To Obtain a Federal Government Job ... Quickly, Easily,
And Effectively With Little Possible Effort
Basics of Federal Government Jobs
Jobs: America's Best
you're a student, a recent graduate, or an experienced professional,
working for the Federal Government can provide you with unique
challenges and exciting career opportunities.
Federal Government, America's largest employer, hires more than
300,000 people each year. No other employer can offer you the
variety of career opportunities that are available in the Federal
Government. There are more than 200 rewarding career fields
across the country and around the world from which to choose.
Federal Government is a competitive employer whose bottom line
is service to the American people. What does this mean to
you? If you are interested in finance, you can sign on with
the Nation's largest business. Science and technology? We offer
the most renowned laboratories, medical facilities and sophisticated
computer systems to face today's extraordinary challenges. If
you have an interest in protecting the public, becoming a federal
law enforcement officer might be for you.
U.S. Government offers you the career of your choice -- in fields
like agriculture, transportation, social services, intelligence,
commerce, engineering, and education. And every federal agency
needs the best managers, administrators, and policy makers to
keep this multi-billion dollar institution running with excellence.
a Federal employee, you have the opportunity to change jobs,
offices, and agencies and still retain your benefits and service
years. You will find training and career advancement opportunities
for your personal and professional growth. The possibilities
are as diverse as your talents and interests. Read on to find
out how to get started in the career of a lifetime!
Federal Government has several different pay systems. The General
Schedule (GS) is the largest pay system. It covers most white-collar
jobs and consists of 15 numerical grade levels and their corresponding
salaries. Under this system, certain jobs, such as engineers,
accountants, and nurses even have special salary raters. Some
jobs in the Federal service do not fall under the GS pay system.
The Federal Wage System (WG) pay system covers blue- collar
jobs in apprentice and journeyman trades and crafts occupations,
for example, electricians, mechanics, plumbers, carpenters,
trades-helpers, etc. The Senior Executive Schedule (ES) covers
high level managerial and supervisory positions in theFederal
Government's Senior executive Service (SES). You can get a copy
of current pay scales at the federal Job Information Center.
Everything need will be found within the allfederaljobs.com
Your Way Around the General Schedule
do you know where you fit into the GS pay system? Eligibility
for Federal jobs is determined by your education and/or work
experience. With a high school degree or three months of general
experience, you will usually qualify for GS-2 grade level positions.
To qualify for the GS-5 or GS-7 grade levels, you need a bachelor's
degree or three years of increasingly responsible work experience
after high school. If you have an undergraduate grade point
average (g.p.a.) of 3.0 or higher, or membership in an academic
honor society, you may qualify for the GS-7 grade level based
on "Superior Academic Achievement." Applicants with
master's degrees are eligible for the GS-9 grade level, and
those with doctoral degrees may be considered at the GS-11 level.
Ladders and Promotions
levels for professional and administrative positions under the
GS pay system increase first in 2-grade intervals (that is,
GS-5, 7, 9, and 11) and then in 1-grade intervals (that is,
GS-12, 13, 14, and 15). Many Federal jobs offer a "career
ladder" or promotion potential. For example, an entry-level
position's career ladder might go from GS-5 to GS-11. This means
than an employee in that job could be promoted from GS-5 to
7 to 9 to 11, after performing successfully for at least one
year at each level. Each grade increase typically means a salary
increase of several thousand dollars!
a Federal employee, you are not always limited to a traditional
work schedule. You may be able to work a part-time, flexible,
or alternate work schedule. "Flexitime," for example,
allows you to have flexibility in your work schedule while still
working a 40- hour work week. You should discuss these options
with your supervisor once you have started your Federal job.
Federal Government offers benefits such as life insurance, retirement
plans, a variety of health insurance plans, and paid leave.
As a new employee, you will earn 13 days of annual leave and
13 days of sick leave. You will also be paid for 10 national
holidays. Many Federal agencies also offer a number of special
benefits which include child care arrangements, credit unions,
fitness centers, and recreational activities.
standard age for permanent employment is 18, although you can
apply for most jobs at age 16 if you are a high school graduate.
For some fields, such as law enforcement, there is an age limit
for applicants. With few exceptions, Federal employees must
be U.S. citizens. However, some non-citizens may be selected
positions under special circumstances. Contact individual agencies
to find out about such opportunities if you are not a U.S.citizen.
Federal Government is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Hiring
and advancement are based on qualifications and performance
regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin,
politics, or disability.
Competitive and Excepted Services
brochure explains how to get a job in the Federal *competitive*
service. This means applicants compete for positions based on
a written exam and/or evaluation of their education and work
experience. However, some occupations, such as lawyer and chaplain,
and certain agencies, such as the Central Intelligence Agency
and the General Accounting Office, are "excepted"
from these procedures. Excepted agencies determine their own
criteria for accepting and evaluating applications. If you want
to apply for excepted positions or to excepted agencies, contact
individual agency personnel offices.
to Apply for Federal Jobs
you ever been told "get a rating from OPM" or "get
on the OPM register" to get a Federal job? Well, applicants
take note! OPM is no longer the "job bank" for all
Federal job applications and very few jobs require a "rating"
from OPM. In fact, agencies in the Washington DC metropolitan
area fill their vacancies in a variety of ways, sometimes independently
from OPM. For many Federal jobs, you must apply directly for
vacancies advertised by agencies, and for others, you must take
an entry-level test. First step: to find out which of the following
procedures is the right one for your field, contact the FJIC.
All Federal Information can be found within allfederaljobs.com
Standard Form 171 (SF-171) is the application form used in applying
for most Federal Government Jobs. The SF-171 provides an overview
of your educational and work history and highlights your skills
and abilities. Federal employers use the SF-171 to determine
your eligibility for a position. You can get SF-171s at
the FJIC, or at most Federal agencies.
and Administrative Support Positions
applicants refer to the Federal Clerical and Administrative
Support test as the "Civil Service Exam." There is
mistaken impression that this test is required for all federal
jobs. The test, which you can take at the FJIC, covers 64 different
occupations at the GS-2 through 4 levels. Applicants can obtain
sample test materials and the testing schedule from the FJIC.
Applicants who get a passing score on the exam should attach
of their notice of results to their SF-171 and apply directly
to agencies. This is a good vehicle for recent high school graduates
who are interested in beginning their Federal careers.
you can show fluency in the Spanish language or are very knowledgeable
about Hispanic culture, you may be hired under this provision
if you pass an ACWA exam or qualify for Group 7 positions. Contact
individual agencies to find out about these opportunities.
Washington DC, many Federal jobs are filled through "shared
examining" procedures. This means that agencies initially
recruit and screen applications before sending them to OPM for
final evaluation. OPM identifies the best qualified applicants
and sends a list of these candidates back to the agency making
the final selection. These jobs are typically financial, administrative,
social and physical sciences occupations, for example, psychologists,
economists, public affairs specialists, physicists, program
vacancies are advertised individually in the FJOL. Each job
listing gives the title, grade, career ladder, and location
of the position. You should call the contact number listed there
to receive a vacancy announcement that will describe the position
and application procedures in detail. If you have applied for
a vacancy and have questions about the status of your application,
should contact the personnel office of the agency to which you
sent your application; not OPM. NOTE: Senior executive positions
and many wage grade positions are advertised in the FJOL, OPM
publishes a separate SES Vacancy Listing that is available in
occupations that are located primarily in one agency, the agency
may be authorized to advertise, evaluate, and hire applicants
independently from OPM. The Federal Aviation administration
(FAA), for example, uses this authority for air traffic controller
positions. The FJIC has information about which agencies have
this "delegated examining authority" for certain occupations.
You should contact agencies directly to apply for these positions.
occupations where there are critical shortages, such as nurses
and engineers, OPM has authorized agencies to use "direct
hire" to hire qualified applicants. Currently, in the Nation's
capital, agencies are particularly interested in hiring applicants
in computer, mathematics, engineering, and some health occupations.
Contact agency personnel offices directly if you are applying
for a shortage occupation.
and the Role of OPM
a few occupations, such as accountant/auditor (GS-5/7/9) and
biological sciences (GS-5/7), as well as some wage grade positions,
OPM maintains "registers of eligibles" or lists of
qualified applicants. Agencies who have vacancies can request
the best qualified applicants from these lists and contact them
directly. To apply for jobs filled this way, you will need to
get supplemental application forms from the local FJIC and return
them along with your SF-171 to the specified OPM office.
you receive a notice that you are eligible, your name will be
placed on a register and agencies will contact you directly
if they have a vacancy. OPM will only accept applications for
registers when there is a demand for that particular occupation,
so find out from the local FJIC if the register you want to
apply for is "open" before applying.
Avenues of Employment
Management Intern Program The prestigious Presidential Management
Intern (PMI) Program is a career-development program for applicants
with recent graduate degrees and a strong interest in public
management. PMI positions begin at the GS-9 level with career
ladders to GS-12. You must apply for this 2-year program during
the academic year in which you will graduate and be nominated
by your school. For more
information, contact the dean of your graduate school, your
career services department, or the FJIC to get a copy of the
application packet, which is available each year in September.
Service and Veterans Programs Your military service may count
as general or specialized
experience when applying for civilian positions. Additionally,
as a veteran, you may receive preference in obtaining Federal
employment. If you are qualified for the position you want,
Veterans Preference will add either 5 or 10 points to the numerical
evaluation of your application. Qualified Vietnam Era veterans,
and other veterans with a compensable disability of 30% or more,
may be hired directly by agencies. The Veterans Programs Coordinator
at individual Federal agencies can provide program details and
information on eligibility requirements.
of People With Disabilities
Federal Government actively promotes the employment of people
with disabilities through selective placement procedures. This
assistance includes individual job counseling, special testing
for visually and hearing impaired applicants, and referral to
agency coordinators for selective placement. Special accommodations
such as interpreters, readers, and restructured work sites can
also be provided for the disabled. Contact the Selective Placement
at the agency where you wish to work or the State Office of
Vocational Rehabilitation for more information.
you are a motivated, talented, and ambitious student, you already
know that it is important to get good work experience before
you get your diploma. The Federal Government offers a variety
of student employment programs to high school, undergraduate,
and graduate students who are at least 16 years of age and have
U.S. citizenship. By working for the Government while you are
in school, you can have the opportunity to earn money, benefits,
and of course, invaluable experience! Decide which of the following
programs is right for you and then contact your school's career
placement center for more details.
Federal Cooperative Education Program
School, undergraduate, graduate, vocational, and community college
students enrolled at least part-time can work a parallel or
alternate work/study schedule in the field of their interest.
Benefits include salary, annual leave, sick leave, health and
life insurance, and retirement plans. Often a "Co-op"
position can be converted into a permanent position upon graduation.
Summer Employment Program
employees are hired to fill a variety of positions, from office
support to professional, between May 13 and September 30 every
year. Summer employees earn salaries based on their education
and experience. Vacancies are advertised annually in the Summer
Job Opportunities Announcement No. 414, available the last
week of December at the FJIC.
program provides an opportunity for full-time high school, vocational,
and community college or undergraduate students to work in order
to resume or continue their education. Students work a maximum
of 20 hours per week during school and full-time while on school
breaks. The local State Employment Service office must certify
that students meet the financial need criteria. Benefits include
salary, annual leave, and sick leave. Agencies recruit candidates
directly from schools and local state Employment Service
this program, the Federal Government employs economically disadvantaged
youths who earn the Federal minimum wage. The local State Employment
Service office must certify that candidate meet the financial
Student Volunteer Service
school, undergraduate, graduate, or vocational students who
are enrolled at least part-time can gain experience through
this "internship" opportunity in a field related to
their academic/career interest. In many cases, you can earn
academic credit for your internship. Students should contact
agency personnel offices directly to inquire about opportunities.
career-related work/study program helps to expose to public
service careers high school seniors who have a strong academic
record and are planning to attend a higher education program.
Benefits include salary, annual leave, sick leave, health and
life insurance, and retirement plans. Students must be nominated
during their senior year by their school, and the local State
Employment Service office must certify that they meet financial
to the Federal Government
are now on your way to becoming a Federal employee. Working
for the U.S. Government means working for you -- the taxpayer.
It means working for your community and your fellow citizens.
It means working on the cutting edge of technology and the leading
edge of social reform. It means having an impact on the future
of your country. And it means that you have begun a prestigious
career with tremendous potential, competitive salary, and good
you start your job search, keep in mind that research, persistence,
and self-promotion pay off. Market yourself to agencies and
recruiters just as you would in the private sector -- your future
career depends on the quality of your job search, and agencies
want to hire motivated and ambitious candidates.
you start work, be sure to explore the individual culture and
opportunities at your agency. Many agencies emphasize developmental
training, career-enhancement programs, seminars, and more.
to the Federal Government -- Working for America works for you!