Animal Caretaker

US Department of Agriculture - Rock Tavern, NY

Full-time | Part-time
This position is located at an Animal Import Center (AIC) facility in Veterinary Services, APHIS. The incumbent performs a variety of technical work within the AIC. AIC's are USDA operated livestock quarantine facilities overseeing the importation of livestock, poultry, exotic birds, and zoo animals into the U.S. through the ports of Los Angeles, Miami, or New York. The Center is the principal facility in the U.S. for examining imported animals to assure they are free of disease and parasites.

Serves as an animal caretaker responsible for nonprofessional technical and specialized work involving a variety of animal species and animal disease control, prevention, and quarantine procedures.
Handles and cares for a large variety of animal species, as well as oversees specific shipments in the quarantine facility.
Instructs animal caretakers on preparation, housing requirements, nutritional demands, special diets, and habitat.
Monitors and adjusts the quarantine unit relative humidity; lighting; ambient temperature; heating, ventilation, and other environmental systems.
Adheres to biosecurity measures such as changing outer garments between areas, maintaining/using correct disinfectant solutions in foot dip buckets, and applying pesticides and disinfectants to animals, equipment or reusable crates.
Travel Required
Not required

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential

Job family (Series)
5048 Animal Caretaking


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
Subject to satisfactory adjudication of background investigation and/or fingerprint check
Successful completion of one-year probationary period, unless previously served.
Subject to one-year supervisory/managerial probationary period unless prior service is creditable. New USDA supervisors must successfully complete all components of the required training program before the end of their probationary 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 E-Verify at
In order to qualify for this position you must meet the following by the closing date of the vacancy announcement: 09/27/2019
Qualifications will be determined under the Job Element Rating System X-118C, Qualifications Standard Handbook. While a specific length of time and experience is not required for most Wage Grade positions, you must show through experience and training that you possess the best qualified level of knowledge and skill necessary to perform the duties of this position. Qualification requirements emphasize the quality of experience, not necessarily the length. The responses to the questionnaire and your resume should be in significant detail to provide the person rating your application with a good understanding of your ability to do the job, technical knowledge, work, and training experience, etc. Applicants who do not meet the SCREEN OUT ELEMENT will not be given further consideration. The screen out element for this position is the Ability to do the work of the position without more than normal supervision. This includes preparing housing requirements, nutritional demands, special diets, and habitat needs of a variety of animals and birds; restraining a wide variety of animals and birds to prevent/avoid injury to animals and/or personnel during procedures; maintaining animal health and daily activity records; and handling and overall care of a large variety of animal species.

Working Conditions: The work is performed in a high security quarantine animal facility. Frequent showers are required. The animal caretaker is also subject to all types of weather conditions and temperatures while working inside and outside on a year round basis. Additionally, the caretaker may be exposed to animal bites and scratches, disinfectants, insecticides, and other chemicals, and will be required to wear protective clothing such as surgical masks or respirators, eye/ear protection, boots, gloves, and coveralls when providing care to animals that represent a potential source of disease or other chemical or biohazard. The incumbent may be subjected to disagreeable odors, physical injury from animals, and hazard of bites, kicks, and other trauma associated with the handling of animals and birds. All caretakers are subject to periodic medical monitoring.

Physical Effort: Heavy physical effort is necessary in the performance of these duties particularly in the restraining of large and sometimes wild animals during processing; cleaning, and disposing of manure and bedding; handling bags of feed, bales of hay, and packages of work shavings; lifting or moving heavy cage containments. This includes stooping, bending, reaching, and active walking. The incumbent performs activities involved in the care, treatment, and observation of the animals and birds. Regular lifting required of 50 pounds. Will be occasionally required to lift of up to 75 pounds
This position does not have an education qualification requirement.
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.

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:

Ability To Do The Work Of The Position Without More Than Normal Supervision (Screen-out Element)
Ability to Interpret Instructions, specifications; other than blueprints
Ability To Use and Maintain Tools and Equipment
Dexterity and Safety
Technical Practices (theoretical, precise, artistic)

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.

Clicking the link below will present a preview of the application form; i.e. the online questionnaire. The application form link below will only provide a preview and does not initiate the application process. To initiate the online application process, click the "Apply" button to the right.

To view the application form, visit:

Background checks and security clearance
Security clearance

Drug test required

Required Documents

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, 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.
If education is required or you are using education to qualify, you must submit a copy of your college transcripts. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application if it includes your name and the necessary course information; 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 any education was completed at a foreign institute, you must submit with your application evidence that the institute was appropriately accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as equivalent to U.S. education standards. There are private organizations that specialize in this evaluation and a fee is normally associated with this service. For a list of private organizations that evaluate education, visit the NACES website. All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.
If claiming veteran's 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 not later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted.Veteran's 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 veteran's 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
Surplus or displaced employees eligible for CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP priority must provide: proof of eligibility (RIF separation notice, notice of proposed removal for declining a transfer of function or directed reassignment to another commuting area, notice of disability annuity termination), SF-50 documenting separation (as applicable), and your most recent SF-50 noting position, grade level, and duty location with your application per 5 CFR 330.

A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.

Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.