Job Overview


About the Agency

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is known worldwide for its accomplishments and innovations in conservation. Our mission is simply "Helping People Help the Land."

This vacancy announcement is open to applicants who have completed a qualifying associates, bachelors, masters, professional, doctorate, vocational, or technical degree or certificate from a qualifying educational institution such as an accredited technical or vocational school, 2-year or 4-year college or university, a graduate or professional school, or a post-secondary home school curriculum within the previous two years.  Exceptions to the two-year limit may be made for applicants who graduated between 12/27/2010 and 7/10/2012, and for veterans precluded from applying within two years of graduation due to their military service obligation (those veterans may have up to six years after degree completion to apply). Click here   for more information.  If you do not meet this criteria you will not be considered for this announcement.  

The Pathways Recent Graduates Program is a 1-year Excepted Appointment program structured to help prepare and promote individuals who have recently graduated from qualifying education institutions or programs for a possible career in the federal government.  This particular position is a developmental position located in Lemont Furnace, Pennsylvania, and is intended to prepare the applicant for a career as a Soil Conservationist, assisting our agency in carrying out conservation programs and activities. Applicants will be hired at either the GS-5 or GS-7 level, and if they successfully complete the program may be non-competitively converted to the competitive service after one year.


As a Soil Conservationist under the USDA Pathways Recent Graduate Program you will serve in a trainee capacity, performing routine and recurring developmental assignments that will help you acquire knowledge and understanding of the functions, principles, practices, and methods used to accomplish conservation activities and objectives. Some of those duties include:

Collaborate with peers to provide technical assistance to individuals and groups of farmers in the development, application, and maintenance of a wide variety of soil and water conservation plans and practices.

Assist in the analysis of workload; the development of business plans; the establishment of goals in line with needs, available manpower and other resources; and other facets of field office operations.

Help administer Farm Bill programs offered to producers in the assigned location, including explaining programs and eligibility requirements; develop conservation plans and contracts related to those programs; design, install, inspect, and certify conservation practices; and more.

Operate a government owned motor vehicle as an incidental driver.


Travel Required

  • Occasional Travel
  • approximately 10%

Relocation Authorized

  • No