Plant Protection Technician (Domestic)

Employer
USAJobs
Location
Winchester, Virginia
Posted
Sep 26, 2020
Closes
Sep 30, 2020
Hours
Full Time
Duties

Summary

As a Plant Protection Technician, you implement domestic programs within an assigned geographic area to prevent the establishment and/or artificial spread of plant pests and diseases into new areas. If selected, you provide support to Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) Officers with surveys; control measures; biocontrol and biotechnology activities; and export of regulated agricultural commodities within PPQ, Field Operations (FO).
Learn more about this agency

Responsibilities

  • 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:
  • Participates with supervisor in planning and coordinating survey/control measures by furnishing information about the presence and extent of plant diseases and/or insects, and effect of treatments.
  • Directs and/or conducts approved control and eradication measures including sanitation measures, biological controls, and the application of herbicides, insecticides, nematicide, and fungicides.
  • Enforces Federal and/or State regulatory orders to restrict movement or issue certificates permitting movement of plants, plant products, and equipment into or out of regulated areas.
  • Assists with inspections of routine commodities for export.
  • Maintains daily records of inspection work, control measures and regulatory procedures applied; prepares reports and maps on the activities and accomplishments within the assigned area.


Travel Required

50% or less - Considerable travel may be required in domestic program situations. Assignments may require extended work in remote/rural areas.

Supervisory status
No

Promotion Potential
7

Requirements

Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a US Citizen or US National.
  • Males born after 12/31/1959 must be Selective Service registered or exempt.
  • Satisfactory Background investigation and/or fingerprint check.
  • Successful completion of one-year trial period.
  • 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 https://www.e-verify.gov/
  • Requires physical exertion to walk, bend, stoop, lift items of moderate weight, climb or hike on sometimes slippery and uneven surfaces.
  • Requires working in fields, pastures, processing plants, and other agricultural situations in order to enforce quarantines and pertinent regulations.
  • Work environment primarily consists of outdoor activities with moderate exposure to uncomfortable and dangerous situations such as working in adverse weather conditions and around large agricultural related machinery.
  • In certain situations the incumbent must take precautionary measures to ensure his/her personal safety (such as wearing protective clothing and breathing apparatus).
  • Valid US Driver's license is required at the time of application.
  • Occasional overtime required on weekdays and weekends; agency provided uniform required.


Qualifications

To qualify, you MUST meet all program and qualification requirements by the closing date of the announcement.

To be eligible, applicants must meet one of the following requirements;
  • Completed all requirements for an associates, bachelors, masters, professional, doctorate, vocational, or technical degree or certificate from a qualifying educational institution within the previous two (2) years.
  • Individuals who, due to military service obligation, were precluded from applying to the Recent Graduates Program during any portion of the 2-year eligibility period described above shall have a full 2-year period of eligibility upon release or discharge from active duty. This eligibility period cannot extend more than 6 years from the date on which the requirements for the academic course of study were met.
Applicants must meet the following specialized experience and/or education requirements listed below:

EDUCATION GS-05: Successful completion of 4 years of study that included at least 16 semester hours in courses such as biology, plant pathology, entomology, zoology, botany, forestry, chemistry, agriculture, or physics.

TRANSCRIPTS are required.

SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE AT THE GS-05 GRADE LEVEL: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience equivalent in level of difficulty and responsibility to the next lower level in the Federal Service. This experience may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors.
Examples of qualifying experience include, but are not limited to:

- Identifying economically significant target pests.
- Collecting insect and disease samples suspected to be plant pests for identification by subject experts.
- Using and maintaining survey equipment, including electronic field data equipment such as Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), GPS, computer tablets, cellular phones, and digital cameras.
- Assisting co-workers with surveys for alternate host plants and to acquire new sites for trap placement as part of the national exotic insect monitoring program(s).
- Contacting stakeholders, (i.e., landowners, tenants, managers, etc) to obtain permission to conduct surveys on private property.
- Using maps to locate commercial and residential properties for survey.

COMBINATION OF EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE AT THE GS-05 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 an applicant for that grade level. Applicants may have combinations of successfully completed graduate education and specialized experience to meet total qualification requirements. The total percentages must equal at least 100 percent to qualify an applicant 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.

Education

Please see above for education qualification requirement information.

Transcripts including the date your degree was conferred are required. Applications will not be considered without this documentation.

Additional information

  • Recent Graduate appointments are intended to last for 1 year. Recent Graduates who satisfactorily complete all the USDA Recent Graduates Program requirements may be non-competitively converted to a Term or Permanent appointment in the competitive service. Conversion is not guaranteed. Recent Graduates converted to Term appointments may later be non-competitively converted to a Permanent competitive service position.
  • If selected, official transcripts will be required prior to entrance on duty.
  • A Pathways Participant Agreement will be required if you are selected for a position. The agreement must be signed by all applicable parties prior to entrance on duty.
  • 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 eligible for telework within the local commuting area of the duty location of the position. Employee participation is at the discretion of the supervisor.
  • Selection will be at GS-0421-05 with the possibility of conversion to a term or permanent Plant Protection Technician (Domestic), with promotion potential to the GS-07 level. Conversion eligibility and position is not guaranteed and depends upon the program unit's needs.
CONVERSION REQUIREMENTS Recent Graduates may be non-competitively converted to a term or permanent position in the competitive service. To be eligible for conversion the Recent Graduate must meet all of the following:
  • Successfully complete at least 1-year of continuous service in addition to all requirements of the Program as outlined in the Participant Agreement.
  • Demonstrate successful job performance.
  • Meet the qualifications for the position to which the Recent Graduate will be converted.


How You Will Be Evaluated

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

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.

Category rating procedures will be used to rank and select eligible candidates. The following quality categories will be used: Best Qualified, Well Qualified, and Qualified. Within each quality category, veterans' preference eligibles will receive selection priority over non-veterans. Your final category placement will be based on your responses to the assessment questionnaire.

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: https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/10916392

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Not Required

Drug test required
No

Position sensitivity and risk
Moderate Risk (MR)

Trust determination process
Suitability/Fitness

Required Documents

The following documents are required for your applicant package to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, your system failure or downtime, etc. Encrypted documents will not be accepted. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.
  • Resume that includes: 1) personal information such as name, address, contact information; 2) education; 3) detailed work experience related to this position as described in the major duties including work schedule, hours worked per week, dates of employment; title, series, grade (if applicable); 4) other qualifications; and 5) supervisors name and phone number for each work period listed and whether or not they may be contacted for reference checks.
  • College Transcripts: You must submit a copy of your college transcripts. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application; however, if you are selected, you will be required to submit official transcripts prior to entering on duty. Education must have been successfully obtained from an accredited school, college or university. If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show that the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program. For further information, visit the following: Foreign Education Evaluation . All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.
  • If claiming veterans' preference, you must submit a DD214, Certificate of Release from Active Duty, which shows dates of service and discharge under honorable conditions. If currently on active duty you must submit a certification of expected discharge or release from active duty service under honorable conditions within 120 days after the date the certification is submitted. The certification must be on the letterhead of the appropriate military branch and include the dates of military service. Veterans' preference must be verified prior to appointment. Without this documentation, you will not receive veteran's preference and your application will be evaluated based on the material(s) submitted.
  • If claiming 10-point veterans' preference you must provide the DD214 or certification requirements (see above bullet), plus the proof of entitlement of this preference as listed on the SF-15 Application for 10-point Veterans' Preference. The SF-15 should be included but is not required. Failure to submit these documents could result in the determination that there is insufficient documentation to support your claim for 10-point preference. For more information on veterans' preference visit FEDSHIREVETS