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

Job Title:Tree Climber

Department:Department Of Agriculture

Agency:Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Job Announcement Number:24PQ-2013-0045

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$17.87 to $20.86 / Per Hour


Monday, December 10, 2012 to Monday, December 17, 2012




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




1 vacancy - Amelia, OH, USView Map


This announcement is open to all United States citizens.


Relocation expenses will not be paid.  Position is located in the Plant Protection and Quarantine, Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) Emergency Program.  The incumbent deals with protecting agriculture and natural resources from endemic and exotic pests and enhancing the competitiveness of American agricultural exports. Involves inspecting trees to determine infestation with an exotic pest; providing quality assurance surveillance of tree survey activities performed by program staff and staff from other organizations (e.g. contractors, federal and state agencies); and monitoring the efficacy of chemical treatment activities through residue sampling.

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 may include, but are not limited to:

  • Serves as a tree climber or aerial lifting device operator located onsite at an Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) plant pest emergency program.
  • Assesses the work of climbers from other organizations (e.g. contractors, federal and state agencies, etc.); climbs trees to inspect for pests, collects pest and environmental samples, and places objects simulating pest injury to measure quality assurance of inspections performed by non-APHIS employees and contractors.
  • Monitors the daily work assignments of climbers assigned to the program from other organizations; makes recommendations to the lead climber or supervisor of optimum utilization of climbers based on number of climbers available, type of area being surveyed, and knowledge of infestations in the various areas.
  • Inspects climbing equipment of other federal agency climbers under their direct supervision to ensure it is in good condition and meets all safety requirements.
  • Collects tree material samples for environmental monitoring of trees chemically treated using prescribed protocols for submission to identifiers or laboratories.
  • Climbs trees using rope and harness; uses spikes or spurs in a rescue situation and is proficient in their use; operates and maintains hand saws and knives; works in trees of varying heights often near power lines, using climbing ropes and saddle.
  • Inspects trees for pests or indications of pest injury or infestation and conducts inventories of trees, identifying tree species, collecting program specific tree data using Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment and maps; recording data on paper, forms, or electronic data logger.
  • When conditions prohibit climbing, as determined by program management, climbers will be assigned administrative and/or clerical duties associated with ALB eradication efforts.


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To qualify, you must show you have had training and experience of sufficient scope and quality to provide you with the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the duties of the position.  Your answers to the vacancy specific questions must be supported by the work experience in your resume.  For example, if you respond in the affirmative when questioned whether you have experience climbing trees, your resume must include this experience, mindful that experience may not be inferred by job title.

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.
  • Work schedule subject to overtime, weekend tours of duty, and holiday work.
  • Must maintain a current, valid driver's license.
  • Travel is required; must attend annual tree climbing refresher training and all other necessary training.
  • Will be required to satisfactorily pass and retain an agency-provided tree climber certification consisting of a knowledge and proficiency test.
  • Required to pass a physical examination (at government expense) within 10 working days of entrance on duty.
  • Will be paid an appropriate environmental differential as authorized by federal regulations.
  • Work is outdoors in all kinds of weather on public and private property.  Poison Ivy is common in work areas, and incumbent will come in contact with mosquitos and other biting insects.
  • Must be in good physical condition.  Occasionally lifts objects over 100 pounds.  Stands for extended periods of time.  Work requires bending, stretching, stooping, pushing, pulling, climbing, and walking; using ropes and harnesses to climb to the top of trees several times per day (tree size may vary from 15 to 100 feet tall).  Must wear and use all necessary safety items and equipment.


  • 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 work independently, make decisions, plan operations, and show job responsibility
    • Knowledge of tree identification and tree climbing and use of measuring instruments
    • Ability to interpret instructions and specifications other than blue print
    • Ability to use and maintain tools and equipment
    • Dexterity and safety
    • Ability to lead or supervise
  • 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


  • 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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