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Federal Employment

The Peace Corps is an independent agency of the United States government. Peace Corps jobs are a part of the "excepted service," not the competitive civil service. If you are a member of the competitive service in another federal agency and accept a position with the Peace Corps, you will retain all your benefits, including annual and sick leave, retirement, health, and life insurance benefits. Your service computation date will also remain unchanged. If you already have career status as a federal employee, you will retain that status. For those who work in the private industry or academia, the Peace Corps offers the same retirement and health and life insurance benefits as other federal agencies.

Time Limits on Employment

It is important to understand that Peace Corps employees receive time-limited appointments and that most employees are limited to a maximum of five years (60 months) of employment with the agency. This time-limit is referred to as the "five-year rule." It was established to ensure that Peace Corps staff are as energetic and innovative as its Volunteers.

Further, former Peace Corps employees cannot be re-employed by the Peace Corps until they have been out of the agency's employment for the same amount of time that they worked for the Peace Corps. For example, if you previously worked for the Peace Corps for three years, you cannot come back to work for the Peace Corps until you have been away for three years. Service as a Peace Corps Volunteer overseas is not counted for the purposes of this rule.

After three years of employment with the Peace Corps, you will earn noncompetitive eligibility status, which can help you obtain employment at other federal government agencies.

Last updated Sep 22 2015

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Contact the Peace Corps

Peace Corps
Paul D. Coverdell Peace Corps Headquarters
1111 20th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20526