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

Job Title:Plant Protection Technician

Department:Department Of Agriculture

Agency:Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Job Announcement Number:24PQ-2013-0064

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$28,627.00 to $37,213.00 / Per Year


Friday, January 11, 2013 to Friday, January 18, 2013




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




1 vacancy - Phoenix, AZ, USView Map


This announcement is open to all United States citizens.


Relocation expenses will not be paid

You will serve as a team member, performing a variety of survey, control and regulatory functions. 

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 the following:

  • Contacts landowners, tenants, farmers, etc. for the purpose of securing permission to enter property and conduct previously agreed upon survey, control and / or eradication activities
  • Inspects and surveys properties for the presence of harmful insects, plants and plant diseases, using traps or other approved survey methods.  Properties inspected include, but are not limited to, farms, nurseries, orchards, fields, wooded areas, commercial and industrial sites, etc.
  • Using standardized procedures, conducts the treatment of or removal of infested, infected, or susceptible plants; the fumigation or treatment of equipment, plants and soils; and the elimination of alternate host plants by chemical or physical means.  Re-inspects treated and surrounding areas to determine effects of control measures.
  • Assists with the enforcement of approved Federal and / or State quarantines and regulatory orders which are designed to restrict the movement of plants, plant products, and equipment into or out of regulated areas by inspecting trucks, cars, mobile homes, other motor vehicles, plant products, etc., which are being moved into or out of the quarantine areas.
  • Collects data and maintains daily program records, outlining findings, treatments made, etc.  Maintains vehicle service records and develops rough maps showing control of eradication treatments, areas surveyed or pest finds located.


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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 EXPERIENCE requirements.


GS-4: Successful completion of a 2 year course of study above the high school level from an accredited college or university, that included at least 4 semester hours in courses such biology, plant pathology, entomology, zoology, botany, forestry, chemistry, agriculture, or physics.

TRANSCRIPTS are required if:

  • This position requires specific coursework or a degree in a specific field to be basically qualified.
  • 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

EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS AT THE GS-4 GRADE LEVEL: Applicants must have 6 months of general and 6 months of specialized experience equivalent to the next lower grade in the Federal service.  Qualifying general experience is progressively responsible clerical, office, or other work that indicates an ability to acquire the particular knowledge and skills needed to perform the duties of the position to be filled.  Qualifying specialized experience must have provided familiarity with the methods, procedures, and techniques involved in inspecting, detecting, identifying, eradicating, suppressing, or controlling plant pests, and in the enforcement of Federal and State quarantines. 

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

  • Experience in conducting field surveys for exotic pests of concern, with a focus on citrus pest surveys.
  • Experience in the use of GPS technology in a pest survey context as well as developing and maintaining accurate maps of survey activities.
  • Experience collecting data in the field and from daily records and preparing reports on activities accomplished.
  • Knowledge of the use of computers in conducting daily work including the use of spreadsheets, word documents, and the internet.
  • Experience contacting stakeholders (i.e. landowners, tenants, managers, etc.) to obtain permission to conduct surveys enforcing regulations.

COMBINATION OF EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE AT THE GS-4 GRADE LEVEL: 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 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.
  • Applicants are required to operate a motor vehicle and must possess a valid State Driver's License at time of appointment.


  • 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, written and interpersonal communication 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.


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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: 612-336-3345
    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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