Law Enforcement, Investigation, Compliance, & Inspection Jobs

The GS-1800 federal investigation occupational group includes positions with duties to administer, advise, supervise, or perform various investigations, inspections, or law enforcement duties. Federal agents and inspectors investigate suspected and alleged criminal offenses against the United States, or perform activities to determine compliance with various federal laws and regulations. The investigation group includes a broad cross section of occupations from general and criminal investigators to customs, immigration, safety and food inspectors and everything in between including securities compliance and air safety.

If you have law enforcement or compliance related experience, an associated college degree, or soon will earn one, there are many opportunities for you to explore. For those who are still pursuing a degree definitely seek out federal agency internships that often end with a full time high paying job. Many law enforcement, investigation, compliance, and inspection job announcements are now available across the country and overseas. Federal, State, and local governments along with private sector companies are competing for qualified applicants. In the federal sector agencies can offer tuition assistance payments of up to $60,000 for hard to fill vacancies as a bonus for signing on with Uncle Sam.

Opportunities are currently available in many fields. A recent search on USAJobs resulted in 1260 job vacancies listed on 103 job announcements, many with multiple locations and positions. For example, the Department of Agriculture is hiring over 1,000 Food Safety and Inspection jobs through June 30th at many locations with a salary range of from $31,628 to $50,932 per year. The Department of Labor is hiring 23 Mine Safety Inspectors at multiple locations and the Department of  Homeland Security is hiring many Transportation Security Officers around the county with a salary range of from $29,422 to $44,134 per year.

To access all available jobs in this group on perform the following steps:

  • click on “Advance Search” listed under the blue Search button.
  • Then click on “Occupational Series or Job Category.”  A list of all job series will be displayed on your screen.
  • Enter “1800” in the “Search For Occupation(s)” block and click on enter. This will display “Series 1800” in the  search results box.
  • Click on the check box next to the 1800 entry and click enter.
  • Go the bottom of the page and click on “Search Jobs”

All currently available job announcements for this group will be displayed.

Review the list and click on the title of a job of interest to view the job announcement, qualifications, and application procedures.

Register on USAJobs to start your federal job search. Also, don’t be discouraged if the job announcement qualifications require a BS degree and you don’t have one. Continue reading the announcement and you will find in many cases that the requirement is a BS degree OR 3 years general experience! Many exclude highly desirable jobs because they don’t read the entire job announcement.

The above search is limited to the federal sector, you should also explore similar or related occupations with State and local government and in the private sector.

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Applying For Federal Civil Service Student Internships




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Federal Civil Service Internships

The Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP) and the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) were replaced by the Internship Program in 2012. The Internship Program provides high school students, and college students up to and including graduate level, with the opportunity to explore careers and work with pay at agencies while attending school.  Students who successfully complete a civil service internship may be eligible to convert to a permanent federal civil service job. During my federal career, spanning over 35 years, we hired many students who successfully completed the program and landed federal jobs with tremendous career advancement opportunities.

Students are eligible to apply for federal civil service internships if they are currently attending  an accredited high school, college, junior college and community colleges; technical, professional,  vocational, and trade school; advanced college and university degree programs; or other qualifying educational institutions pursuing a qualifying degree or certificate.

Federal Internship Program Requirements

According to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Interns may be converted to a permanent position (or, in some limited circumstances, to a term position lasting 1-4 years) within 120 days of successful completion of the program. To be eligible for conversion, Interns must:

  • Complete at least 640 hours of work experience acquired through the Internship Program
  • Complete their degree or certificate requirements
  • Meet the qualification standards for the position to which the Intern will be converted
  • Meet agency-specific requirements as specified in the Participant’s Agreement, and Perform their job successfully.

Agencies may waive up to 320 of the required 640 hours of work for federal civil service interns who demonstrate high potential as evidenced by outstanding academic achievement and exceptional job performance.

In addition, students working in agencies through third-party intern providers may count up to 320 of the hours they work toward the 640 hour requirement. Time spent under previous Internship Program appointments may count towards required work experience hours.

Seven Steps to Finding Federal Civil Service Internships

1.      Determine which civil service occupations would be suitable for your course of study. High school students can identify their target career choices. OPM’s comprehensive Federal Occupations by College Major list is available to help you identify occupations suitable for your internship. 

2.      Find internship and summer work job vacancy announcements on OPM’s  recruiting site.  Enter “Internships” in the Keyword box and then enter your city, State or zip code in the Location box and click on search.  If you are looking for summer jobs enter “summer” and click on search. Select a vacancy announcement of interest, print it out, and read it top to bottom. The job announcement lists the required qualifications, pay, benefits, and all of the information that you need to apply.  If you meet the qualifications apply for the position. Apply for all internships that you meet the qualifications for to improve your chances.   

3.     Expand your search. If you can’t find suitable vacancies in your area call local agency human resource offices to determine when they anticipate recruiting interns in your area. Use your local phone directory’s blue page government office listings or search online for agency offices in your area.  You can also contact the Federal Executive Board office for your area and discuss internship options with the manager and/or his staff.  They meet frequently with representatives from the majority of agencies in their area and often know about upcoming vacancy announcements.  Search for internships in federal, state and the private sector to expand your options.

4.     Complete a thorough federal resume and application. Unlike the private sector, a federal resume for an entry level position can be from 3 to 5 pages or more. All federal resumes must be tailored to the job announcement.  If you attempt to use a standard one page private sector resume your application may be rejected. Your federal civil service application and resume, in most cases, must be submitted online. Set up an account online and start your resume as soon as possible and before applying for your first job. Many job announcements are only open for a short period, from several days to a week or more.  You can store up to 5 different resumes online and you can save and automate job searches after you register. 

5.       Include academic achievements, class projects, and student activities in your federal resume to highlight your accomplishments, motivation, and drive. Include membership in organizations such as Toastmasters International, class room projects, reports, membership in professional organizations for students, and other activities that showcase your accomplishments.  You can review sample federal resumes and learn how to prepare one in the 11th edition of The Book of U.S. Government Jobs. This title was recommended by Library Journal and it is available at many libraries.   

6.      Explore ALL job options. If your future degree will be in the professional or technical area don’t exclude administrative positions to get your foot in the door. The majority of administrative positions require either a BS degree or 3 years of general experience to qualify for a GS-5 position.  You won’t have either as an intern however when you graduate you will meet the basic qualifications for those positions as well. After you get your foot in the door you can apply for internships that open up for your specialty.

7.      If you don’t land the first federal civil service internship you apply for don’t get discouraged.  Submit multiple applications for all job vacancies in your area and learn from your rejections.  Ask selecting officials if other positions will be available in the future and what you can do to be best qualified next time around. Many neglect to search for vacancies after their first application; check for new vacancies weekly and remember they are only open for short periods so be prepared to submit a new application in a minutes notice.  

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM or any federal entity. You should consult with school councelors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Federal Jobs For The Disabled Explode

Recruiting and hiring of the disabled for federal jobs has exploded since 2010 when Executive Order 13548 was signed by the President. In 2010 seven percent of the federal workforce, not including veterans that are 30% disabled, were classified as disabled, today 11.89% or 219,578 workers are disabled and in 2012 sixteen percent of all new hires were disabled.  The Book of U.S. Government Jobs, which covers disabled hiring, is now in its 11th edition and for most of those editions disabled hiring, year after year, hovered around 7%.  This is a dramatic and welcomed improvement offering more opportunities across the board for this group.

OPM recently reported that  people with disabilities were hired at a higher percentage than at any point in the past 32 years according to OPM’s report titled “Employing People with Disabilities in the Federal Executive Branch”.

On July 26, 2010, President Barack Obama issued Executive Order (E.O.) 13548 on Increasing Federal Employment of Individuals with Disabilities, to mark the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The goal was to hire an additional 100,000 people with disabilities into federal service over 5 years.  They are well on their way to achieve their objective.

There are many federal job opportunities today for people with disabilities.  The majority of the disabled are employed at the 7, 11, 12 and 13 GS pay grades.  However, the disabled are hired across the board in all pay grades up to and including the Senior Executive Service (SES).  In 2012 most of the disabled hiring was in the GS-5, 7, 11 and 12 pay grades.  The Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are the largest employers of disabled workers.

Many federal agencies work with State vocational rehabilitation agencies (SVRAs), the Veterans Administration, universities and other organizations to identify qualified people with disabilities. Federal employers often attend job fairs and visit college campuses for outreach initiatives to find qualified people with disabilities including disabled veterans in all occupations. Recruitment is through the competitive hiring process or through excepted service appointments if certain qualifications are met.

Applicants locate job announcements and apply direct to the hiring agency for the majority of positions. About 20% of federal job applicants must pass a civil service exam although the vast majority are rated on their work history and education.  Temporary or term appointments are also possible depending on the position.  Temporary appointments generally do not exceed one year with possibly a one year extension if the project you are working on requires additional work.  Term appointments are  a little different and can be filled for up to four years.

Schedule A and B appointments are  reserved for the disabled and are filled for a two year period. If the employee successfully completes a two year program they can be converted to a permanent competitive position.  These appointments are reserved for those with severe physical or mental disabilities. Candidates are given an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to perform the duties of the position or they have been certified by a State vocational rehabilitation agency (SVRA) counselor or the Department of Veterans Affair’s Vocational Rehabilitation Office to likely perform specified duties successfully.

If you are disabled explore your options and review the many programs that Uncle Sam offers.  Review existing outreach programs, apply for all job vacancies that you quality for and don’t give up with your first rejection.  Also, contact a Selective Placement Program Coordinator that agencies have available to help you through the process.  It takes time and patience to apply for any federal job. You have to complete a comprehensive federal resume and follow all of the guidance that is available in the job announcement.

Helpful Resources:

Federal Jobs in the FAST Lane

Federal recruiting dropped off appreciably over the past couple of years due to cost cutting initiatives within the federal sector. Federal job opportunities are returning and substantially within certain agencies and occupations . It was recently reported that 700 FBI jobs will be filled shortly and other agencies are following their lead.

Many federal job announcements are being posted for openings across the country and overseas. Things are a little different this time around since the Office of Personnel Management (OPM ) changed their USAJobs job listing format a few years ago. When you visited their site, prior to the change, there appeared to be many more federal job listings. They now list jobs with multiple vacancies when appropriate and the number of individual federal job listings has decreased as a result.  It is also a good practice to check for new listings frequently because many jobs, especially ones that typically receive many applicants, are often advertised for shorter periods.

There are abundant opportunities in many occupations now including engineering jobs in multiple disciplines. A recent search resulted in 573 job announcements. many with multiple positions ranging from 2 to as high as 35 just in the first 26 listings. The first 26 federal job listings resulted in 115 job vacancies! One of the Electronic Engineer (GS-0855) job announcements is recruiting at 35 different  locations across the country, in Canada, and overseas.  It’s important to read the job announcement thoroughly and when you have multiple locations you will be asked your preference.  The more willing you are to relocate the better you chances of landing a job. I accepted my first competitive federal  job in a small town in Central Pennsylvania to get my foot in the door and I bid on multiple position to improve my chances. It worked!

Job opportunities are available now in many occupations, just perform a search for the occupation and location you desire and review all of the job announcements of interest.  Other hot occupations:

Each of my upcoming articles will feature current hot careers and job opportunities.  Search by occupation to find jobs in federal, state, and the private sector. You will also find relevant  USAJobs searches for each occupation if you desire to limit your search to the federal sector.

More Information

How to Apply For a Federal Job Step-by-step guidance on how to apply for government jobs

Do I Have to Take a Civil Service Exam? Discover if a civil service exam is required for your occupation

Federal Job Vacancies

Federal jobs comprise approximately 2 percent of this country’s total workforce and Uncle Sam is this country’s largest employer by far.  If you are out-of-work or looking for a higher paying, benefit loaded, and secure job consider applying for federal job vacancies in your area.  The average salary exceeds $83,000  and when you add pay plus benefits that figure increases to over $125,000 a year compared to less than half that in the private sector.

Federal Job Listings

Federal job vacancies are available in all major metropolitan areas and in many rural locations as well. I started my competitive federal civil service career with the Federal Aviation Administration working at a small airport in central Pennsylvania. You will find federal job listings by occupation and by agency plus OPM offers extensive job search and guidance on their USAJobs site.

Federal Job Announcements and Occupations

You will find federal jobs in almost all occupations, from direct sales to nuclear scientists and everything in between. There are over 900 occupational titles to consider and what most federal job seekers don’t realize is that a published qualification standard is available for all occupations that outlines specific skills, knowledge, experience,  and education required for the position. The qualification standards along with the federal job announcement provide considerable information for the applicant and they should be read thoroughly prior to applying for any job.

Careers and Job Exploration

To locate federal job vacancies and to explore opportunities at agencies in your area visit their web sites:

More Information

How to Apply For a Federal Job
Step-by-step guidance on how to apply for government jobs

Do I Have to Take a Civil Service Exam?
Discover if a civil service exam is required for your occupation

Finding Federal Jobs in Your Own Back Yard!

Looking to find a federal job? Currently there are close to 2,000,000 federal and an additional 600,000 Postal workers with employment opportunities at literally tens of thousands of facilities nationwide and overseas. You would be surprised at just how many possibilities exist in your own back yard.

When I started my personal competitive federal job search I was an avionics technician in the military and temporarily deployed overseas. While there I visited the FAA’s flight inspection avionics shop at the Frankfort airport and discovered that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) hires technicians at thousands of locations stateside. Upon my return I immediately started searching for the federal job that I eventually retired from 30 + years later.

You too can find lucrative and high paying federal jobs in hundreds of occupations that offer excellent benefits, job security, and a comfortable retirement down the road. The key to finding a federal job is to tailor your federal resume and application to the job announcement. Unlike private sector employers, all federal job vacancies offer highly informative job announcements that guide your step-by-step through the application process.

To locate job announcements in your area search our extensive federal job listings and visit Don’t limit yourself to the first job you find. Improve your chances by applying for multiple positions and expand you search to related occupations. The federal job listings on also include state government and private sector vacancy announcements to provide the most comprehensive job listings available for your area. Finding federal jobs is not very difficult. Hopefully you will find the advice and links in this article helpful for your federal job search.

Welcome to the FederalJobs.Net Blog

This is the first of many articles to help job seekers find, apply for, and land a high paying and secure federal government job. The articles will cover all aspects of federal employment from entry level jobs to Senior Executive Service (SES) positions, federal  benefits, to pay and career exploration. We will also help you cope with the often stressful federal job interview.

Our site,,  provides easy to find information about all aspects of federal employment including expanded centralized job listings.  Our job searches compile listings from both the private and federal sectors by occupation and /or agency to provide the largest pool of job vacancies for you to explore. The job searches are geographically targeted to your area.  Unlike most job listing services we also offer abundant information on all aspects of the federal sector to prepare you for your new job. It isn’t enough to simply apply for a job vacancy, you need to know about how the federal sector functions, what your benefits will be, the work environment, and how to understand the various pay systems,  pay structure and upward mobility potential.

Use this site to locate federal job announcements and for assistance with completing your federal application and resume and to prepare for civil service exams if required.  You can explore job vacancies by occupations or agency plus learn how to best prepare for a federal job interview.  Explore the qualification standards for all occupations and learn about overseas jobs,  healthcare and law enforcement jobs, student employment, and jobs with the Post Office.  Many resources are available to locate job announcements for all occupations including agency sponsored job hot lines, Internet Web site links, employment  services, and directories. Research hiring programs such as student hiring, employee reinstatement, and  veteran’s preference.

This is an interactive blog, submit your questions and comments and we will use the feedback  to develop future articles that will address your interests and concerns. I look forward to working with site visitors to ensure they have the tools and information they need to pursue their federal job quest.