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Our seasonal workforce

A career path into the agency while helping us achieve the Forest Service mission.

Donavan W. Albert
Office of Communications
March 25, 2024

A woman in Forest Service clothing sits in the windows of a stone building, holding binoculars and looking out over the landscape.
Recreation Technician Katara Dale, a member of the Navajo Tribe, looks out over Albuquerque, N.M. form the Historic Juan Tabo and La Cueva Picnic Areas on the Sandia Ranger District on the Cibola National Forest & National Grasslands, Oct. 15, 2023. (USDA Forest Service photo by Preston Keres)

In the heart of the nation's forests and grasslands, a unique opportunity awaits those eager to make a difference. Whether you're drawn to the call of nature or seeking to further advance conservation efforts, seasonal employment with the Forest Service can give you peace, a better quality of life and serenity. It's not just a job; it's an opportunity to grow in your career and enjoy the perks that come with it. 

Permanent-seasonal positions within the Forest Service are  pathways to a potential career with the agency. Many of our current full-time Forest Service employees, now at the forefront of conservation, began their journey in these roles. From fire management to recreation, timber to wildlife, seasonal positions not only give you a chance to start your career but also provide unmatched benefits and job security as a permanent seasonal employee  . You'll see the results of your work firsthand and make a real impact on the environment and our nation's forests and grasslands.

Two people in fire safety gear prepare to burn a pile of forest materials as part of a fire management exercise, surrounded by trees with the setting sun visible to the rear.
Claire Price (left), and Kyle Hitchcock permanent seasonal firefighters on the Shasta Lake Ranger District, during a pile burn to remove hazardous fuels on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest December 6, 2022. (USDA Forest Service photo by Andrew Avitt)

These seasonal positions, primarily field-based, encompass a wide array of tasks across various natural resource and recreation areas. The duties could include determining the volume of usable wood in standing trees, improving wildlife habitat, surveying ecosystems, conducting trail maintenance, managing vegetation growth or engaging with the public. Each day brings new challenges and opportunities to contribute to the well-being of our forests. Your efforts will directly contribute to vital initiatives, from wildfire prevention to habitat restoration, ensuring the longevity of our natural resources for generations to come.

A woman in Forest Service clothing stands in the center, facing the camera and smiling, with a forest road checkpoint behind her.
Visitor Services Information Assistant Natalia O’Farrill Montes works the gate monitoring the number of visitors to the forest.

Permanent seasonal positions guarantee at least six consecutive months (13 pay periods) of work every year in the same role. This means you will not need to reapply for the position the following year; you are guaranteed work. These positions are eligible for benefits such as the opportunity to participate in the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program, which includes health insurance and dental insurance. Each pay period worked allows you to earn four to eight hours of annual leave, depending on your length of federal service, as well as four hours of sick leave. You will also have the opportunity to participate in flexible work schedules, gain access to family-friendly leave policies, and be able to receive paid time off on federal holidays. During your off season, you may enjoy the ability to partake in other work endeavors, pick up a hobby, travel or spend time with family.  

A man stands in a fire lookout tower, which stands near the summit of a mountain. Other mountains can be seen surrounding the fire lookout tower.
Forestry Technician (Prevention) Wade Nez, a decedent of the Navajo Tribe, looks out from the La Mosca Lookout tower, looking across mixed conifer landscape and aspen stands on Mt. Taylor Ranger District on the Cibola National Forest & National Grasslands, Oct. 16, 2023. (USDA Forest Service photo by Preston Keres)

As you set your sights on seasonal employment, timing is key. The timing of seasonal vacancy announcements varies across the nation but typically show up on USAJobs in late summer or the fall. With limited opportunities, competition is fierce. Staying informed and proactive is essential to securing your place on the team.

At the heart of the Forest Service lies a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusivity and accessibility. We welcome individuals from all backgrounds and walks of life, united by a shared passion for conservation and community service. Together, we embody the spirit of our agency’s motto "caring for the land and serving people," forging a brighter future for our nation’s forests and grasslands.