Federal Government Jobs

Helping job hunters find, apply for, and land government jobs

FEMA Jobs – Working for the Department of Homeland Security (Part 1)

The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) is an agency under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This new department was created after September 11, 2001, the day that changed the lives of all Americans. Out of this tragedy DHS was born.


President George W. Bush, stated,” A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America.”

Just eleven days after 9/11 occurred, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, was appointed as the first Director of the Office of Homeland Security. DHS is responsible for safeguarding the United States against terrorism and future attacks and in November of 2002, the Homeland Security Act formally created this new Department. It includes over 22 different federal agencies, and they all work in unison to defend our country against terrorist attacks.

The DHS Organization of Today

The DHS’s mission “includes preventing terrorism and enhancing security; managing our borders; administering immigration laws; securing cyberspace; and ensuring disaster resilience”.

Some of the more well-known components of DHS include:

  • United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP). This department is one of the largest and its primary mission is keeping out terrorists, defending our borders, enforce immigration, and drug laws.
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This agency is the first responder when disasters strike our country. They help in preparation, protection, recovery efforts, and mitigation of all hazards.
  • Transportation Security Administration (TSA). This agency protects the nation’s transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement of people and commerce.
  • U.S. Secret Service. The Secret Service is tasked in safeguarding the nation’s financial infrastructure, preserve the economy, and protect national leaders, visiting heads of state and government, designated sites.
  • There are 18 other agencies in the Department of Homeland (DHS).

The People of the DHS

DHS offers a vast variety of career choices due to its 22 different federal agencies.  This article, part 1 of a 3 part series, explores FEMA job opportunities.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

FEMA is divided into 10 specific regions around the country. They offer a variety of unique employment opportunities, and a candidate can be hired or placed in one of these regions based upon the job or a specific need.

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

These employees are hired for a limited time that can be from 2 to 4 years. The positions are for on going disaster work only when the funding is available.

One example of this type of job is mitigation planning specialist. GS-0301-11/12, ($61,857 to $96,382). The applicant is responsible for developing, preparing and reviewing plans on projects. They do risk analysis and assessment, and understand various laws and regulations for the National Flood Insurance Program, as well as, policies and procedures.

To qualify for the GS-11or GS-12 level the candidate must have 1 full year of specialized experienced at the previous grade. This experience consists of development of community, land use or natural resource plans, ordinances at the local, state, or federal level that dealt with floodplain management.

See More about CORE for additional information.

FEMA Corps

This program was started in 2012, in partnership between DHS and FEMA. The FEMA Corps consists of 1,600 service corps members within the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps that is specific to disaster preparation, response, and recovery.

This program prepares 18-24 year olds in a variety of careers in the emergency management field. The program is 10 months in length with an option to extend for an additional term.

The focus of program is providing support for working directly with disaster survivors. They also work in disaster recovery centers, and provide the public with relevant disaster preparedness information.

Other FEMA job opportunities include environmental protection specialist, GS-0028, emergency management specialist (situation unit leader), AD-0089, and information technology specialist, GS-2210.

DHS is a vast agency that administers immigration laws, helps in the prevention of terrorism, enhancing our security, safeguarding and securing cyberspace, and our borders, and strengthening the security enterprise.

Check out the 22 different federal agencies, as well as, the amazing career possibilities with DHS.

In the next article, we will feature federal air marshals with the TSA and part three will cover Secret Service job opportunities.

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal 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, the postal service 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.

About The Author

A Pennsylvania native, Betty Boyd moved to the Tennessee Valley in 1994. She retired in early 2012 after 30 years of Government service. Boyd was an Acquisition Manager/IT Manager/ Project Manager during her 30-year career. Boyd also served as a supervisor and team leader during her career. In 2012 Boyd founded a consulting firm, Boyd Consulting Services, which offers writing services to clients and companies. For more information about these writing services see the following website: http://www.BettyBoydWriting.com/. Betty attended Athens State University, Athens, AL and received a B.B.A. in Management of Technology in 2000. She received her Masters of Science degree from Syracuse University with a concentration in Information Management in 2007. Boyd is a certified Level III contracting professional and she received a Masters level certificate in Project Management from the National Defense University in 2008.