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Opportunities for Young People

The Forest Service has many opportunities for young people, from early childhood education and volunteering to post graduate work. For employment, we have several paths for you to explore. 

A photo of a student participating in the Flatwoods Job Corps Conservation Center in Coeburn, Va.

Looking for a permanent job?

A centralized recruitment and application process is available through www.USAJOBS.gov. You may search by location, job category or keywords. The online process is an important first step to applying for a job with the Forest Service. But it takes time. Carefully read the recruitment notice and following the steps to fill out the application.


Looking for a temporary job? 

Young people have the opportunity to apply for seasonal or temporary jobs with national forests and grasslands.

The Forest Service hires a variety of temporary employees for summer or other temporary work, including for recreation, trail construction, timber, botany, fisheries/aquatics or archeology. But apply early and update your profile and resume every 60 days ensuring your application remains active within USAJOBS. Temporary jobs do not come with relocation costs, so you might want to specify your preferred locations unless you are prepared to move yourself.


Are you a student or recent graduate looking for work?

Pathways, a new program, provides a variety of ways to gain experience or start out in the federal workforce. Some programs are part-time but could open the door for a full-time career. All come with varying degrees of training. The program includes:

  • Internship program for current students. If you are a high school student, talk to your guidance counselor or contact your nearest Forest Service office for information about intern and job opportunities.
  • Recent graduates program for people who have recently graduated from qualifying educational institutions or programs (2 years from the date the graduate completed an academic course of study
  • Presidential Management Fellows for people who obtained an advanced degree (e.g., graduate or professional degree) within the preceding two years. Fellows are usually in their 20s or 30s, but there not an age limit.

Want to fight wildfires?

Young people work on the ladyslipper ecosystem

There are several avenues to becoming a wildland firefighter, grueling and dangerous work that also is rewarding. Many forests and grasslands have apprentice position openings. Check with your preferred forest or grassland for more information. The application process is usually begins in January.

For a permanent wildland firefighter position, check USAJobs. And for an overall look at wildland fire jobs, read People in Fire.


Need to finish your high school education? 

Job Corps is a free education and training program that helps young people learn a career, earn a high school diploma or GED, and find and keep a good job. For eligible young people at least 16 years of age that qualify as low income, Job Corps provides the all-around skills needed to succeed in a career and in life. 

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