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Plant Protection & Quarantine Officer

Plant Protection & Quarantine Officer (Plant Health & Trade Compliance Officer)

St. Thomas, VI

If selected you will serve as primary liaison for the Agency on operational activities and work with state officials, and others interested in activities affected by Agency plant quarantine programs. You will perform specialized duties that provide a comprehensive approach to biosecurity, minimizing the risk of biological and economic damage caused by exotic, non-native plant and animal organisms to agriculture, natural resources, and U.S. trade initiatives for overall plant health activities.

  • 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:
  • Manages multiple program areas and/or a multi-faceted program, anticipating and providing solutions for problems in program areas without the direction of the supervisor.
  • Provides recommendations to the supervisor and staff on design and development of guidelines, operational standards and procedures.
  • Plans, coordinates, and conducts all aspects of operational activities, including special programs, newly emerging programs, or operational functions, including pest survey programs and treatments.
  • Interprets and enforces Federal and State domestic quarantines and regulatory orders restricting the interstate and intrastate movement or shipment of plants, plant products, animal byproduct.
  • Identifies or verifies identification of noxious weeds and plant pests, such as plant pathogens, insects and nematodes, and plant pest hosts and geographical distribution.
  • Provides technical assistance in program operations by tracking program progress and providing reports.
  • Participates in public awareness activities, and information-sharing meetings, as well as training and technology transfers to public and private stakeholders.
  • Serves as accredited certifying official regarding export certification which includes interpreting foreign quarantine regulations to facilitate international trade.
  • Provides specialized inspection, regulation, and clearance of high-risk propagative plant material, plant products, and pest diagnostic identification services.

Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a US Citizen or US National.
  • Individuals who were born male after 12/31/1959 must be Selective Service registered or exempt.
  • Subject to satisfactory adjudication of background investigation and/or fingerprint check.
  • Successful completion of one-year probationary period, unless previously served.
  • Direct Deposit: Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to their financial institution.
  • Successfully pass the E-Verify employment verification check. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, visit E-Verify at
  • Selectee will be subject to a pre-employment medical statement and/or exam.
  • Valid state driver's license is required at the time of application.
  • In accordance with Office of Government Ethics regulations concerning conflict of interest, the incumbent will be required to submit a financial disclosure report within 30 days of their effective date of appointment and annually thereafter.
  • The incumbent may be required to maintain certification for the wearing of personal protective equipment, including respirators such as Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) and maintain a valid pesticide certification.
  • The incumbent must also be able to travel on a routine basis and be willing to work at odd times, including overtime, weekends, holidays, and shifts.



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

BASIC REQUIREMENT: Degree: biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position.


Combination of education and experience: Courses equivalent to a major (24 semester hours/36 quarter hours), as shown in above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

FOR THE GS-07 LEVEL: In addition to meeting the Basic Requirement, applicants must have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-05 grade level) that demonstrates:

  • Professional knowledge of pertinent regulations, policies, and procedures of agricultural quarantine principles and biological and scientific principles, techniques of collection and identification.
  • Researched, interpreted and applied regulations for the importation of agricultural commodities/food products.
  • Assisted in conducting risk analysis regarding potential threats to agricultural, economic and/or health interests.
  • Experience in multiple program areas and/or multifaceted programs, such as post entry quarantine, gypsy moth, biological control, grasshopper/Mormon cricket, etc.


1 year of graduate-level education in biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position.


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 1) have a class standing in the upper third of the graduating class, 2) membership in a national scholastic honor society (excluding Freshman honor societies), or 3) must meet certain GPA requirements. GPA requirements: 3.0 or higher out of a possible 4.0 as recorded on official transcripts or as computed based on 4 years of education, or courses completed during the final 2 year of the curriculum; OR 3.5 or higher out of a possible 4.0 based on the average of the required course completed in the major field or courses completed during the final 2 years of the curriculum (GPA will be rounded to one decimal place, e.g., 2.95 rounds to 3.0 and 2.94 rounds to 2.9).Equivalent combinations of education and experience are qualifying for this grade level.

TRANSCRIPTS are required if:

  • This position requires specific coursework or a degree in a specific field to be basically qualified.
  • 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 qualifying for this position based on Superior Academic Achievement.
  • This education must have been successfully completed and obtained from an accredited school, college, or university.

COMBINATION OF EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE AT THE GS-07 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.


Please see above for education qualification requirement information.

Additional information

  • Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP), Reemployment Priority List (RPL), or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): Visit the OPM website for information on how to apply as a CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP eligible. To exercise selection priority for this vacancy, CTAP/RPL/ICTAP candidates must meet the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors. CTAP/ICTAP candidates must be rated and determined to be well qualified (or above) based on an evaluation of the competencies listed in the How You Will Be Evaluated section. When assessed through a score-based category rating method, CTAP/ICTAP applicants must receive a rating of at least 85 out of a possible 100.
  • First time hires to the federal government normally start at the lowest rate of the salary range for the grade selected.
  • Travel, transportation, and relocation expenses will not be paid. Any travel, transportation, and relocation expense associated with reporting for duty will be the responsibility of the selected employee.
  • This position is represented by a collective bargaining unit (union), specifically the National Association of Agricultural Employees.
  • Promotion Potential: If you are selected for a position with further promotion potential, you will be placed under a career development plan, and may be non-competitively promoted if you successfully complete the requirements and if recommended by management. However, promotion is neither implied nor guaranteed.
  • Worksite Information: This position may be eligible to telework up to four days per week, based upon the duties of the position. This position may also be eligible for flexible work arrangements as determined by agency policy and any applicable collective bargaining agreements. Additional information regarding ad hoc, occasional, or reoccurring telework may be obtained at a later time from the hiring manager or program during the hiring process.