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Position Descriptions

Why wait until you've graduated to get started on your career path? Get a head start on your career at the Social Security Administration (SSA). Gain insight from on-the-job experience that even the best classes couldn't provide.

Student programs are open to students in academic, technical, or vocational programs.

A student is an individual who has been accepted for enrollment or who is enrolled and seeking a degree (diploma, certificate, etc.) in a high school whose curriculum has been approved by a State or local governing body, or in a technical or vocational school, 2-year or 4-year college or university, or graduate or professional school, that has been accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

Below are the five types of student programs.

Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP)

STEP provides an opportunity for students to gain temporary work experience and internship opportunities. As a student, you may be hired to perform duties that give you work experience related to your academic major. Some related fields of study may be: Accounting, Business, Communications, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Economics, Information Systems, Law, Office Automation, and other disciplines that may be related to SSA's positions.

STEP is divided into three categories:

  • Student Administrative Support Program- The entry levels range from GS-1 to GS-4;
  • Legal Intern Program - The entry levels range from GS-5 to GS-7; and
  • Graduate and Professional Intern Program - The entry levels range from GS-5 to GS-11.

To be eligible for the program, you must: be at least 16 years old; be enrolled in an accredited program; be enrolled in at least 9 semester hours or the equivalent (i.e., 9 semester hours are equal to 13.5 quarter hours); and maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average (GPA).

These opportunities could last for one summer or throughout your academic career. If you are hired for summer employment, you may work approximately 90 days (not to exceed September 30th of each year). You may be hired for part-time work during the school year, and you may continue in the program as long as you remain a student in good standing.

Student Career Experience Program (SCEP)

SCEP offers valuable work experience directly related to your academic field of study. The program is designed to recruit and train college degree-seeking students for permanent placement in professional, administrative, and technical positions throughout SSA. Formal periods of work and study are integrated into the program. If your work and academic experiences are successful, you may be eligible for permanent employment upon completion of your education.

To qualify for the Student Career Experience Program, you must be attending an institution with which SSA has a cooperative education agreement, and you must be enrolled in that institution's Cooperative Education Program. We inform colleges with Cooperative Education Programs of our recruitment needs each year. They refer interested and qualified students to us. We interview the students and make job offers to those whom we select. To be considered, you must have a college major related to the position for which you are applying and have a 2.5 Grade Point Average on a 4.0 scale.

Volunteer Internship Program (VIP)

As a student volunteer, you will receive work assignments related to your academic program. The assignment may be in exchange for academic credit(s) based on the educational institution's requirements. Normally, the work assignment would not exceed one semester or quarter; however, it may be set for longer periods when the academic reason justifies the extension of the assignment. You, the educational institution, and SSA will complete a written agreement, which outlines the conditions of the assignment.

Federal Work Study (FWS) Program

This program provides part-time work for you if you want to continue your college studies and are in financial need. FWS is partially funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Education to colleges and universities. You would not be an "SSA employee," but you would perform work for SSA under a host-enrollee agreement. Educational institutions normally set the hourly wage, which must not be lower than the minimum wage established by the State or federal government, whichever is higher. Contact your university official if you are interested in the FWS program with SSA

Federal Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) for College Students with Disabilities

WRP allows qualified and talented college students with disabilities an opportunity to gain valuable work experience during the summer months and encourages interest in seeking employment in the Federal Government.

To be eligible for the WRP, you must be a U.S. citizen and a current, full-time undergraduate or graduate student with a disability. Applicants are entered into a database that is released each March. If you are not a current student and have graduated within one year of the release of the applicant database, you may be considered. If you are an eligible student, share this information with your school's disability services or career services coordinator. Portal to U.S. government agencies Privacy Policy | Website Policies & Other Important Information | Site Map
Last reviewed or modified Monday Jan 14, 2008
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