Find a Federal Government Job

Learn how to find a job with the federal government.

Federal Government Employment

The federal government has job opportunities available now in agencies throughout the U.S. If you’re interested in a job with the federal government, visit USAJOBS.gov, the official one-stop source for federal jobs and employment information. There, you can:

How to Apply for a Federal Government Job Through USAJOBS

You must create a USAJOBS profile to apply for any jobs.

  • Sign up for an account, complete your profile, and upload your resume.
  • Search for jobs that interest you.
  • Review the job announcements for those jobs to see if you qualify.
  • Prepare your application in USAJOBS.
  • Submit your application to the federal agency with the opening through USAJOBS.

Though most federal jobs are listed on USAJOBS, some agencies post jobs on their websites or elsewhere. If you’re interested in working for a particular agency, find its website through the A-Z Index of Government Agencies.

There is never an application fee or testing fee to apply for a government or U.S. Postal Service job. Find information about government job scams and how to avoid them.

Former Federal Employees

If you are a former federal employee, you may be eligible for reinstatement, which allows you to apply for federal jobs without competing with the public.

Students and Recent Graduates

Find student job opportunities to work for the government through internships and entry level positions.

Veterans

If you've served in the military and want to find a federal government job, FedsHireVets.gov provides information on veterans' preference, special hiring authorities, and other tips for vets and transitioning service members seeking federal civilian jobs. Learn more about your eligibility from the VA.

People with Disabilities

Learn about how people with disabilities can be appointed to federal jobs non-competitively through a special hiring authority called Schedule A.

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Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships combine on-the-job training and related instruction to give you skills to advance in your chosen field.

Apprentice programs vary in length from one to six years. During that time, as an apprentice, you'll work and learn as an employee. When you complete a registered program, you will receive a nationally recognized certificate from the Department of Labor (DOL) as proof of your qualifications.

For more information:

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Security Clearance

Some federal positions will require a security clearance, a status granted to individuals allowing them access to certain secure information or facilities.

Federal Government Positions

  • Not all federal positions require a security clearance, but they do require the candidate to undergo a suitability adjudication process to determine if the individual is suitable for federal employment.  
  • Background investigations are conducted to assess the loyalty, character, trustworthiness, and reliability of the person requiring the clearance.
  • Job candidates will use the Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing (e-QIP) system to electronically enter, update, and transmit their personal investigative data over a secure internet connection to a requesting agency. This reference guide will assist you in the process.
  • Once a security clearance is granted, it allows a person filling a specific position to have access to classified information up to and including the level of clearance that they hold.
  • For more information about security clearances and background checks for U.S. government employment, visit the Federal Investigative Services (OPM-FIS).
  • If you have questions about your specific security clearance, contact the security officer of the federal agency that requested your evaluation or check with OPM's Systems Access Support Team (SAST) at 1-724-794-5612, extension 4600. They can help you find the right contact within a federal agency.

Private Companies or Federal Contracting Positions

  • Sometimes private companies that do business with a local, state, or federal government agency are required to obtain security clearances for their employees to access facilities and information. Your employer or the agency that you work for will help you obtain clearance using that agency's security clearance granting system. If you need help, ask your company or the agency that you work for.
  • Most federal contracting positions will require a security clearance from each worker to gain access to secure facilities, equipment, and information. Your employer and the agency that you will be working for can help you obtain clearance. Ask your employer to help if you have questions.
  • Some private companies also use security clearances to protect such things as intellectual property rights and financial information. Most of these companies use a background check, which usually researches a candidate's work, criminal, and credit history. Your company will provide information about its security rules. 

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Civil Service Exam

There is no longer a mandatory single civil service exam to cover all federal jobs. Most jobs with the federal government do not require written tests or exams. Certain agencies may require testing for certain positions, but this is uncommon. Ask the agency that you're applying to for more information about testing and exams. 

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Last Updated: April 13, 2017

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