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Consider Joining the Crew at NPARL!

Permanent Job VacanciesTemporary Job VacanciesSummer/Seasonal Job VacanciesInternshipsApplication InfoFederal EmploymentDisability ResourcesCommunity Information

The Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory presents a range of noteworthy and fascinating vocations as well as temporary employment for students and post-docs. NPARL is located in a family-friendly rural area and is approximately 50 miles from two community colleges: Williston State College, Williston, ND and Dawson Community College, Glendive, MT. Sidney is one of the larger towns in eastern Montana, just 11 miles from the North Dakota border and surrounded by several smaller communities. Eastern Montana offers a pleasant, desirable lifestyle - friendly community, abundant outdoor recreational opportunities, outstanding school systems, and rewarding career possibilities. And the work environment is equally inviting as reflected in our history. Our lab was awarded the Outstanding Regional Laboratory by the Federal Lab Consortium in 2003. You can click here to check out other awards and recognitions. We have regular gatherings that enhance employee morale through holiday celebrations, potluck lunches, and other functions. To learn more about the surrounding community for our location click here for convenient links to key websites for schools, businesses and more.

Permanent Job Vacancies at NPARL

Pending final approval, these permanent job vacancies will be advertised on Interested parties can sign up on to receive notices regarding these and other non-seasonal job openings at NPARL. See below for links to websites listing openings at other ARS or federal facilities.



Agricultural Science Research Technician

Announcement #:


Pay Grade:

GS07 - 094, $41,365 to $65,778 per year

Work Schedule:

Permanent Full Time

Open Period:

December 12-28, 2018


U.S. citizen and Permanent Residents seeking U.S. Citizenship. Minimum qualifying experience is 6 months of general experience or one year of education above high schedule level or a combination of education and experience.

Specialized Experience: Specialized experience is experience directly related to the position to be filled. Specialized experience must be described for each grade level advertised. Click here for more information.


The incumbent of this position will participate as a team member with the scientist in all phases of the research process and assumes full technical and operational responsibility for specific phases of the research. Provides input into the initial planning of experiments.

Major Duties may include, but are not limited to:

  • Collecting and evaluating soil and plant samples.
  • Searching for literature for new procedures or techniques to use in the laboratory, field, or computing environment.
  • Keeping exact and detailed records of data obtained from experiments.
  • Tabulating and statistically analyzing data using personal computers.
  • Maintaining and modifying laboratory equipment and automated collection systems used for test and evaluation procedures.
  • Adapting and developing new techniques or procedures to satisfy the needs of an agronomic research project.

To Apply:

Read the entire announcement and all instructions before you begin the application process. All documents will be submitted electronically by 11:59p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement. See more on the web at


USDA is an equal opportunity employer.

Reasonable Accommodation: If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, or have questions regarding reasonable accommodation and/or accessibility for any part of the application and hiring process, please contact the Disability Program Manager on 202-720-6161 or through the DC Relay Service on 202-855-1234 (TDD).

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Temporary Job Vacancies at NPARL (Term positions)

USDA, Agricultural Research Service, the Northern Plains Agricultural Laboratory located in Sidney, MT, is currently accepting applications for the following temporary positions:

Research Associate


Research Associate (Postdoc) Ecologist, Entomologist or Botanist


0408; 0414; 0430

Pay Grade:

GS11, $61,218 to GS12, $95,388 (Annual Wage)

Work Schedule:

Full Time/Term of 1 year, extended up to 4 years

Open Period:

Review of applicants will be begin immediately until position is filled


U.S. citizen and Permanent Residents seeking U.S. Citizenship, 3 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. degree or Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree


The USDA Agricultural Research Service is advertising for a Research Associate (Postdoc) Ecologist, Entomologist or Botanist to perform research and provide expertise in habitat management approaches that promote pollinator resources while limiting weed invasion and spread. The position is at the USDA ARS Pest Management Research Unit, Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory, Sidney MT. The mission of the laboratory is to develop and implement ecologically based strategies, technologies, and products for the sustainable management of insects, pests, and weeds in crops and rangeland. Emphasis is on biological and cultural management strategies that enhance profitability and environmental quality. Our location houses a team of highly collaborative scientists and support staff working in the fields of ecology, botany, entomology, pathology and agronomy.

Major duties include: 1) Plans and conducts pollinator and weed research, individually and as part of a team, in the field and laboratory, 2) Provides expertise in habitat management or restoration approaches that promote pollinator resources while limiting weed invasion and spread, 3) Develops methods to restore and improve low agricultural-input plant communities to provide high quality pollinator habitat, 4) Prepares written work products based on research to be reviewed and published in professional articles.

To Apply:

Send resume and reference contacts to John Gaskin, or call 406-433-9444 for more information.


USDA is an equal opportunity employer.

Reasonable Accommodation: If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, or have questions regarding reasonable accommodation and/or accessibility for any part of the application and hiring process, please contact the Disability Program Manager on 202-720-6161 or through the DC Relay Service on 202-855-1234 (TDD).


Summer/Seasonal & Temporary Vacancies at NPARL:

Summer Employment: The Northern Plains Agriculture Research Lab hires a varying number of students each year for summer positions. Those interested must be 18 years of age by the time work begins. Summer employment generally runs from mid-May through mid-August. Flexible schedules are available; wages are based on qualifications with a minimum of $10.38 per hour. Successful applicants will assist with various research projects including plot preparation and maintenance, plant harvesting and sample preparation and maintenance, sample and seed sorting, processing for analysis and storage, cleaning field instruments and equipment, keeping simple records of work accomplished, collecting grasshoppers and rangeland plants, working on Mormon cricket research and assisting with lab experiments.

Other Seasonal Employment: In addition to summer jobs, NPARL also hires other seasonal help throughout the year as needed. To apply for either summer or other seasonal positions:

Submit a generic application and additional work experience (if applicable) by mail, or drop off at the address below. Please call (406) 433-2020 if you have any questions. Applications areaccepted all year round or until all available positions are filled.

Attn: Human Resources
1500 North Central Ave.
Sidney, MT 59270
Please Note: Once a summer job offer has been made, all selected applicants must complete a Declaration for Federal Employment form (OF306) (PDF; 92KB) which is linked here for your convenience.

Student Internships at NPARL:

Student Internship positions under the Pathways Program are open at NPARL periodically as funding becomes available. Click here to see a listing of Pathways Program Student Internships in the Plains Area (PA) and read below for information on how to apply. Additionally, all Pathways Internships are posted to the website (filter results by using Pathways in keyword search or using the left-hand links).

​For more information you may contact NPARL's Administrative Officer.

What are the key requirements to participate?

Who is eligible to participate?

Who is qualified to participate?

How do I apply for an internship? If accepted for an internship, students will then need to provide the following:1. Proof of enrollment in the college2. Certified transcript3. Verification for US citizen or permanent residency For more information on either summer employment or student internships, please contact NPARL Administration Office at 406.433.2020.

Other ARS and Federal Employment:

USDA/ARS is an Equal Opportunity Employer and Provider. If you are seeking seasonal employment you may submit a general application at our laboratory.
ARS Careers Web Site: Information regarding career opportunities for permanent and temporary employees.
ARS Careers Information Web Site: Information presented here was designed to help those not currently in the Federal service better understand the Federal hiring process.
USA Jobs Web Site: The official job site of the United States Government.
USDA/ARS is an Equal Opportunity Employer and Provider. Useful tools for preparing your application:

You must include a statement in your application that you are a U.S. citizen and return your application to the office listed in the job description. Note: Applications for permanent positions cannot be accepted at the Sidney office. If you have questions you may contact NPARL Administration Office at 406-433-2020. back to top

Career Opportunities

The links below are to current ARS job openings listed at the official job site of the US Federal Government, USAJOBS.

ARS openings in Sidney, MT
ARS openings in Montana
ARS openings nationwide