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    The Specialty Crops Inspection (SCI) Division is responsible for developing U.S. grade standards and providing inspection, grading, certification, and audit-based services nation-wide on a user-fee basis for fresh and processed fruits and vegetables and related products.  SCI Division coordinates Federal and Federal-State terminal market and shipping point inspections for fresh fruits and vegetables and maintains cooperative agreements with individual States and Puerto Rico to meet the needs of these programs.  SCI Division develops and conducts training in support of these inspection and audit-based programs.  SCI Division also provides services including information coordination and label review services in support of USDA feeding programs.  SCI Division is also responsible for Government-wide development and coordination of Commercial Item Descriptions for foods.

    SCI Division Area Offices deliver Division services to applicants within the individual office’s designated geographic area of coverage.  Services are provided by area office inspection personnel under the supervision of the Officer-in-Charge (OIC), the Assistant Officer-in-Charge (AOIC), and possibly a Sub-area Supervisor (SAS). 
    The incumbent serves as a grader at an inspection point, processing facility or area office lab. Assignments may also involve details and/or reassignment to a different geographical area as determined by management.  

    One position available in Jessup, Maryland
    One position available in Cockeysville, Maryland

    Salary Information:  First time hires to the Federal government normally start at the lowest rate of the salary range for the grade selected.

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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:

    • Inspects products to determine the quality, condition, and/or compliance with U.S. Grade Standards or stated contract specifications.  Typically, this requires considering such factors as: product size, shape, color, and similar quality factors; product maturity, firmness, breakdown or decay, bruising, and similar condition factors; and quantity, packaging, or similar conditions which are common in contract specifications.
    • Prepares inspection reports based on examination of product. Also in difficult or unusual cases, prepares a draft certificate with a tentative determination and submits it for higher-level review (i.e., a supervisor, inspector-in-charge or senior grader) before issuance. 
    • Performs inspections and grading of products with which the employee is unfamiliar under the guidance of a senior grader, inspector-in-charge or supervisor.
    • For processed fruits and vegetables, related products and/or nuts: draws and examines representative samples of products and determines grade, condition and wholesomeness in accordance with official grade standards, buyer-seller contracts or other written specifications.
    • Makes observations to determine if plant facilities, operating methods, processing equipment and personnel are in compliance with SCI sanitation requirements and FDA regulations.
    • Observes the raw product material to establish the suitability for processing and advises plant management of the results.
    • Performs a limited number of analytical determinations by prescribed methods and techniques, often under the direction of an inspector of higher grade.
    • Instructs technicians and aids in proper grading and inspection techniques. Also may serve as a lead grader at a processing plant, peanut buying point and/or shelling facility and may coordinate activities, schedules and work assignments for other inspection personnel assigned to the facility.
    • May monitor processing plant operations, product grade evaluation, and quality control procedures; provides technical assistance as necessary.

    Travel Required

    76% or greater - Extensive travel may be required.

    Supervisory status


    Promotion Potential


    Who May Apply

    This job is open to…

    US Citizens and Nationals; no prior Federal experience is required.

    Questions? This job is open to 1 group.

This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/504493700. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.