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Heading: Working for the Great Outdoors.
Student Programs (header)
Benefits and Pay (subheader)

  Students in the Student Career Experience Program may be eligible for both health and life insurance coverage. Students in the Student Temporary Employment Program are considered temporary employees and are generally not entitled to these benefits. Students in both programs earn annual and sick leave.

Forest Service employees enjoy a flexible range of benefits in their Federal government careers. These are designed to mesh with the lives of our diverse workforce in a flexible system that allows you to match benefit choices to needs.
  • Certain benefits vary depending on location, but they generally include low-cost health and life insurance; a portable retirement plan; and generous holiday, vacation, and sick leave.
  • Nearly all Forest Service locations offer flexible work schedules and work places.
  • Many locations provide wellness and personal counseling programs.
  • The Forest Service offers valuable training programs to increase career skills and continuing education.
  • All positions offer opportunities for personal growth and we recognize achievement through a cash bonus program and other incentives.
FOR EXAMPLE - Our flexible benefits approach is illustrated by some of our key Health Insurance Program features:
  • No waiting periods. Coverage starts right away.
  • No medical examination or restrictions because of age or physical condition.
  • Choice of coverage -- self only coverage, or self and family coverage for you, your spouse, and unmarried dependent children under age 22.
  • The Government contributes toward the total cost of your premium.
  • Pay your share of the premium through a payroll deduction.
  • Opportunities to review and change plans and/or options every year.
  • A choice of plans and options, including: Managed fee-for-service plans Plans offering a point of service product Health Maintenance Organizations

Generally, college graduates with no other substantive experience start at GS-5 pay. Some positions may allow hiring college graduates at the GS-7 level based on Superior Academic Achievement (SAA). To meet the hiring requirements for Superior Academic Achievement, proof of meeting one of the three following requirements must be provided by the student:
  • Graduated in the top third of their college class;
  • Grade Point Average (GPA): overall GPA must be 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or better; or a 3.5 in the major field of study; or
  • Membership in certain Scholastic Honor Societies