Food Inspector Apprenticeship Programs
FSIS invests in transitioning Servicemembers and Veterans via its Apprenticeship Programs. FSIS offers a 2-phased approach to a career in the Federal civilian workforce through its 4-week Pre-Apprenticeship Program for transitioning Servicemembers and 12-month paid Apprenticeship Program designed exclusively for Veterans. These Apprenticeship Programs provide highly skilled training that places Servicemembers on a glide path for growth and development and a career in the Federal civilian workforce.
THE PRE-APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM
The Pre-Apprenticeship Programs services transitioning Servicemembers who are within 180 days of release from active duty. With Command approval, participants receive 4 weeks of training as a Food Inspector. Training will be conducted at establishments located within 50 miles of the Servicemember’s military post/base. Pre-Apprentices who successfully complete the Program and honorably separate from military service will be offered an opportunity to participate in the paid 12-month Apprenticeship Program AND receive credit for the 4-week training period served as a Pre-Apprentice.
THE APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM
After successful completion of the Pre-Apprenticeship Program, Veterans will receive a Temporary Appointment as a GS-5 Step 1 in the 12-month paid Apprenticeship Program. The FSIS Apprenticeship Program is approved for the training of Veterans under programs administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans may be entitled to education benefits through their GI Bill® or other education benefits when participating in the FSIS Apprenticeship Program. After successful completion of the paid 12-month Program, Apprentices will receive an Appointment under Veteran Recruitment Authority (VRA) as a GS-7 Step 1. The rate for GS employees varies by geographical location. Please find your pay rate here (General Schedule Pay Chart).
WHAT LOCATIONS ARE AVAILABLE?
Pre-Apprentices will perform their duties at establishments located within a 50-mile radius of their military duty station. Duty location for Apprentices varies. We have establishments located nationwide, so Apprentices will be placed based on location availability. We will make every effort to place Apprentices at locations of their choice.
WHAT ARE THE DUTIES OF A FOOD INSPECTOR APPRENTICE?
The incumbent serves as a trainee in a slaughter plant and receives training in the objectives, methods and techniques of meat and/or poultry slaughter inspection. Apprentices receive a combination of on-the-job training and organized instruction in areas such as ante-mortem and post-mortem inspection of meat and poultry slaughter. Instruction is also provided on the provisions of slaughter inspection laws, regulations and procedures. Training includes the techniques of inspection of live animals and poultry and how to detect abnormalities that render meat and poultry unfit for human consumption. Apprentices will examine food animals in privately-owned meat or poultry plants before and after slaughter guaranteeing that the product is not contaminated and ensuring that sanitation procedures are maintained. As training progresses the incumbent may be assigned to another plant where he or she assists in carrying out the inspection function under a veterinarian or food inspector of a higher grade.
Check out the many faces of food inspectors and learn more about a day in the life of a food inspector who works for us section.
HOW DO I APPLY?
If you are interested in our Apprenticeship Programs please apply here. If you have any questions or require assistance please contact Shonda Moore by email at Shonda.firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 202-720-7250.
What is the purpose of the FSIS Food Inspector Apprenticeship Programs?
The programs’ goal is to provide vocational opportunity for Veterans and Servicemembers who soon will be leaving the military and to help those Veterans establish a career with FSIS and protect public health.
What is the Food Inspector Pre-Apprenticeship Program?
The Food Inspector Pre-Apprenticeship Program is a 4-week non-paid opportunity for Veterans who will soon be leaving the military. The program allows participants to become familiar with FSIS inspection processes. It is a gateway to a paid opportunity. Those who successfully complete this brief 4-week program will be offered a position in the FSIS Food Inspector Apprenticeship Program.
What is the Food Inspector Apprenticeship Program?
The Food Inspector Apprenticeship Program is a 12-month paid opportunity at the GS-5 Step 1 level for Veterans who have successfully completed the Pre-Apprenticeship Program. This is a temporary appointment. Participants are placed into a Food Inspector position and receive on-the-job training.
Why does FSIS hire apprentices on a temporary appointment?
This is a short-term program not to exceed 12 months. A temporary appointment is appropriate. After successful completion of the Apprenticeship Program, FSIS will noncompetitively place selected participants at the GS-7 level through temporary appointing authorities.
What would I do as an FSIS Food Inspector?
FSIS Food Inspectors work in private commercial slaughtering plants. They provide the first line of defense against diseased and adulterated meat and poultry. They are responsible for much of the day-to-day in-plant inspection of animals before and after slaughter.
Am I eligible for this program?
Eligibility for the program is based on the Veterans’ Recruitment Appointment (VRA) authority, an excepted authority that allows agencies to appoint eligible Veterans without competition under certain conditions. Veterans must be in receipt of a campaign badge for service during a war or in a campaign or expedition, be a disabled veteran, be in receipt of an Armed Forces Service Medal, or be recently separated (within the last 3 years) under honorable conditions.
Are there other requirements for this program?
All appointments in the Federal Service require some level of background investigation, screening or security clearance. In addition, participants must meet qualification requirements and other conditions of employment.
Are there any other conditions of employment?
Those in the program must successfully complete training to remain in the position. In addition, these positions require successful completion of a pre-employment medical examination. The duties are performed in a hazardous working environment. Food Inspectors must be physically and medically able to efficiently perform the essential job functions, with or without accommodation.
What kind of benefits would I receive while in the FSIS Food Inspector Apprenticeship Program?
Apprentices are eligible for a limited benefits package. Full-time employees earn 13 days of paid vacation per year for the first 3 years of employment, and earn 13 days of sick leave each year.
Is the Apprenticeship Program approved to train Veterans under programs administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs?
Yes, the Apprenticeship Program is approved for the training of Veterans and other eligible persons under programs administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs. You may be entitled to benefits through your GI Bill® or other education benefits when participating in the 12-month Apprenticeship program.
What happens after I complete one year in the FSIS Food Inspector Apprenticeship Program?
After successful completion of the program, FSIS managers will offer the temporary GS-5 Food Inspector apprentices a non-temporary GS-7 Food Inspector position. Apprentices will have the opportunity to accept or decline the employment offer.
What kind of benefits will I receive if I am eventually converted to a full-time, permanent position?
Full-time, permanent employees receive a more robust benefits package that may include retirement benefits, life insurance, health insurance, long-term care insurance, flexible spending accounts and other work/life programs and policies designed to benefit employers and employees.
I’m interested. What are my next steps?
Contact Shonda Moore at Shonda.Moore@usda.gov or 202-720-7250.