Youth Conservation Corps

Get Outside • Get Connected • Get Involved 

A photo of the youth conservation corps logo What is YCC?

The U.S. Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) is a summer youth employment program that engages young people, ages 15 to 18, in meaningful work experiences on national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and fish hatcheries. Youth are engaged in fun, exciting work projects designed to develop an ethic of environmental stewardship and civic responsibility such as: building and repairing trails, preserving and repairing historic buildings, removing invasive species, helping with wildlife and land research, and leading environmental education.

YCC supports the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps, or 21CSC, mission to put thousands of America’s young people to work protecting, restoring, and enhancing America’s great outdoors.


  • Affords members the opportunity to work and learn alongside federal employees in a wide range of natural and environmental projects
  • Assists youth to develop a life-long ethic of environmental stewardship and civic responsibility through team-based work projects and individual placements
  • Works to instill young adult awareness and appreciation of the public lands legacy and of the nation’s natural, cultural and  historic resources


Forest Service Youth Conservation Corps 2018 


Are you eligible?

A photo of two volunteers, one is digging with a shovel
Youth Conservation Corps crew members in the White Mountain National Forest. Credit: U.S. Forest Service

We encourage all youth to consider applying for YCC jobs. To meet eligibility requirements, applicants must be:

  • At least 15 years old at the start of enrollment and must not reach age 19 before completion of the program
  • A U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the U.S., its territories, or possessions
  • Able to obtain a work permit as required under the laws of the applicant’s home state
  • Have a valid U.S. Social Security number or have applied for a valid Social Security number
  • Able to fulfill the essential functions of the assigned work with or without reasonable accommodations
  • Actively committed and willing to complete the assigned work projects




    How does it work?

    A photo of a Youth Conservation Corps crew members resting on a log
    Youth Conservation Corps crew members in the White Mountain National Forest. Credit: U.S. Forest Service

    YCC Job Posts: Federal agencies, such as the Forest Service, post available YCC jobs starting in January of each year.

    Apply: Applications are downloaded online and submitted to the Forest Service unit or units according to the instructions in the job posting. Application deadlines generally range from March 1- April 15.

    Applications Reviewed: If selected, applicants will be contacted by a Forest Service or partner staff person.

    Work: Projects range from two to 10 weeks in duration. Generally, YCC crew members work a 40-hour weekly schedule and are paid the minimum wage, or the state minimum wage if higher, for the time worked.

    Local Programs: Most jobs are locally based units— YCC crew members are expected to provide their own transportation and food daily to YCC site.

    Residential Programs: Select Forest Service units offer residential programs; some of which may require YCC crew members to contribute to their housing and food costs. YCC Residential programs allow interested youth from communities not within commuting distance to participate. These programs may include organized service learning and other extra-curricular activities.



    Are you ready to join YCC?

    YCC applications are available below in both English and Spanish versions.

    APPLY NOW! Applications for 2019 YCC positions with the Forest Service are now available! Click here to find this summer’s YCC opportunities in National Forests across the country. Apply as soon as possible since YCC programs have varying application deadlines – some deadlines are approaching quickly!

    Complete and submit your application by following the instructions as listed in the job post.

    Find National Park Service YCC opportunities

    For Fish and Wildlife Service YCC opportunities



    A logo for 21 century conservation service corps