Finding a Position as a Commissioned Corps Officer
As one of America's seven uniformed services, the Commissioned Corps (Corps) is an essential component of the largest public health program in the world filling essential public health leadership and clinical service roles within the various Federal Government agencies and programs. At this time, the primary focus for the Commissioned Corps is clinical care for underserved and vulnerable populations.
Where Commissioned Corps Officers Work
Candidates that have been professionally boarded may apply to vacancies within the agencies that the USPHS serves. Visit the Where We Work section under About the Corps for a full list of the agencies that the USPHS serves.
As a member of the USPHS, each officer has the opportunity to enjoy a diverse, exciting, and fulfilling career. Officers have the opportunity to apply to a variety of positions throughout the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and certain non-HHS Federal agencies and programs that offer exciting professional opportunities. It is important to note that not all agencies select officers for all professions.
Locating a Position
The primary location to apply to vacancies is through USAjobs. A filtered USAjobs page featuring positions available to Commissioned Corps officers is currently under development. In the interim, please note the following while using USAjobs:
- The position may not specifically list whether or not it is available to Commissioned Corps officers.
- If the position is within the agencies the USPHS serves, and the education level required is commensurate with the educational requirements required to be a Corps officer it is usually open to officers unless specifically stated otherwise.
To verify whether or not an officer is eligible to apply for a specific job announcement, use the “Agency Contact Info” listed within the individual vacancy posting. Before looking for positions candidates are encouraged to explore the websites of the agencies that the USPHS serves to get a better understanding of the type of work each does.
When exploring positions listed on USAjobs.gov, it is important to understand that they are graded according to the civil service schedule. Use the below conversion chart for GS level to USPHS Commissioned Corps officer grade (rank). This chart is approximate, conversion may differ between agencies.
|Lieutenant Junior Grade
||GS - 9
||GS - 11
||GS - 12
||GS - 13
||GS - 14/15
- The minimum rank for a college graduate at the bachelor’s degree level is LTJG (O-2).
- It is possible to hold a position graded for a rank other than yours. For example a LT (O-3) can fill a position that is graded for a LCDR (O-4)/GS-12. Keep in mind that your pay is determined by the rank that you hold, not the rank/grade of the position. So the LT (O-3) filling a LCDR (O-4)/GS-12 position would be paid as a LT (O-3), not as a LCDR (O-4).
- A Commissioned Corps officer can be hired even if the position is not announced, provided the hiring official requests that the officer be assigned to duty with the program.
- A qualified Commissioned Corps officer can fill most HHS healthcare positions, even when they are advertised as a civil servant position.
- Not all agencies select officers for all professional disciplines.
Applicants to the Corps and officers are encouraged to subscribe to the Commissioned Corps Jobs Listserv. Positions that are advertised through this listserv are submitted periodically to the Division of Commissioned Corps Personnel and Readiness by the hiring authority.
Page Last Modified on 8/19/2013
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