How Can I Get a Job with FEMA?

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Over the years, the United States has seen its fair share of tragedies caused by hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires and more. Anytime an act of terror or natural disaster occurs in the United States that leaves citizens in need, FEMA is there to provide aid. There are many different parts of this agency that require different types of training, so let's dive into what FEMA is and how to get a job with them.

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What is FEMA?

FEMA stands for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and it was created on April 1, 1979, when President Jimmy Carter signed the executive order. Its purpose is to coordinate the government so that any type of disaster can be either prevented, prepared for, responded to, or recovered from. Both natural and man-made disasters that may affect the American people are included.

What types of jobs are available?

Two of the easiest jobs to get with FEMA include being a reservist or a temporary local hire. Reservists have multiple duties including interviewing disaster victims as well as assessing and confirming damage. They also help citizens and first responders by providing administrative, financial, and logistical support during disasters or emergencies. Although having an emergency management degree would be a huge plus, this job only requires that the applicant is a U.S. citizen that is capable of passing a background investigation and approved for a travel card issued by the government. Temporary local hires basically help to disaster survivors directly by assisting with disaster operations. They must be sympathetic to the residents as they help the community to recover.

Becoming a permanent full-time (PFT) employee is much more extensive than the previously mentioned jobs. According to FEMA Careers, these positions are competitive service jobs that include an application, interview, written test, and evaluation of the applicant's experience, education, and other job-related qualities. Having an emergency management degree would certainly provide an advantage when applying for a PFT employee position. These jobs can be filed by current federal employees but this status is not a requirement because they encourage fair and open competition.

How to apply for a job with FEMA?

The first step would require the applicant to choose the type of job that they want by thoroughly researching the responsibilities that come with it. They must also determine if they feel that they would make a good candidate for that job based on their education and experiences. After the position is chosen, simply visit the webpage for that specific job and apply online. Keep in mind that different positions have different application processes, so be sure to visit FEMA's careers page to find the correct link. Once the application is submitted, the hiring officials will contact the applicants that they are interested in for an interview either in person or by phone.

Although it may seem a bit stressful at times, helping the nation in its hour of need can have a wonderfully positive impact on the world. Working with FEMA can be an incredibly rewarding experience for those that get the opportunity.