Career Paths at FEMA

Main Content

There are many ways to work for FEMA. Watch employee videos  to get a sense of the variety of jobs throughout FEMA or read about each job type to explore which option is right for you.

The FEMA career types are:

Permanent Full-Time Employees

Permanent Full-Time (PFT) employees are hired through a competitive process that includes an application and interview. They may gain competitive status after one year of continuous service and full career tenure after three years of continuous service. 

Watch this video to learn one PFT's career progression from firefighting for local and state government to assisting disaster survivors at FEMA.

More about PFT Employment

Cadre of On-Call Response/Recovery Employees

Cadre of On-Call Response/Recovery Employees (CORE):

  • Are hired to work for a specific, limited period, between two to four years.  These positions may be renewed if there is ongoing disaster work and funding is available. 
  • May be hired under a streamlined process instead of a competitive process.
  • Are generally eligible for the same benefits as PFT employees, but do not gain competitive status nor career tenure during their term.

Watch this video to learn the story of one CORE's broad career at FEMA.

More about CORE

Reservists (Intermittent) Employees

Reservist employees:

  • Are hired to perform work on a temporary, on-call, and intermittent basis.
  • Help FEMA respond to emergencies and disasters in many ways, including interviewing disaster victims, conducting and verifying damage assessments and providing administrative, financial and logistical support. 
  • Do not acquire competitive status or career tenure.

Watch this video to learn about one type of Reservist employees, Community Relations. They help survivors by giving personal, complete customer service during and after disasters.

More about Reservists

Temporary Local Hires

Temporary local hires:

  • Add to disaster operational staffing. 
  • Are hired for 120-day terms.  A term may be extended in increments of 120 days up to one year. 
  • Do not acquire competitive status or career tenure.

Watch this video to learn about Temporary Local Hires, the different roles they play in disaster assistance, and what we look for when hiring these special employees.

More about Temporary Local Hires

Pathways: Student and Recent Graduate Employment

As a student or recent graduate, you can begin your career in the Federal government through the Pathways Programs.

The Pathways Programs include:

  • Federal internship opportunities for students from high school through post-graduate school.
  • Careers for recent graduates.
  • Meaningful training and career development opportunities to those beginning their Federal service.

Watch this video to see how one employee's internship turned into a permanent job.

More about Pathways Programs

FEMA Corps

FEMA Corps is a FEMA-devoted unit of 1,600 service corps members within AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps dedicated to disaster preparedness, response and recovery.

The program prepares 18 to 24 year olds for careers in emergency management and related fields.

FEMA Corps members:

  • Serve for a 10-month term with an option to extend for a second term.
  • Gain training and experience and provide important support to disaster survivors.
  • Are between 18-24 years old.

Watch this video to learn how two FEMA Corps members assisted with damage work during Hurricane Sandy while learning valuable lessons in emergency management.

More about FEMA Corps

Senior Executive Service

Members of the Senior Executive Service (SES) work in important jobs at FEMA and directly support the top Presidential appointees.  SES members are the major link between these appointees and the rest of the Federal work force.  FEMA’s SES members manage nearly every Agency activity.

More about the Senior Executive Service is on The Office of Personnel Management site.

Last Updated: 
07/25/2014 - 18:37
Back to Top