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Plant Health Trade Compliance Officer (PHTCO) and Smuggling Interdiction and Trade Compliance Officer (SITC) and others

Hello and thanks for your interest. This is an Outreach Notice about several vacancies in Texas for APHIS PPQ.  Many of these are through the Pathways "Recent Graduate" Program.


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.