Oregon Public Universities


Classification Specifications


Classification Number: 8104


  Step 5 Step 6 Step 7 Step 8 Step 9 Step 10
Salary Range 9 $2379 $2464 $2557 $2657 $2741 $2859


Under the guidance of a Seed Analyst Supervisor or Seed Analyst 2, the SEED ANALYST (ENTRY) learns to divide and prepare samples and performs routine purity, germination, or special tests on field crop, forest tree, vegetable, shrub, flower, or miscellaneous species of seed samples to determine quality. Work in this class is normally seasonal in duration.


This is the first of a three-level series. The class is used as an underfill for Seed Analyst 1 positions. The training period for this class is for up to one year. Because this may be a seasonal position, the training period may take more than one calendar year. On-the-job training under the close supervision of a Seed Analyst Supervisor or Seed Analyst 2 is periodically supplemented by formal classroom training provided by the employer. As experience is gained, employees in this class may specialize in purity testing, germination testing, or special testing in the Seed Laboratory at Oregon State University. This class is distinguished from the higher levels by the guidance and training provided by a fully proficient Seed Analyst Supervisor or Seed Analyst 2.


  1. Sample Preparation. Typical tasks: obtains seed sample envelope sent in by grower or other client, determines type of tests required from seed envelope and preprinted test record form; uses seed divider machine to divide original sample accurately into quantity required for specific test(s) and places test sample in container for testing; routes sample and all accompanying papers to appropriate test area.
  2. Purity Testing. Typical tasks: visually examines routine samples (i.e. ryegrass, tall fescue, cereals) under magnification (microscope or other magnifying lens); manually separates sample with forceps into components of pure crop seed, other crop seed, inert matter (stones, dirt, leafage, stems, badly broken seed, etc.), and weed seed; identifies each component part found in the examination; weighs each component part of test sample on mechanical or electronic scale; computes percentage part of total sample of each component found; records findings on preprinted test record form; routes completed sample to supervisor who checks for accuracy.Germination Testing. Typical tasks: obtains prepicked, routine sample (i.e. cereal grains, tall fescue, orchard grass) from incoming work trays; determines from sample label and preprinted test form the kind of test appropriate to seed type; places required number of seeds in the germination medium in proper containers; may treat planted sample with growth stimulating solution; determines proper review cycle for seed type and test and assures that each test tray is properly labeled with date; routes or directly places test tray(s) in cold room for chill test or in lighted or dark germinator as appropriate; reviews germination progress at specified periods to determine number of seeds that have properly germinated, number of abnormal germinants, and number of dead seed, computing percentage of each and recording findings on test record sheet; routes completed sample to supervisor who reviews for accuracy.
  3. Special Tests. Typical tasks: obtains seed sample from incoming work basket; determines from label and test record form the test required; when procedure requires, cuts or pierces seeds, applies tetrazolium or other staining solution which causes color changes in embryo of live seed, then visually examines under magnification to count number of live seeds in a sample; as required, x-rays seed sample to determine if seeds are empty, insect infested, or have internal or external injury or other abnormalities and reports findings; when appropriate, performs chromosome count on seed parts under high magnification to determine levels of ploidy; determines seed moisture content by evaporation process or by electrical meter; determines the weight of 1000-seed sample; if required performs technical bioassay tests to detect chemical seed treatment effectiveness; as needed, performs a number of different chemical and physical tests to detect the level of varietal purity in a sample; routes completed sample to supervisor who checks for accuracy.
  4. Equipment Operation. Typical tasks: operates or uses binocular microscope, seed blower, seed divider, hand held lenses, forceps, scalpel or razor blades, electronic or manual balance scales, electronic calculator; uses compressed air hose and towels or brushes to keep test area clean and free of contamination between tests; when necessary, uses specially housed binocular microscope with protective cover over the objective area to examine seed treated with insecticide or other chemicals; when directed, enters test findings directly at computer terminal; uses x-ray machine, x-ray film development equipment to develop film as needed; when procedure requires, use special fluorescent lights (black lights) in a seed examination chamber.


Employees in this classification have only incidental contact with persons outside of the work unit.


Employees in this classification work and train under the close supervision of a fully qualified Seed Analyst or Seed Analyst Supervisor who assigns the work and reviews in progress and upon completion for accuracy and thoroughness.Work is performed in accordance with laboratory policy and specific standards set by State and Federal law, USDA standards, Canadian Seed Test Rules, European Economic Community standards, the International Seed Testing Association rules, the Higher Voluntary Standards of Great Britain, and standards set by the Association of Official Seed Analysts. There are also in-house manuals for seed, pest or disease identification, as well as a laboratory library and herbarium available to the employee.


Positions are primarily found in central arid remote locations throughout the state. They require the willingness to work within the environment associated with the position's location.


Minimum Qualifications are not established for this classification. The appointing authority is responsible for recruitment and selection. Refer to Personnel Rule 105-43-005.