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Agricultural Biologist/Standards Inspector I

Agricultural Commissioner's Office

Recruitment #0923-RA0175-AC


This examination is being given to fill one vacancy in the Agricultural Commissioner's Officer and to establish an eligible list to fill future vacancies. Please be advised that Human Resources will only be accepting online applications for this recruitment. Resumes and paper applications will not be accepted in lieu of an online application. A completed application must be received online by the final filing deadline.

NOTE: All correspondences relating to this recruitment will be delivered via e-mail. The e-mail account used will be the one provided on your employment application during time of submittal. Please be sure to check your e-mail often for updates. If you do not have an e-mail account on file, Human Resources will send you correspondences via US Mail.



(Agricultural Inspection)

  • Learns to inspect a wide variety of items for compliance with plant quarantine regulations; learns to determine and enforce the appropriate disposition of inspected items that do not conform to regulations. 
  • Learns to inspect a wide variety of agricultural produce, eggs, and other related items to insure compliance with regulations and minimum standards for quality; learns to inspect product samples, issue certificates of inspection, and restrict sale and movement of sub-standard items. 
  • Learns to conduct surveys for pests not known to occur in this area and to carry out eradication programs against introduced pests; learns to inspect nurseries for pest cleanliness and compliance with minimum standards; learns to inspect apiaries and abate diseased hives when necessary. 
  • Learns to identify and manage pests to protect crops and to determine and recommend the most efficient control measures; explains use of pesticides and other pest-control materials; conducts surveys if necessary; conducts experiments to determine effectiveness of various control measures. 
  • Learns to enforce pesticide regulations to insure safety of handlers, field workers, public, crops and the environment; learns to investigate complaints of damage from pesticide use and to investigate pesticide-related illnesses; collects and prepares samples for laboratory analysis; assists in providing training and educational outreach to growers on pesticide safety and regulations. 
  • Learns to advise the general public on agriculture-related matters and to identify plants, diseases, insects, and pests; explains the requirements of inter- or intra- state or country movement of plants and other agricultural produce. 
  • Participates in legal actions against growers, packers, shippers, farm workers, or others who do not comply with Food and Agriculture Code and subsequent regulations; participates in informal office hearings; collects and reports evidence of violations.

(Weights and Measures Inspection)

  • Learns to inspect and test the accuracy of commercial weighing and measuring devices for compliance with established tolerances; learns to condemn the use of commercial weighing and measuring devices not meeting required standards; issues and attaches seals to devices that meet required standards. 
  • Learns to measure the capacity of large tanks; learns to conduct tests of meters used for registering dispensing of liquids, such as gasoline, oil and grease; places “out of order” tags on meters if defective and re-inspects meters after repair to insure that meter is correct; affixes seal as appropriate.
  • Learns to inspect packaged commodities, other goods and petroleum products for accuracy of weight or measure, correct labeling, and adherence to required specifications; learns to verify box tares at canneries and processing plants. 
  • Learns to perform investigations of suspected illegal acts or unlawful practices concerning commercial weights and measures and to collect available evidence; contacts and questions complainants and witnesses; provides information concerning cases for further legal or administrative action. 
  • Learns to verify Weighmasters’ licenses and determine whether certificates of weight are being issued correctly. 
(All Assignments) 

  • Gathers information and prepares inspection and investigative reports; compiles and maintains records; prepares statistical reports. 
  • Cooperates with officials and regulators from other governmental agencies on joint operations; may conduct surveillance, certification, and/or quarantine inspections for other agencies as requested. 
  • May testify in court.


Education: Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with a bachelor’s degree that meets the requirements for admission to a County Inspector/Biologist examination administered by the State of California Department of Food and Agriculture (See the California Code of Regulations, Title 3, Section 105(a)).

Substitution: Possession of one (1) valid statewide specific category license as a County Agricultural Inspector/Biologist (in either Pesticide Regulation; Pest Prevention and Plant Regulation; Investigation and Environmental Monitoring; Integrated Pest Management; or Commodity Regulation) may substitute for the above-required education.

License: Possession of a valid California driver’s license.  If required by the nature of the assignment, may be required to obtain a Class A or Class B license.

Special Requirements:  As a condition of continued employment, must possess or obtain at least one (1) valid statewide specific category license as a County Agricultural Inspector/Biologist or County Weights and Measures Inspector within twelve months of appointment.  The category licenses that can be obtained to meet this requirement are identified as follows: 

  1.  Pesticide Regulation;
  2.  Pest Prevention and Plant Regulation;
  3. Investigation and Environmental Monitoring;
  4. Integrated Pest Management;
  5. Commodity Regulation;
  6. Weight Verification;
  7. Measurement Verification; or
  8. Transaction and Product Verification.


Basic principles and practices of agriculture including crops, soils, equipment and related items; basic principles and practices of horticulture, plant pathology and entomology; common pest vertebrates, insects, weeds, and other agricultural pests; common pesticides, traps, baits and other pest control measures, the laws, rules and regulations relating to the use of commercial weighing and measuring devices; methods and techniques used in verifying the accuracy of weighing and measuring devices within allowed tolerances; basic mathematics; basic experimentation procedures, including sampling, testing, control methods, and data collection; basic public relations; report writing practices.


Read, understand, and interpret job-related material including technical and legal publications; enforce laws, regulations and guidelines firmly, tactfully, and impartially; make decisions on routine enforcement problems in accordance with established policies and procedures; communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; establish and maintain effective relationships with those encountered during the course of work, including the public; prepare clear and concise reports; use and maintain various testing instruments and devices used in the weights and measures field; learn to use Microsoft Word, Excel, and Power Point computer programs.


Mobility - Occasional operation of keyboards, sitting or standing for extended periods, climbing stairs or ladders, running or crawling; frequent walking, driving, pushing/pulling and bending/squatting; Lifting - Frequent lifting of 5 to 25 pounds; occasional lifting of up to 50 pounds; ability to lift and carry a 5-gallon container of liquid for a distance of 50 feet; Vision - Excellent overall vision including good color and depth perception with constant eye/hand coordination; frequent reading and close-up work; Dexterity - normal dexterity with constant holding; frequent reaching, grasping, repetitive motion and writing; Hearing/Talking - Constant hearing normal speech; frequent hearing and talking on the telephone/radio and in person; occasional hearing faint sounds; Emotional/Psychological - Constant concentration with frequent public contact and decision making; frequent exposure to hazardous materials and occasional exposure to emergency situations and heights;  Special Conditions - frequent exposure to outdoor conditions; may require frequent overtime, weekend or evening work, and working alone.

San Joaquin County complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and, upon request, will consider reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential job functions.


Employees hired into this classification are members of a bargaining unit which is represented by SEIU Local 1021

Health Insurance:  San Joaquin County provides employees with a choice of three health plans:  a Kaiser Plan, a Select Plan, and a Premier Plan.  Employees pay a portion of the cost of the premium. Dependent coverage is also available. 

Dental Insurance:  The County provides employees with a choice of two dental plans:  Delta Dental and United Health Care-Select Managed Care Direct Compensation Plan.  There is no cost for employee only coverage in either plan; dependent coverage is available at the employee’s expense.

Vision Insurance:  The County provides vision coverage through Vision Service Plan (VSP).  There is no cost for employee only coverage; dependent coverage is available at the employee’s expense.

For more detailed information on the County’s benefits program, visit our website at under Human Resources/Employee Benefits. 

Life Insurance:  The County provides eligible employees with life insurance coverage as follows: 

 1 but less than 3 years of continuous service:                   $1,000
 3 but less than 5 years of continuous service:                   $3,000
 5 but less than 10 years of continuous service:                 $5,000
10 years of continuous service or more:                           $10,000

Employee may purchase additional term life insurance at the group rate.

125 Flexible Benefits Plan:  This is a voluntary program that allows employees to use pre-tax dollars to pay for health-related expenses that are not paid by a medical, dental or vision plan (Health Flexible Spending Account $2550 annual limit with a $500 carry over); and dependent care costs (Dependent Care Assistance Plan $5000 annual limit). 

Retirement Plan:  Employees of the County are covered by the County Retirement Law of 1937.  Please visit the San Joaquin County Employees’ Retirement Association (SJCERA) at for more information.  NOTE:  If you are receiving a retirement allowance from another California county covered by the County Employees’ Retirement Act of 1937 or from any governmental agency covered by the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS), you are advised to contact the Retirement Officer of the Retirement Plan from which you retired to determine what effect employment in San Joaquin County would have on your retirement allowance.

Deferred Compensation:  The County maintains a deferred compensation plan under Section 457 of the IRS code. You may annually contribute $18,000 or 100% of your includible compensation, whichever is less.  Individuals age 50 or older may contribute to their plan, up to $24,000. The Roth IRA (after tax) is also now available.

Vacation:  Maximum earned vacation is 10 days each year up to 3 years; 15 days after 3 years; 20 days after 10 years; and 23 days after 20 years.

Holidays Effective July 1, 2017, all civil service status employees earn 14 paid holidays each year.  Please see the appopriate MOU for details regarding holidays, accruals, use, and cashability of accrued time.

Sick Leave:  12 working days of sick leave annually with unlimited accumulation.  Sick leave incentive:  An employee is eligible to receive eight hours administrative leave if the leave balance equals at least one- half of the cumulative amount that the employee is eligible to accrue.  The employee must also be on payroll during the entire calendar year.

Bereavement Leave3 days of paid leave for the death of qualifying family member, 2 additional days of accrued leave for death of employee’s spouse, domestic partner, parent or child.

Merit Salary Increase:  New employees will receive the starting salary, which is the first step of the salary range.  After employees serve 52 weeks (2080 hours) on each step of the range, they are eligible for a merit increase to the next step.

Job Sharing:  Employees may agree to job-share a position, subject to approval by a Department Head and the Director of Human Resources.

Educational Reimbursement Program:  Eligible employees may be reimbursed for career-related course work up to a maximum of $850 per fiscal year.  Eligible employees enrolled in an approved four (4) year College or University academic program may be reimbursed up to $800 per semester for a maximum of $1600 per fiscal year.

Parking Supplemental Downtown Stockton:  The County contributes up to $20 per pay period for employees who pay for parking and are assigned to work in the Downtown Core Area.

School Activities:  Employees may take up to 40 hours per year, but not more than eight (8) hours per month, to participate in their children’s school activities.

Selection Procedures

Applicants who meet the minimum qualifications will go through the following examination process:

  • Written Exam: The civil service written exam is a multiple choice format.  If the written exam is administered alone, it will be 100% of the overall score.  Candidates must achieve a minimum rating of 70% in order to be placed on the eligible list.
  • Oral Exam:   The oral exam is a structured interview process that will assess the candidate’s education, training, and experience and may include a practical exercise.   The oral exam selection process is not a hiring interview.   A panel of up to four people will determine the candidate’s score and rank for placement on the eligible list.  Top candidates from the eligible list are referred for hiring interviews.  If the oral exam is administered alone, it will be 100% of the overall score.  Candidates must achieve a minimum rating of 70% in order to be placed on the eligible list. 
  • Written & Oral Exam:  If both a written exam and an oral exam is administered, the written exam is weighted at 60% and the oral exam is weighted at 40% unless otherwise indicated on the announcement.  Candidates must achieve a minimum rating of 70% on each examination in order to be placed on the eligible list.
  • Rate-out:  A rate-out is an examination that involves a paper rating of the candidate’s application using the following criteria: education, training, and experience. Candidates will not be scheduled for the rate-out process. 

 Note:  The rating of 70 referred to may be the same or other than an arithmetic 70% of the total possible points.

Testing Accommodation:  Candidates who require testing accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) must call Human Resources Division at (209) 468-3370 prior to the examination date.   

Veteran’s Points:  Eligible veterans, unmarried widows and widowers of veterans of the United States Armed Forces who have been honorably discharged and who have served during wartime shall be given veteran’s points in initial appointment to County service.  Eligible veterans receive 5 points and eligible disabled veterans receive 10 points. Disabled veterans must submit a recent award letter stating a 10% service connected disability issued by the United States Veterans Administration.  Note:  A copy of your DD214 showing the discharge type must be received in the Human Resources by the date of the examination.

Acceptable wartime service dates:

  • September 16, 1940 to December 31, 1946

  • June 27, 1950 to January 31, 1955

  • August 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975

  • Persian Gulf War, August 2, 1990, through a date to be set by law or Presidential Proclamation.

Eligible Lists:   Candidates who pass the examination will be placed on an eligible list for that classification.  Eligible lists are effective for nine months, but may be extended by the Human Resources Director for a period which shall not exceed a total of three years from the date established.

Certification/Referral: Names from the eligible list will be referred to the hiring department by the following methods.

  • Rule of the Rank: The top rank or ranks of eligibles will be referred for hiring interviews.  The minimum number of names to be referred will be equal to the number of positions plus nine, or 10% of the eligible list, whichever is higher.  When filling nine or more positions in a department at the same time, the top rank or ranks will be referred and the minimum number of names shall be two times the number of positions to be filled or 10% of the eligible list, whichever is higher. This applies only to open competitive recruitments.
  • Rule of Five:  The top five names will be referred for hiring interviews.  This applies only to department or countywide promotional examination.
  • Rule of the List: For classifications designated by the Director of Human Resources, the entire eligible list will be referred to the department.

Physical Exam:  Some classifications require physical examinations. Final appointment cannot be made until the eligible has passed the physical examination. The County pays for physical examinations administered in its medical facilities.

Pre-Employment Drug Screening Exam:  Some classifications require a new employee successfully pass a pre-employment drug screen as a condition of employment.  Final appointment cannot be made until the eligible has passed the drug screen.  The County pays for the initial drug screen.

Employment of Relatives: Applicants who are relatives of employees in a department within the 3rd degree of relationship, (parent, child, grand parent, grand child or sibling) either by blood or marriage, may not be appointed, promoted, transferred into or within the department when;

  • They are related to the Appointing Authority or

  • The employment would result in one of them supervising the work of the other.

Department Head may establish additional limitations on the hiring of relatives by departmental rule.

Proof of Eligibility:  If you are offered a job you will be required to provide proof of U.S. citizenship or other documents that establish your eligibility to be employed in the U.S.



Please be advised that Human Resources will only be accepting Online Application submittals for this recruitment. Paper application submittals will not be considered or accepted.


Apply Online:


Office hours:               
Monday – Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm; excluding holidays.

Phone:  (209) 468-3370 


Job Line:

For current employment opportunities please call our 24-hour job line at (209) 468-3377. 

When a final filing date is indicated, applications must be submitted online to the Human Resources Division before the submission deadline. Resumes and paper applications will not be accepted in lieu of an online application.  (The County assumes no responsibility for online applications which are not received by the Human Resources Division).  

San Joaquin County Substance Abuse Policy: San Joaquin County has adopted a Substance Abuse Policy in compliance with the Federal Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988. This policy is enforced by all San Joaquin County Departments and applies to all San Joaquin County employees.

Equal Opportunity Employer:  San Joaquin County is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Employer and is committed to providing equal employment to all without regard to age, ancestry, color, creed, marital status, medical condition, national origin, physical or mental disability, political affiliation or belief, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation.  For more information go to

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San Joaquin County
Human Resources Division  Stockton, CA 95202
E-mail | Phone: (209) 468-3370 | 8am - 5pm M-F | Powered by JobAps