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Trainee Program FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • Are relocation benefits (Transfer of Station [TOS]) available for applicants outside of the local commuting area?
    The AQM Trainee Program does not offer TOS (paid moving expenses). Applicants for other trainee positions must pay their own moving costs if they do not reside within the local commute area (defined as within 49 miles of the duty location).
  • I have an MBA or equivalent educational degree/ my work experience qualifies me at a higher grade level / or I am currently a GS-09. Am I eligible to begin the program at the GS-9 level?
    All hiring for the AQM Trainee program will be done at the GS-05 level in order to allow all trainees to complete the program in the prescribed amount of time and to ensure that all training objectives are met. No exceptions will be made.
  • I live outside of the local commuting area (50 miles), can I participate in the program as a virtual employee, or at a different duty location?
    Due to the inherent nature of a trainee program, employees must be present at the duty location of their supervisor and mentor in order to facilitate maximum training opportunities. Therefore, alternate duty locations or virtual work arrangements are not authorized.
  • I am currently completing my degree or would like to complete a degree in the future. Does this program offer tuition reimbursement?
    The USFS AQM Trainee Program cannot offer tuition reimbursement. Please note that applicants for GS-1102 and GS-1170 positions must have already completed their degree or 24 business credits to apply to the positions.
  • I saw in the outreach notice and vacancy announcement that I am required to sign a mobility agreement to participate in the program. What does this mean?
    A mobility agreement is an agreement between the employee and the government, and is a condition of employment. In it, the employee agrees to travel for work assignments and training (2 week assignments or shorter), participate in a 120 day detail that may or may not require long term Temporary Duty Travel (TDY), and agrees that they may be required to relocate upon training program completion if a position is not available at the assigned duty location.
  • Where can I learn more about the US Forest Service and its mission?
    The US Forest service maintains a website here. If you are located near a National Forest, many have visitor's centers that you can visit to learn more. Locations and contact information for our National Forests and Research Stations are available on the USFS website.

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