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Operating Manual for Qualification Standards for General Schedule Positions

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Group Coverage Qualification Standards for
Competitive Service Student Trainee Positions

This standard describes the qualification requirements for student trainee positions made under career-conditional or career appointments in the competitive service. This standard is not applicable to students who are temporarily employed during summer vacations and who have not been appointed to a student trainee program in the competitive service as described above.

A student may be appointed to any position that leads to qualification in a two-grade interval professional, administrative, or technical occupational series and that provides an opportunity for the student's growth and development toward the target position.

A list of the occupational series covered by this standard is provided below and on page IV-A-25.


Student trainees qualify as described below.

GS-2 High school diploma or equivalent
GS-3 Completion of 1 academic year of post-high school study
GS-4 Completion of 2 academic years of post-high school study or associate's degree

The required education must lead to a bachelor's degree with specialization in or directly related to the field in which the student trainees will receive training on the job. The degree of specialization in this field must satisfy on graduation the specific educational requirements in the qualification standard for the corresponding two-grade interval positions.


Student trainees may be promoted to higher-graded trainee positions based on completion of portions of the education and student trainee work experience.

To GS-3: Completion of one full semester or the equivalent of post-high school study and one period of student trainee work experience.

To GS-4: (a) Completion of 1 academic year of study and two periods of student trainee work experience; or (b) completion of 1½ academic years of study and one period of student trainee work experience.

Upon completion of all the requirements for a bachelor's degree in an appropriate field, student trainees may be reassigned or promoted in the appropriate target series to GS-5 or GS-7 if they meet the qualification requirements of the target occupation, including minimum educational requirements, if any.


An academic year of undergraduate education is defined as 30 semester hours, 45 quarter hours, or the equivalent in an accredited college or university.

For purposes of this standard, a period of student trainee work experience is the equivalent of 2 months (320 hours) of full-time work experience.


A written test is not required for these positions.


A list of the occupational series covered by this qualification standard is provided below.

GS-099 General Student Trainee
GS-199 Social Science Student Trainee
GS-299 Personnel Management Student Trainee
GS-399 Administration and Office Support Student Trainee
GS-499 Biological Science Student Trainee
GS-599 Financial Management Student Trainee
GS-699 Medical and Health Student Trainee
GS-799 Veterinary Student Trainee
GS-899 Engineering and Architecture Student Trainee
GS-999 Legal Occupations Student Trainee
GS-1099 Information and Arts Student Trainee
GS-1199 Business and Industry Student Trainee
GS-1299 Copyright and Patent Student Trainee
GS-1399 Physical Science Student Trainee
GS-1499 Library and Archives Student Trainee
GS-1599 Mathematics and Statistics Student Trainee
GS-1699 Equipment and Facilities Management Student Trainee
GS-1799 Education Student Trainee
GS-1899 Investigation Student Trainee
GS-1999 Quality Inspection Student Trainee
GS-2099 Supply Student Trainee
GS-2199 Transportation Student Trainee