U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government


The Federal Government employs permanent and temporary employees.

Permanent appointments

Career-conditional appointment

Permanent employees are generally hired under a career-conditional appointment (Permanent - Career-conditional appointment). Normally this is the first career-type of appointment and the appointee must complete a 1-year probationary period and a total of 3 years continuous creditable service to attain a career appointment (Permanent - Career appointment).

Career appointment

A career appointment begins once an employee has completed three years of permanent substantially continuous creditable service in the competitive service.

Non-temporary appointment

A non-temporary appointment does not have a specific “not-to-exceed” date associated with it. In other words, it is not a temporary appointment.

Non-competitive appointment

Under certain hiring authorities, which are established by law or Executive Order, a hiring manager may hire candidates directly without having to go through the full application process. Job announcements specify whether a position is competitive or non-competitive under the “Who May Apply” section.

Veterans, persons with disabilities, many current and former federal employees, and returning Peace Corps volunteers are examples of individuals eligible for non-competitive appointment.

Temporary appointments

There are many types of temporary appointments, but the two most common are temporary and term appointments. These appointments are expected to last for a stated specified period with a not-to-exceed date.

  • Temporary appointment: Time limited not to exceed one year but could be less.
  • Term appointments: Time limited for at least one year but not to exceed four years.

Neither type of appointment is a permanent one, so they do not give the employee competitive/permanent status.

Additional resources

  • Contact us

    Please use the form below to contact us. We will get back to you within one business day. Your interest and patience are appreciated.

    USAJOBS does not provide direct phone support. The form below will allow you to send an email to the Help Desk where you can request assistance by phone or email.

    All fields are required unless otherwise noted

    Please provide your phone number in case your issue cannot be resolved via email.

    Please do not include your Social Security Number.

    (2000 characters remaining)