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Starting a Career With DOL

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College graduates, students, and experienced professionals who are interested in a career at the Department of Labor are invited to apply. Most Federal employees obtain jobs through competitive procedures. However, there are a number of Federal-wide special authorities and programs DOL may use to hire eligible, qualified applicants outside of the competitive process. You may be eligible for one or more of them. Keep in mind, however, that the use of these authorities is not mandatory. They include:

Outstanding Scholar Authority Two Individuals discussing scholarships

Outstanding Scholar is a special hiring authority established for entry-level administrative positions at the GS-5 and GS-7 grade entry-levels. The purpose of the authority is to provide a mechanism to appoint minorities to Federal positions. This authority can be used only for specific series and job titles listed below.

You are considered an Outstanding Scholar if you have acquired a grade point average of 3.45 or higher, on a 4.0 scale, for all undergraduate course work completed towards your bachelor's degree; or graduated in the upper ten percent of your undergraduate class of your college or university, or major college or university subdivision.

DOL Major Occupations for which the Outstanding Scholar Appointment may be used:

  • Safety and Occupational Health Specialist
  • Manpower Development Specialist
  • Workforce Development Specialist
  • Workers' Compensation Claims Examiner
  • Wage and Hour Compliance Specialist
  • Criminal Investigator
  • Economist
  • Computer Specialist
  • Personnel Management Specialist
  • Program/Management Analyst
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Bilingual/Bicultural Hiring Authority

The Bilingual/Bicultural is also a special hiring authority. Under the Bilingual/Bicultural authority, if you have Spanish language proficiency or knowledge of Hispanic culture, you may be appointed to a position for which you qualify if the job requires such knowledge and ability.

Veterans Readjustment Appointments (VRA)

DOL is committed to providing employment and job advancement opportunities for qualified disabled, Vietnam, and post-Vietnam era veterans. The Veterans Readjustment Appointment (VRA) program allows certain eligible Vietnam veterans and Post-Vietnam-era veterans to be appointed noncompetitively to Federal civilian jobs which lead to competitive status and career or career-conditional tenure upon satisfactory completion of 2 years of service, education, or training. Under another special hiring authority, if you are a 30 percent or more disabled veteran, you may be hired noncompetitively for any position and grade level for which you qualify in the competitive service.

Employment of Persons with Disabilities/Selective Placement

DOL welcomes and encourages applications from persons with physical and mental disabilities and will reasonably accommodate the needs of those persons. Another special hiring authority may be used when considering certain persons with disabilities (those with severe physical, cognitive or emotional disability or a history of such disabilities or are perceived as having such disabilities). This authority provides a unique opportunity to demonstrate the potential to successfully perform the essential duties of a position with and without workplace accommodations.

Presidential Management Fellows Program

The Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program was established by Executive Order in 1977. It provides a special means of entry into the Federal Service for recipients of graduate degrees. These individuals must also have a clear interest in, and a commitment to, a career in the analysis and management of public policies and programs. Career development is emphasized and, as a fellow, you would be exposed to a variety of work assignments, seminars, discussion groups, career counseling and other activities. Each year, the Department provides job opportunities for PMF's.

This program is managed by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Applications for the Presidential Management Fellows Program can be obtained from your graduate school or placement office.

Student Educational Employment Program

Most DOL Agencies participate in the federal-wide Student Educational Employment Program. This program was created to attract talented students to Federal public service. It is available to all levels of students: high school, vocational and technical, associate degree, baccalaureate degree, graduate degree, and professional degree. Students may be hired into this program at any time during the year. However, we make the most use of the program during the summer. This program has two components: 1) student temporary employment and 2) student career experience.

(1) Student Temporary Employment Component

Job opportunities under this component offer you temporary employment. Employment can range from summer jobs to positions that can last for as long as you are a student. These employment opportunities need not necessarily be related to your academic field of study. Students become eligible for life, health and certain other benefits after one year of employment.

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(2) Student Career Experience Component

This component offers you valuable work experience directly related to your academic field of study. It provides formal periods of work and study while you are attending school. You may be eligible for conversion to permanent employment under this component after successfully completing your education and meeting certain work requirements.

To be eligible under this program, you must be:

  • At least 16 years of age.
  • A student enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a degree-seeking student (diploma, certificate, etc.)
  • Taking at least half-time academic or vocational and technical course load in an accredited high school, technical or vocational school, 2-year or 4-year college or university, graduate or professional school.
  • A U.S. citizen or a national (resident of American Samoa or Swains Island). U.S. citizenship is required for conversion to permanent employment under the Student Career Experience Component.

For additional information on any of the above programs, contact a DOL Human Resource Office or visit the Office of Personnel Management's Web site at