Horticulturist (Turf Specialist)

Washington D.C.
Feb 26, 2019
Feb 26, 2019
Full Time

Not required

Relocation expenses reimbursed No

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen
  • You must be able to pass a drug test
  • Your resume and question responses must demonstrate the job-related KSAs
  • You must meet the education requirement
  • You must possess and maintain a valid, unexpired State driver's license
  • Applicants must possess and maintain a valid and unexpired State driver's license at the time of application.

    To apply pesticides in the District of Columbia Applicants must possess a valid and unexpired D.C. Pesticide Applicator’s License or a valid, unexpired State pesticide license with D.C. reciprocity in categories 3A, 3B, 3C.

    You must meet the United States Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) qualification requirements (including specialized experience and/or educational requirements) for the advertised position. You must meet all eligibility and qualifications requirements by the closing date of the job announcement. Additional information on the qualification requirements is outlined in the OPM Qualifications Standards Handbook of General Schedule Positions. It is available for your review on the OPM web site at OPM qualification standards

    Specialized experience is experience that has equipped you with the particular knowledge, skills and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the position to be filled. To be creditable, specialized experience must have been equivalent to at least the next lower grade level.
    Candidates for the GS-07 grade level must have at least 52 weeks of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-05 grade level in the Federal service.

    Examples of specialized experience include the following: (1) Assisting with turf condition assessments and determining corrective work required; (2) Planting, cultivating and caring for flowers, shrubs, lawns and trees; (3) Performing drainage control and turf irrigation; (4) Assisting with inspections and maintaining records of landscape maintenance operations; and (5) Assisting with budget justifications, contracting activities and tracking accountable property.


    You may substitute education for experience for this position. Your education must consist of at least one full year of graduate education or superior academic achievement (SAA) on a 4-year degree. Must be related to the duties of the position.

    You qualify for the GS-7 level if you meet one of the following SAA criteria in a qualifying field of study.

    1. Class Standing – You were in the upper third of the graduating class in your college, university, or major subdivision (e.g., College of Liberal Arts or the School of Business Administration) based on completed courses.

    2. Grade-Point Average (G.P.A.) –

    1.     You have a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher out of a possible 4.0 as recorded on your official transcript, or as computed based either on 4 years of education or on the courses you completed during the last 2 years of your curriculum.
    2.     You have a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher (out of a possible 4.0) in the required courses you completed in your major field or the required courses you completed in your major field during the last 2 years of your curriculum.

    Note: You should round your grade-point average to one decimal place. For example, 2.95 would be rounded to 3.0 and 2.94 would round to 2.9.

    3. Election to Membership in a National Scholastic Honor Society 

    Basic Education Requirements:

    Degree: Horticulture; or a related discipline of basic plant science that included at least 30 semester hours in the basic plant sciences, of which at least 16 semester hours were in horticultural subjects such as those dealing with the breeding, care, management, production, and post-harvest handling of horticultural crops.


    Combination of education and experience: courses equivalent to a major in horticulture or a related discipline of basic plant science that included course work as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

    Courses in botany, plant physiology, plant taxonomy, plant pathology, genetics, agronomy, horticulture, and similar courses may be used to meet the 30-semester-hour requirement in basic plant sciences.

    The 16-semester-hour requirement in horticulture includes course work in basic horticulture and course work related to any of the recognized subject-matter fields of horticulture, i.e., fruits, vegetables, ornamentals, nursery work, seed production, or course work in related areas of science, such as micro-biology, entomology, plant pathology, plant physiology, or genetics that is directly related to horticultural work.

    Special Instructions for Foreign Education:

    Education completed outside of the United States must be deemed equivalent to that gained in conventional/accredited U.S. education programs to be acceptable for Federal employment.

    Qualifying education from colleges and universities in foreign countries must be evaluated in terms of equivalency to that acquired in U.S. colleges and universities. Applicants educated in whole or in part of foreign countries must provide sufficient evidence, including transcripts, to an accredited private organization for an equivalency evaluation of course work and degree.

    Welcome Veterans. The Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA) gives veterans' preference rights in the legislative branch to certain veterans as applied by the Congressional Accountability Act. Veterans' preference is applied on this vacancy announcement. If you are a veteran and have been separated under honorable conditions, you must submit a copy of your DD-214 or other proof of eligibility; SF-15, if applicable; and Department of Veterans Affairs documentation of disability, if applicable. For more information, please visit OPM vet guide

    If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System.  If you are exempt from registration under Selective Service Law, you must provide appropriate proof of exemption. Please visit the Selective Service System website for more information.

    DRUG TESTING: The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) is a Drug Free Workplace. As part of the AOC’s suitability assessment, a candidate tentatively selected for a position who is not currently an AOC employee is required to submit to screening for illegal drug use. Satisfactory completion of a drug test is a condition of employment with the Agency. A candidate must test negative prior to being eligible for appointment into a position. We will schedule, provide and cover the cost for the drug test.
    The selectee(s) under the vacancy announcement for this position is subject to a criminal record check by the U.S. Capitol Police and satisfactory adjudication to be eligible for employment at the Architect of the Capitol.
    The Architect of the Capitol is an E-VERIFY Participant. E-VERIFY is an Internet-based system that compares information from an employee's Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment authorization in the United States. If you are selected for this position, the documentation that you present for purposes of completing the DHS Form I-9 will be verified through the DHS "E-VERIFY" electronic system. For more information on E-Verify, please visit http://www.dhs.gov/files/programs/gc_1185221678150.shtm

    The Architect of the Capitol is an Equal Opportunity Employer and prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information and/or disability.

    This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
    Moving expenses are not authorized.
    Relocation expenses are not authorized.
    Probationary Period - A newly appointed selectee is subject to the completion of a one-year trial/probationary period, regardless of whether or not a trial/probationary period has been completed previously with the Architect of the Capitol or another Federal agency.

    This vacancy announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies in any of the jurisdictions of the Architect of the Capitol.

    All application materials become the property of the Architect of the Capitol.

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

    Review your resume and responses carefully. Your eligibility for consideration and qualifications for the position will be determined based upon a review of your detailed resume and your responses to job specific self-assessment questions. 

    Your resume will be evaluated based on evidence of your ability to demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) for this position, possession of any specialized experience, and how well your background and experience relates to the self-assessment questions in the job announcement. The self-assessment questions relate to the following knowledge, skills, abilities, and competencies:

    • Knowledge of and skill in applying concepts, principles, practices and methodology of horticulture and turf maintenance.
    • Basic knowledge of turf health and appropriate treatments of turf pests, fungi, diseases and abiotic conditions and associated treatments.
    • Knowledge of the maintenance of public turf areas; the seeding, sodding and maintenance practices for public field turf grass; the planting, cultivating, pruning and caring for plants, shrubs and trees; drainage control methods; and irrigation system, including wells, pumps and automatic controls.
    • Ability to perform COTR and financial management duties.
    • Ability to perform the physical aspects of the position; to include: climbing ladders, lifting objects up to 50 pounds, removing snow, cutting grass, and unloading trucks.

    Your responses to the self-assessment questions serve as the basis for your initial rating. You will receive a numerical score based on your responses to these questions.  Next, your responses will be evaluated by a Human Resources Specialist and/or a subject matter expert against the information provided in your resume and optional cover letter. Your resume must support your answers to the self-assessment questions. Falsifying your background, education and/or experience is cause for non-selection or disqualification from further consideration.

    Please note that a complete application is required for consideration. (Please review the “Required Documents” section of this job announcement to see what must be included in a complete application).

    To preview questions please click here.

    Read more Security clearance Other

    Drug test required Yes

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