Department of Commerce Internship
The DOC oversees the Bureau of the Census, amoung others.
About the Department of Commerce
The Department’s Mission Statement includes, "The historic mission of the Department is “to foster, promote, and develop the foreign and domestic commerce” of the United States. This has evolved, as a result of legislative and administrative additions, to encompass broadly the responsibility to foster, serve, and promote the Nation’s economic development and technological advancement."
The DOC encompasses the following government bureaus and administrations:
- -Bureau of Industry and Security
- -Economics and Statistics Administration o Bureau of the Census o Bureau of Economic Analysis
- -Economic Development Administration
- -International Trade Administration
- -Minority Business Development Agency
- -National Institute of Standards and Technology
- -National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
- -National Technical Information Service
- -National Telecommunications and Information Administration
- -Patent and Trademark Office
General Student Employment Information
Student Employment Opportunities
Thank you for your interest in student employment with the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC). The DOC always looks to educational institutions to find people who have the skills needed to meet its future employment needs. Student employment provides an opportunity to earn money and continue your education, to train with people who manage the day-to-day business of the federal government, and to combine your academic study with on-the-job experience. The following provides information on paid and unpaid student employment, and internship opportunities.
Student Educational Employment Program (Paid Employment)
The Student Educational Employment Program provides employment opportunities for 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, 2 or 4-year college or university, graduate or professional school. The program comprises two components: the Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP) and the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP).
1. Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP)
Job opportunities under this program offer you temporary employment. Employment can range from summer jobs to positions that last as long as you are a student. These employment opportunities need not be related to your academic field of study.
2. Student Career Experience Program (SCEP)
This program offers you valuable work experience directly related to your academic field of study. It provides formal periods of work and study while you are attending school. It requires a commitment by you, your school and the DOC. You may be eligible for permanent employment under this component after successfully completing your education and meeting work requirements.
Program Features Under Both Programs
• Students may be employed year round.
• Flexible schedule of work assignments.
• Open to all students…high school, undergraduate, graduate, and vocational/technical.
Eligibility Requirements are:
• A student enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a degree-seeking student (diploma, certificate, etc.).
• At least the minimum age required by Federal, State or local laws and standards governing the employment of minors.
• Taking at least half-time academic or vocational and technical course load in an accredited high school, technical or vocational school, 2-year or 4-year college or university, graduate or professional school.
• U.S. Citizenship is required.
• At the beginning of each semester/quarter, each student will produce a letter of verification from their educational institution showing proof of enrollment in school for the upcoming semester/quarter.
Salary and Promotions: The pay you receive will depend on the education and work experience you already possess. As you advance in your education you may be eligible for promotions based on your work performance, grade point average, and credits earned.
The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) offers unpaid training opportunities to students in high school and college. These opportunities provide work experience related to your academic program. The program allows you to explore career options as well as develop your personal and professional skills. As a student volunteer, you will be exposed to the various missions and responsibilities of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Questions and Answers
Q. What is the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP)?
A. The Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) is a paid student program, which offers you valuable work experience directly related to your academic field of study. It provides formal periods of work and study while you are attending school. It requires a commitment by you, your school, and the U.S. Department of Commerce. You may be eligible for permanent employment after successfully completing your education and meeting work requirements.
Q. What is the Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP)?
A. The Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP) offers you temporary paid employment. Employment can range from summer jobs to positions that can last for as long as you are a student. These employment opportunities need not be related to your academic field of study.
Q. Can a student appointed to either the Student Career Experience Program or the Student Temporary Employment Program remain on the appointment once they have completed their educational requirements?
A. Students appointed to the Student Career Experience Program may continue on the appointment for 120 days beyond the date of completing their academic requirements. At the end of the 120 days, if the graduate has not been converted to a permanent position, he/she must be separated.
Once a student appointed to the Student Temporary Employment Program has completed the requirements for his/her degree/diploma/certificate (as appropriate), he/she is no longer a student and must be separated. The reason for the separation is that they are no longer "students" and therefore no longer meet the basic eligibility for the program. If enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an additional education program, they may be given a new appointment.
Q. How many times can a student be appointed to the Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP)? The Student Career Experience Program (SCEP)?
A. There is no limit on the number of times a student may be appointed as long as he/she meets the eligibility requirements for the appointment. (Refer to our General Information page under the eligibility requirements.)
Q. Is a student pursuing a GED eligible for the Student Educational Employment Program?
A. Yes, a student enrolled in GED courses and pursuing a GED diploma meets the definition of a student. Due to the general nature of the course work, the student might not be eligible for the Student Career Experience Program but would be eligible for the Student Temporary Employment Program.
Q. Can a son or daughter of an agency employee participate in that agency’s Student Educational Employment Program?
A. Yes, there is no longer a restriction that would bar a student from working at the same agency as his/her parent. The only requirement is that the parent and student have no direct reporting relationship and that the relative not advocate the employment, promotion or advancement of the student.
PAY AND BENEFITS:
Q. Can a student be promoted?
A. Yes. Students in both programs are eligible for promotion.
Q. Are students eligible for annual and sick leave?
A. Yes. Students in both programs are eligible to earn annual and sick leave.
Q. Are students eligible for health and life insurance benefits?
A. Health and life insurance coverage for Federal employees depends on the type of appointment an employee has and expectation of substantial employment during the year. Students in the Student Temporary Employment Program are considered temporary employees and are generally not entitled to these benefits. However, once students have been continuously employed for a year without a break in service exceeding five days, they may enroll in the Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) Program, but they would have to pay 100% of the premium (i.e., both the employee and the government share). There is no provision for temporary employees to be eligible for life insurance coverage.
Students in the Student Career Experience Program are eligible for both health and life insurance coverage as long as they are expected to be employed under this appointment for at least one year and are expected to be in a pay status for at least one third of the total period of time from the date of their initial appointment to the date of the completion of the program. Cost of the premiums is split between the employee and the agency, as for all permanent employees.
Q. Are students eligible for retirement benefits?
A. Students in the Student Temporary Employment Program are generally ineligible for retirement coverage. Students in the Student Career Experience Program with less than five years of prior civilian service, are generally covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS).
Q. Can students be placed on intermittent schedules?
A. An intermittent work schedule is only appropriate when the nature of the work is so sporadic and unpredictable that a tour of duty cannot be scheduled in advance. It is not the intent of the Student Educational Employment Program to have students working in these types of positions. Students can work full or part time schedules, as best meets their needs and the needs of the agency.
Q. Must students work or attend school during the summer?
A. The intent of the Student Educational Employment Program is that students are always either attending classes, working at the agency, or both. However, agencies may use their discretion to permit a "break in program" during which time a student is neither attending classes nor working. The student will be placed on leave without pay (LWOP) during this time.
CONVERSION – FROM STUDENT TEMPORARY TO STUDENT CAREER EXPERIENCE PROGRAM:
Q. Does a student’s work experience, while on the student temporary appointment, count toward the required time necessary for noncompetitive conversion to permanent employment?
A. Yes, if the work performed is related to the student’s academic studies and career goals.
CONVERSION – STUDENT CAREER EXPERIENCE PROGRAM:
Q. When does the 120-day conversion window begin…upon completion of course requirements or upon "graduation ceremony day?"
A. Upon satisfactory completion of course requirements.
Q. Can a student work any of the required 640 hours necessary for conversion, after he/she completed his/her educational requirements?
A. The required work experience must be gained prior to, or concurrent with the completion of the student’s education.