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

Peace Corps employees receive time-limited appointments and 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, like its Volunteers, bring fresh ideas and innovation to the agency.

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. Peace Corps Volunteer service is not counted as employment 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.