intern programs

Intern Programs

The U.S. Federal Government helps students and recent college graduates enter federal service through the Pathways Program. The Pathways Program is meant to provide career development opportunities to help people transition into Federal service.

High School and Current College Students

The Federal government also has internship opportunities for students while they are still in high school or high school. If you are in high school or enrolled at an educational institution there are paid opportunities to work for an agency in the Federal Government. You have to be enrolled in an accredited high school or college and the job you get will be tied to your educational and career goals. Opportunities range from full-time to part-time work. Upon completion of your internship, you may be offered a position.

You can also become a volunteer. This would be an unpaid opportunity and can help you build your work experience. You have to be enrolled at least part-time in high school, college, or vocational educational institutions. Generally, the volunteer experiences last about 3-4 months. To apply, states that “historically, the Departments of Defense (Army, Air Force, and Navy), Commerce, Health and Human Services, Interior, Justice, State, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs have utilized the largest number of student volunteers.” You are to contact the Human Resources Office at the Federal agency or department where you wish to work.

Are you a Recent College Graduate?

If you are a recent college graduate (applicants must apply within two years of degree or certificate completion) you can apply to the Recent College Graduates Program. If you are a veteran, you have up to 6 years upon your degree completion to apply. If accepted into the Recent College Graduates Program, you will be placed in a developmental program with the possibility of being hired upon completion of the program. The program generally lasts 1 year.

Pathway Program

For more information about the Pathways Program or the Recent College Graduate Program, visit

Occupational Outlook for Federal Government Positions

If you are set on working for the Federal Government, entering an internship program may provide you a competitive edge. With budget cuts and other cost-saving measures, the Federal Government is not one of the sectors that have a high growth rate. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics actually projects a 1.6% loss per year in Federal Government employment. However, it is estimated that 40% of that job loss is actually accounted for within the U.S. Postal Service. Because of email and private sector competition (and electronic ways of attaining information), the U.S. Postal Services is actually declining at 3.2% yearly.

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