Page updated 4/1/2014
Overseas Jobs | Federal Overseas Jobs
Thousands of United States citizens work for the federal government in
foreign countries, in the United States territories, Alaska, and Hawaii.
The overseas jobs that are most often available are
These federal overseas jobs are available to anyone who meets the requirements.
There are 89,204 federal employees stationed overseas in over 140
countries. The Defense Department is the largest overseas employer with
47,229 workers. The State Department is the #2 overseas employer with
22,291 employees stationed abroad. Overseas jobs are filled in several
ways. In the U.S. territories, Hawaii, and Alaska most positions are
filled through competitive civil service announcements.
Clerical (clerk-typist, stenographer) and
secretary positions are normally filled locally overseas. There are 89,204 federal employees stationed overseas in over 140 countries.
The Defense Department is the largest overseas employer with 47,229 workers. The
State Department is the #2 overseas employer with 22,291 employees stationed
abroad. Check out our full listing of available federal overseas jobs below.
Overseas Jobs Menu
Various federal overseas jobs are filled through Excepted Service and
Nonappropriated Fund Instrumentality (NAFI) hiring programs. Nonappropriated
Fund positions are paid using money generated within the Department of the
Army and other military branches through sales revenues. These overseas jobs
are primarily governed by military regulations.
When positions are filled locally overseas, U.S. citizens living abroad,
dependents of citizens employed or stationed overseas, or foreign nationals, can
be hired. Most countries have agreements with United States installations that
require the hiring of local nationals whenever possible to bolster the local
economy. All positions held by foreign nationals are in the Excepted Service.
Excepted Service positions are not subject to OPM's competitive hiring
Of the 89,204 overseas civilian federal employees, 62,838 are U.S. citizens
as of September 2010. Since 2004, total overseas federal civilian employment has
Most of the upper-and mid-level positions are filled through internal
placement. Internal placement allows government employees wanting to work
overseas to first apply for the positions in-house. If there are no in-house
bidders, agencies then advertise through competitive announcements.
Overseas job applicants should contact individual Agency and OPM web sites for
job listings. Contact the following Employment Service Center for NAFI and
military civilian Jobs:
Overseas Occupations Most Needed
The federal overseas jobs that are most often available are listed below:
- foreign service officers
- budget and program officers
- management analysts
- procurement officers
- shorthand reporters
- equipment specialists
- social workers
- housing officers
- alcohol and drug abuse specialists
The Army and Air Force Exchange Service is the
largest NAF employer. NAF personnel also work in the Army and Air Force morale,
welfare, and recreation activities. Major NAF employers in the Department of the
Navy include the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Navy Exchange Service Command, and
U.S. Marine Corps. For more information about NAF employment, visit the
following DOD NAF Component employment websites:
- Army and Air Force Exchange Services
- Army Civilian Personnel On Line
- Navy Morale, Welfare and Recreation
- Marine Corp Community Services
- Navy Exchange System
- Navy Civilian Jobs
Also visit the Department of Defense's civilian employment center at
http://www.godefense.com. This site is a
wealth of information and includes extensive job listings.
The Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA), ATTN: Teacher
Recruitment, 4040 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22201-1634, phone: (703)
588-3983. Applications are processed online at
Elementary and secondary schools have been operating on U.S. military
bases overseas since 1946 for children of military and civilian personnel.
The DODDS provides educational opportunities comparable to those offered in
the better school systems in the United States. This segment of U.S. public
education consists of 194 elementary, middle, and secondary schools. The
schools are located in 14 districts located in 12 foreign countries, seven
states, Guam, and Puerto Rico with enrollment of 86,000 students and 8,700
European Region — Belgium, England, The Netherlands,
Germany, Bahrain, Italy, Portugal, and Spain
Pacific Region — Japan, Guam, and Korea
Americas Region — Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, New York,
North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Puerto Rico, and Cuba
Overseas salaries are comparable to the average of the range of rates for
similar positions in urban school jurisdictions in the U.S. having a
population of 100,000 or more.
The school year consists of 190 duty days, with a minimum of 175 days of
classroom instruction. Teachers are currently paid on several different pay
bands (bachelor’s degree, bachelor’s degree plus 15 semester hours, master’s
degree plus 30 semester hours, and doctor’s degree
Housing and Living Conditions
In some areas, living quarters are provided by the U.S. government. These
quarters may be in dormitories, apartments, old hotels, converted office
buildings, or new modern facilities. These U.S. government quarters are
usually provided without charge.
Visit the Web site for the overseas location where you desire to teach.
DODEA Worldwide Web Sites:
• Pacific www.pac.dodea.edu/
• Europe www.eu.dodea.edu/
• Guam www.pac.dodea.edu/
• Cuba www.am.dodea.edu/
Federal overseas workers must meet various requirements: physical, security,
qualifications, tour of duty, etc. Announcements list specific restrictions,
conditions, and special qualifications.
Individuals wanting to work overseas jobs must meet certain stringent
requirements. Thorough physical exams for both the applicant and, in many cases,
accompanying dependents require physicals. You must be able to physically adapt
to the conditions at various locations that may not have adequate health care
facilities. Individuals on medication or who require special care will not be
considered for certain positions. Any physical impairment that would create a
hazard to others or to yourself, or would reduce performance level, will
disqualify the applicant.
Security Clearance Checks
All applicants considered for appointment must pass a comprehensive security
clearance, character and suitability check. These investigations take from a few
weeks to several months to complete. If you are selected for a position you will
be appointed conditionally, pending the results of the investigation.
Individuals selected for overseas jobs are generally required to sign a
transportation agreement. Typically, overseas tours last from twelve to
Foreign Language Requirements
A foreign language that would not be a position requirement in the States may
be required for certain overseas job positions. The job announcement will specify if
a language is required. Several agencies appoint candidates without the required
language skill and give them a period of time to develop acceptable language
There are a limited number of overseas employment positions and competition is keen.
However, if you are well qualified in an occupation and available for most
locations, your opportunity to be selected is good. The normal rotation of
current employees back to the United States creates a large number of recurring
Federal overseas job applications are accepted only from U.S. citizens and American Samoans.
Overseas Jobs Pay & Benefits
Overseas employees in foreign areas receive the base pay on the
GS pay charts with annual cost-of-living
adjustments. Additional allowances such as a post differential are provided
where conditions warrant. Military base privileges are authorized in many
circumstances and Department of Defense schools are available for dependent
children through grade 12.
Because the employee’s base pay in foreign areas actually goes down due to no
locality payments, overseas employment may not be a good place to work prior to
retirement. Without locality pay, your retirement annuity will be less since it
is based on the employee’s three year average salary.
On September 30, 2010, OPM
published an Interim Rule making Alaska and Hawaii separate whole State
locality pay areas and including the other non-foreign areas in the Rest of
U.S. locality pay area. The Non-Foreign Area Retirement Equity Assurance Act of
2009, phases-in locality pay for employees in the non-foreign areas.
Basic benefits are the same for all civil service employees. Overseas
employees also receive travel to their overseas duty station, transportation
and storage of household goods, and extra vacation with paid transportation
to return stateside between tours of duty.
Most agencies permit professional employees to take dependents with them.
Professional positions are generally considered to be mid-level positions
and above. Other employees can often arrange for dependants to follow them
at a later date.
- Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) -
The Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA), ATTN: Teacher
Recruitment, 4040 N. Fairfax Drive, Webb Building, Arlington, VA 22203,
phone: (703) 588-3983. Applications are processed
online at www.dodea.edu. Select
“Human Resource.” On the Human Resources Page select “Employment” to
locate job vacancy announcements with links to the online application. A
description of the DODDS teacher program is featured later in this
- USA JOBS by Phone – Federal government job hotline
1-703-724-1850 or TTY 978-461-8404. This service is operated by the
Office of Personnel Management and the phone answers 24 hours a day.
Callers can leave voice-mail messages with their name, address, and
phone number. Easy-to-use voice prompts and voice commands allow access
with any touchtone or rotary dial telephone. (Not all vacancies are
listed on this service. Agencies with direct hire authority announce
vacancies through their individual human resources departments.)
- Peace Corps Recruiting Contacts (www.peacecorps.gov)
The Peace Corps has numerous university programs. For specific
information contact the Peace Corps, Paul D. Coverdell Peace Corps
Headquarters,1111 20th Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20526, phone
- U.S. Department of State jobs (www.state.gov).
Direct Inquiries about Foreign Service to: HR/REE/REC, 2401 E Street NW,
Suite 518H, Washington, DC 20522, phone: 202-261-8888.
Employment 24 hour hotline: 703-875-7490. Call this
number for current Foreign Service Specialist job openings. The State
Department employs 37,968 persons, of whom 22,261 work overseas.
Internet Web Sites
- Army Civilian Personnel Online (www.cpol.army.mil/)
Very helpful with links to the Atlantic and Pacific employment Web
sites. Includes application online forms, job listings, and much more.
- Army CPO Links (www.acpol.army.mil/employment/)
This page offers job listings worldwide with comprehensive searches for
all occupations. Includes links to job vacancies in the Pacific,
Atlantic, Korea, and all Army stateside regions.
- Central Intelligence Agency (www.cia.gov/)
Complete information on CIA employment opportunities, with job lists.
- FBI (www.fbijobs.gov/
) Visit its site for complete information on job opportunities and
- National Security Agency (www.nsa.gov/careers)
Visit their employment page for job announcements and for information on
the agency and its mission.
- USAJOBS — Sponsored by OPM (www.USAJOBS.gov)
This site provides a comprehensive listing with full search capability
for many federal job vacancies, general employment information, with
online applications for some jobs and a résumé builder.
Detailed overseas employment information is included in the paperback version
of The Book Of U.S. Government Jobs.
- Overseas agency personnel office addresses and phone numbers
- Overseas Job hotlines
- Overseas job web sites
- Placement services
- Pacific job opportunities
- Atlantic job opportunities
- NAFI positions
- Over 50 web sites to connect direct to agencies employing overseas
- Description of major overseas employing agencies with numbers employed
and key jobs that they fill.
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