Discover a challenging and rewarding career with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the sole organization responsible for securing the nation's borders. CBP employees protect our Nation's borders from terrorism, human and drug smuggling, illegal migration, and agricultural pests while simultaneously facilitating the flow of legitimate travel and trade.Learn more about this agency
Locations offered are based on operational and mission requirements, and critical agency hiring needs as determined by the CBP Office of Field Operations. Although the following locations will most likely be available, the duty location offered in your final offer letter may include a duty location in another geographic location that meets agency mission critical needs: Nogales and Douglas AZ; Calexico, Otay Mesa, San Francisco and San Ysidro, CA; Boston, MA; Detroit, MI; International Falls, MN; Pembina, and Portal, ND; and Seattle, WA.
Note: If you accept one of the following duty locations you may be eligible to receive an additional 15-25% (based on location below) of your salary each year for the first 3 years of employment in addition to any overtime pay. This incentive only applies to new federal employees and is dependent upon the availability of funds:
Duty location offering 25% recruitment incentive: San Francisco, CA
Duty location offering 15% recruitment incentive: Portal, ND
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The CBP Agriculture Specialist (AGS) primary responsibilities are:
- Serve as a consultant in the areas of inspection, analysis, intelligence gathering, examination, and law enforcement activities regarding the importation of agricultural/commercial commodities and conveyances at ports of entry
- Apply laws and regulations when determining the admissibility of agriculture commodities while preventing the introduction of harmful pests, diseases, and potential agro-terrorism into the United States
- Participate in special enforcement, targeting or analysis teams charged with collecting and analyzing information and identifying high-risk targets
- Plan and conduct remedial actions such as treating, disinfecting, and decontaminating prohibited commodities, conveyances, contaminants or agricultural materials
Occasional travel - Travel may be required based on operational needs
Job family (Series)
Conditions Of Employment
Probationary Period: You must serve a one year probationary period during the first year of your initial permanent federal appointment to determine fitness for continued employment.
Selective Service Registration: Males born after 12/31/59 must verify registration with Selective Service. To verify your registration or request a Status Information Letter go to: https://www.sss.gov/Home/Verification.
Formal Training: You will start your training at the Professional Development Center located in Frederick, MD, for USDA training. Upon successful completion of this training, you will transition to the Field Operations Academy located at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glynco, GA, for additional training. Successful completion of both training environments is required.
Uniforms: This position requires you to wear an officially-approved uniform while in a duty status.
Residency Requirement: CBP has a residency requirement that applies to all applicants not currently employed by CBP. You are required to have physically resided in the United States or its protectorates as (as declared under international law) for at least three (3) of the last five (5) years, before completing an application for CBP employment. If you do not meet the residency requirement as stated above and you have been physically located in a foreign location for more than two (2) of the last five (5) years, you may request an exception to determine if you are eligible for a residency wavier by meeting one or more of the following conditions:
- Working for the U.S. Government as a federal civilian or as a member of the military
- A dependent of a federal civilian or member of the military who was working for the U.S. Government
- Working as a contractor employee, a volunteer, a consultant or an intern for the U.S. Government
- Participation in a study abroad program sponsored by a U.S. affiliated college or university
Driver's License: You must possess a valid driver's license.
All agency employees are required to participate in Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer for salary payments.
QualificationsBasic Qualification Requirement for All Grades (GS-5/7/9): You must have successfully completed a full four-year course of study from an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree that includes a major field of study such as agronomy, botany, entomology, plant pathology, horticulture, pest management, plant science, soil science, crop science, microbiology, mycology, nematology, weed science, ecology, biology, agriculture, animal science, natural resource management, environmental resource management, chemistry or related disciplines. If you have not completed the above described education, you must have completed at least 24 semester hours in biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry or a related discipline at an accredited college or university plus have appropriate work experience.
You qualify for the GS-5 grade level (starting salary $33,949) if you possess one of the following:
Experience: One year of general work experience that demonstrates the ability to take charge, make sound decisions and maintain composure in stressful situations; learn enforcement regulations, methods and techniques through classroom training and on-the-job instruction; maintain logs and gather factual information through questioning, observation, and examination of documents and records AND transcripts which includes at least 24 semester hours of biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry or a related discipline from an accredited college or university; OR
A full four-year course of study (at least 120 semester credits) at an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's degree that includes a major in a field of study listed above; OR
A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university that includes a major in a field of study listed above; OR
Will receive a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university within 9 months from the closing date of this announcement and the transcripts must show that you are on track to graduate within 9 months from the closing date of this announcement that includes a major in a field of study listed above.
Combination of Experience and Education: A combination of general work experience AND successfully completed college education that includes a major in a field of study listed above. This will be calculated using your resume and official or unofficial transcripts submitted with your application.
You qualify for the GS-7 grade level (starting salary $42,053) if you possess one of the following:
Experience: One year of specialized work experience equivalent to at least the next lower grade level that demonstrates the ability to deal effectively with individuals or groups of persons in a courteous, tactful manner in connection with agricultural matters; research information for reports and provide information to others; analyze information rapidly and make prompt decisions or take prompt and appropriate action enforcing regulations when inspecting vessels, vehicles, aircraft and/or baggage for the presence of restricted plant materials, pests or diseases and reviewing/analyzing passengers and/or commodity documents to assess the agricultural risk of their entry into the United States AND transcripts which includes 24 semester hours of biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry or a related discipline from an accredited college or university; OR
One full year of graduate level education (equivalent to 18 semester hours or 27 quarter hours) from an accredited college or university leading to a master's degree that includes a major in a field of study listed above; OR
A bachelor's degree with Superior Academic Achievement (i.e., GPA 3.0 or higher of a possible 4.0 scale), which is based on one of the following: class standing, grade-point average, or honor society membership from an accredited college or university that includes at least 24 semester hours in a major in a field of study listed above; OR
Will receive a bachelor's degree with Superior Academic Achievement (i.e., GPA 3.0 or higher of a possible 4.0 scale) from an accredited college or university within 9 months from the closing date of the job announcement, which includes at least 24 semester hours in a major in a field of study listed above and the transcripts must indicate you are on track to graduate within 9 months from the closing date of this announcement; OR
Combination of Experience and Education: A combination of graduate level education completed in a field of study listed above from an accredited college or university AND specialized work experience listed in a. above. This will be calculated using your resume and official or unofficial transcripts submitted with your application
You qualify for the GS-9 grade level (starting salary $51,440) if you possess one of the following:
Experience: One year of specialized work experience equivalent to at least the next lower grade level that demonstrates the ability to coordinate, plan and execute inspection assignments, investigate violations, prepare investigative reports and provide testimony, compile data, logs and prepare reports of work accomplishments and inspection operations, coordinate and assist with school or media events and plan, conduct and oversee treatments such as disinfection, sterilization and decontamination treatments AND transcripts which includes 24 semester hours of biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry or a related discipline from an accredited college or university; OR
A master's degree from an accredited college or university that includes a major in a field of study listed above; OR
Will receive a master's degree from an accredited college or university within 9 months from the closing date of this announcement in one of the fields of study listed above and the transcripts must show that you are on track to graduate within 9 months from the closing date of this announcement; OR
Combination of Experience and Education: A combination of graduate level education completed in a field of study listed above from an accredited college or university AND specialized work experience listed in above. This will be calculated using your resume and official or unofficial transcripts submitted with your application; OR a combination of one year of specialized work experience equivalent to the GS-7 grade listed above and two years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a master's degree in one of the fields of study listed above.
Qualifications must be met by the closing date of this announcement.
National Service Experience (i.e., volunteer experience): refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional, philanthropic, religious, spiritual, community, student, and social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.
Political Appointees: The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) must authorize employment offers made to current or former political appointees. If you are currently, or have been within the last 5 years, a political Schedule A, Schedule C, Non-career SES or Presidential Appointee employee in the Executive Branch, you must disclose this information to the Human Resource office.
See the Qualifications section for education substitution.
Polygraph Examination: You may be required to take a polygraph exam and have favorable results in order to continue in the pre-employment process. Please see Polygraph Examination.
Background Investigation: To ensure the accomplishment of our mission, DHS requires every employee to be reliable and trustworthy. To meet those standards, all selected applicants must undergo and successfully pass a Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI) as a condition of placement into this position. This may include but is not limited to a polygraph exam, a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) name and fingerprint check, review of financial issues, as well as certain criminal offenses and illegal use or possession of drugs. For more information see Background Investigation.
Medical/Physical Requirements: This position has medical/physical requirements. Click here for position specific requirements. You must complete the medical screening process and be found to meet the medical standards for the position. Employees in this position may be required to undergo a medical examination/evaluation at the request of the Agency. If you do not meet the medical standards for the position, you may request a waiver of the medical standard by demonstrating with non-medical information that, with or without reasonable accommodation, you can safely perform the essential duties of the position.
Drug Testing Requirements: This is a drug testing designated position. You must complete and pass a drug test as a condition of employment. Employees are subject to drug testing in compliance with the Agency's Drug-Free Workplace Program.
Interview Process: You will be required to pass additional assessments that may include a video-based test or a face-to-face structured interview.
Driver's License: You must possess a valid driver's license.
If you receive a conditional offer of employment for this position, you will be required to complete an Optional Form 306, Declaration for Federal Employment, and to sign and certify the accuracy of all information in your application, prior to entry on duty. False statements on any part of the application may result in withdrawal of offer of employment, dismissal after beginning work, fine, or imprisonment.
Any offers of employment made pursuant to this announcement will be consistent with all applicable authorities, including Presidential Memoranda, Executive Orders, interpretive U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) guidance, and Office of Management and Budget plans and policies concerning hiring.These authorities are subject to change.
How You Will Be Evaluated
We will review your resume and supporting documentation to ensure you meet the basic qualification requirements. If you meet the minimum qualifications, your experience and training will be rated using an online self-assessment questionnaire that is based on the competencies or knowledge, skills, and abilities listed below. You will receive a score ranging from 70-100 based on your responses. Your entire application package will then be reviewed.
Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Other Characteristics (KSAOs): Candidates who meet the minimum qualification requirements are required to possess certain Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, or Other Characteristics (KSAOs) to successfully perform the functions of this position. Candidates will be asked to demonstrate their ability to perform of these KSAOs in an online job questionnaire. The KSAOs are:
- Knowledge of inspection programs, policies, practices, and methods
- Ability to evaluate, analyze, review and assess prohibited items, pests or diseases
- Ability to communicate orally and in writing
- Best Qualified: Applicants possessing a background that demonstrates a superior level of all evaluation criteria
- Well-Qualified: Applicants possessing a background that demonstrates a satisfactory level of the evaluation criteria
- Qualified: Applicants possessing the basic qualifications, with general knowledge, skills, and abilities
Background checks and security clearance
Drug test required
Resume: A resume in English is required. It must contain your full legal name, address, phone number, complete work history, a detailed description of your duties, the dates you performed those duties (MM/DD/YY), as well as your hours worked per week. If you are a current federal employee, please include your salary, pay scale and pay grade information. Please see the CBP Agriculture Specialist Resume Aid for specific information.
Transcripts: Transcripts from all colleges/universities attended are required and must be in English. Official transcripts are preferred but will accept unofficial at the time of application. Official transcripts are required upon receipt of a final offer of employment. Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet Federal qualifications requirements if you can show that your foreign education is comparable to education received in accredited educational institutions in the United States. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence with your application. See Recognition of Foreign Qualifications for more information. For a listing of accrediting agencies, please see NACES Members or AICE Members.
Veterans' Preference: If you claim Veterans' Preference you will be required to submit proof of eligibility (DD 214, Member-4 copy, Certificate of Release or Discharge). Those applying for 10-Point preference must submit documentation that demonstrates preference eligibility. Please see the documentation as listed on the SF-15 .
Statement of Service (Certification letter): If you are still on active duty you must submit certification from the Armed Services showing you will be discharged or released from active duty. This certification should be on letterhead of the appropriate military branch of the service and contain (1) the military service dates including the expected discharge or release date; (2) campaign badges and expeditionary medals earned; and (3) the character of service. View more Veterans' Preference.
SF-50: Current/former Federal employees recommended you submit your most recent SF-50 "Notification of Personnel Action" form. Please do not submit a Performance Award SF-50.
Are you claiming special priority selection rights under the Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP)? Submit:
- a copy of your agency notice;
- a copy of your most recent performance rating; and
- a copy of your most recent SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, noting your current position, grade level, and duty location.
- Position title
- Type of appointment (Schedule A, Schedule C, Non-career SES, or Presidential Appointee)
- Beginning and ending dates of appointment
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.
A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding.
Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.
How to Apply
Apply as soon as possible in order to receive consideration as this announcement will close on 07/05/2019 at 11:59 pm Eastern Time OR on the day we receive 400 applicants (whichever comes first).
To begin your online application, sign into USA Jobs or create a USA Jobs account if you do not already have one. Click Apply and follow the online prompts to fill out the questionnaire and submit your application. Your application packet must include a completed assessment questionnaire, a resume, transcripts and any applicable and/or required supporting documentation. Please see the Required Documents section below for additional information. All application materials must be in English. If you are planning to apply using your phone or tablet, see Browser Compatibility.
Applications and supporting documentation will not be accepted by mail or email. The address below is for inquiries only. You may not update assessment responses after submitting an application. You must submit your resume, application questionnaire, transcripts and any supporting documents at the time of application. Please see the Next Steps section for more information.
The starting salary for the CBP Agriculture Specialist may be higher in certain duty locations, please visit the OPM website for information.
Shift Work/Overtime: You must be willing and available to work rotating shifts. You may also be rotated between assignments and work units. You may be required to work overtime on a regular and recurring basis.
This is a career ladder position with a grade level progression of GS-5, GS-7, GS-9, GS-11, and GS-12. You will be eligible for a promotion to the next higher grade level (without re-applying) once you successfully complete 52 weeks in each grade level (with supervisor approval). For example you could:
- start as a AGS in December 2019 as a GS-5 and make $33,949 - $44,130 per year*
- be promoted in December 2020 to GS-7 and make $42,053 - $54,670 per year*
- be promoted in December 2021 to GS-9 and make $51,440 - $66,868 per year*
- be promoted in December 2022 to GS-11 and make $62,236 - $80,912 per year*
- be promoted in December 2023 to GS-12 and make $74,596 - $96,978 per year*
Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) and Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) Eligibles: If you have never worked for the federal government, you are not CTAP or ICTAP eligible. View information about CTAP/ICTAP eligibility on OPM's Career Transition Resources website. You must submit the supporting documents listed under the Required Documents section of this announcement. In addition, to be considered well qualified under CTAP/ICTAP, you must possess the knowledge, skills and abilities and/or competencies clearly exceeding the minimum requirements of the position as shown in the evaluation section of this announcement.
DHS offers competitive salaries and an attractive benefits package. For more information, go to the DHS Careers website and select Benefits. Disabled veteran leave will be available to any Federal employee hired on or after November 5, 2016, who is a veteran with a service-connected disability rating of 30 percent or more.
Applying to this announcement certifies that you give permission for DHS to share your application with others in DHS for similar positions. View common definitions of terms found in this announcement. View more information on applying for federal employment.
DHS uses e-Verify, an Internet-based system, to confirm the eligibility of all newly hired employees to work in the United States. Learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities.
CBP encourages women, minorities, and veterans to apply for an exciting career with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Follow U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Twitter@CustomsBorder.
Agency contact information
CBP Applicant Contact Center
AddressOffice of Field Operations
CBP Hiring Center
5600 American Boulevard
Bloomington, MN 55437
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is calling on those who want to help protect American interests and secure our Nation. DHS Components work collectively to prevent terrorism; secure borders and our transportation systems; protect the President and other dignitaries; enforce and administer immigration laws; safeguard cyberspace; and ensure resilience to disasters. We achieve these vital missions through a diverse workforce spanning hundreds of occupations. Make an impact; join DHS.
The video: Securing America's Ports of Entry emphasizes the importance of CBP Field Operations' frontline role in helping CBP accomplish its mission. For more information on CBP's mission, activities, and careers, please visit our website at www.cbp.gov.
Visit our careers page
Learn more about what it's like to work at Customs and Border Protection, what the agency does, and about the types of careers this agency offers.
Your application and supporting documents will be reviewed to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications. If you are among the best qualified, your application will be referred to the selecting official for employment consideration at the highest grade for which you are determined eligible. A valid application does not guarantee selection. Please ensure that all required documents are uploaded at the time of application.
Your status will be updated on USAJOBS throughout the process. To check your status, log on to your USAJOBS account and go to your home page to view active application. For detailed status, click on the plus sign (+) next to the announcement.
If you are already in the pre-employment process for a CBP Agriculture Specialist position at the grades 5, 7 or 9 and you reapply under this announcement and are subsequently referred for a position, all active pre-employment process statuses will be applied to this application (e.g., medical status, background investigation, etc.,).
Fair & Transparent
The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.
Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy And gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.
Reasonable Accommodation Policy
Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.
Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:
- An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.
You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Legal and regulatory guidance
This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/537893100. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.