Application Steps - Applying For a Job at the Federal Bureau of Prisons

STEP 1: Research the Job Opportunities

Is the Federal Bureau of Prisons right for you? The information presented on this website should help you decide, and we encourage all potential applicants to browse our site to learn more about the BOP and available career opportunities.

Applicants for Correctional Officer, Clinical Psychologist, Dental Officer, Medical Officer, Nurse Practitioner Physician Assistant, and Registered Nurse can click on the job title above for more information on each and apply online at USAJOBS. These positions are open continuously and you can apply at any time. Follow the on-screen instructions to register with USAJOBS. After you register, you will be able to view vacancies and apply online.

Applicants for all other BOP job opportunities, i.e., Information Technology, Administrative, and all other positions not listed above, must use the USAJOBS website to search for current vacancies within the Bureau of Prisons. The search can be limited by location, series, and/or job title. Please note, you may also find some vacancy announcements for continuously open positions listed on USAJOBS.

Read the Bureau of Prisons' Eligibility & Pre-Employment Statements.

Read through the Bureau's General Information section for more information on qualifications and careers in the BOP.
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STEP 2: Read the Vacancy Announcement and Obtain Your Forms

Once you have found a job opportunity that interests you using STEP 1, you will need more information on the specific opportunity and appropriate application forms. Use USAJOBS to obtain a copy of the vacancy announcement. Most of the questions you have will be answered as you read through the announcement. You can obtain forms on the OPM website at

Check our Career FAQs for additional information and obtain a copy of the OPM publication "Applying for a Federal Job" (OF-510).

STEP 3: Follow the Application Instructions

Use USAJOBS to apply online for the BOP's open continuous positions listed in Step 1.

All other jobs, unless an online application is specified, require that applicants submit a written application form. Applicants may submit a resume or the Optional Application Form for Federal Employment, OF-612, which can be downloaded in Word or PDF (Adobe) format at We also have the OF-612 in WordPerfect9 format.

Whatever application method is required, it is essential you follow the instructions for applying that are given in the vacancy announcement and that your application contains the following:

Job Information Announcement number, title, and grade.

Personal information Full name, mailing address, day and evening phone numbers, and social security number.

Education High school name, city, and state; names of colleges or universities, city, and state, majors, and type and year of any degrees received.

Work Experience Job title, duties and accomplishments, employer's name and address, supervisor's name and phone number, starting and ending dates, hours worked per week, and salary.

Other Qualifications Job-related training courses (title and year), job-related skills, job-related certifications and licenses, and job-related honors and awards.

Current Federal Employees If you are currently a Federal employee, include a copy of your most recent performance appraisal that reflects performance in a job related to the job for which you are applying. In addition, if you are applying for a vacancy based on your competitive status or eligibility for reinstatement to competitive Federal service, you must include your "Notification of Personnel Action" (SF-50), which verifies that you are a career or career conditional employee in the competitive service or verifies that you are eligible for reinstatement to the competitive service.