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

Job Title:Agricultural Commodity Grader (Processed Fruit and Vegetable)

Department:Department Of Agriculture

Agency:Agricultural Marketing Service

Job Announcement Number:24FV-2013-0018

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$35,309.00 to $56,863.00 / Per Year


Friday, February 01, 2013 to Friday, February 15, 2013




Full-Time - Permanent




1 vacancy - North Brunswick, NJ, USView Map


This announcement is open to all United States citizens. (Current and Former Federal employees may also apply with a separate application to Merit Promotion vacancy announcement #6FV-2013-0039. For information on viewing Merit Promotion announcements, click Locating a Status Position on USAJOBS.)


Relocation expenses will not be paid

The position is located in a field location of the Processed Products Division, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, Agricultural Marketing Service. The incumbent performs inspection and grading work on processed fruits, vegetables, and related products at processing plants, Area Offices and/or inspection points and similar facilities as assigned. Assignments are technically limited and/or involve a limited number of varieties of processed fruits and vegetables.

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!


  • 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:

  • Selects representative samples from product lines or completed lots according to approved sample plans.
  • Determines the U.S. grade and issues certification documents for products inspected; inspectors evaluate and determine a variety of differences in product quality.
  • Performs condition of container inspection to determine kind and extent of defects and condition of product inspection at destination.
  • Observes processing plants for sanitation to determine compliance with Department rules and FDA regulations. If the plant is not in compliance, the grader reports this to plant management and higher Branch officials.
  • Observes characteristics of the raw product; advises plant management of findings and the feasibility of proposed changes to improve quality stability of the processed product and sanitation.
  • Performs a limited number of analytical determinations by prescribed methods and techniques under the direction of an inspector of higher grade.


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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: A four-year course of study leading to a bachelor's degree.

GS-7: One full year (18 semester hours) of graduate level education in agriculture, mathematics, engineering, science, business, economics;


Superior Academic Achievement. To qualify based on superior academic achievement, you must have completed the requirements for a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution AND must meet certain GPA requirements. For more details click Superior Academic Achievement

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.
  • You are qualify for this position based on Superior Academic Achievement.

    This education must have been successfully completed and obtained from an accredited school, college, or university. For more information on submitting transcripts, click: Transcripts

    GENERAL EXPERIENCE AT THE GS-5 GRADE LEVEL: Applicants must have three years of general, progressively responsible experience, one year of which is equivalent to at least the GS-4 level in the Federal Service. This experience may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors. General experience is that which demonstrates the ability to analyze problems to identify significant factors, gather pertinent data, and recognize solutions; plan and organize work; and communicate effectively orally and in writing. Such experience may have been gained performing the following types of work - commodity buyer, receiving clerk, office manager, administrative assistant (with decision-making responsibility), food processing laboratory work (managerial or technical), and farm experience that included responsibility for decision-making (excludes general laborers). General clerical experience (typing, filing, routine procedural processing, maintaining records, or other non-specialized tasks) is not creditable.

    SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE AT THE GS-7 GRADE LEVEL: 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:

  • Performs grading, sampling and/or inspection assignments of a simple and routine nature.
  • Displays greater knowledge of grading principles, standards, and regulations, increased skill in identifying and describing product defect, and/or skill and knowledge in inspecting facilities.
  • Draws samples of product, performs mechanical tests, attends formal training courses in grading agricultural commodities, and grades samples.
  • Grades and inspects distinct products for comparison with clear standards and common contract specifications.
  • Identifies and describes common product defects or diseases to establish their causes.
  • Identifies and determines the cause of common defects and diseases of these products or product types.

    COMBINATION OF EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE AT THE GS-5/7 GRADE LEVELS: Applicants may have combinations of successfully completed education and 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:

  • As a condition of employment, a background investigation may be required for this position.
  • 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.
  • Subject to satisfactory completion of one year probationary period.
  • Selectee will be required to complete a self-certification medical statement.
  • Selectee will be subject to a post-employment medical examination.
  • Work environment includes exposure to freezing and/or hot temperatures, slippery surfaces, moving materials, handling equipment, high noise level, and similar risks typical of fruit and vegetable and related processing plants and storage areas.
  • Work requires ability to work in close proximity to others and/or alone; to work weekends and overtime; to travel for extended periods of time; to work multiple shifts and change/rotate shifts; and to operate a motor vehicle.
  • Valid state driver's license required at time of hiring.
  • Selectee will be required to sign a Mobility Agreement at the time of appointment indicating willingness to accept a reassignment to other geographical locations throughout the United States.
  • Work requires periods of physical exertion to lift and move boxes and cartons of product weighing up to 50 pounds; prolonged periods of standing, walking, stooping, bending, and climbing; physical coordination and finger dexterity in at least one hand to perform digital examinations of commodities; normal or corrected vision in at least one eye for distance, depth perception, and color to detect abnormalities in product; ability to assure safety in a highly-mechanized and/or noisy environment through adequate or correctable hearing; use of both legs, arms, and hands to perform carrying, pulling, pushing, reaching above the shoulder, kneeling, grasping, and working with hands in water; ability to determine product quality organoleptically (e.g. through sight, smell, and/or taste).

    • 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.
      • General Commodity Inspection and Grading Skills
      • Communication Skills
      • Decision Making, Leadership, Supervisory and Project/Program Management
      • Processed Fruit & Vegetable Grading
    • 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: $35,309 to $45,898 (incl. 28.72% locality pay)

    Range for GS-7: $43,738 to $56,863 (incl. 28.72% locality pay)

    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: 612-336-3345
    Fax: 612-336-3560
    Agency Information:
    Agricultural Marketing 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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