MO Project: Contextual Branding

Plant Protection Specialist

  • Plant Protection Specialist
  • What will I be doing?
  • Do I qualify?
  • Can I be successful?
  • Benefits
  • How do I apply?
Class Number: 
Annual Salary Range:
$36,360.00 – $57,792.00
Twice-a-Month Salary Range:
$1,515.00 – $2,408.00
Pay Grade: 

View Class Specification Document


This is professional work in the enforcement and administration of the Missouri Plant Law within a designated area of the state.

An employee in this class independently conducts nursery inspections, plant pest surveys, export inspection/certification and biological control work. In addition, the employee may provide diagnostic laboratory assistance supplying plant disease and insect identification support in his/her area of specialization and expertise. Work also includes participation in the virus-free Missouri nursery certification program for tree fruits and grapes. Conducts in-depth investigations of specific pest problems and provides information to other staff, nursery employees and the general public. Work is performed under the general supervision of the program administrator and is primarily reviewed through the submission of activity, inspection and investigation reports; however, the employee exercises independence and initiative in the performance of assigned responsibilities within established guidelines.

Job Duties

Inspects nurseries, greenhouses, nursery dealers, agricultural crops and storage warehouses to determine if plant pests are present and advises on available control or eradication measures.

Performs microscopic examinations and laboratory analysis to aid in the identification of plant diseases.

Organizes, coordinates and participates in meetings and training seminars with Missouri nursery owners and operators.

Ensures rules and policies for export certification standards are followed; maintains export certification manuals.

Conducts surveys to ascertain the presence of plant pests by obtaining soil samples, setting insect survey traps and examining field crops; may supervise assigned temporary survey workers.

Promotes and institutes biological control programs as an environmentally safe alternative to the use of pesticides; collects parasites for redistribution to control targeted plant pest infestations.

Establishes and enforces quarantines of plants within nurseries and recommends and supervises eradication measures; issues stop-sale and destroy orders as necessary.

Inspects nurseries, greenhouses and dealers for proper licensure.

Performs apiary inspections upon request; certifies pest-free bee colonies for interstate movement.

Makes presentations to nursery associations and other interested groups.

Prepares and submits inspection, survey and evaluation reports.

Consults with nurseries on methods to control plant pests and diseases.

Plans and schedules work activities to achieve established annual goals.

Performs other related work as assigned.

View Class Specification Document

(The following minimum qualifications will determine merit system eligibility.  Allowable experience and education substitutions are provided in italics below the corresponding minimum qualification statement.  These minimum qualifications may also be used to evaluate applicants for Missouri Uniform Classification and Pay System positions not requiring selection from merit registers.)

Two years of experience in professional plant regulatory or closely related work; and graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with a Bachelor's degree in entomology, plant pathology, forestry, horticulture or closely related areas including at least six semester hours in entomology or plant pathology. (A Master's degree in the above areas, including a minimum of 6 hours in entomology or plant pathology may be substituted on a year-for-year basis for the required experience.)

Please note that documentation that supports your eligibility (i.e. transcripts, employment records, etc.) may be required at any time during the application and hiring process. If you do not possess the minimum qualifications, please consider one of many other employment opportunities with the State of Missouri.

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Key Skills

Do you possess the key skills which are considered essential for successful employment in this classification?

Considerable knowledge of the principles and practices of entomology, horticulture and plant pathology as related to insect and plant disease control.

Considerable knowledge of nursery production and distribution practices and methods.

Working knowledge of proper laboratory techniques, procedures, care and use of laboratory equipment and supplies.

Ability to prepare clear and concise technical reports.

Ability to plan and oversee detailed and difficult survey and control programs.

Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with other employees, nursery businesses and the general public.

Ability to accurately identify plant diseases and insect pests.

Ability to interpret, explain and enforce statutes, rules and policies.

Ability to travel extensively in the performance of assigned duties.

Ability to independently establish and complete daily work schedules.

View Class Specification Document

The following link will provide you with general information about State of Missouri employee benefits.

View benefits

View Class Specification Document