U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


  1. Home
  2. Careers
  3. Office of Field Operations
  4. Agriculture Specialist Application Process

Agriculture Specialist Application Process

Degree Icon


Eligible applicants must: 

  • Be a U.S. Citizen
  • Have a valid driver's license
  • Have resided in the U.S. for at least three of the last five years (Residency Requirement Exceptions)
  • Be willing to travel
  • Pass the application process (see details below)

You may be disqualified if your background includes: 

  • Use of illegal drugs and/or the sale distribution of illegal drugs
  • Convictions, including misdemeanor domestic violence charges
  • International harboring or concealment of undocumented noncitizens

You must have successfully completed a bachelor’s or higher degree from an accredited college or university that included a major field of study listed below OR you must have completed 24 semester credits in agriculture, biological sciences, chemistry, natural resource management or a related discipline from an accredited college or university plus have appropriate work experience. 

  • Agriculture
  • Agronomy
  • Animal Science 
  • Biology 
  • Botany
  • Chemistry Or Related Disciplines
  • Crop Science
  • Ecology
  • Entomology
  • Environmental Resource Management
  • Horticulture
  • Microbiology
  • Mycology
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Nematology
  • Pest Management
  • Plant Pathology
  • Plant Science
  • Soil Science
  • Weed Science

Note that additional qualifications may be required for specific grade levels. Review the vacancy announcement on USAJOBS for important information about who may apply, job qualifications, duties and position requirements.


Checklist Icon

Your Application Journey

To begin your application process, submit your application on USAJOBS. After you submit your application, go back to the application section of your USAJOBS account and make sure we have received your application. Your application status will say you applied with the date you submitted your application if it went through.

The CBP Hiring Center will review your application to make sure you meet the minimum qualifications and determine what grade you qualify for. If your resume and/or transcripts do not clearly document how you are qualified, you may be rated ineligible. We highly recommend you review the Agriculture Specialist Qualification Aid when preparing your resume.

If you are found to be a qualified applicant, then you will go through a series of steps in the application process.

You must undergo and successfully pass a background investigation as a condition of employment with CBP. The Standard Form 86 - Questionnaire for National Security or Standard Form 85 - Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions must be completed to initiate the background investigation. The background investigation consists of the preliminary vetting checks, the investigation and the final adjudication. You may or may not be required to take a standardized polygraph exam as part of the application process.

You will need to complete a structured interview to ensure you have the competencies that are critical for successful job performance. Among these competencies are judgment/decision-making, emotional maturity, interpersonal skills and cooperativeness/sensitivity to the needs of others.

You must undergo a pre-employment medical examination and be found medically qualified to perform the position's full range of duties safely and efficiently. 

Any disease or condition that may potentially interfere with the performance of the job's duties or training may result in medical disqualification. No disease or condition is automatically disqualifying. Each determination is made on a case-by-case basis. The medical determination may involve recommendations for additional information and/or testing. If medical information is recommended beyond that provided by the initial medical examination, it is provided at your expense.

  • Distant Visual Acuity: You must be able to see 20/30 or better with or without corrective lenses. 
  • Near Vision: You must be able to see 20/30 or better with or without corrective lenses.
  • Color Vision: You must be able to distinguish colors. Use of an X-chrome lens is not acceptable.
  • Visual Field: You must have a minimum of 140 degrees in the horizontal meridian.

Note: If you have undergone refractive eye surgeries/procedures (e.g., photorefractive laser surgery, keratoplast, LASIK), then you may be qualified provided you have no post-operative adverse complications and you meet the vision requirements. Minimum recovery period is 90 days.

  • Your hearing level in each ear must not exceed 40 decibel (dB) for the average of the following frequencies 500, 1000, 2000 and 3000 Hertz (Hz). 
  • Your difference in hearing level between the better ear and worse ear may not exceed 15 dB for the average of 500, 1000, 2000 and 3000 Hz and may not exceed 30 dB at 4000 or 6000 Hz.

You will be required to submit to a random drug test during the application process. If you test positive, then you will be disqualified. 

You may or may not be required to take a standardized polygraph exam as part of your Agriculture Specialist application. The polygraph exam, if you are required to take it, is a 4-6 hour interview that requires you to respond to a series of questions typically relating to national security issues and answers you provide on your background investigations forms. The polygraph measures your physiological response when answering questions and results are subject to a quality control review for accuracy.

Last Modified: March 2, 2022