Human Capital

Pathways Internship Program FAQs

1. What is the definition of a student for an internship?
2. How many credits or hours must a student be enrolled?
3. How many times can a student be appointed to the Temporary Intern or Intern?
4. Is a student pursuing a GED eligible for the either the temporary or indefinite Internship Program?
5. What are the age requirements for students to participate in the Internship Program?
6. Where can I find out about Internship positions?
7. Does Veteran's Preference apply in the selection process for students?
8. Can students receive pay increases?
9. Can students be promoted?
10. Are students eligible for annual and sick leave?
11. Are students eligible for health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits?
12. What are the limits on the length of a "break in program" which a USGS manager can approve for a student?
13. May students’ alternate school and work (i.e. work full-time this semester and next semester go to school full-time, and not work at all)?
14. What is the definition of a certificate program?
15. Why is it so great to work for USGS?

 

1. What is the definition of a student for an internship?

A student is an individual who has been accepted for enrollment, or who is enrolled, as a degree (diploma, certificate, etc.) seeking resident student in an accredited high school, technical or vocational school, 2-year or 4-year college or university, or graduate or professional school.
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2. How many credits or hours must a student be enrolled?

The student must be taking at least a half-time course load. The definition of half-time is the definition provided by the school in which the student is enrolled.
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3. How many times can a student be appointed to the Temporary Intern or Intern?

There is no limit on the number of times a student may be appointed under either program as long as he/she meets the eligibility requirements for the appointment.
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4. Is a student pursuing a GED eligible for the either the temporary or indefinite Internship Program?

Yes, a student enrolled in GED courses and pursuing a GED diploma meets the definition of student under both programs.
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5. What are the age requirements for students to participate in the Internship Program?

You must be at least 16 years of age.
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6. Where can I find out about Internship positions?

Visit USAJOBS to view available internship opportunities with USGS and other agencies. In addition, visit OPM’s Pathways Programs.
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7. Does Veteran's Preference apply in the selection process for students?

Yes. Please see Veterans Preference for further information.
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8. Can students receive pay increases?

Yes. If Federal employees receive a pay increase, all students would receive this increase. Additionally, students in the Career Intern program are eligible for what is referred to as within grade increases. For students in the temporary internship, eligibility for within grade increases depends on the pay system of the occupation. Temporary intern employees are eligible for within-grade increases only when they are in blue collar positions (typically called Wage Grade) involving trades, craft, or labor work. Temporary Intern employees in white collar positions (typically called General Schedule) e.g., scientific, technical, administrative, clerical, etc. do not receive within-grade increases.
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9. Can students be promoted?

Yes. Permanent Intern employees are eligible for promotions. A General Schedule (GS) employee is entitled to an increase in pay of at least two steps (about 6 percent) upon placement in a higher graded position without a break in service. A Wage Grade (WG) employee is entitled to an increase in pay of at least one step (about 4 percent). Please see the U. S. Office of Personnel Management Information on Federal Pay for further information.
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10. Are students eligible for annual and sick leave?

Students in the Permanent Internship program earn annual and sick leave. Students in the Temporary Internship program earn annual and sick leave provided their appointment duration is for at least 90 days.
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11. Are students eligible for health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits?

For newly employed interns, health, dental, vision and life insurance coverage for Federal employees depends on the type of appointment an employee has and the expectation of substantial employment during the year. Please see the Benefits section for further information.
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12. What are the limits on the length of a "break in program" which a USGS manager can approve for a student?

Limits on the length of the break in program are at the discretion of the USGS. The USGS should assure themselves that the student is making reasonable progress towards the attainment of the degree/diploma etc. and that the needs of the manager and USGS are also being considered.
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13. May students’ alternate school and work (i.e. work full-time this semester and next semester go to school full-time, and not work at all)?

Yes. The student and USGS need to work together to accommodate the academic needs of the student and the work related needs of the agency. For students participating in either Internship program there must be a written Participant Agreement and a formally arranged schedule of school and work.
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14. What is the definition of a certificate program?

A certificate program means a post-secondary education, in a qualifying educational institution, equivalent to at least one academic year of full-time study that is part of an accredited college-level, technical, trade, vocational, or business school curriculum.
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15. Why is it so great to work for USGS?

From the peaks of the highest mountains to the depths of the deepest seas, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has career opportunities that make a difference in both the lives of others and in the environment. The USGS has more than 10,000 scientists, technicians, and support staff working in more than 400 locations throughout the United States. As the Nation's largest water, earth, and biological science and civilian mapping agency, the U.S. Geological Survey collects, monitors, analyzes, and provides scientific understanding about natural resource conditions, issues, and problems. The diversity of our scientific expertise enables us to carry out large-scale, multi-disciplinary investigations and provide impartial, timely, and relevant scientific information to resource managers, planners, and other customers related to: the health of our ecosystems and environment; natural hazards that threaten us; natural resources we rely on, and; the impact of climate and land-use changes. For more information about the USGS please visit http://www.usgs.gov.
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