What Types of Jobs are Available with FEMA?

Television coverage of floods, storms and other natural disasters usually shows people wearing FEMA jackets helping victims. FEMA, the Federal Disaster Response Agency, provides temporary housing and coordinates food and water delivery as well as other services to disaster survivors. The on-scene jobs are just a few of the many full and part-time opportunities available in the agency.

What are the Types of Employment Available With FEMA?

FEMA is a government agency under the Department of Homeland Security. It has the same types of career opportunities and requirements that most government career opportunities present. Among other requirements, you must be a United States citizen to apply, and you must agree to a background check. Unlike some other government positions,the jobs with FEMA are designated as Full Time, On Call Response/ Recovery, Reservists and Temporary Local Hires.

What is a Permanent Full Time Position?

These positions are what we usually think of as career jobs. The first year of employment is probationary. After three years of service, people in these positions can earn tenure. Some examples of recent full time FEMA job openings are:

• Budget Analyst. The job description says that this position coordinates, manages and analyzes financial requirements of FEMA and serves on several high-level teams and committees. The beginning salary is $105, 211 per year.
• National Flood Insurance Program Senior Advisor. This position is responsible for overseeing the computer system and software related to the Flood Insurance Program, and serving on top-level committees and teams. The beginning salary is $119, 554 annually.
• Electronic Technician. This person provides support for electronic engineering projects and building security systems. The beginning wage is $56,857 per year.

What is an On Call Response / Recovery Employee?

This designation, also referred to as CORE Jobs is a two or four year appointment. If there is an on-going disaster or if funding is available the period of employment may be extended. Examples of this type of job are:

• Writer. Temporary Full Time. This person is responsible for written FEMA communications in the form of blogs, pamphlets, media articles and web content. The beginning salary is $51,630.
• Public Affairs Specialist. Full Time Temporary. This position is entrusted with dissemination of FEMA disaster information to media and the general public. The beginning salary is $51,630.

What Are Reservists?

Reservists are two-year appointed positions. These employees are not guaranteed continued employment, so the job should be considered temporary. Reservists staff field offices and disaster recovery centers. They also do a lot of work in the field assessing damage and doing many other jobs as needed.

Other Job Opportunities at FEMA

FEMA also participates in the Pathway Program which is a system of internships available to students seeking employment in Civil Service. More information on this can be found at the Pathways page. In addition, during disasters, FEMA hires local people to help with recovery. These people, often survivors themselves, are hired for a period of 120 days, but that time period may be extended if conditions warrant.

Opportunities for positions with FEMA run the gamut from careers in Civil Service to temporary jobs. The FEMA website is a valuable resource that explains the qualifications and application process in detail.