Student 1. Opportunities for Federal Employment

If you would like to work for the Federal Government, I urge you to take advantage of their employment opportunities. I have worked for the Federal Government since 1997 and enjoyed all the positions I have held and all the places I have been. The people are terrific and the work rewarding.

I started my civil service career in Kansas, spent five years in Japan, and now I work in New Mexico. How cool is that? I’ve moved around because that’s what I like; some people work 40+ years at the same place. On a military base, that’s easy to do and still work for multiple organizations.

The Federal Government offers positions for both students and professionals.

Federal employment requires that you are a citizen of the United States. You must have a social security number to register your income and a bank account for automatic deposit of your electronic paycheck. Positions of trust may need you to have a Security Clearance. Where you work and/or your job description will decide if you need a clearance. Most, if not all, positions require a background check. You will be fingerprinted which totally blew me away. I thought only criminals were fingerprinted. Consider yourself warned.

There are multiple positions available to you.
Appropriated Positions: these positions are part of the President’s Budget and we commonly refer to them as “civil service.” USAJobs.GOV has a listing of Federal jobs by college major. I recommend that you go there first. Look it over; decide what Federal career fields interest you.

Today, most agencies list through USA Jobs.GOV. Some use specialized hiring sites that process your application and you will be automatically directed to them. For example the U.S. Forest Service uses Avue Central for their employment website.

Non Appropriated Positions: These jobs are career and seasonal openings specializing in the moral, welfare, and recreation (MWR) of the active duty and retired military and their families. Non Appropriated Positions (NAF) personnel specialists hire people on site of the base or fort. I would suggest you go to the base Internet site where you would like to work and follow the links from there. The benefits and rules vary slightly for NAF positions from Appropriated funded positions (civil service), and usually the hiring process takes less time.

If you live by an U.S. Air Force base anywhere in the world, you can apply for NAF jobs from the Non Appropriated (NAF) jobs site. This site lists openings for lifeguards, child care, bowling attendants, arts and crafts, outdoor recreation, graphic artists, cooks, housekeeping, and other positions with family oriented programs. If you want to go to school overseas and the school is by an American base or fort, research before hand, contact hiring staff, and apply. Student opportunities exist there also. It’s a great way to have some benefits of home while living overseas — and earn a paycheck.

Both the Army and Navy offer MWR positions at their bases; both have recreational sites also. The Army located its only MWR facility in the continental U.S. Shades of Green, in Orlando, Florida at the Walt Disney World® complex.

In Hawaii, all the Department of Defense Services lists their openings on NAFJobs.COM. In addition to the base offerings in Hawaii, you could choose to work in some of the most exotic recreational areas in the world.

As a Department of Defense employee, these recreational sites are available to you when you vacation. Active duty military do have priority.

All bases have retail centers with all the support staff like payroll, computer systems, etc. You can apply to work at the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) or the Navy Exchange (NEX). Both offer good jobs and exciting careers, especially if you are willing to move anywhere around the world.

I hope this helps to give you an overview of the two types of positions with the Federal Government — Civil Service and NAF. In part two of this three-part series, you can find out more about civil service opportunities and especially jobs for students. Part 3 helps you fill out your application and apply on-line. Take care and …

Good luck! Jan

Three-Part Series:

Student 1. Opportunities for Federal Employment
Student 2. Jobs in Civil Service
Student 3. Application for Federal Employment

HELPFUL Sites for Students

Careers in National Defense
Salary Tables
USA.GOV Civilian site Student site
U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
Avue Central’s Crack the Code and
Skills for Applicants.

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