United States Department of Veterans Affairs
United States Department of Veterans Affairs


Hiring Programs and Incentives



Below are many government initiatives that give employment preference to veterans. For additional information on these initiatives, please visit the Office of Personnel Management's website at URL http://www.opm.gov/veterans

  • The Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA) ensures that veterans are able to compete for government positions that previously may have only been available to existing civil service employees.
  • The Veterans Recruitment Appointment (VRA) and 30 Percent or More Disabled Veterans programs allow eligible veterans to fill certain positions without competition.
  • The Disabled Veterans Enrolled in VA Training Program allows eligible disabled veterans to receive training or work experience at VA.
  • The Veterans Preference gives special consideration to eligible veterans looking for Federal employment. Veterans who are disabled or who served on active duty in the United States Armed Forces during certain specified time periods or in military campaigns are entitled to preference over non-veterans both in hiring and in retention during reductions in force.
  • The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) is an employment-oriented program that assists veterans with service-connected disabilities by offering services and assistance to help them prepare for, find, and keep suitable employment. Suitable employment is work that is within the veterans' physical, mental, and emotional capabilities and matches their patterns of skills, abilities, and interests. For more information on this program, visit the Veterans Benefits Administration website at URL http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/vre

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Veterans Employment Coordination Service (VECS) mission is to attract, recruit and hire veterans into VA, particularly severely injured veterans returning from the Global War on Terror. Nine (9) Regional Veterans Employment Coordinators (VEC) positioned throughout the United States stand ready to support efforts that assist veterans interested in employment at VA. For more information, please visit:  http://www.va.gov/vecs.

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VA recruits from a variety of disciplines, with a special interest in college graduates who seek a career in the analysis and management of public policies and programs.

There are special opportunities available:

The Outstanding Scholar Program offers high-achievers appointments in covered occupations.

The Federal Career Intern Program is designed to attract exceptional individuals to the VA workforce who have diverse professional experiences, academic credentials, training, and competencies and to prepare them for a variety of occupations. Individuals are appointed to entry level positions for a two-year internship. Upon successful completion of the internships, the interns may be eligible for permanent placement within VA.

The Presidential Management Fellows Program (PMF) is a two year program which enables students who complete a master's or doctoral-level degree to be appointed to Federal positions. PMFs are appointed at the GS-9 level and after successful completion of the first year they are eligible for promotion to GS-11. Upon completion of the two-year fellowship, PMFs are eligible for conversion to career or career-conditional appointment and are eligible for promotion to GS-12.

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Federal status is typically granted to an employee who has held a permanent Federal position for more than three years. VA offers some opportunities that are open only to Federal employees and/or former Federal employees:

Reinstatement Eligibles must have held a career or career-conditional appointment at some time in the past. If so, there is no time limit on reinstatement eligibility for those who:

Have veterans' preference

Acquired career tenure by completing three years of substantially continuous creditable service. If you do not have veterans' preference or did not acquire career tenure, you may be reinstated within three years after the date of your separation.

Transfer Eligibles allows current career and career-conditional employees to be appointed to VA jobs. Those eligible for transfer may be required to compete under the merit promotion program.

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VA is a leader in U.S. health care. Many physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals began their careers in VA's more than 160 hospitals. In addition, VA conducts more than 10,000 research projects at 115 VA medical centers. VA hires physicians, dentists, optometrists, podiatrists, registered nurses, physician assistants, and 28 other health care professionals. There are several incentive programs aimed at attracting health care professionals:

  • The Education Debt Reduction Program (EDRP) repays up to $44,000 in education loans for newly-appointed health care professionals in certain hard to fill occupations. Education loans must be used to pay for courses that directly lead to qualification for an appointed position.
  • The Employee Incentive Scholarship Program (EISP) enables health care staff to continue their professional education in order to qualify for jobs that are in great demand within VA. Administrative/wage employee can also seek a degree as a licensed healthcare professional in hard-to-recruit occupations. Requires at least 1 year of continuous service in a permanent position.
  • The National Nursing Education Initiative (NNEI) is a scholarship that encourages nurses with Associate degrees and diplomas to earn Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees. VA nurses who want to advance beyond Nurse Level 1 must earn a BSN degree. Requires at least 1 year of continuous service in a permanent position.
  • The VA Learning Opportunities Residency (VALOR) is a program open to outstanding college nursing students who have completed their junior year. Through VALOR, they develop competency in clinical nursing by working at a VA health care facility.

For more information about any of these programs, please call the VHA Healthcare Retention & Recruitment Office (HRRO) at 1-800-949-0002.

Please contact your local VA medical center for the following locally administered programs:

  • The Tuition Reimbursement Program is available to full-time VA employees who are enrolled in any accredited nursing degree program. This program also funds prerequisite courses required for acceptance into a degree program.
  • The Tuition Support Program provides tuition for job-related courses for health care professionals in disciplines identified as VA shortage categories.

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VA is committed to enhancing the employment and advancement of persons with disabilities. Individuals with a certification letter from VA or a state vocational rehabilitation office are encouraged to apply for noncompetitive appointment.

The Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP) provides accommodation solutions to eliminate barriers to employment for people with visual, hearing, cognitive, communication, and dexterity disabilities.

In addition to CAP, VA supports the following Executive Orders (EOs) designed to benefit those with disabilities.

  • EO 13078, Increasing Employment of Adults with Disabilities
  • EO 13145, To Prohibit Discrimination in Federal Employment Based on Genetic Information
  • EO 13163, Increasing the Opportunity for Individuals with Disabilities to be Employed in the Federal Government
  • EO 13164, Requiring Federal Agencies to Establish Procedures to Facilitate the Provision of Reasonable Accommodation
  • EO 13217, Community-Based Alternatives for Individuals with Disabilities

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The Student Educational Employment Program (SEEP) provides Federal employment opportunities to students who are enrolled or accepted for enrollment as degree-seeking students taking at least a half-time academic, technical, or vocational course load in an accredited high school, technical, vocational, two- or four- year college or university, graduate, or professional school. This program is comprised of two components: the Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP) and the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP).

The Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP) offers temporary employment ranging from summer jobs to positions that can last for as long as you are a student. These employment opportunities need not necessarily be related to your academic field of study.

The Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) provides a formal work-study program to degree-seeking students in accredited high schools, colleges, and universities. It requires a commitment by you, your school, and the employing Federal agency. You may be eligible for permanent employment under this component after successfully completing your education and meeting work requirements.

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