Job Overview


USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) helps America’s farmers and ranchers conserve the Nation’s soil, water, air and other natural resources. We need people who want to apply their education and experience to make sure we all enjoy the benefits of productive soil, clean water, clean air, and abundant wildlife that come from a healthy environment.  “Helping People Help the Land”

The Pathways Internship Program is for current diploma/certificate/degree-seeking students and is designed to attract students enrolled in a wide variety of educational institutions with paid opportunities to work in USDA/NRCS and explore Federal careers while still in school. This program exposes students to jobs in the Federal civil service by providing meaningful developmental work while completing their academic requirements. For more information on the Pathways Internship, please visit

Candidates selected from this announcement may be eligible for non-competitive conversion to a term or permanent position in the competitive service provided that all terms of the Internship Program are met and there is an available position. Conversion is not mandatory or guaranteed.

The intent of this Internship is to convert the candidates to the Soil Science Series, 0470. To be eligible for the conversion, you must be a US Citizen, satisfactorily complete all training and Pathways Program requirements, complete at least 640 hours of work experience prior to graduation, and meet the position’s positive education requirements at graduation. The education requirements for the 0470 series are:

• Degree: soil science or a closely related discipline that included 30 semester hours or equivalent in biological, physical, or earth science, with a minimum of 15 semester hours in such subjects as soil genesis, pedology, soil chemistry, soil physics, and soil fertility.
• Combination of education and experience: courses equivalent to a major in soil science or a related discipline that included at least 30 semester hours in the biological, physical, or earth sciences. At least 15 of these semester hours must have been in the areas specified above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.


As a Student Trainee (Soil Science), you will be performing the folowing duties under direct supervision:

  • Performs developmental assignments of limited complexity that involve field examinations of soils by soil boring with an auger.  Works with a higher graded employee to make a determination of soil type and determine the amount of topsoil remaining.  The trainee examines soil borings, then compares soil samples with descriptions and legends to tentatively classify soil type. 
  • Assists the MLRA Soil Survey Leader or designated employee in tabulating soil survey data.  Assists in the maintenance of soil survey progress maps which indicate, by county, the location of areas mapped and the progress of soil surveys completed.
  • Performs developmental assignments to enable the employee to identify farm boundaries on aerial photographs, lay out photo coverage for mapping, and place match lines on photos.

Travel Required

  • Occasional Travel
  • As required to perform the duties of the position and complete the requirements of the Pathways Program

Relocation Authorized

  • No
  • Additional Duty Location Info

    • 1 vacancy - Hot Springs, AR
    • 1 vacancy - Flagstaff, AZ
    • 1 vacancy - Tucson, AZ
    • 1 vacancy - Sonora, CA
    • 1 vacancy - Victorville, CA
    • 1 vacancy - Alamosa, CO
    • 1 vacancy - Waverly, IA
    • 1 vacancy - Idaho Falls, ID
    • 1 vacancy - Indianapolis, IN
    • 1 vacancy - Owensboro, KY
    • 1 vacancy - Ruston, LA
    • 1 vacancy - Bemidji, MN
    • 1 vacancy - Duluth, MN
    • 1 vacancy - Missoula, MT
    • 1 vacancy - Bismarck, ND
    • 1 vacancy - Devils Lake, ND
    • 1 vacancy - Jamestown, ND
    • 1 vacancy - Hammonton, NJ
    • 1 vacancy - Santa Fe, NM
    • 1 vacancy - Minden, NV
    • 1 vacancy - Ontario, OR
    • 1 vacancy - Mayaguez, PR
    • 1 vacancy - Laurens, SC
    • 1 vacancy - Price, UT
    • 1 vacancy - Richfield, UT
    • 1 vacancy - Chesapeake, VA
    • 1 vacancy - Morgantown, WV
    • 1 vacancy - Powell, WY