bachelor's degree that included at least 16 semester hours in courses such as biology, plant pathology, entomology, zoology, botany, forestry, chemistry, agriculture, or physics.
GS-6: Half year or 9 semester hours of graduate education in biology, plant pathology, entomology, zoology, botany, forestry, chemistry, agriculture, or physics.
GS-7: One year or 18 semester hours of graduate education in 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 GS-5/6 qualifying experience include, but are not limited to:

Contacting stakeholders (e.g. landowners, tenants, managers) to obtain permission to conduct surveys.

Collecting data from daily records and preparing reports on activities accomplished.

Operating mechanical and/or other equipment to carry out assigned tasks.

Examples of GS-7 qualifying experience include, but are not limited to:

Applying principles of biological science to analyze and take action to prevent the establishment and/or artificial spread of plant diseases.

Enforcing plant quarantines and regulatory orders which restrict movement of plant, plant products, and equipment into or out of regulated areas.

Identifying program pests in all of their life stages and having experience in properly handling and applying restricted use chemicals.

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 a one-year trial period.

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

Work is primarily outdoors with moderate exposure to uncomfortable and dangerous situations, such as working in adverse weather conditions and around large agricultural related machinery.

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

Considerable travel may be required; assignments may require extended work in remote/rural areas.

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 OTHER INFORMATION:

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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