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

Job Title:Agricultural Science Research Technician

Department:Department Of Agriculture

Agency:Agricultural Research Service

Job Announcement Number:DE-13-852774-EMS

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$34,075.00 to $44,293.00 / Per Year


Tuesday, March 12, 2013 to Monday, March 25, 2013




Full Time - Term NTE 13 months




Few vacancies in the following location:
Washington DC, DC United StatesView Map


United States Citizens


Find Solutions to Agricultural Problems that Affect Americans Every Day, From Field to Table

The incumbent is responsible for development and maintenance of gardens and collections at the U.S. National Arboretum which will involve propagation, planting, and maintenance of ornamental plant germplasm in a garden setting.  This is a TERM position not to exceed thirteen months, but may be extended up to four years.


This job opportunity announcement will be used to fill at least one and maybe more positions as funding permits.



  • Must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this position
  • Suitability for employment will be determined by a background investigation
  • Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered with Selective Service
  • Some weekend and holiday work may be required
  • Valid motor vehicle or commercial driver's license is required.
  • Must be able to lift 50 pounds


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The incumbent will:

  • Maintain plants and hardscape features in garden and landscape settings.
  • Maintain, calibrate, and operate irrigation systems used to deliver water to garden areas.
  • Propagate plants by seeds, cuttings, and other means.
  • Collect, prepare, evaluate, and verify plant records.
  • Maintain spray equipment and prepare pesticide solutions for use in the landscape and greenhouse.
  • Keep work site in a neat and orderly manner.

Note: The incumbent must have a valid DC pesticide applicator's license or must meet the requirements to be registered as an applicator.  Please indicate in your resume if you possess this license.


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MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:  To be considered minimally qualified for this position at the GS-5 level, you must meet at least one of the requirements listed below:

Experience: You must have at least one year (12-months) of full-time specialized work experience equivalent to the GS-04 grade level in the Federal service performing the following types of duties:  

  • Propagating, planting, and maintaining ornamental plant germplasm in a garden setting;
  • Maintaining, calibrating and operating irrigation systems used to deliver water to garden areas;
  • Maintaining spray equipment and preparing pesticide solutions for use in the landscape or greenhouse; and 
  • Using a personal computer and software packages in the data collection and data entry process.
  • OR 

    Education: You must have successfully completed 4 years (120 semester hours) of study above high school at an accredited college or university that included at least 24 semester hours in any combination of the following courses: horticulture, plant science, biology,  entomology, botany, landscape design and construction, agriculture, or plant pathology.  (YOU MUST SUBMIT TRANSCRIPTS) 


    Combination of Education and Experience: If you do not possess the required amount of experience or education listed above, an equivalent combination of education and experience may be qualifying. For example, 6 months of the specialized experience described above (50% of the experience requirement), and 1 year of college study from an accredited institution (50% of the qualifying education) as specified above equals 100% of the total requirement.  Note: Only undergraduate education in excess of the first two years (60 semester hours) may be combined with experience at the GS-5 grade level (YOU MUST SUBMIT TRANSCRIPTS)

    All qualification requirements must be met by the closing date of this vacancy announcement.

    Applicants must be available to report for duty at the time a selection is made.  Selections are typically made within 30 days of the closing date of the announcement.


    Your application will be evaluated and rated under Category Rating Procedures.  Qualified candidates will be placed for selection consideration into three categories:  Best Qualified, Well Qualified or Qualified.  Within these categories, applicants eligible for veterans' preference will receive selection priority over non-veterans.  Your resume will be reviewed and compared against your responses to the online questionnaire.  We strongly encourage you to answer every question that accompanies this vacancy, as your responses will better highlight your specific qualifications. 

    Your qualifications will be evaluated on the following competencies: 

    • Knowledge of the basic principles of horticulture, including plant identification, plant cultural needs, and garden maintenance.
    • Ability to construct, repair, and maintain garden hardscape features, including stonework and masonry.
    • Skill in the maintenance of automated irrigation systems and other landscape maintenance equipment.
    • Ability to use personal computers and software packages in the data collection and data entry process.

    • Please note that your resume must thoroughly support your responses to the assessment questionnaire.  High self-assessment in the applicant questions that is not supported by information in your resume may eliminate you from best-qualified status and subsequent referral to the selecting official.

      Displaced/Surplus Employees:  Individuals eligible under the USDA Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) must be well qualified for the position to receive consideration for special priority selection.  CTAP and ICTAP eligibles within the local commuting area will be considered well qualified if the applicant meets the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors, and is rated in the Well Qualified Category as described in the How You Will Be Evaluated section.  Employees seeking CTAP/ICTAP eligibility must submit a copy of the agency notice, a copy of their most recent performance rating and a copy of their most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level and duty location.  Please annotate your application to reflect that you are applying as a CTAP or ICTAP eligible.  CLICK HERE for additional information on CTAP and ICTAP.


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    The Federal government offers a number of exceptional benefits to its employees.  The following link provides an overview of the benefits currently offered to Federal employees:


    Financial Disclosure Requirement:
    The Research, Education and Economics (REE) agencies inspire public confidence in our missions by maintaining high ethical principles. Employees are subject to Federal government-wide regulations and statutes as described on the REE Ethics Webpage. You may be required to submit a financial disclosure report if hired for this position.

    False Statements:
    If you make a false statement in any part of your application, you may not be hired; may be fired after beginning work; or may be fined or jailed.

    Reasonable Accommodation:
    Reasonable accommodation is provided to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, or have questions regarding reasonable accommodation and/or accessibility for any part of the application and hiring process, please contact the Disability Program Manager on 202-720-6161 or through the DC Relay Service on (202) 855-1234 (TDD). The decision to grant reasonable accommodation is made on a case-by-case basis.


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    Your application package must be complete by 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Monday, March 25, 2013.  You must apply online or by fax (see below for details).  Applications sent by mail (including e-mail) or hand-delivered will not be accepted.  Certain individuals are entitled to file a late application and must contact the Agency Contact listed below for details and application instructions. 

    Choose either Option A or Option B to apply for this position:

    Option A:  Online Application
    Click the Apply Online button to create an account or log in to your existing USAJOBS account.  From USAJOBS, you will be routed to Application Manager.  Follow the prompts to complete the occupational questionnaire and upload (or reuse) supporting documents.  You must click the Submit My Answers button at the end of the process.

    If you need technical assistance with the online application process, please send an e-mail to

    Note: To verify your application is complete, log into your USAJOBS account,, select the Application Status link and then select the more information link for this position. The Details page will display the status of your application, the documentation received and processed, and any correspondence the agency has sent related to this application.  Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process.


    To return to an incomplete application, log into your USAJOBS account and click Update Application in the vacancy announcement.  You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USAJOBS account or your application will be incomplete.
    To fax supporting documents that you are unable to upload:
    1. Click here to print a fax cover page 
    2. Complete all blocks on the cover page using Vacancy ID 852774.  Documents will not be processed if information is missing.
    3. Fax the completed cover page and your documents to 1-478-757-3144.

    Option B:  Fax
    If you cannot apply online, follow these steps to fax your complete application package.
    1. Click the following link to print the occupational questionnaire View Occupational Questionnaire;
    2. Click here to print the 1203FX form, which you will use to provide your responses to the occupational questionnaire; and  
    3. Fax the completed 1203FX (all 6 pages), your resume, and supporting documents (including those specified in the Required Documents section below) to 1-478-757-3144.  The 1203FX will serve as the cover page for your fax transmission and must be placed on top of all other documents.


    The following documents are required:  
       - Assessment questionnaire (completed online or submitted by fax using the 1203FX) 
       - Resume

    In addition, you may need to submit supplemental documentation (as outlined below).  Failure to submit supplemental information by the closing date of this announcement will result in the loss of the particular consideration you are requesting.

    Veterans' Preference:  To claim 5-point veterans' preference, submit Member 4 copy of your DD-214 or other proof of eligibility.  To claim 10-point veterans' preference, submit an SF-15, Application for 10-Point Veterans' Preference, plus the documentation required by that form.  Active Duty Service Members must submit a statement of discharge/certification of release or an official written document from the armed forces that certifies you are expected to be discharged or released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions no later than 120 days from the date the certification is signed.  Enlisted Record Briefs and military identification do NOT qualify as official documentation.

    Transcripts:  If you indicate that you possess any form of post-secondary education, you must submit transcripts detailing your coursework and/or degree(s). At the time your education was obtained, the entire institution, applicable school within the institution, or the applicable curriculum must have been appropriately accredited by an accrediting organization recognized by the Secretary, U.S. Department of Education. You may lose consideration for this position if you fail to provide this information.

    Foreign Education:  To receive credit for education outside the U.S., you must show proof that the education has been submitted to a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign educational credentials and that such education has been deemed to be at least equivalent to that gained in conventional U.S. education programs.


    Midwest Services Branch
    Phone: (816)426-5706
    Agency Information:
    Recruitment Effort for OPM and FSA
    Call or e-mail us with your questions
    Thank You, MO


    Once your complete application package (including all required documents) is received, we will conduct an evaluation of your qualifications and determine your ranking.  The best qualified candidates will be referred for further consideration and possible interview.  You will be notified of the outcome.

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