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Reservists (On-Call)

Six FEMA reservists pose in front of a bridge
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Reservist Signing Bonus
For a limited time, FEMA is currently offering $500 - $1,500 signing bonuses under certain conditions.

Due to the unpredictable nature of disasters, FEMA employs a temporary, on-call workforce, known as Reservists. Reservist work is available on an as-needed basis (it is not full-time or continuous). Appointments are for up to two years and can be renewed. 

As a Reservist, you may be requested to deploy based upon the needs of a disaster and the need for your position. Deployment opportunities and length of deployments are not guaranteed and may be unpredictable. Reservists should be prepared to deploy at moment’s notice.

View Currently Open Positions

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Highlights of Being a Reservist

Jocelyn smiling in a helicopter

"After nearly 30 years as a photographer with FEMA, I have deployed to countless disasters nationwide and have seen America at her most tragic moments, while witnessing the incredible resilience and determination of her people.

To be entrusted to document FEMA’s response, along with the recovery of American’s impacted by disasters, is a privilege and an honor."

- Jocelyn A., Photographer, External Affairs Cadre, Reservist employee


  • Health, dental, and vision benefits (when eligibility criteria are met)
  • Paid work travel and accommodations
  • Annual merit-based increases based on performance
  • Streamlined, non-competitive hiring process (note: veterans preference does not apply)
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FEMA Reservists are covered by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), protecting them from discrimination and providing job protections when they are deployed to disasters, emergencies, and critical trainings on behalf of FEMA. Learn more.

About Reservists Positions

FEMA’s mission relies on Reservist employees from diverse backgrounds and career paths, from Emergency Management, Information Technology (IT), Logistics, Human Resources, Environmental Protection, Analytics, External Affairs, Grants Management, Engineering, Customer Service, and more to meet our operational needs.

Our Reservist program is divided into 23 different cadres that are organized by operational responsibilities. Each cadre has various positions, from specialist to leadership level that play a vital role in supporting disaster operations. 

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What's a Cadre?
Our "cadres" are teams organized by skill and experience. Learn about the 23 cadres that represent the work we do at FEMA.

Job Resources

Get the inside scoop on resume writing for a federal job. A federal resume is your application to a position and requires more detail than private-sector resumes.

Use the template to help prepare your resume.

Career Path Tool (CPT) lets current and prospective FEMA employees explore the many different careers that are available at FEMA.

A career with the U.S. government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding.