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Employment Qualifications


USITC offers unpaid training opportunities to students in high school and college. These opportunities can provide work experience related to your academic program, while allowing you to explore career options, as well as develop your personal and professional skills. As a student volunteer, exposure to the Federal work environment allows you to learn about the missions and responsibilities of various Federal agencies and departments.


You are eligible to participate as a Student Volunteer if you are enrolled, at least half-time, in:

  • An accredited high school or trade school;
  • A technical or vocational school;
  • A junior or community college;
  • A four-year college or university; or
  • Any other accredited educational institution.
  • Must be a US Citizen


Student volunteer work may be performed during the school year and/or during summer or school vacation periods. The nature of your volunteer assignment as well as your weekly work schedule should be part of your work agreement. Volunteer work assignments typically have duration of 3 – 4 months.

How To Apply

If you are interested in becoming a student volunteer with the USITC:

  • Email
  • Visit your school’s guidance office, career counseling, placement, or internship office for further information.
Internship Program

The Internship Program replaces the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) and Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP). This Program is designed to provide students enrolled in a wide variety of educational institutions, from high school to graduate level, with opportunities to work in agencies and explore Federal careers while still in school and while getting paid for the work performed. Students who successfully complete the program may be eligible for conversion to a permanent job in the civil service. Additional information about the Internship Program can be found at USAJOBS (external link). Here are some key provisions of the Internship Program.


  • Current students in an accredited high school, college (including 4-year colleges/universities, community colleges, and junior colleges); professional, technical, vocational, and trade school; advanced degree programs; or other qualifying educational institution pursuing a qualifying degree or certificate.

Program Administration

  • The Internship Program is primarily administered by each hiring agency.
  • Agencies may hire Interns on a temporary basis for up to one year for an initial period, or for an indefinite period, to complete the educational requirement.
  • Interns may work either part- or full-time.
  • Each agency must sign a Participant Agreement with the Intern that sets forth the expectations for the internship.
  • Intern's job will be related to the Intern's academic career goals or field of study.
  • Agencies provide OPM with information regarding their internship opportunities and post information publicly on USAJOBS (external link) about how to apply for specific positions.

Program Completion and Conversion

  • Interns may be converted to a permanent position (or, in some limited circumstances, to a term position lasting 1-4 years) within 120 days of successful completion of the program.
  • To be eligible for conversion, Interns must:
    • Complete at least 640 hours of work experience acquired through the Internship Program
    • Complete their degree or certificate requirements
    • Meet the qualification standards for the position to which the Intern will be converted
    • Meet agency-specific requirements as specified in the Participant's Agreement, and
    • Perform their job successfully.
  • Agencies may waive up to 320 of the required 640 hours of work for Interns who demonstrate high potential as evidenced by outstanding academic achievement and exceptional job performance.
  • In addition, students working in agencies through third-party intern providers may count up to 320 of the hours they work toward the 640 hour requirement.
  • Time spent under previous Internship Program appointments may count towards required work experience hours.

Recent Graduates Program

The Recent Graduates Program affords developmental experiences in the Federal Government intended to promote possible careers in the civil service to individuals who have recently graduated from qualifying educational institutions or programs. To be eligible, applicants must apply within two years of degree or certificate completion (except for veterans precluded from doing so due to their military service obligation, who have up to six years after degree completion to apply). Successful applicants are placed in a dynamic, developmental program with the potential to lead to a civil service career in the Federal Government. The program lasts for 1 year (unless the training requirements of the position warrant a longer and more structured training program). Here are some key provisions of the Recent Graduates Program.


  • Recent graduates who have completed, within the previous two years, a qualifying associates, bachelors, masters, professional, doctorate, vocational or technical degree or certificate from a qualifying educational institution.
  • Veterans unable to apply within two years of receiving their degree, due to military service obligation, have as much as six years after degree completion to apply.

Program Administration

  • The Recent Graduates Program is administered primarily by each hiring agency.
  • Each agency must sign a Participant Agreement with the Recent Graduate that sets forth the expectations for the program.
  • Agencies provide OPM with information regarding their opportunities and post information publicly on USAJOBS (external link) about how to apply for specific positions.

Training and Development

  • Orientation program for Recent Graduates hired for the program.
  • Mentorship throughout the program.
  • Individual Development Plan to create and track Recent Graduates' career planning, professional development, and training activities.
  • At least 40 hours of formal, interactive training each year of the program.
  • Positions offer opportunity for career advancement.

After Program Completion

  • Recent Graduates may be converted to a permanent position (or, in some limited circumstances, a term appointment lasting 1-4 years).
  • To be eligible for conversion, Recent Graduates must have:
    • Successfully completed at least 1-year of continuous service in addition to all requirements of the Program.
    • Demonstrated successful job performance.
    • Met the qualifications for the position to which the Recent Graduate will be converted.

Presidential Management Fellows Program

The Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program (external link) is a flagship leadership development program at the entry-level for advanced degree candidates. Created more than three decades ago, the program attracts and selects from among the best candidates and is designed to develop a cadre of potential Federal Government leaders. Here are some key provisions of the PMF Program.


  • Individuals who have completed within the past two years, a qualifying advanced degree (e.g., masters or professional degree) or who will meet advanced degree requirements by August 31 of the year following the annual application announcement.
  • An individual may apply for the PMF Program more than once as long as he or she meets the eligibility criteria. However, if an individual becomes a Finalist and subsequently applies for the PMF Program during the next open announcement, the individual will forfeit his or her status as a Finalist.

Program Administration

  • The PMF Program is centrally administered by the PMF Program Office within OPM.
  • OPM announces the opportunity to apply for the PMF Program (usually in the late summer or early fall) on the PMF (external link)and USAJOBS (external link) websites.
  • Applicants go through a rigorous assessment process to determine Finalists.
  • OPM selects Finalists based on an evaluation of each candidate's experience and accomplishments according to his or her application and results of the assessments.
  • OPM publishes and provides agencies with the list of Finalists.
  • Agencies provide OPM with information about their PMF opportunities and can post PMF appointment opportunities for those who are Finalists on the PMF website year-round. In addition, a job fair is typically held for Finalists each year.
  • Finalists who obtain an appointment as a PMF serve in a two-year excepted service position.

Training and Development

  • The PMF Program Office provides newly hired PMFs an opportunity to participate in its Orientation and Training Program.
  • Senior-level mentorship throughout the program.
  • Individual Development Plan to create and track a PMF's career planning, professional development, and training activities.
  • Developmental opportunities in the occupation or functional discipline the PMF would most likely be placed.
  • At least 80 hours of formal, interactive training each year of the program, for a total of 160 hours.
  • PMFs are placed on a performance plan and must obtain a successful rating each year.

After Program Completion

  • After successful Program completion and job performance, the PMF may be converted to a permanent position (or, in some limited circumstances, a term appointment lasting 1-4 years) in the competitive service.
Veteran Hiring

You served your country in the uniformed service, now you can continue to serve your country in the civil service at USITC. The skills (technical, teamwork, leadership) and experience you gained in the military are just what we are looking for in future employees.

We offer a number of hiring programs that benefit veterans, transitioning service members, and their families. Veterans may be given preference during the hiring process when applying to USITC positions at USAJOBS and depending on eligibility, may also qualify for special hiring authorities. These special authorities include the Veterans Recruitment Authority (VRA), appointments for 30% or more disabled veterans, appointments under the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA), and opportunities for disabled veterans enrolled in a Department of Veterans Affairs training program. Learn more about hiring rules for veterans (external link).

If you are interested in a career opportunity at USITC, get our job list. Veterans who are eligible to be considered under a special hiring authority may submit their application to be non-competitively considered even when we don’t have a current job opportunity announcement posted. We will keep your information on file and refer your resume to hiring managers for consideration.

General Contact Information: To find out more about Federal employment at USITC we invite you to visit us at our Veterans Hiring Program Coordinator. For information about veteran employment at other agencies contact the Veteran Employment Program Office for individual agencies.

Schedule A Hiring Authority

Excepted Service Appointing Authorities

Excepted service appointing authorities are critical tools for increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities in the Federal Government. Two of these authorities are particularly relevant:

  • Schedule A, 5 CFR 213.3102(u), for hiring people with severe physical disabilities, psychiatric disabilities, and intellectual disabilities. This excepted authority is used to appoint persons with severe physical disabilities, psychiatric disabilities, and intellectual disabilities. Such individuals may qualify for conversion to permanent status after two years of satisfactory service. Severe physical disabilities include but are not limited to blindness, deafness, paralysis, missing limbs, epilepsy, dwarfism, and more.
  • Schedule A, 5 CFR 213.3102(11) for hiring readers, interpreters, and personal assistants. This excepted authority is used to appoint readers, interpreters, and personal assistants for employees with severe disabilities as reasonable accommodations.

OPM has developed Bite Size Training on Using Schedule A Training to Hire People with Disabilities (external link). This 5-minute training provides managers and HR staff with an helpful overview of what they need to know to hire people with disabilities using Schedule A.


In order to be eligible for employment through the Schedule A non-competitive process, documentation of the disability is required. Such documentation is used to verify that the individual being hired is indeed a person with an intellectual disability, severe physical disability, or psychiatric disability. This documentation must be provided to the hiring agency before an individual can be hired. Documentation of eligibility for employment under Schedule A can be obtained from a licensed medical professional (e.g., a physician or other medical professional certified by a state, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. territory to practice medicine); a licensed vocational rehabilitation specialist (i.e., state or private); or any Federal agency, state agency, or agency of the District of Columbia or a U.S. territory that issues or provides disability benefits.

In addition, upon hiring, the individual with a disability or the agency Human Resource office should complete the Standard Form 256 (PDF file) [556.76 KB]. The SF-256 includes the legal definition of disability and lists various disabilities, including several that are considered targeted disabilities.

Applicants and employees with disabilities may also use the SF-256 to voluntarily identify their particular disability for data collection purposes only, even if they are not seeking to establish eligibility under Schedule A. Data captured from the SF-526 is used to compile the disability demographics of Federal agencies. This data is crucial for agencies to determine how well or poorly they are achieving their disability hiring goals.

OPM recently updated SF-256 to better reflect current definitional language with respect to the disability community. OPM also created a Bridge Document (external link) that details the differences between the updated SF 256 and the form previously used by OPM.

Agencies should begin using the updated SF-256 now, if they have not already done so.