Student Internships and Externships
Note: Similar information is available in a 2-page, full-color PDF flyer.
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is a regulatory public health agency of the U.S.
Department of Agriculture. Our mission is to protect consumers by ensuring that meat, poultry, and
processed egg products are safe, wholesome, unadulterated, and properly labeled and packaged.
Each year FSIS funds a number of paid internships throughout the United States. These positions
provide students with an opportunity to gain experience working for FSIS in a wide variety of positions.
The following descriptions are some, but not all, of the possible available internships.
Possible Internship Positions (Paid)
Food Inspector: You will receive on-the-job
training in areas such as ante-mortem and post-mortem
inspection of meat and/or poultry slaughter by directly observing and assisting a
fully qualified Food Inspector. You will also become familiar with sanitation procedures and
the general physical layout of a slaughter establishment. Qualifications: You need to have
successfully completed at least 12 semester hours in courses such as food science, nutrition,
or animal science.
Program Investigator: You will work under the direct supervision of a Senior Program
Investigator, who will be your mentor. Program Investigators investigate violations of the
inspection laws, control volatile products through detentions, and ensure the appropriate
criminal, administrative, and civil sanctions are carried out. Qualifications: Desired major/course
work in Criminal Justice or a related field.
Enforcement, Investigations, and Analysis Officer: You will work closely with a senior
Enforcement, Investigations, and Analysis Officer (EIAO). EIAOs are responsible for the
comprehensive assessment of the food safety systems in different types of commercial meat
and poultry establishments, including slaughter and processing facilities. EIAOs conduct on-site
scientific food safety verification activities, along with plant microbiological verification sampling
strategies. Qualifications: You need to be enrolled in a degree program in a science field.
Your major needs to require at least 30 semester hours of sciences. Creditable courses
include biology, chemistry, statistics, or physics.
Other positions may be available for degrees in: agriculture, family and consumer health,
human resources, information technology, finance, communications, public health, natural
sciences, microbiology, chemistry, and biology.
Job Locations and Salary
Positions are located throughout the United States. FSIS may pay travel expenses to get students to
their duty station at the beginning of the summer and back to their school location at the end of the
summer, as well as housing expenses for the summer. Salaries vary depending on position and location.
Student Educational Employment Program (SEEP)
For paid internships, students will be hired under one of the following programs:
Student Career Experience Program (SCEP): The program provides experience that is directly
related to the student's educational program and career goals. We have developed this program to
provide students with a valuable career-related work experience in our public health agency.
Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP): The program provides students with work
experience in our public health agency. However, the nature of the duties does not have to be related
to the student's academic career goals.
SCEP and STEP opportunities are typically during the summer only and are a full-time paid job. For
more information about these programs, visit: http://www.usajobs.gov/StudentJobs.
Basic Qualifications for the SEEP
U.S. citizenship is required.
Student must be currently enrolled in college, taking at least a half-time course load. Graduating high
school seniors must be accepted for enrollment in college. Specific courses or minimum amount of
semester hours of course credit completed varies depending on the position. Students must be enrolled or
plan to enroll in courses, continuing their education in the fall.
The Volunteer Student Program (VSP) provides experience that is directly related to the student's
education and career goals. We have developed the VSP to provide students with valuable career related
work experience in our public health agency.
This non-paid educational opportunity usually lasts 2 to 4 weeks and can be completed throughout the
calendar year dependent upon the student's schedule and the program availability. There is no
reimbursement of expenses or a salary provided. The student will be responsible for housing and
transportation during this experience. Students are encouraged to find a location where they can stay
with family/friends or near their college.
Basic Qualifications for Volunteer Program
- U.S. citizenship is not required; however, we must have a friendly treaty in place with country of origin.
- Student must be currently enrolled in college.
FSIS is recognized for its excellence in supporting diversity and for strategic management of human capital.
How to Apply
Send a copy of your resume
and college transcript to
Be sure to indicate in the
email message the location
where you would like to work
and the type of job or
occupational area you are
seeking. Transcripts may be
unofficial, but, if selected, you
must submit an official
In addition, look for our
at your campus career center.
Please email Laura.Sepulveda@fsis.usda.gov the following information:
- Current Educational Institution
- Graduation Date
- Available Dates
- Location(s) of Interest (Please keep in mind that this is unpaid, so the ideal situation is somewhere close to family/friends or school.)
- Transcripts (unofficial are fine)
If you can not email transcripts, please send them to:
...or fax to 202-205-2515.
1400 Independence Avenue, SW.
Mail Stop 3150- SB Washington, DC 20250-3700
If you have any questions about the program please email
Note: For internships and
externships, a reliable mode
of transportation may be
required for any duty station
outside of Washington, DC.
To learn more about FSIS,
If you claim veterans'
preference, you must provide a
copy of your DD 214. If you
claim a 10-point veterans'
preference, you must also
complete a SF 15 in addition to
providing a copy of your
TODAY AND TOMORROW
The U.S. Department of
Agriculture (USDA) prohibits
discrimination in all its programs
and activities on the basis of
race, color, national origin, age,
disability, and where applicable,
sex, marital status, familial
status, parental status, religion,
sexual orientation, genetic
information, political beliefs,
reprisal, or because all or part of
an individual's income is derived
from any public assistance
program. (Not all prohibited
bases apply to all programs.)
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/TDD).
To file a complaint of
discrimination, write to:
Office of Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue,
SW, Washington, DC 20250-
9410 or call (202) 720-5964
(voice and TDD).
USDA is an Equal
Opportunity Provider and
February 9, 2012
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