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The Federal Government employs permanent and temporary employees.

Permanent appointments

Career-conditional appointment

Permanent employees are generally hired under a career-conditional appointment (Permanent - Career-conditional appointment). Normally this is the first career-type of appointment and the appointee must complete a 1-year probationary period and a total of 3 years continuous creditable service to attain a career appointment (Permanent - Career appointment).

Career appointment

A career appointment begins once an employee has completed three years of permanent substantially continuous creditable service in the competitive service.

Non-temporary appointment

A non-temporary appointment does not have a specific “not-to-exceed” date associated with it. In other words, it is not a temporary appointment.

Non-competitive appointment

Under certain hiring authorities, which are established by law or Executive Order, a hiring manager may hire candidates directly without having to go through the full application process. Job announcements specify whether a position is competitive or non-competitive under the “Who May Apply” section.

Veterans, persons with disabilities, many current and former federal employees, and returning Peace Corps volunteers are examples of individuals eligible for non-competitive appointment.

Temporary appointments

There are many types of temporary appointments, but the two most common are temporary and term appointments. These appointments are expected to last for a stated specified period with a not-to-exceed date.

  • Temporary appointment: Time limited not to exceed one year but could be less.
  • Term appointments: Time limited for at least one year but not to exceed four years.

Neither type of appointment is a permanent one, so they do not give the employee competitive/permanent status.

Additional resources

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