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Student Trainee (Veterinary)


Are you passionate about protecting public health and looking to make a difference? Join Food Safety and Inspection Service as a Student Trainee (Veterinary) and explore your federal public health career! Please view the full vacancy announcement on USAJobs for a full description of the position and application requirements. Applications must be submitted in USAJobs and received by June 01, 2023, for consideration. Click  to apply in USAJobs

PLEASE NOTE: This vacancy will close at 11:59 pm ET on the closing day.

The Internship Program is designed to provide students enrolled in a wide variety of educational institutions, from high school to graduate level, with opportunities to work in agencies and explore Federal careers while still in school and while getting paid for the work performed. Students who successfully complete the program may be eligible for conversion to a permanent job in the civil service.

The Veterinary Student Trainee is engaged in a cooperative educational training program which consists of periods of formal education interspersed with periods of study-related work. The primary purpose of this program is to provide veterinary trainees with exposure to a variety of the Public Health Veterinarian's functions and responsibilities. In addition, this on-the-job training program is designed to provide the incumbent with an overall understanding of the agency's functions, policies, procedures, and regulations, including the final rule on Pathogen Reduction and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Systems.

USDA is a great place to start or continue your career. The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is the agency in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) responsible for protecting the public's health by ensuring the safety of the Nation's commercial supply of meat, poultry, and processed egg products. For more information on USDA and the Food Safety and Inspection Service, visit FSIS.


  • Open & closing dates05/18/2023 to 06/01/2023 [exending closing date to 06/01/23]
  • Salary: $46,696 - $74,250 per year
  • Pay scale & grade: GS 7 – 9
  • Location: 5 vacancies in the following locations - Tolleson, AZ; Chino, CA; Dixon, CA; Fresno, CA; Petaluma, CA
  • Remote job: No
  • Telework eligible: Yes—as determined by the agency policy.
  • Travel Required: Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.
  • Relocation expenses reimbursed: No
  • Appointment type: Internships
  • Work schedule: Full-time
  • Service: Excepted
  • Promotion potential: 12 - Student Trainee position has a promotion potential of GS-09. Upon conversion, permanent position has a promotion potential of GS-12.
  • Job family (Series): 0799 Veterinary Student Trainee
  • Supervisory status: No
  • Security clearance: Other
  • Drug test: No
  • Position sensitivity and risk: Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk
  • Trust determination process: Suitability/Fitness
  • Announcement number: FSIS-23-MCE-11962578-JM
  • Control number: 725249500

This job is open to:

Clarification from the agency: Students who have been accepted for enrollment or who are enrolled at least half-time in an accredited high school, college, professional, technical, vocational, or trade school pursuing a qualifying degree or certificate.

  • These positions are Excepted Service appointments in the FSIS Alameda District.
  • Employees coordinate inspection/enforcement activities in more than 6,000 federally inspected establishments nationwide, as well as at import establishments, ensuring that the products that FSIS regulates are safe, wholesome, and properly labeled.
  • As a Student Trainee (Veterinary) you will:
  • Assist in the examination of livestock and poultry for the purpose of detecting diseases or abnormalities which would render the meat unfit for human food purposes.
  • Work with line inspectors to perform visual, tactile and incisory inspections of heads, viscera, carcasses, and edible offal.
  • Assist in making dispositions on abnormal animals/carcasses/birds retained for veterinary examination. These dispositions will include infectious diseases, neoplasms, trauma, contamination, poisonings, residues, metabolic disorders, etc.
  • Assist a program veterinarian in performing activities to verify that animals are handled and treated humanely.
  • Observe conditions in the plant to ensure the plant is following its Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOPs).
  • Observe conditions in the plant to ensure that sanitary conditions meet prescribed requirements.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.



Conditions of Employment

  • All requirements must be met by the closing date of the announcement.
  • Must meet Pathways Program requirements.
  • A USDA Pathways Programs Participant Agreement must be completed before the Student Trainee's Entrance-On Duty (EOD).
  • Male applicants born after December 31, 1959, must complete a Pre-Employment Certification Statement for Selective Service Registration.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or Foreign National Eligible.
  • Subject to successful completion of pre-employment medical examination.
  • Selectee must be able to obtain and maintain a security clearance.
  • If selected you may be subject to a National Agency Check and Inquiry (NACI) and a credit report inquiry.
  • Accepted for or currently enrolled in a qualified educational institution. Must provide transcripts that support the qualifications.
  • All USDA Student Interns must be at least 18 years of age at the time of their appointment.
  • Must be in good academic standing as defined by the educational institution.
  • Have your salary sent to a financial institution of your choice by Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer.
  • Your schedule during the academic year is negotiable. During school breaks and summers, travel to/from the official duty station and housing expenses, will be at the student's expense.
  • Relocation expenses will not be paid.
  • Successfully pass the E-Verify employment verification check. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, visit
  • Service in the Pathways Program confers no right to further employment in either the competitive or excepted service.


To qualify for this position, you must meet the 1. Pathway Internship Eligibility requirements, 2. minimum Qualifications for the position, as well as the 3. Selective Placement factor for this announcement:

1. To Be Eligible For An Appointment Under The Internship Program You Must Meet The Following Requirement: Student applicants must be accepted for enrollment or enrolled and seeking a degree (diploma, certificate, etc.) in a qualifying educational institution, on a full or half-time basis as defined by the institution in which the student is enrolled. Student Trainees must be in good academic standing, as defined by the institution they are attending. Generally at least a 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) for undergraduate programs (cumulative; no rounding) and a 3.0 GPA for advanced degree programs. Individuals must meet the definition of a student throughout the duration of their Internship appointment.

*NOTE: Certificate Program: This term is defined, in 5 CFR 362.102, and means postsecondary education in a qualifying educational institution equivalent to at least 1 academic year of full-time study that is part of an accredited college-level, technical, trade, vocational, or business school curriculum.)

2. To qualify at the GS-7 grade level: Completion of 1 full academic year of graduate level education (18 semester hours, 27 quarter hours or equivalent) towards earning a DVM at a school or college of Veterinary Medicine OR Superior Academic Achievement (S.A.A.) after completing a bachelor's degree. S.A.A. is based on (*) class standing, (**) grade-point average, or (***) honor society membership.

Class standing. Applicants must be in the upper third of the graduating class in the college, university, or major subdivision, such as the College of Liberal Arts or the School of Business Administration, based on completed courses.

** Grade-point average (G.P.A.). Applicants must have a grade-point average of:
  • 3.0 or higher out of a possible 4.0 ("B" or better) as recorded on their official transcript, or as computed based on 4 years of education, or as computed based on courses completed during the final 2 years of the curriculum; or
  • 3.5 or higher out of a possible 4.0 ("B+" or better) based on the average of the required course completed in the major field or the required courses in the major field completed during the final 2 years of the curriculum.
  • Class standing - Applicants must be in the upper third of the graduating class of the college, university, or major subdivision, such as the College of Liberal Arts or the School of Business Administration, based on completed courses.
  • Must have at least one academic year of study Veterinary Medicine remaining.
  • Students must be currently enrolled in a U.S. accredited college degree seeking Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program or have been accepted to a U.S. accredited college in a degree seeking DVM program for the 2023 Fall semester or Students must be in their final year of a Master's program and have been accepted for the 2023 Fall semester in a U.S. accredited college degree seeking DVM program.
*** Election to membership in a national scholastic honor society. Applicants can be considered eligible based on membership in one of the national scholastic honor societies listed below. These honor societies are listed by the Association of College Honor Societies (external link). Agencies considering eligibility based on any society not included in the following list must ensure that the honor society meets the minimum requirements of the Association of College Honor Societies. Membership in a freshman honor society cannot be used to meet the requirements of this provision.

To qualify at the GS-9 grade level: Completion of 2 academic years of graduated level education, or a master's degree or equivalent graduate degree.

3. The following Selective Placement Factor (SPF) requirement is being used to determine whether an applicant fully qualifies for this position. Therefore, it is MANDATORY that all applicants meet this requirement in order to receive further consideration for this job vacancy. Applicants are required to submit transcripts as outlined below and proof of enrollment, if current enrollment is not identified on the transcripts to support the selective placement factor. If requirements are not met, you will be determined as not eligible.

Applicants who fail to meet the Selective Placement Factor may lose further consideration. SELECTIVE PLACEMENT FACTOR: Students must be currently enrolled in a U.S. accredited college degree seeking Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program or has been accepted. To see a list of AVMA accredited colleges, click Accredited Colleges. All colleges must also be a registered Entity in the System for Award Management.
ALL Students MUST submit proof of current enrollment or provide proof of acceptance and or enrollment in a U.S. accredited college degree seeking Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program by 11:59pm, the closing date of this vacancy announcement.
ALL academic degrees of course work must be completed in an educational institution that has obtained accreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Council of Education. For more info click here.
If you are a student veteran, complete the questionnaire and submit documentation: DD-214, VA Letter, SF-15 if claiming 10-point Veterans' preference or DD-214 if claiming 5-point preference or VEOA eligibility (separated under honorable conditions after 3 years or more of continuous service)



COLLEGE TRANSCRIPTS: You MUST submit a copy of your college transcripts which show the following:
  • Your Field of Study
  • School Name
  • Student's Name
  • Current GPA or Academic Standing
  • Past and Current Course Work
  • Degree Program
  • Major/Concentration
An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application; however, if selected, an official college transcript will be required prior to entering on duty.


Additional information

If you are selected, you may need to complete a Declaration for Federal Employment (OF-306) prior to being appointed to determine suitability for federal employment and to authorize a background investigation. False statements or responses on a resume or application can jeopardize employment and may be grounds for disciplinary action, including removal from federal service.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact: USDA's TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).
It is the policy of the Government not to deny employment simply because an individual has been unemployed or has had financial difficulties that have arisen through no fault of the individual. See more information at: CHCO Council.
Pre-Employment Physical: This position requires a pre-employment physical. Position Requirements.
Functional Requirements and Environmental Factors: Please click on the following link to see information regarding the Functional Requirements and Environmental Factors positions.
Please click Veterans Policy for further information about veteran specific hiring options.
Multiple positions may be filled from this announcement.
If you are selected for a position with further promotion potential, you will be placed under a career development plan, and may be non-competitively promoted if you successfully complete the requirements and if recommended by management. However, promotion is neither implied nor guaranteed.
A career with the U.S. government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Opens in a new window


How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
Applications will be evaluated in accordance with Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) Delegated Examining Procedures using category rating. Applicant who meet basic minimum qualifications will be placed in one of two or threecategories: Best Qualified, Well Qualified, or Qualified. Within these categories, applicants eligible for veterans preference will receive selection priority over non-veterans. Category placement will be determined based on the applicant's quality of experience and the extent the possess the following competencies:

You will also be assessed on the following competencies:
  • Attention to Detail
  • Oral Communication
  • Pathology
  • Reasoning
  • Problem Solving

Your application, including the online Assessment Questionnaire, will be reviewed to determine if you meet (a) minimum qualification requirements and (b) the resume supports the answers provided to the job-specific questions. Your resume must clearly support your responses to all the questions addressing experience and education relevant to this position. Those determined to be in the Best Qualified category will be referred to the selecting official for consideration.

**REMINDER** Applicants, be sure that experience/education as described on your resume contains accurate and sufficiently detailed information to clearly demonstrate that you have the listed competencies. All information used to evaluate your application must be received by the closing date of the announcement. Once the position is closed, no additional information will be accepted.

Note: If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and/or experience, your rating may be lowered to more accurately reflect the submitted documentation. Please follow instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Providing inaccurate information on Federal documents could be grounds for non-selection or disciplinary action up to and including removal from Federal service.

Clicking the link below will present a preview of the application form; i.e. the online questionnaire. The application form link below will only provide a preview and does not initiate the application process. To initiate the online application process, click the "Apply" button to the right.

To view the application form, visit:


Required Documents

The following documents are required for your application to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in mail service, your system failure or downtime, etc. Encrypted and digitally signed documents will not be accepted. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.
1. Resume that includes: 1) personal information such as name, address, contact information; 2) education; 3) detailed work experience related to this position as described in the major duties, including work schedule, hours worked per week, dates of employment; and title, series, grade (if applicable); 4) supervisor's phone number and whether or not the supervisor may be contacted for a reference check; 5) other qualifications. USAJOBS has a template to ensure a complete resume.
2. Cover Letter, optional.
3. College Transcripts: If education is required or you are using education to qualify, you MUST submit a copy of your college transcripts which show your Field of Study, School Name, Student's Name, Current GPA or Academic Standing, Past and Current Course Work, Degree Program, and Major/Concentration. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application; however, if you are selected, you will be required to submit official transcripts prior to entering on duty. Education must have been successfully obtained from an accredited school, college, or university. If any education was completed at a foreign institute, you must submit with your application evidence that the institute was appropriately accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as equivalent to U.S. education standards. There are private organizations that specialize in this evaluation and a fee is normally associated with this service. For a list of private organizations that evaluate education, visit All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.
4. Proof of enrollment or acceptance of enrollment and good academic standing:
  • In the form of letters, records, or statements issued from a high school, vocational institution, college or university.
  • The documentation provided must be issued from an authorized source (example: university registrar's office).
5. Veterans' Preference: If claiming veterans preference, you must submit a DD-214, Certificate of Release from Active Duty, which shows dates of service and discharge under honorable conditions. If currently on active duty, you must submit a certification of expected discharge or release from active duty service under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted. Veterans preference must be verified prior to appointment. Without this documentation, you will not receive veterans preference and your application will be evaluated based on the material(s) you submitted.

If claiming 10-point veterans preference, you must provide the DD-214 or certification requirements (see above), plus the proof of entitlement of this preference as listed on the SF-15 Application for 10-point Veterans Preference and a Department of Veterans Affairs Letter. The SF-15 should be included but is not required. Failure to submit these documents could result in the determination that there is insufficient documentation to support your claim for 10-point preference. For more information on veterans preference see
Note: You must verify that uploaded documents from USAJOBS transfer into the Agency's staffing system. Applicants may combine all like required documents (e.g. veteran's preference) into one or more files and scan for uploading into the application. Each file must not exceed 3MB. Grouping like documents into files will simplify the application process. Documents must be in one of the following formats: GIF, JPEG, JPG, PDF, PNG, RTF, or Word (DOC or DOCX). Uploaded documents may not require a password, digital signature, or other encryption to open.

If a document is resubmitted, it replaces the previous submission, which means the previous document is no longer available to the Human Resources Office. If you are adding to, rather than replacing a previous submission, you must upload both the old document and the new document. Please verify that documents you are uploading from USAJOBs transfer into the Agency's staffing system as there is a limitation to the number of documents that can be transferred. However, once in the Agency's staffing system, you will have the opportunity to upload additional documents.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating

How to Apply

Please read the entire announcement and all the instructions before you begin. You must complete this application process and submit all required documents electronically by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement. The following instructions outline our application process.
Applying online is highly encouraged. We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00a.m. - 4:00p.m., Monday - Friday). If applying online poses a hardship, contact the Agency Contact listed below well before the closing date for an alternate method. All hardship application packages must be complete and submitted no later than noon ET on the closing date of the announcement to be entered into the system prior to its closing. This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us if you require this for any part of the application and hiring process. To begin, click "Apply Online" and follow the instructions to complete the Assessment Questionnaire and attach your resume and all required documents.
Step 1: Create a USAJOBS account (if you do not already have one) at It is recommended that as part of your profile you set up automatic email notification to be informed when the status of your application changes. If you choose not to set up this automatic notification, then you will have to log into your USAJOBS account to check on the status of your application.
Step 2: In your USAJOBS account, you will have the opportunity to select your stored USAJOBS resume, create a new resume or upload a resume, and upload other relevant documents. All uploaded documents must be less than 3MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word (DOC or DOCX). See "Required Documents" for details. Select the document you want to submit.

Step 3: Click "Apply Online," answer all required questions, verify the documents you selected from USAJOBS transferred into the Agency's staffing system, and attach any additional documents that may not have transferred or be required. If qualifying based on education, you must submit a legible copy of your college transcript(s), with your application package, showing your conferred degree (if any) and/or applicable coursework as proof that you qualify based on education. If you have not yet graduated, submit your current transcript.

NOTE: It is an applicant's responsibility to submit updated information. You can update your application or documents anytime while the announcement is open. Simply log into your USAJOBS account and click on "Application Status." Click on the position title, and then select "Update Application" to continue. If you do not have access to the Internet, you are strongly encouraged to visit your library, state employment office, or another establishment that provides internet service to complete the online application and the assessment questionnaire. If this is not an option, refer to the Alternative Methods for Applying section below for specific instructions.

Alternative Methods for Applying: If you are unable to apply using the internet, please fax your request for an application package along with your name and mailing address to: HR (Branch 1) 1-833-840-9220.

Agency contact information

Jamie Mitchell

Phone 612-852-7730
Food Safety and Inspection Service
1400 Independence Ave SW
Washington, DC 20250

Next steps

Your application will be reviewed to verify that you meet the eligibility and qualification requirements for the position prior to issuing referral lists to the selecting official. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. Log into your USAJOBS account to check your application status.