Fact Sheet

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Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP)


Job opportunities under this program offer temporary employment that can provide you with valuable work experience. Employment can range from summer jobs to positions that can last as long as you are a student (in one-year increments or less). The duties do not have to relate to your academic field of study. Students in this program may be eligible to enter the SCEP program.

  • May be appointed to jobs that may or may not be related to academic goals
  • One year appointments with extensions in one-year increments
  • Agencies may establish academic and job performance standards
  • Because students are temporary employees, generally not entitled to health and life insurance
  • If employed for at least one year without break in service of more than 5 days, eligible for health insurance (would have to pay 100% of premium)
  • No provision for life insurance
  • Eligible for annual and sick leave
  • The work performed in STEP can count toward the 640 hour non-competitive conversion if the work is related to the student's academic studies and career goals
  • Once a student receives a degree, he/she will be separated because he/she is no longer a student
  • Eligible for promotions
  • Not eligible for within-grade increases if in the GS system
  • May be non-competitively appointed to the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) is students meet requirements of SCEP

Program Features

  • Students may be employed year round
  • Students may have flexible work schedules
  • Open to all students...high school, under-graduate, graduate, and vocational/technical
  • Veterans are referred prior to other referrals

Eligibility Requirements

You are eligible under the Student Educational Employment Program, if you:

  • Are a student enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a degree seeking student.
  • Are enrolled as at least a half-time student in an accredited high school, technical or vocational school, 2-year or 4-year college or university, graduate or professional school.
  • Have a satisfactory academic record, 2.0 or better accumulative G.P.A. is required.
  • Are a U.S. citizen. Non-citizens may be eligible for employment if eligible to work under U.S. immigration laws but may not be placed into permanent positions.
  • Are qualified for the position as stated in the vacancy announcement.

Career Pathways

In December 2010, President Obama established the Career Pathways program, which will eliminate the SEEP program, which includes STEP and SCEP. Details of the Career Pathways program are still being developed by the Office of Personnel Management. The three program paths under this program will include: an Internship Program; a Recent Graduates Program; and a Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program.

For information on the STEP program, visit our website at: Agency Contacts

For a list of questions and answers, please visit the OPM website.

Updated: Wednesday, March 18, 2015
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