State Agency Hiring Practices

In general, hiring requirements for state employment are much less strict than for federal employment. Most positions require only that applicants be at least 18 years of age; some student positions require applicants to be only 16.

Each state, and sometimes each agency within each state, has its own application process. For this reason we suggest that you take extra care in reviewing the listings. Application deadlines for outdoor jobs with state agencies typically fall later than the January deadline mandated by federal agencies such as the National Park Service.

Nonetheless, it pays to research your options. You don’t want to devote all your resources to applying for jobs in a state with an application deadline that passed a week ago.

You must be eligible to work in the United States, though you usually do not need to be a resident of the state in which you’ll be working. Also, some positions require that you have a valid driver’s license or CPR training. But for most entry-level positions you won’t need previous outdoor experience or special course work, though these qualities will definitely put you ahead of other applicants who don’t have them.

The advantage of a state job is that you won’t be subjected to the strict hiring requirements of the federal government, yet you’ll be exposed to opportunities that are just as rewarding as those with Uncle Sam. And most important, the application deadlines for state jobs typically are later than those for federal jobs. Check the listings in the Job Center for information on how to apply to specific state agencies.

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