How to Apply: Finding the Right Job
Finding the Right Job
On this pages:
- How do I begin my search for EPA jobs?
- What information is included in federal job announcements on USAJobs.gov?
- How do I know when I can apply?
- How much will I get paid?
- What are the benefits offered by the federal government?
- How can I apply if I don't have access to the Internet?
- How do I know if I'm eligible for a particular position?
- Are there special hiring processes for certain candidates?
How do I begin my search for EPA jobs?
You can view a list of jobs currently open on the USAJobs website.
- Go to EPA's page on USAJobs at epa.usajobs.gov.
- You will see a list of all current EPA job vacancies. Use the hiring paths and other filters on the right side of the page to narrow your search by keyword, job category, location, salary, etc.
- If the search results do not return any jobs of interest, note that new career opportunities can added each day. We recommend saving your searches in your profile so that you can be notified when new jobs become available in your criteria.
You may learn more about Saved Searches with this tutorial.
USAJobs provides an Advanced Search feature, which allows you to search by keyword, title, pay grade or salary range, series number, location, agency, occupational series, type of work, and work schedule. The Advanced Search will allow users to narrow search results to specific applicable positions.
Know that you don't need to create an account (profile) in USAJobs.gov just to browse jobs, but we do recommend creating your profile as soon as possible, since it will expedite your application process! You will need to create an account if you want to do any of the following:
- Receive email notices when a job listing matches your job criteria.
- Create a new resume in the USAJobs resume builder (see the Applying on USAJobs.gov page for details).
- Upload an existing resume.
- Apply for a specific position.
You may Create an Account on USAJobs here.
What information is included in federal job announcements on USAJobs.gov?
Each federal job opening on USAJobs includes its own ID number, known as a vacancy announcement number. It is recommended that you reference it on all of the materials you submit with your application. The listing may also provide the series and grade of pay, promotion potential of a vacant position, geographic location, major duties associated with a position, eligibility of a candidate, and descriptions of what qualifications are needed and how candidates will be evaluated.
How do I know when I can apply?
While browsing jobs in USAJobs.gov, you may see the "Open Period" -- the period of time within which you can apply for any given job listing. The Open Period can be as short as three days or can stretch for up to a month for senior-level and hard-to-fill positions. Most staff-level positions are open for two or three weeks. You must submit your application online via USAJobs before the end of the Open Period. Applications for each vacancy must be received by 11:59 PM EST of the announcement closing date. Any required documents must be submitted with your application online. If applying online poses a hardship for you, contact the Human Resources Officer listed on the vacancy announcement at least three days prior to the closing date of the announcement.
How much will I get paid?
Each announcement will specify the range of pay. Most EPA employees receive basic pay under the General Schedule (GS) and many receive locality pay. Locality pay is the basic pay, plus an increase designed to address pay comparability between federal and non-federal jobs in the metropolitan area where the job is located. General Schedule and locality pay tables are located off of the Office of Personnel Management's Salaries and Wages page .
What are the benefits offered by the federal government?
You can learn more about federal government job benefits on these pages:
How can I apply if I don't have access to the Internet?
If you do not have access to the Internet, you may be able to rely on publicly available resources to access USAJOBS. In most communities, Career One Stop / American Job Centers locations and public libraries provide Internet access free of charge. You may be required to register before using these facilities, depending on the policy of the library or One Stop center you are visiting. Find a Career One Stop center in your area .
How do I know if I'm eligible for a particular position?
Each job announcement will state who may be considered and who may apply. Look under the "Who May Apply", "Qualifications " and "Education" sections of each announcement. In addition, you can review basic qualifying information for federal jobs by visiting the Office of Personnel Management General Schedule Qualification Standards web area.
Are there special hiring processes for certain candidates?
Some positions may only be open to candidates who have “status” based on current or previous federal employment. Federal employees are usually hired initially as "career-conditional employees," meaning they must work continuously for three years, when they "reach status", gaining career tenure under permanent employment. They are then referred to as "career employees" or "career permanent employees." The first year of a career-conditional appointment is a probationary period, which allows your supervisor to evaluate your performance and fire you without undue formality, if necessary. Certain job postings on USAJobs.gov are available only to applicants who have reached status. Once you have achieved status, you are qualified to apply for those openings at any time, even if you have left the government in the interim.
Veterans' preference: Learn more on our veterans page.
Noncompetitive eligibility (NCE): Returning Peace Corps and AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers, Public Health Service Officers, and 30%-or-more-disabled veterans are considered to have a certification of NCE. Candidates are not guaranteed a job, but EPA and other agencies can hire them outside of a formal competitive announcement process for a vacant position. Under NCE, an agency can hire a returning volunteer who meets the minimum qualifications for the position, without going through all of the formalities of the competitive process (including posting a vacancy announcement, screening or interviewing candidates, or going through the others steps that are involved in the standard recruitment process). All that is required is that the agency has a classified position and an available opening, and that the candidate meet the minimum qualifications for that position.
Note that the ability to be non-competitively hired to a traditionally competitive position lasts for just one year after you have left Peace Corps or AmeriCorps VISTA (in certain cases, the allotted one year time limit can be extended for two more years).
For more information, explore the various hiring paths on EPA.gov/careers.