The Federal Government employs permanent and temporary employees.

Permanent appointments

Career-conditional appointment

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

Career appointment

A person employed in the competitive service on a permanent basis is appointed as a either a career or career-conditional employee. Career tenure is attained after the individual successfully completes a probationary period and has three years of creditable 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 This job is open to 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