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Pesticide Specialist

Salary: $18.35-$22.40 hourly / $3,191-$3,895 monthly / Range: 5166

DEFINITION: Under general supervision, stores, handles, mixes and applies pesticides in accordance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations; and performs related duties as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: This class is primarily responsible for eliminating or inhibiting the growth of unwanted vegetation, and for controlling rodent and insect problems in flood control channels, creeks, drainage ditches, culverts, rivers, access and public roads, and rights-of-way; and for performing other maintenance and duties as related to Public Works operations.

EXAMPLES OF DUTIES:

1. Orders, stores, handles, mixes, and applies pesticides in accordance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations; identifies and chemically treats primary and secondary noxious weeds; controls rodent and insect pest populations to ensure safety of department employees; drives trucks to transport pesticides and spray equipment to site; uses manual and computer-controlled spray rigs and tanker trailers; cleans, services, maintains, and does minor repair work on spray rigs and vehicles; schedules appropriate herbicide applications for flood control, right-of-way, open space, mitigation sites, and park areasand monitors effectiveness of treatment; performs diagnostic checks of computerized spray rigs; calibrates spray equipment to ensure accuracy of concentration; explains to the public, when requested, the type of pesticide being applied and the reasons for pesticide applications.
2. Purchases ancillary supplies and materials as needed; ensures adequate supply of pesticides is available for applications; keeps monthly pesticide records of material used.
3. Prepares pesticide use forms, safety training worksheets, and storage site inspection records as required; obtains necessary permits from the Agricultural Commissioner's Office.
4. May lead work crews on an occasional basis; may train other pesticide applicators in safety methods and proper handling of pesticides; and may participate in other public works operations when performance of pesticide duties is inappropriate, or during emergencies.
5. Contains and cleans up minor pesticide spills in accordance with hazardous materials/waste handling requirements.
6. Attends continuing education courses to maintain Qualified Applicator's Certificate.

EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS:

1. One year of responsible experience in horticultural pest, insect, rodent, weed abatement or turf disease control; or,
2. experience performing duties equivalent to the class of Maintenance Worker I with Santa Barbara County, supplemented by additional training or coursework in pest, weed, and disease control; or,
3. equivalent combination of training, education, and experience that would provide the required knowledge, abilities, and certificate.

LICENSES: Possession of a valid California Qualified Applicator's Certificate for pesticide application including the aquatic and right-of-way categories. Possession of a valid California Class B Driver's License is required at time of appointment. Appointees must obtain a California Class A license with a tanker endorsement during the probationary period. Driver's license and required endorsements must be kept valid throughout the term of employment.

Appointees to this classification will be subject to mandatory testing for drugs prior to beginning work. Once on the job, incumbents will be subject to mandatory testing for drugs and/or alcohol on a random, reasonable suspicion, post-accident, return-to-duty, and follow-up basis.

Knowledge of: modern methods, equipment, materials and safety measures used in pesticide applications; laws, regulations and basic principles of pesticide application; common pesticides used in right-of-way area applications; environmental conditions appropriate for pesticide applications; and basic math including addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to calibrate spray equipment and to estimate materials needed for pesticide applications.

Ability to: identify primary and secondary weeds, insects and rodents in order to apply appropriate pesticides; operate manual and computer-controlled spray equipment; read and understand pesticide regulations; follow written and oral instructions; maintain records to prepare forms and worksheets on pesticide applications and safety; verbally communicate with members of the public the reasons for pesticide applications; maintain effective working relationships with co-workers and the public.

Supplemental Information: Incumbent may be required to be fitted for and wear a respirator and/or self-contained breathing apparatus, as well as other safety gear and equipment.
 



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