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 Students - Pathways Program

Pathways for Students and Recent Graduates to Federal Careers

The Navy and Marine Corps have exciting civilian employment opportunities for high school and college students, recent college graduates, and others who want to build new skills or change careers.

On 10 July 2012, Pathways – the Federal government program for students and recent graduates –began. Internship Programs provide entry level paid opportunities for current students to explore Federal careers while completing their education.

 Internship Program Eligibility

Department of the Navy (DON) Pathways Internship opportunities are open to individuals who are accepted for enrollment or enrolled at least half time in a qualifying education institution seeking employment.

For many positions, your major does not need to be directly related to the position. However for some positions, such as Engineer, your major should be directly related to the positions. The USAJOBS Job Opportunities Announcement (JOA) will provide specific guidance related to academic career goals or field of study.

The DON also offers apprenticeships—and the opportunity to gain licensing—to develop highly skilled civilian employees who perform a designated trade or craft, such as carpentry, welding, and scores of other occupations that are vital for reaching our mission objectives. These apprenticeships may fall under the Pathways Authority as well as other authorities including Delegated Examining.

 Qualifying Education Institution

Qualifying education institutions include accredited:

  • High School: A high school, whose curriculum has been approved by a State or local governing body, including home school.
  • Technical or Vocational School: An accredited technical, vocational, and trade schools.
  • College: 2-year or 4-ear colleges/universities, community colleges, junior colleges, advanced graduate degree, and professional school.

 Program Requirements

Requirements differ for each program but the JOA found at will list the level and type of education and other requirements that may be necessary for the job depending on which program it falls.

Basic requirements for conversion to the competitive (permanent) service* include:

  • Completing at least 640 hours of work experience acquired through the Internship Program
  • Successfully completing your degree or certificate requirements
  • Meeting the qualification standards for the target position
  • Completing requirements specified in the DON Pathways Participant Agreement, and
  • Performing your job successfully

*Note: Not all internships have conversion eligibility. Refer to the individual JOA for specific information.

 Program Appointment Information

All accepted Interns may be appointed for an initial period expected to last more than one year, or on a temporary basis not to exceed (NTE) one year.

Interns with an NTE date may be extended for up to one additional year, except for seasonal work which totals less than six months per year which may be extended for additional seasons. Interns with NTE dates may also converted to an internship with no NTE, if the possibility is stated in the JOA.

Interns with no NTE dates may continue in the program as long as they continue to meet eligibility requirements (enrolled at least half-time in qualify educational institute).

 Benefits Information

All Pathways participants (with the exception of temporary interns) are eligible for benefits, including leave (all Federal holidays and 4 hours of annual and 4 hours of sick level a pay period). For more on benefits visit the Benefits page.

 Program Application Process

DON posts all Internship JOA’s on website. Additionally, applicants should check with their school or college about established partnerships with local Navy and Marine Corps commands.

To begin your job search, access or Students And Grads. While guidance varies by Agency, there are several parameters applicants should use when searching for DON Pathways JOA’s. Key Search Terms include: Pathways, Pathways Internship, Student Trainee, and Internship.

To apply to a DON Pathways Internship, you need to create a USAJOBS account and “Apply Online.” See “How to Apply” tab at the top of this page for applicant instructions, resources, and tips.

Applicants MUST include a transcript or proof of enrollment (a letter of acceptance may be sufficient for some Internship opportunities) to verify eligibility for the program. Additionally, Veteran’s preference applies to all positions. Upload all applicable veteran documentation (e.g., DD214, SF15, VA letter) to your USAJOBS account and submit them when you apply to support your veterans’ preference.