This Position Is No Longer Available
  1. Overview
  2. Duties
  3. Qualifications & Evaluations
  4. Benefits & Other Info
  5. How to Apply

Job Title:PICS Data Technician

Department:Department Of Agriculture

Agency:Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Job Announcement Number:24PQ-2013-0041

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$31,315.00 to $45,376.00 / Per Year


Thursday, December 06, 2012 to Thursday, December 13, 2012




Full Time - Term, not to exceed 13 months; may be extended up to 4 years.




1 vacancy - Sarasota, FL, USView Map


This announcement is open to all United States citizens.


Relocation expenses will not be paid.  This position is located in one of the Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) Citrus Health Response Program (CHRP) offices.  The incumbent performs a broad range of duties relating to the compilation, editing, and distribution of technical field data utilizing the computerized Pest Incident Control System (PICS).  The incumbent also performs a variety of clerical tasks in support of administrative services for CHRP and is responsible for the preparation of various charts, graphs, and other visual aids.

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


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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:

  • Acts as primary operator of the PICS for the assigned CHRP office, organizes all PICS forms for computer data input and editing, maintains log of employee reports received, and edits reports and returns for requested information.
  • Enters raw data from hand-held electronic data devices and bar code scanners and inputs information into the PICS system by data entry or scanning.
  • Reviews all applicable PICS input and output reports and corrects all identified errors by utilizing the appropriate procedure which at times includes soliciting a response from work units.
  • Establishes and maintains computer backup procedures to ensure data loss would be minimal in case of a computer system malfunction.
  • Utilizes various software programs to construct various bar, pie, and line charts from numerical data as requested.
  • Troubleshoots system crashes and either corrects basic or recurring problems or notifies and schedules more technical repairs by manufacturer or software representatives.
  • Maintains inventory of all computer supplies, envelopes, and forms and initiates ordering of necessary supplies, scheduling their receipt before existing supplies are exhausted.
  • May perform a variety of administrative tasks involving a combination (or all) of the following – submitting time sheets, maintaining leave audit sheets, maintaining property databases, assisting with the annual property inventory, preparing travel vouchers, answering and directing telephone calls, ordering office supplies, and providing clerical support for correspondence and mail distribution.


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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 years above the high school level in any field for which high school graduation or the equivalent is the normal prerequisite.




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 GS-5 experience include, but are not limited to:

  • Receiving and editing spreadsheet data.
  • Assisting database users with data entry and data editing functions.
  • Creating, monitoring, and tracking records for the interstate movement of citrus fruit and monitoring the status of groves and residential properties identified as suspects for citrus diseases and pests. 

Examples of qualifying GS-6 experience include, but are not limited to:

  • Compiling, coordinating, managing, and analyzing technical field data utilizing Pest Incident Control System (PICS), Integrated Plant Health Information System (IPHIS), Citrus Health Response Program (CHRP) database, Excel, or other web-based applications.
  • Using ArcGIS Suite to produce maps for various commercial citrus grove and residential surveys.
  • Developing IPHIS reports and web-based applications and providing recommendations to management as needed.
  • Independently creating and modifying templates to collect and input survey data. 


Applicants may have combinations of successfully completed education and specialized experience 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 Administrative and Management 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.
  • Applicants must be qualified typists (40 WPM).
  • May be required to be on feet much of the time and do some light lifting of up to 40 pounds, bending, etc. associated with the job.
  • Some travel may be required for meetings and training.


  • 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 use office equipment, computer technology, and automated business systems
    • Knowledge of correspondence, document processing, records, files, and reports, including those regulated by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Privacy Act
    • Written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills
    • Database management/IT support skills and wildlife knowledge for Wildlife Services
  • 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.


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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)

Range for GS-6: $34,907 to $45,376 (incl. 14.16% locality pay)


  • 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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    A complete on-line application will require the submission of the following:
    • Resume
    • Responses to the vacancy specific questions
    • Supporting Documentation which may be required (See links under Required Documents for more information)

    For instructions on using the on-line system click: APPLYING ON-LINE

    For instructions on submitting documents click: SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION


    Click on the following links to see if the supporting documentation is applicable to you:
  • College Transcripts or List of Coursework - MUST be English (Key Requirement and/or Education Substitution)
  • Foreign Degree Evaluation (Key Requirement and/or Education Substitution)
  • DD-214 (Member 4 Copy) and other Veterans' documents (Veterans Preference)
  • ICTAP/CTAP eligibility documentation (Displaced Employees)

    Critical Submission Requirements and Reminders

  • Help in applying online is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Central Time at the number listed in the Contact information section.
  • All application materials and supplemental documentation will be accepted until midnight Eastern Time on the closing date.
  • Application and supporting documentation will not be accepted via e-mail.
  • Due to the high volume of applicants, we are unable to confirm receipt of supporting documentation. If faxing, you should retain confirmation of a successful fax transmission including the number of pages successfully transmitted as proof of submission.
  • If a document is resubmitted, it replaces the previous submission, which means the previous document is no longer available to the human resources office. If you are adding to, rather than replacing a previous submission, you must fax and/or upload both the old document and the new document.
  • Applicants who cannot apply on-line must request a hard copy application packet from the Agency Contact listed in the vacancy announcement. Resumes and/or supporting documentation alone will not be considered without the inclusion of a hard copy application packet.

    Phone: 612-336-3326
    Fax: 612-336-3560
    Agency Information:
    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
    100 N 6th Street, Butler Sq Bldg, 510C
    Minneapolis, MN
    Fax: 612-336-3560


    You may check the status of your application on-line 24 hours a day through USAJOBS. Status updates will be available after 2-3 weeks. For instructions on checking your application status click: Checking My Application Status. No additional correspondence will be sent.

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