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Federal Internships for Veterans

May 30, 2018

Entering into a civilian career following military service can seem daunting, but there are internship opportunities with federal agencies that help with this transition. Find out about some of the federal internships available for veterans.

The EO13518 is a federal initiative that gives preference to veterans during the hiring process for federal jobs. Veterans Preference also extends to federal internships, which can be a great opportunity to gain knowledge and first-hand experience in a civilian career following service. The U.S. Department of State's Pathways Internship Program provides access to federal internships in a variety of offices and departments. Below are internships offered in and out of the program. The list isn't comprehensive because there are numerous federal internships available, but it will give you an idea of the possibilities out there.

Internship Comparison Chart

Internship Title Paid or unpaid Full or Part-Time Applicable Military Skills/Traits
IRS-IT Specialist (Pathways) paid $39,944 full-time knowledge of federal security, managing complex situations
Department of the Air Force-Student Trainee, Clerk (Pathways) paid $18,785 multiple schedules general clerical skills
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Student Trainee, Civil Engineering (Pathways) paid $26,587 full-time engineering, mathematical reasoning
Securities and Exchange Commission-Honors Business Program (not Pathways) unpaid multiple schedules multiple backgrounds/experiences
Office of the Inspector General USPS-Student Cooperative Office of Audit (Pathways) paid $13 hourly part-time experience with computer software applications
U.S. Department of State Internship Program (not Pathways) unpaid full-time understanding of foreign cultures and U.S. ties
FBI-Wounded Warrior Program unpaid, but participant still receives active military pay varies on ability computer skills and analytic abilities

Source: USAJobs.gov

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Relevance to Military Background

Military service provides an individual with experiences and training that many civilians do not have access to. For this reason, the Veterans Preference initiative created. All of the internships listed here (and many others) are targeted toward individuals with excellent accountability, unique experiences, and good discipline. For these reasons, a military background gives the applicant an advantage over civilian applicants.

IRS-IT Specialist

The IT Specialist internship with the IRS is through the Pathways Internship Program. This internship is available in Fresno, CA, San Jose, CA, Laguna Niguel, CA, and Chamblee, GA. The salary for this position ranges from $39,944-$67,117 depending on knowledge and experience. The promotion potential for this internship is a Level 12 (meaning a decent change of receiving full-time employment).

Department of the Air Force-Student Trainee (Clerk)

This internship is a temporary appointment for 89 days. The intern is paid between $18,785-$23,502 a year depending on experience and skills and is available through the Pathways Program. This position is located at Elmendorf AFB, AK, McConnell AFB, KS, the Air Force Academy, CO, and Laughlin AFB, TX. Relocation is not reimbursed. Some travel may take place. The promotion potential for this position is a level 1. Since this is a temporary position, the intern must go through the regular hiring process upon graduation but will receive preference.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Student Trainee (Civil Engineering)

This is a full-time internship paying between $26,587-$43,414 annually through the Pathways Program. Located in Vicksburg, MS, some travel may be possible. Promotion to a permanent position is possible for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year engineering students only.

Securities and Exchange Commission-Honors Business Program

This internship is not through the Pathways Program but offered directly a result of the Securities and Exchange Commission's initiatives. This position is located in San Francisco, CA, Washington, DC, Miami FL, and Atlanta, GA. Though this position is unpaid and does not offer direct hiring potential, it does offer broad experience and networking potential.

Office of the Inspector General USPS- Student Cooperative Office of Audit

Unlike the other internships listed, this internship is only part-time. It offers a pay rate of $13-$17 an hour depending on grade level; sophomores get $13, juniors and seniors get $15, and graduate students get $17. The locations for this position include Oakland, CA, Bethesda, MD, Dallas, TX, and Arlington County, VA. This is meant to be a temporary internship, but promotion to a full-time permanent position is a possibility.

U.S. Department of State Internship Program

The U.S. Department of State internship program is not through the Pathways Program but offered through in-house action. This internship offers the opportunity to work in embassies and consulates around the world, as well as domestic bureaus. This is an unpaid internship, but college credit may be earned for work completed. Interns working in Washington, DC are eligible for a SmartBenefits Metro Transit Subsidy.

FBI-Wounded Warriors Program

This is the only internship offered only for military veterans, specifically those in recovery for a combat or training-related injury. Since the intern must still be on active duty to be eligible, the trainee will still receive their normal military compensation. The work hours required for this position vary depending on the ability of the intern and their medical restrictions. Accommodations will be given if travel between stations is needed. Once the intern has completed the program, they may be considered for a full-time, permanent position if one is available.


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