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Plant Protection and Quarantine Technician

In this position, you will perform a variety of inspection, survey, control, and regulatory functions to restrict the movement of plants, plant products, and equipment into or out of regulated areas.

  • This is a temporary appointment not to exceed one year (Appointment may be extended one additional year without re-announcing). For more details click: Temporary Appointments

The duties may include, but are not limited to:

  • 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.
  • Uses standardized procedures, conducts the treatment of, elimination of, or removal of infested, infected, or susceptible plants; the fumigation or treatment of equipment, plants and soils.
  • Assists with the enforcement of approved Federal or State quarantines and regulatory orders , designed to restrict the movement of plants, plant products, and equipment into or out of regulated areas.
  • Collects data and maintains daily program records, outlining findings, treatments made, maintains vehicle service records, etc.
  • Develops rough maps showing control or eradication treatments, areas surveyed or pest finds located.


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a US Citizen or US National.


Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement, including specialized experience and/or education, as defined below.

FOR THE GS-04 LEVEL: Applicants must have 6 months of general experience and 6 months specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-03 level) that may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors which demonstrates:

  • Conducting field surveys for exotic pests of concern.
  • Using GPS technology in a pest survey context as well as developing and maintaining accurate maps of survey activities.
  • Collecting data in the field and from daily records and preparing reports on activities accomplished.
  • Contacting stakeholders (i.e. landowners, tenants, managers, etc.) to obtain permission to conduct surveys enforcing regulations.

OR Successful completion of 2 years of study that included at least 8 semester hours in courses such as biology, plant pathology, entomology, zoology, botany, forestry, chemistry, agriculture, or physics.

Equivalent combinations of education and experience are qualifying for this grade level.

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

COMBINATION OF EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE AT THE GS-04 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.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional, philanthropic, religious, spiritual, community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

Applications will be evaluated in accordance with Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) Delegated Examining Procedures and USDA policy using category rating. Applicants who meet basic minimum qualifications will be placed in one of three categories: Best Qualified, Well Qualified, or Qualified. Within these categories, applicants eligible for veteran's preference will receive selection priority over non-veterans. Category placement will be determined based on applicants' quality of experience and the extent they possess the following knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) or competencies:


  • Botany
  • Entomology
  • Pest Control
  • Spatial Orientation

Your application, including the online Assessment Questionnaire, will be reviewed to determine if you meet (a) minimum qualification requirements and (b) the resume supports the answers provided to the job-specific questions. Your resume must clearly support your responses to all the questions addressing experience and education relevant to this position. Those determined to be in the best qualified category will be referred to the selecting official for consideration.

Note: If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your score may be adjusted to more accurately reflect your abilities, or you may be found ineligible. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Providing inaccurate information on Federal documents could be grounds for non-selection or disciplinary action up to including removal from the Federal service.

To preview the application questionnaire, please visit: