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 (Domestic)

Department:Department Of Agriculture

Agency:Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Job Announcement Number:24PQ-2013-0075

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 $40,706.00 / Per Year


Wednesday, January 23, 2013 to Tuesday, June 18, 2013




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




1 vacancy - San Juan, PRView Map


This announcement is open to all United States citizens.


Relocation expenses will not be paid.  This position serves the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program.

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:

  • Participates fully in planning, scheduling, and coordinating survey and control measures in assigned areas and in biocontrol, biotechnology, and other program activities.
  • Under direction of a PPQ Officer, Manager, or Specialist, inspects and surveys properties (e.g. farms, rangeland, nurseries, shipping points) for the presence of harmful plants and plant pests; inspections and surveys are made individually or by leading teams of lower graded employees.
  • Assists with enforcing Federal and/or State plant quarantines and regulatory orders which restrict movement of plants, plant products, and equipment and other regulated articles into or out of regulated areas and with issuing certificates permitting the movement of regulated articles and reviews compliance agreements.
  • Maintains daily records of work and program activities and prepares reports on activities and accomplishments within the assigned area, using Global Positioning System/Geographic Information System (GPS/GIS) equipment and associated software.
  • Independently gathers information on pest to be surveyed, requests or prepares maps used in connection with survey activities, assists in delineating and defining quarantine areas and buffer zones when trapping and/or treating for a target pest, and plans and conducts survey work following established protocols.
  • Services and maintains vehicles records.
  • Maintains all mandatory certifications and completes all mandatory trainings within prescribed timeframes.


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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-year course of study above high school leading to a bachelor's degree years that included at least 16 semester hours in courses such as 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 qualifying experience include, but are not limited to:

  • Recognizing various agricultural commodities (fruits and vegetables identification), plant pests, and conditions that may have adverse effects on agricultural products.
  • Dealing with the general public and employees of Federal and State enforcement agencies.
  • Enforcing Federal/State agricultural quarantines which restrict the movement of plants, plant products, animal products, animal by-products, and equipment into or out of foreign and domestic areas. 


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 one-year trial period.
  • Valid state driver's license required at time of hiring.
  • Work consists of indoor and outdoor activities with moderate exposure to sometimes uncomfortable and dangerous situations, such as working in adverse weather conditions and around large agricultural or industrial machinery.  Must take precautionary measures to ensure personal safety, such as wearing personal protective equipment (e.g. protective clothing, safety glasses, breathing apparatus) and consider safety and health of others.
  • Requires physical exertion to walk, bend, stoop, and lift items of moderate weight.  Will walk, climb, or hike on sometimes slippery and uneven ground surfaces.
  • Considerable travel may be required in domestic program situations.  Assignments may require extended work in remote/rural areas.
  • Must maintain a security clearance level sufficient to perform the essential functions of this position.


  • 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.


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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)


In addition to the salary listed, selectee will be eligible for a 4.20% Cost-of-Living Allowance.


This salary range does not reflect the general pay increase scheduled for April 2013. 


  • 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 (you will be prompted to complete these questions during the online application process)
    • 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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