FS candidates can apply for one or two tracks. For both programs, USAID advises candidates to expect to be based overseas for most of their careers.
New Entry Professional (NEP) Program. Typically, successful candidates for this mid-level track have five to seven years’ development experience overseas plus a master’s degree. NEPs normally spend 12–18 months in Washington, D.C., before being assigned overseas.
International Development Intern (IDI) Program. While previous work experience is not required, most successful applicants have one to two years’ overseas experience. Students need to apply while in graduate school or within a year after completing graduate school. IDIs can expect to be assigned overseas roughly six months after joining USAID.
Potential applicants should know that the FS hiring process—from submitting an application to coming on duty—can take up to a year. Security clearance, medical clearance, and other factors can contribute to this length of time.
USAID also hires many civil service employees to work in Washington, D.C. These openings are advertised on an individual basis.
The Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program is another entry to the civil service for people with recent master’s degrees. USAID is the second largest employer of PMFs in the federal government.
There are also Foreign Service Limited Appointments. These are five-year appointments and, generally, not career tracks. USAID uses these to cover hard-to-fill positions.
The only way to apply for a job at USAID is on the internet. Jobs are advertised on USAID’s website at regular intervals during the year, and prospective applicants are encouraged to log on frequently.