Vegetation Services Specialist

Reliability & Operations Sumterville, Florida


One of the Nation's largest electric distribution cooperatives located in Central Florida



Vegetation Services Specialist



Reliability & Operations

Reports to:

Vegetation Services Supervisor


293 S US HWY 301, Sumterville FL 33585

Pay Rate:

Based on qualifications and experience


Non Represented - Exempt

Posting Date(s):

Friday, 02/14/2020*

# of Vacancies:



SECO Energy is a not-for-profit electric distribution cooperative serving nearly 200,000 families and businesses across seven counties in Central Florida, making SECO Energy the third largest electric co-op in Florida and the sixth largest in the nation.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      


*This posting will be closed and no longer available to receive applications upon the discretion of SECO Energy.


Qualified employees will be considered on an equal basis with external applicants.


General Purpose of Job

This position provides oversight for the Distribution and Transmission line clearing, work planning, herbicide application and debris hauling contractors working for SECO’s Vegetation Management Program. This position provides direction and guidance to contractor personnel on the operational execution of the vegetation management (VM) program that includes cycle and non-cycle maintenance tree trimming, tree removal and herbicide application as well as invoice processing. This position must assure that all line clearing and work planning VM work is performed in accordance with the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) guidelines and adheres to all federal, state, and local laws and regulations. They measure contractor work performance across the entire SECO electrical system.  The overall goal of this position is to passionately pursue the elimination of “tree caused” electrical outages in a safe, member focused, efficient and environmentally responsible way. This position must demonstrate a firm commitment to customer service as they will frequently interact with both internal and external customers.


Position Specifications

The following includes the minimum job requirements and essential duties for this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.  Some job requirements may exclude individuals that cannot be reasonably accommodated or who pose a direct threat or significant risk to the health and safety of themselves or other employees.


Education and Experience



  • Associate degree in Horticulture, Arboriculture, Forestry, or related field of study. 
  • Minimum two (2) years of vegetation management experience in the electric utility industry or four (4) years of electric utility experience in Transmission & Distribution.:  ISA Certified Arborist Utility Specialist or ability to obtain within three (2) years from employment.
  • Possess a “Commercial Applicator License”  issued by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Pesticide Certification Office, or ability to obtain within one (1) year of employment.



  • Experience or similar work with an electric utility or related industry.

Note: The equivalent of two (2) years of directly related experience in the forestry/arboricultural industry with a high school diploma or GED may be considered in lieu of degree.  A minimum of four (4) years’ experience in Transmission and Distribution with a high school diploma or GED may be considered in lieu of a degree.


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Possesses a working knowledge of ANSI Z133-2012 Safety Standard and ANSI A300 Pruning Standard for vegetation management.
  • Ability to follow SECO’s line clearing VM program that is focused on achieving desired safety and reliability results, property owner acceptance, regulatory compliance, and being financially responsible.  Always focusing on achieving a goal of “zero” tree caused electrical outages.
  • The ability to work with subcontractor leadership to ensure VM programs and projects are completed safely, reliably, and according to approved work plans and procedures.
  • Possess a thorough knowledge of basic and intermediate mathematics (including basic algebra) and use those skills to forecast work production, budget expenses, and perform basic business analytics. This includes performing business case analysis, cost-benefit analysis, return on investment analysis and financial impact forecasting.
  • Knowledge of the primary components and operation of an electric distribution and transmission system; OSHA regulations and code requirements.
  • Knowledge of basic financial planning, forecasting and analysis skills in order to be proficient in developing budgets,  forecasting  expenditures and managing workload to meet budgetary requirements.
  • Effective communications skills including written, verbal and listening.  This includes the ability to prepare reports, business correspondence, and procedures, along with preparing and conducting presentations to Employees, management, vendors, subcontractors and government agencies.
  • Proven leadership skills with the ability to work under extremely high-pressure situations and remain calm, focused and professional.  Must be able to make sound and rational decisions when faced with irate customers, unforeseen situations, and system emergencies always keeping safety as the number one priority.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in computer operations and Microsoft Office products (i.e. Excel, Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint) along with the ability to acquire knowledge and use of applicable corporate database programs  and customer information systems.
  • Skilled in technical, business and conversation writing.  Must be able to craft a memorandum, email and / or written correspondence that is appropriate for internal and external communications.  This includes the ability to craft reports and presentations to communicate within and outside the department and to governmental agencies and entities.
  • Excellent customer service orientation; effective planning, organization, prioritization and time management skills; ability to exercise good judgment, sound reasoning skills and discretion in making independent decisions commensurate with responsibilities.
  • Independent judgment, sound reasoning skills and discretion to make and implement prompt decisions; effective planning, organization, and prioritization skills; and ability to effectively direct the work of others.
  • Ability to effectively manage stress and pressure in a frequently changing environment and to accurately and promptly perform multiple priorities calmly and effectively in all situations.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and confidential information in accordance with established Board Policies and procedures.
  • English is the primary business language. Second language in Spanish is desirable.



                                                                                                                                                                                         Skills Verification

The skills required for this position may be verified through a combination of education, experience, interview questions, and technical skills exercise(s).


Other Requirements 

  • Valid Florida driver’s license for regular driving privileges of cooperative vehicles; must have and maintain an acceptable driving record as determined by the cooperative.
  • Successful completion of SECO Energy’s employment entrance examination and drug screen.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities

This description is intended to indicate the kinds of tasks and levels of work difficulty required of the position given this title and shall not be construed as declaring what the specific duties and responsibilities of any particular position shall be. It is not intended to limit or in any way modify the right of management to assign, direct and control the work of employees under supervision. The listing of essential duties and responsibilities shall not be held to exclude other duties that may be assigned based on the needs of the Cooperative.


  • Actively participate in developing the annual work plan and the annual vegetation management budget; project expenses; monitor expenditures and adjust work tasks to meet budgetary requirements.
  • Assist the supervisor, as needed, in the development of all departmental reports.
  • Assure adherence of all VM and associated contracts in accordance with company policies. Monitor, evaluate, and provide oversight to line clearing and / or work planning VM contractor performance. Ensure contractors meet or exceed safety, quality, customer service, and productivity goals and that contractors are pursuing continuous improvement.
  • Ensure compliance with all local, state and federal laws and regulations within the VM department.
  • Assist with the record collection and track activities and generate monthly reports as directed by the supervisor. 
  • Assist the supervisor in evaluating contractor work being performed to determine if improvement can be made in methods, procedures or other practices.
  • Project a positive public image and resolve customer complaints or concerns in a prompt and effective manner; inform customers in advance of planned projects for clearing and herbicide treatment programs.
  • Must accurately process invoices for payment to subcontractors and make adjustments as necessary.
  • Participate in industry associations that monitor and plan the future direction for VM and the associated contract strategies
  • Conduct inspections and contractor meetings as needed, to ensure quality and accuracy. Manage production records, maintenance history and service interruption data for planning and budget forecasting and allocation.
  • Occasionally act as liaison with state and local government agencies.
  • Demonstrate a sense of urgency and a “can do” attitude when provided tasks and assignments from inside and outside the department.
  • Actively participate in educational efforts to inform the public regarding tree-power line safety, proper placement of newly planted trees, the need for line clearing activities and professional line clearing techniques.
  • Become recognized as a “Subject Matter Expert” in tree biology and pruning for utility line clearance in accordance with the “Best Management Practices for Utility Pruning” method, ISA standards and all federal, state, and local regulations including the National Electric Safety Code; complete knowledge of herbicide application and associated regulations; and safety requirements.


Physical Demands and Work Environment

The physical demands and work environment described here are representative of those that must be met by or those an employee encounters to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. Some requirements may exclude individuals that cannot be reasonably accommodated or who pose a direct threat or significant risk to the health and safety of themselves or other employees.


  • Normal work hours will be eight (8) hours between 7:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.
  • Extensive field exposure and general office environment conditions.
  • Irregular hours in evenings and on weekends are possible during peak business times and during storm season.
  • Ability to work irregular hours and flexibility to change scheduling and report to work on short notice during emergency situations.  
  • Ability to operate a variety of office equipment, including a personal computer, printers, copy machines, telephone, and fax machine.


While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit, talk, and hear.  The employee frequently is required to walk.  The employee is occasionally required to stand; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; climb or balance; stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl.  The employee must regularly lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.  Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, and the ability to adjust focus.


This position has extensive field exposure and general office environment conditions. Regular exposure to outside weather conditions.  The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate to loud.


  • Attend and actively participate in all Job Briefings and Safety Meetings as required.
  • Promotes safe work practices
  • Demonstrate a thorough knowledge and comply with all applicable SECO Energy safety rules, policies, practices, and procedures.
  • Use all required safety protective equipment and utilize all SECO Energy equipment in a safe and efficient manner.
  • Be alert to any safety hazards involving SECO Energy equipment and notify the appropriate personnel immediately.
  • Operate and maintain cooperative vehicles in a safe manner and obey all federal, state, and local laws applicable to the operation of the vehicle; drive at safe speeds no greater than that permitted by law or other speed control signs or devices.


Corporate Values

  •       Attend and actively participate in training as scheduled.
  •       Maintain regular attendance and punctuality during the established working hours.
  •       Maintain a commitment to excellence and to the Corporate Vision.
  •       Maintain and encourage open, honest communication with superiors and co-workers.
  •       Exhibit a commitment to customer focused service.
  •       Exhibit integrity and honesty in all actions.
  •       Exhibit a firm commitment to safety.
  •       Maintain a team player focused cooperative style.
  •       Exhibit a strong work ethic.


SECO Energy is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected Veteran status.