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Job Type:
Minimum USD hourly rate: 16.60
Maximum USD hourly rate: 20.94

Industry: Dept. of Agriculture; Plant Protection – Pest Program

Company: State of Washington

Salary: $16.60 – $20.94 Hourly

Location : Multiple Locations – Eastern Washington, WA

Job Type: Full Time – Non-Permanent

Job Number: 2024-04649

Department: Dept. of Agriculture

Division: Plant Protection – Pest Program

Opening Date: 04/12/2024

Closing Date: Continuous

Salary Information: The high end of the salary range, Step M is typically a longevity step


Apply Now! This recruitment will stay open until filled.

This posting will be used to fiil multiple positions.

AGRICULTURE – A Cornerstone of Washington’s Economy

The Washington State Department of Agriculture has been serving the state for more than 100 years. Through service, regulation, and advocacy, we keep agriculture viable and vital in Washington State, while protecting consumers, public health, and the environment. We work extensively with farmers and ranchers, but our responsibilities – from ensuring food safety to environmental protection – touch the lives of millions of people locally, nationally, and abroad.

The agency includes 780 employees approximately and grows close to 1,000 employees at the peak of seasonal work. To learn more and view additional openings, please visit our.

For more information about the Washington State Department of Agriculture, visit us

The Plant Protection Division is hiring Insect Pest Trapper ‘s for the Apple Maggot Season in the Pest Program!

The Pest Program conducts surveys, diagnostics and control activities for pests and diseases of important agricultural commodities throughout Washington State. Pest Program employees conduct surveys for northern giant hornet, Japanese beetle, spongy moth, apple maggot, Phytophthora ramorum, Spartina and other invasive insect pests, diseases, and noxious weeds. Some employees work in the Plant Pest and Molecular Diagnostics Lab, or the Entomology labs in Olympia or Yakima to provide diagnostics of survey samples. Others assist with control and eradication efforts for northern, giant hornet, Japanese beetle, spongy moth, invasive snails, Spartina and knotweed. Regardless of the threat, Pest program employees use cutting edge technology, scientific processes, and teamwork to protect some of Washington’s most valuable agricultural crops.

The Insect Pest Trappers will follow scientific protocols to conduct surveys for target pest species, primarily apple maggot and other Tephritidae flies in an assigned geographical area. This is a full-time seasonal position from June – September 28th 2023. Insect Pest Trappers will typically work Monday-Thursday, 6:00am- 5:00pm shifts each week.

Position and Salary Information

WSDA is recruiting for multiple non-permanent full-time Insect Pest Trapper positions within the Pest Program in the Plant Protection Division. These positions are approved for home duty stations in the following counties – Okanogan, Chelan, Douglas, Kittitas, Grant, Benton, Franklin, Walla Walla as well as Yakima. These positions are represented by Washington Federation of State Employees.

The base pay offered will take into account internal equity and may vary depending on the preferred candidate’s job-related knowledge, skills, and experience. The typical starting salary range for these positions is: $16.60 Step D – $20.45 Step L hourly.
Employee Benefits

  • A healthy work/life balance, which may include flexible work schedules, and teleworking.
  • WSDA provides an excellent benefits package beyond traditional benefits. State employment offers Dependent Care Assistance, Flexible Spending Accounts, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Tuition Waiver, Deferred Compensation, Employee Recognition Leave; click here for more information.
  • Paid Holidays & Vacation and Leave Accruals during current season’s employment.
  • All Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required will be provided by the agency.
  • Commute Trip Reduction Program.

For more information about the Washington State Department of Agriculture, visit us at


Some of what you will do:

  • Select trap sites for effective trap placement and coverage.
  • Place insect detection traps at required densities and by program deadlines in assigned geographical location.
  • Collection of data points with minimal margin of error.
  • Efficient monitoring of traps.
  • Report suspect insect specimens immediately.
  • Remove all traps by program deadlines.
  • Contact property owners to inform them of the project goals and objectives and to solicit permission to place traps.
  • May work in laboratory to help identify suspect insect specimens using a microscope.
  • The use of assigned technology and programs to map and locate trap sites.
  • Plan and execute an efficient trap line, collect accurate data, photo document sites, insects, plant hosts & trapping activities.
  • Daily completion of “End of Day Reporting” form and submission of hours worked in PISCES.


Required Qualifications:

  • 18 years of age
  • Valid unrestricted driver’s license.
  • Graduation from high school or GED.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively in writing and verbally

Preferred / Desired Qualifications:

  • Completed courses in entomology, a biological science, or closely related field.
  • Experience conducting scientific field work and data collection.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Behaviors

  • Ability to work collaboratively with others.
  • Willingness to work independently outdoors in rural or semi-rural settings even in inclement weather.
  • Willingness to spend long hours looking through microscopes and photographing insects.
  • Ability to relay and communicate tactfully and confidently technical or scientific information to the public and other stakeholders.
  • Must possess gross and fine motor abilities sufficient to manipulate, maneuver, adjust and control small objects with coordination, such as entering data on iPhone and manipulate a computer keyboard.
  • Possess sufficient judgement and reasoning skills to recognize and correct errors as they occur.

Supplemental Information

How to apply:

You must complete your profile and answer the supplemental questions. By submitting these materials, you are indicating that all information is true and correct. The state may verify information. Any untruthful or misleading information is cause for removal from the applicant pool or dismissal if employed.

Applications with comments “see attachments” will be considered incomplete.
If you are having technical difficulties creating, accessing, or completing your application, please call NEOGOV toll-free at (855) 524-5627 or email

The initial screening will be solely based on the contents and completeness of your application and the materials submitted. All information may be verified, and documentation may be required. Applications received via e-mail will not be accepted in lieu of applying through the state’s on-line recruitment system.

Equity at WSDA

The Department of Agriculture recognizes, appreciates, supports, embraces, and respects all cultural identities and backgrounds while we collaborate in authentic ways. We hire amazing people that share in the commitment to our Pro-Equity Anti-Racist (PEAR) strategic plan, our Healthy Environment for All (HEAL) Act implementation plan, and our unique needs and desires for belonging, respect, and inclusion. We value the growth and development of our team members by providing equitable access to resources and opportunities for continuous learning, improvement, and advancement.

We strive to hire, cultivate, and retain a productive and dedicated workforce that reflects the communities we serve while we are committed to a workplace that celebrates our differences and supports equal opportunity employment and inclusion regardless of race, creed, color, national origin, citizenship or immigration status, marital status, families with children (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sex, sexual orientation, gender identity diversity, age, status as a protected veteran, honorably discharged veteran or military status, status as an individual with the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with disabilities or other applicable legally protected characteristics. We also consider qualified applicants with criminal histories, consistent with applicable federal, state, and local laws.

Contact Us

Should you have any questions regarding this position or the online application, contact the Human Resource Office at

Prior to a new appointment into the Department of Agriculture, a background check including criminal record history will be conducted. Information from the background check will not necessarily preclude employment but will be considered in determining the applicant’s suitability and competence to perform in the position.

The Human Resources Division may use referrals from this recruitment to help fill future similar vacancies for up to six months.

Veteran’s Preference: Applicants who meet the minimum qualifications and wish to claim Veteran’s Preference MUST attach a copy of their DD214, or other verification of military service. Please blackout any personally identifiable data such as social security numbers. For additional information on Veteran’s Preference and guidance on how to determine if you are eligible, click here.

Persons with a disability, who need assistance with their application or need this announcement in an alternative format, may call 664-1960 or toll free (877) 664-1960. TTY users should first call 711 to access the Washington Relay Service.

More than Just a Paycheck!
Employee benefits are not just about the kind of services you get, they are also about how much you may have to pay out of pocket. Washington State offers one of the most competitive benefits packages in the nation.

We understand that your life revolves around more than just your career. Like everyone, your first priority is ensuring that you and your family will maintain health and financial security. That’s why choice is a key component of our benefits package. We have a selection of health and retirement plans, paid leave, staff training and other compensation benefits that you can mix and match to meet your current and future needs.

Read about our benefits:
The following information describes typical benefits available for full-time employees who are expected to work more than six months. Actual benefits may vary by appointment type or be prorated for other than full-time work (e.g. part-time); view the job posting for benefits details for job types other than full-time.

Note: If the position offers benefits which differ from the following, the job posting should include the specific benefits.

Insurance Benefits
Employees and their families are covered by medical (including vision), dental and basic life insurance. There are multiple medical plans with affordable monthly premiums that offer coverage throughout the state.

Staff are eligible to enroll each year in a medical flexible spending account which enables them to use tax-deferred dollars toward their health care expenses. Employees are also covered by basic life and long-term disability insurance, with the option to purchase additional coverage amounts.

To view premium rates, coverage choice in your area and how to enroll, please visit the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) website. The Washington Wellness program from the Health Care Authority works with PEBB to support our workplace wellness programs.

Dependent care assistance allows the employee to save pre-tax dollars for a child or elder care expenses.

Other insurance coverage for auto, boat, home, and renter insurance is available through payroll deduction.

The Washington State Employee Assistance Program promotes the health and well-being of employees.

Retirement and Deferred Compensation
State Employees are members of the Washington Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS). New employees have the option of two employer contributed retirement programs. For additional information, check out the Department of Retirement Systems’ web site.

Employees also have the ability to participate in the Deferred Compensation Program (DCP). This is a supplemental retirement savings program (similar to an IRA) that allows you control over the amount of pre-tax salary dollars you defer as well as the flexibility to choose between multiple investment options.

Social Security
All state employees are covered by the federal Social Security and Medicare systems. The state and the employee pay an equal amount into the system.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness
If you are employed by a government or not-for-profit organization, and meet the qualifying criteria, you may be eligible to receive student loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.

Full-time and part-time employees are entitled to paid holidays and one paid personal holiday per calendar year.

Note: Employees who are members of certain Unions may be entitled to additional personal leave day(s), please refer to position specific Collective Bargaining Agreements for more information.

Full-time employees who work full monthly schedules qualify for holiday compensation if they are employed before the holiday and are in pay status for at least 80 nonovertime hours during the month of the holiday; or for the entire work shift preceding the holiday.

Part-time employees who are in pay status during the month of the holiday qualify for the holiday on a pro-rata basis. Compensation for holidays (including personal holiday) will be proportionate to the number of hours in pay status in the month to that required for full-time employment, excluding all holiday hours. Pay status includes hours worked and time on paid leave.

Sick Leave
Full-time employees earn eight hours of sick leave per month. Overtime eligible employees who are in pay status for less than 80 hours per month, earn a monthly proportionate to the number of hours in pay status, in the month to that required for full-time employment. Overtime exempt employees who are in pay status for less than 80 hours per month do not earn a monthly accrual of sick leave.

Sick leave accruals for part-time employees will be proportionate to the number of hours in pay status, in the month to that required for full-time employment. Pay status includes hours worked, time on paid leave and paid holiday.

Vacation (Annual Leave)
Full-time employees accrue vacation leave at the rates specified in (1) or the applicable collective bargaining agreement (CBA). Full-time employees who are in pay status for less than 80 nonovertime hours in a month do not earn a monthly accrual of vacation leave.

Part-time employees accrue vacation leave hours in accordance with (1) or the applicable collective bargaining agreement (CBA) on a pro rata basis. Vacation leave accrual will be proportionate to the number of hours in pay status, in the month to that required for full-time employment.

Pay status includes hours worked, time on paid leave and paid holiday.

As provided in , an employer may authorize a lump-sum accrual of vacation leave or accelerate the vacation leave accrual rate to support the recruitment and/or retention of a candidate or employee for a Washington Management Service position. Vacation leave accrual rates may only be accelerated using the rates established WAC 357-31-165.

Note: Most agencies follow the civil service rules covering leave and holidays for exempt employees even though there is no requirement for them to do so. However, agencies are required to adhere to the applicable RCWs pertaining holidays and leave.

Military Leave
Washington State supports members of the armed forces with 21 days paid military leave per year.

Bereavement Leave
Most employees whose family member or household member dies, are entitled to three (3) days of paid bereavement leave. In addition, the employer may approve other available leave types for the purpose of bereavement leave.

Additional Leave
Leave Sharing

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Leave Without Pay

Please visit the State HR Website for more detailed information regarding benefits.

Updated 12-31-2022


To be considered for this position you must have completed the application in full. Have you completed the application to the best of your ability?

  • Yes
  • No


Are you at least 18 years of age?

  • Yes
  • No


Do you possess a high school diploma or GED?

  • Yes
  • No


Are you able to obtain and maintain a valid driver’s license prior to the first day of employment?

  • Yes
  • No


Which of the following counties are able and willing to work in?

  • Benton
  • Chelan
  • Douglas
  • Franklin
  • Grant
  • Kittitas
  • Okanogan
  • Walla Walla
  • Yakima

Required Question

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