Returning Peace Corps Volunteers: Consider VA Career

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If you are a returning Peace Corps volunteer, continue your commitment to service by helping VA care for America’s heroes. As someone who devotes their time to helping others in need, you are looking for meaningful employment that makes a difference – and we have an abundance of them at VA.

“Much like the veterans that VA serves, Peace Corps volunteers are selfless,” said Tracey Therit, human capital manager in VA’s office of human resources and administration / operations, security and readiness. “Accepting a mission in an unfamiliar location and leaving your family and the comforts of home to serve for an extended period is something familiar to Peace Corps volunteers and makes them uniquely able to connect with the people the VA serves. “

Whether it’s directly caring for patients or working behind the scenes, every role at VA is critical to our core mission of providing the best care to Veterans. We need skilled and dedicated people like you in health care and other mission critical positions.

Within the Peace Corps, you have developed skills that will come in handy at VA, such as working under pressure and independently, providing customer service and building relationships, adaptability and engagement in a mission. While serving with the Peace Corps in Botswana, former VA Program Management Analyst Richard Rain has also learned to work with all types of organizations and has developed a solid background in government reporting.

“I had a different goal that people coming from the military or the government didn’t have,” said Rain, who stumbled across the opening on Jobs in the United States after returning from Botswana.

Take advantage of additional federal benefits

Did you know that you have an advantage in landing a federal job, including one with VA?

After you return from the Peace Corps, you will benefit from what’s known as non-competitive eligibility (NCE) for up to one year, which means you can apply for jobs open only to federal employees and be hired outside of the United States. formal competitive job posting process.

“I don’t think the people of the Peace Corps realize how important this status is,” Rain said. “If the hiring manager wants you and you have the skills they want, you’re good to go. “

But the status of RCE is not the only advantage you will enjoy. Your years of service with the Peace Corps count towards your federal service, which means you’ll earn vacation faster.

You also have the option of “buying back” your volunteer service time to be credited towards your retirement. This means you invest in the generous federal pension plan more quickly.

Pay off student loans? Federal employment, as well as the service of the Peace Corps, count towards the civil service loan cancellation program.

Other great VA benefits

Aside from the benefits offered to returning Peace Corps volunteers, all of our employees receive a generous package of benefits. These benefits often exceed those offered in the private sector. They understand:

  • Paid time off that accumulates immediately, paid sick leave and 10 paid federal holidays.
  • Health insurance, including dental and vision insurance, which can take effect on the first full pay period after employment begins.
  • Access to the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), a three-tiered pension scheme consisting of Social Security, FERS basic benefits and the Savings and Savings Plan.
  • Educational support such as scholarships and training programs.

You will have the option of working at any VA facility in the United States and its territories. Transferring between locations is easy and you’ll take all of your benefits with you, including accumulated paid time off.

Work at VA today

See if a VA career serving veterans is right for you.


In the top photo, a Peace Corps employee measures a boy in El Salvador. (Photo courtesy of Peace Corps.)


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