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Recruitment Opportunities

Targeted Recruitment

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) is committed to the outreach and recruitment of a highly qualified, diverse, and inclusive workforce to support our conservation mission. This site provides information and other resource links on Service programs and opportunities for potential candidates and professional representatives from institutions of higher education, professional associations, and other organizations that will ultimately promote a robust and diverse applicant pool and pipeline for Service positions and other opportunities.

FWS Careers

There are over 70 careers in the FWS to choose from for dedicated individuals with diverse education and training backgrounds. Most professional FWS jobs require a college degree with several having specific academic credit requirements. Common majors include: Biology, Botany, Fisheries and Wildlife Management, Forestry, Natural Resource Management, Park and Recreation Management, Environmental Science, Education, Human Resource Management, Facilities Management, Public Administration, Business Management, and Law Enforcement. The FWS offers competitive pay, job security, a great benefits package and work locations in every state.

Most job openings are listed on the USAJOBS website. Applicants can search jobs by category, location, and other criteria. At the USAJOBS site, you can create a personal account where you can build, upload, and post your résumé and supporting documents like college transcripts. Visit USAJobs.gov to search our careers.

You can explore the careers FWS offers plus duties and requirements here. You can sign up here and stay connected about FWS vacancy announcements, career spotlights, diversity initiatives in FWS, and more.

Internships

Internships are one of the critical ways we are preparing the next generation of a diverse FWS workforce. We have a variety of internship opportunities to prepare students and graduates for a career with the Service.

  • Pathways Program for Students and Recent Graduates. FWS appoints interns through two Pathways Program components: 1) The Internship Program targets current students enrolled in high school, or college or technical school, at least half time); and 2) The Recent Graduates Program targets individuals who apply within two years of graduation (this is extended for veterans). Collectively, these programs are designed to provide current students and recent graduates with practical hands-on job experiences that can eventually lead to established careers within government service. FWS internships provide young people with a rich experience from which to continue further education and launch professional careers. Many of the jobs involve work in wildlife or visitor service related fields that include monitoring and assessing threatened or endangered species and habitats, conducting visitor service programs, general maintenance and management, or cultural/historical resource management.  For more information on Pathways, visit www.usajobs.gov/StudentsAndGrads. Click here for more information on Pathways.
  • Directorate Fellowship Program (DFP). FWS collaborates with the partner non-government organizations to provide fellowship opportunities for undergraduate rising seniors and graduate students to participate in 11-week scientifically rigorous projects in biological science/natural resource management or related fields. Candidates who complete all internship and school requirements may be eligible for a direct appointment with the Service. DFP project opportunities are usually announced between November and January each year. During the open period, this page will be updated with application instructions.
  • Career Discovery Internship Program (CDIP). These summer internship opportunities to prepare the next generation of wildlife professionals by introducing college freshman and sophomores to conservation careers. Summer internships are available in a variety of fields, including visitor services, education, resource management and more! More information can be found here.
  • Other Internship Partner Opportunities. FWS collaborates with several nongovernmental organizations to provide intern opportunities for students and graduates. These positions are recruited and hired by our FWS partners below. These partner internships help FWS to promote and build a robust and diverse applicant pool for our conservation positions. You may reach out directly to our field offices to inquire about any intern opportunities with our conservation partners. You can find our internship opportunities here:
  • Youth Conservation Corps (YCC). YCC is a summer employment program for young people ages 15-18. Students work and learn as a team while engaged in environmental stewardship experiences. The YCC focuses on youth development, natural resource stewardship and conservation, creating positive community involvement and career exploration. Programs are typically 8 weeks long from June through August. Participants gain a variety of experiences from biological monitoring to facilities maintenance and visitor services. To request info on YCC opportunities, contact the FWS regional office, wildlife refuge or fish hatchery nearest you.
  • Volunteer and Other Opportunities. A great way to gain experience in the conservation field and to help you decide upon your career is to volunteer at a national wildlife refuge, fish hatchery, and other FWS offices. Volunteer positions are unpaid, but volunteers receive considerable benefits such as learning valuable technical skills and making professional contacts, while working in some of America’s most beautiful landscapes. For more information about volunteer opportunities, contact the volunteer coordinator at a wildlife refuge or fish hatchery nearest you, or check out our Volunteers website.
  • Other Opportunities. FWS may have other internships not listed above that are hosted by Friends groups of local refuges. To find out about these opportunities, contact the local refuge or field station near you.

Diversity Joint Venture

The Diversity Joint Venture for Conservation Careers (DJV) is a partnership of federal and state agencies, universities, non-governmental organizations, foundations, and professional societies that work together to increase the number of women and people of color in the conservation workforce. The DJV leverages new and existing programs to achieve increased diversity with the support of the Partner organizations. DJV efforts include introducing potential employees to the conservation field, supporting recruitment and hiring, and providing opportunities for career growth and development. By doing so, the Partners can ensure that conservation organizations attract, recruit, and retain a new, dynamic cadre of diverse employees whose fresh insights and perspectives will increase productivity in the workplace. Click here for the DJV website.

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Last updated: July 28, 2020