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

Location Consideration:  When selecting locations to be considered for, you may select up to 10 locations to be considered.  Select only those locations that you will report to no later than June 2017 to begin the internship.  

Depending on budget, NRCS may authorize a one-time gross housing stipend the summer if the location selected for is outside the local commuting area of your temporary or permanent address, AND may also provide reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses necessary to get to and from duty station at the end of the work period (summer). Availability and the gross amount will vary by location. The salary for each location may vary depending on locality. Locality tables may be found at

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 and is at the discretion of the agency.

Pathways Interns may convert to permanent or TERM positions in the same line of work they were initially appointed (Agricultural/Civil Engineer, GS-0890/0810-5/7/9). To be eligible for the conversion, you must satisfactorily complete all Pathways Program requirements: complete at least 640 hours of work experience prior to graduation, and if applicable, meet the position’s positive education requirements at graduation. The education requirements that must be met for conversion from this position:

  • Degree: professional engineering. To be acceptable, the curriculum must: (1) be in a school of engineering with at least one curriculum accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) as a professional engineering curriculum; or (2) include differential and integral calculus and courses (more advanced than first-year physics and chemistry) in five of the following seven areas of engineering science or physics: (a) statics, dynamics; (b) strength of materials (stress-strain relationships); (c) fluid mechanics, hydraulics; (d) thermodynamics; (e) electrical fields and circuits; (f) nature and properties of materials (relating particle and aggregate structure to properties); and (g) any other comparable area of fundamental engineering science or physics, such as optics, heat transfer, soil mechanics, or electronics.
  • OR
  • Additional information can be found: Here


As a Student Trainee (Engineering), you will be performing the following duties under direct supervision; Assignments will be developmental in nature and will assist the employee gain the competencies necessary for a career:

  • Performs a variety of survey work to develop topographic, cross section, profile and other types of data for use by a professional engineer.
  • Operates and is trained in the operation of engineering instruments such as a engineer’s level, hand level, laser level, total station, data collector, and GPS. 
  • Operates a personal computer to process data, organize data, type design reports, estimate costs, calculate material quantities, and perform simple hydrology and hydraulic calculations.

Supervisory Status


Promotion Potential


Travel Required

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

Relocation Authorized

  • No

Who May Apply

This job is open to…

Students who are currently enrolled or accepted for enrollment on at least a half-time basis at a qualifying educational institution in a certificate, degree, or diploma program.

Questions? This job is open to 1 group.