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Civil Service

For a complete listing of all Civil Service positions with the U.S. Department of Commerce, please go to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) website, click on the “search jobs” link, and conduct an agency search for Department of Commerce listings.  You can access this website from the following link:

Foreign Service Officer

The United States & Foreign Commercial Service is one of four official Foreign Affairs Agencies under the Foreign Service Act of 1980. The Commercial Service is responsible for Commercial Affairs. Foreign Service Officers in the Commercial Service are assigned to foreign and domestic field offices, as well as Washington, D.C., to promote the export of United States goods and services and defend United States commercial interests abroad. The Commercial Service, through its customized business solutions, creates economic prosperity and more and better jobs for all Americans.

Assessment Application Process

The Commercial Service Assessment is a competitive, oral and written examination used to recruit new, tenure-track Foreign Service Officers into the Commercial Service. Successful applicants who pass the initial online application screening process receive an invitation for the one-day oral assessment.

Top candidates who pass the oral assessment exam are placed on a list called the Rank Order Register, which is valid for two years. The Career Development and Assignments Staff uses this Registry to tender conditional offers of employment to candidates, as vacancies become available, pending the successful completion of a Top Secret security clearance, a medical clearance and drug testing.

For more information, read the Assessment Information Package.

2009 Commercial Service Officer Assessment Exam

The United States and Foreign Commercial Service (US&FCS) offers the Commercial Service Assessment Exam every two years.  We will offer the exam during the summer of 2009.  The online application is typically available three to four months prior to the Assessment exam.  This timeframe is subject to change!  We will announce the exact dates for the Foreign Commercial Service Assessment Exam and the availability of the application on this website.

You will find a web link to the vacancy announcement on this webpage, when it is available.  Click on the "Assessment Information Package" link to learn about the application process and the traits that our agency seeks in applicants who fill our vacancies.

Individuals with an interest in a Foreign Commercial Service Officer career can send an email message with their contact information to  We will add your name to our notification database and forward updates on the status of the assessment planning process.  Individuals in our notification database will also receive an email message with application information as soon as it is available.
The latest information is available on this webpage, so check back periodically for updates.

Dated January 14, 2008

Limited Appointments

Limited Non-career Foreign Service Officers ("Limiteds") are members of the general public, hired as Foreign Commercial Service Officers for specific duty stations and tours of duty based on specialized skill or experience that they possess. Limited Non-career Foreign Service Officers' first tours of duty are limited to two years. There is no promise, implicit or explicit, of onward assignment or other further employment with the Commercial Service at the termination of the initial` two-year tour of duty, any extension(s), or subsequent Limited Non-career appointment(s). Limiteds cannot serve with the Commercial Service more than five consecutive years. These positions are advertised on the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) website when available. You can access this website from the following link: Just click on the "search jobs" link, and conduct an agency search for Department of Commerce listings.

Internships and Coops

Domestic Opportunities:

If you are interested in intern opportunities at one of our domestic Export Assistance Centers, please use the link to contact the office directly.
If you are interested in learning more about Intern and Coop opportunities in International Trade Administration Headquarters in Washington, D.C., please call the Office of Personnel (202) 482-3301 between the hours of 8:30 am - 5:00 pm EST.

Overseas Opportunities:

U.S. Commercial Service's (CS)
Overseas Work-Study Intern Program

Overseas Work-Study Internship Opportunities

The U.S. Commercial Service, International Trade Administration, of the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) is a corps of American and foreign employees dedicated to helping American companies expand sales in overseas markets.

The Overseas Work-Study Internship Program is developed in accordance with the authority of Section 301 of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. §3111), Chapter 7 of the Federal Personnel Manual, and Department of Commerce specific guidelines on voluntary and uncompensated service implemented in DAO 202-311.

The purpose of the program is to provide college or university juniors, seniors, and graduate students of Economics, Business Administration and related fields with "hands-on" experience working in the Commercial Section of a U.S. Embassy. The program is uncompensated and designed to encourage students to consider careers in the commercial field. Internships in the Work-Study Program are considered to be adjunct to an applicant's education. Students must be currently enrolled and taking at least one-half of a full-time academic workload. They must also plan to continue their education immediately upon termination of their internship.

Interns typically serve for one semester or quarter during their academic year, or for a minimum of 10 weeks during the summer, U.S. citizenship and good academic standing are required, along with the successful completion of a security assurance check.

How to Apply

Students seeking internships abroad with the U.S. Commercial Service are requested to correspond directly with the Senior Commercial Officer or Principal Commercial Officer in the particular country in which they are interested in serving. Correspondence should include a cover letter to the SCO and the following documents:

Overseas office Websites addresses, SCO and PCO contacts, and overseas office addresses can be found by following the links at the end of this section.

And if accepted we will need . . .

If the initial application is accepted, a prospective intern will be required to complete the additional application materials listed below:
About volunteer service with the U.S. Government
  • A student volunteer is not a Federal employee for any purpose other than injury compensation and laws related to the Tort Claims Act.
  • Work-Study Internship service is not creditable to Federal government employment, retirement, or for leave, nor any other employee benefits.
Where are the opportunities?

Last Revision: May 9, 2007

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