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Careers and Internships

Student Internships

Ever thought about having a great career dedicated to
  • improving the health and well-being of all Americans?
  • ensuring that we have clean air, pure water and better-protected land?

You can have that career at EPA! EPA internships and fellowships provide a great introduction to our work, giving you a sense of whether EPA might be the right place for you. Internships, fellowships and other opportunities are available at our Washington D.C. headquarters, in our ten regional offices, and at our labs and research centers throughout the nation. Want to learn more about what EPA interns actually do? Read some of their blog posts.

How to Get an Internship at EPA

Paid Internships

EPA Internships Paid by EPA

EPA hires high school and college interns for administrative/clerical positions as well as technical positions in areas such as life sciences, program or policy analysis, and engineering. Most positions have salaries ranging from the GS-2 to GS-7 level. All internships paid by EPA appear in the government-wide USAJobs.gov portal. Most internship opportunities for the summer are advertised in March, April and May but some may be advertised earlier.

  • You can start your search on the USAJobs.gov Students page.

  • You can also view all student jobs, at any agency, across the nation and narrow your search results using the search criteria on the left side of the page.
    • Note that positions are typically open for 1-2 weeks only, so act fast!
    • Locations are all over the nation; check specific listings for location(s).
    • Many positions require at least 640 hours of work (about 16 weeks); check specific listings before you apply to ensure that you can meet all requirements.

  • Paid summer internships.  

    Some positions are designated as “student trainee” or "summer student hire" so try searching for those phrases if you are looking for a summer job. You might also see internships listed under the position descriptions "program support specialist" or "management support clerk." Many positions are only open for a three-day-long application period, so BEFORE you spot a position in which you're interested,

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EPA Internships Paid by Other Organizations

Certain academic institutions and non-profits sponsor and pay for internships, where each intern is assigned to an office in federal government and/or industry. In some instances, the cost is covered by the tuition you have already paid to your college or university. EPA has agreements with the organizations listed below. Note that not all of these organizations place interns with EPA every year:

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Unpaid (Volunteer) Internships

General information for 2015 Internships

2011 intern Jenny Woods will graduating from college with honors with a bachelors degree in Political Science and a minor in Urban Studies and Planning.2011 intern Jennifer Woods heads down one of the longest escalators in the Western Hemisphere to her job in EPA's Office of Sustainable Communities. Learn more about her experience.

Unpaid (volunteer) internships are offered by individual EPA offices in Washington and around the nation. A few offices sponsor well-developed volunteer programs. More commonly, offices do not have centralized volunteer internship coordination; particular managers looking for volunteer help may advertise only through job fairs, college guidance or career planning offices, and/or EPA information sessions at colleges.

If you are interested in an unpaid internship, contact:

  • your college guidance or career planning office, since they may have a partnership with a specific EPA office to provide interns, and
  • EPA offices in which you are particularly interested in working. Use the phone numbers shown on the EPA Organization Chart page. Ask to speak with the volunteer internship coordinator for that office.

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Specific Opportunities for 2015

Please note that the opportunities below have been reported to the EPA Careers webmaster. Many other offices, both at EPA headquarters and around the nation, may have volunteer opportunities available, as described in the General Information section above. Periodically check the information below. Opportunities for work in specific offices will be posted as they open up.

Office of Superfund Remediation Technology and Innovation (OSRTI)

OSRTI is seeking volunteer interns who are motivated, hard-working and interested in environmental issues. Please view the attached project descriptions of internship opportunities and the information below for instructions on how to apply.

Requirements

  • At least 16 years of age
  • Applicants must be current students pursuing a degree or certificate in a qualifying educational institution
  • Able to provide a current transcript (official or unofficial accepted)
  • Able to provide proof of enrollment (letter reflecting good standing and continued enrollment)
  • Review attached project descriptions for prerequisites and/or knowledge/experience requirements

Time Commitment

  • Projects are available June 1 – August 28
  • Students must commit a minimum of 6 weeks and maximum of 10 weeks
  • Expect to work on site a  minimum of 3 days per week
    (Schedules may vary according to project and/or manager approval)

Position Location

Environmental Protection Agency
One Potomac Yard
2777 Crystal Drive
Arlington, VA 22202

Internships Related to the Following Fields of Study

Accounting, Biology, Business Administration, Chemistry, Communications, Computer Science, Economics, English, Environmental Justice, Environmental Sciences, Information Systems, Political Science,  Public Administration and more!

How to Apply

  • Applications are accepted March 30, 2015 – May 01, 2015
  • Send resume and cover letter identifying the project of interest to jones.dana@epa.gov

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Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery (ORCR) within the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response​​

ORCR is seeking volunteer interns who are motivated, hard-working and interested in environmental issues. Please view the attached project descriptions of internship opportunities. All internships within ORCR are located at EPA’s Arlington, Virginia office.

Benefits:
- Field Trips
- Professional development workshops
- Brown bag lunch with senior staff

Compensation: The internships are unpaid. However we will provide a cubical, phone, computer and a transportation stipend as long as you work more than 30 days.

Requirements:
Prerequisites – Applicants must be:
- U.S. citizens, and
- 18 years of age on or before the first day of the internship, and enrolled at least haft-time (e.g., six credits per semester for undergraduates) in an undergraduate or graduate program at a college, community college, or university (two-to-four year institution).

Time commitment:
You should expect to work at least 3 days a week, for a minimum of six weeks, and not to exceed 10 weeks, starting as early as June 1 and ending as late as August 14.  Some exceptions made if you have class or program requirements. If you require a schedule accommodation, please discuss it if/when an EPA internship supervisor interviews you.

Application deadline:
April 10, 2015.  Notifications: Begin the week of April 20, 2015  

How to apply: 
Please send your resume and cover letter, indicating your office and project(s) of interest to StudentVolunteer@epa.gov.

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Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT)

What do volunteers under this program do?
Our volunteers gain valuable experience in the regulation of toxic substances and chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), in the areas of science, environmental policy, law, risk management, regulatory issues and outreach.

Who is eligible?
You must be a U.S. citizen and a full-time graduate, undergraduate, or Ph.D. candidate student seeking a degree in one of the following: engineering (chemical, biomedical, environmental), molecular and mechanistic toxicology, pharmacology, chemistry, biology, exposure assessment, environmental fate and transport, physics, biology (general and with experience in aquatic plants, information technology (with experience in Adobe Creative Suite, Web applications, social media), physical science, environmental science, public health, marketing or communications (ideally with a basic science background), zoology, and ecology. 

What is the typical length of the volunteer opportunity?
Summer volunteers are expected to begin on June 8, 2015, and work for 10 weeks, through August 14, 2015.  We plan to 10 volunteers who may work full-time or part-time, but are expected to work a minimum of 20 hours per week.

Are the positions paid?  Where are the positions held?  What are the benefits?
Our office is not able to provide financial compensation to its volunteers; however, some students are able to find stipends or grants from outside sources or obtain course credits from their school.  All positions will be held at EPA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.  Volunteers may apply for a transit subsidy for the cost of public transportation during the internship.

How and when do I apply?
The deadline for applying is April 3, 2015.  Interviews are expected to be held in person or via conference call from April 20 – 24, 2015.

To be considered, an applicant should submit a cover letter and resume, preferably as a single Word or PDF file, by e-mail to Sam Brown, Program Coordinator of the Student Volunteer Program, at Brown.sam@epa.gov.  Please do not send writing samples, references or transcripts.

For questions on OPPT’s Student Volunteer program, call Mr. Brown at 202 566-0490, or e-mail him at Brown.sam@epa.gov

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Office of Water
EPA's Office of Water is seeking a number of unpaid, volunteer interns. Students should be motivated, hard‐working and interested in environmental issues.

Requirements:

1. Prerequisites. Applicants must be:

  • U.S. citizens, and
  • 18 years of age on or before the first day of the internship, and
  • Enrolled at least half-time (e.g., six credits per semester for undergraduates) in an undergraduate or graduate program at a college, community college, or university (two-to-four year institution).

2. Time commitment. We accept full or part time interns and you should expect to work Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Some exceptions will be made if you have class or program requirements.

3. Compensation: The internships are unpaid; however we will provide you with an office phone and computer, as well as a transportation stipend.

4. Application Schedule:

Office of the Water Volunteer Intern Program
SUMMER 2015
Beginning of Application Period March 12, 2015
Application Deadline June 15, 2015
Start Date You can start as early as May 5, 2015
End Date You can end as late September 30, 2015

There are several positions available with the offices in the Office of Water. To apply please send your resume, cover letter to the email mailbox OWInterns15@epa.gov. In the subject line of your email, please include your name, university, major and classification (senior, junior, sophomore, or freshman). If you don’t comply with these instructions, your resume will not be considered.

OFFICE OF GROUND WATER AND DRINKING WATER (OGWDW). Interns will assist in the development and implementation of the Safe Drinking Water program, including the Ground-Water Protection, Public Water Supply Supervision, and Underground Injection Control and water security programs. For additional information, contact Tracey Ward by email: ward.tracey@epa.gov.

OFFICE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (OST). Interns will support the development of
sound, scientifically defensible standards, criteria, advisories, and guidelines under the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) that articulate the goals and regulatory framework for restoring and maintaining the biological, chemical and physical integrity of the nation’s water resources, protect the nation’s public water supplies and achieve technology-based pollution control requirements in support of point-source programs, non-point source programs and other water programs. For additional information, contact Amber Erickson by email: erickson.amber@epa.gov.

OFFICE OF WASTE WATER MANAGEMENT (OWM). Interns will assist in implementing the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, pretreatment, municipal biosolids management programs under the Clean Water Act (CWA); managing and overseeing water infrastructure financing programs, including the Construction Grants, the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, Indian Setaside and Alaska Native Villages programs, as well as infrastructure assistance to Colonias, special populations, and, communities along the Mexican Border. For additional information, contact Ruby Cooper by email: cooper.ruby@epa.gov.

OFFICE OF WETLANDS, OCEANS AND WATERSHEDS (OWOW). Interns will assist in the implementation of EPA strategic plan for the protection of wetlands, coastal areas, oceans, watersheds and help develop policies, strategies, regulations and guidance for the protection of the environment for relevant authorities contained in the Clean Water Act, Marine Protection Research and Sanctuaries Act, Ocean Dumping Ban Act, Shore Protection Act , Marine Plastic Pollution Research and Control Act, Coastal Zone Management Act, and Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act. For additional information, contact Dawn Datcher by email: datcher.dawn@epa.gov.

IMMEDIATE OFFICE (IO). Interns will assist management to provide Agency-wide policy, guidance and direction for the Agency's water quality, drinking water, groundwater, wetlands protection, marine and estuarine protection, and other water related programs. For additional information, contact Sam Bryant by email: bryant.samuel@epa.gov.

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