Please see our frequently asked questions below.
To be employed by a Senate employing office in a paid position in the continental United States an individual must:
Be a U.S. citizen;
Be lawfully admitted for permanent residence and seeking citizenship as outlined in 8 U.S.C. § 1324b(a)(3)(B);
Be (i) admitted as a refugee under 8 U.S.C. § 1157 or granted asylum under 8 U.S.C. § 1158 and (ii) have filed a declaration of intention to become a lawful permanent resident and then a citizen when eligible; or
Owe allegiance to the U.S. (i.e., qualify as a non-citizen U.S. national under federal law). Background checks may be conducted at the discretion of the Senate employing office. Additional requirements may apply based on the position and whether a security clearance must be obtained.
Yes, Senate staff are considered Excepted Service Federal employees under the Legislative Branch of government. This means that they are excepted from Competitive Service in the Executive Branch, as administered by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
As employees at will, employment is at the mutual consent of the employee and the hiring office. Each Senate office is an independent employer and can determine its own system for candidate selection, compensation, and conditions of employment.
In the DC offices, there are three primary career paths: Administrative, Legislative, and Press/Communications. Constituent-focused activities like casework and community outreach are typically run through the state or regional offices. To read sample position descriptions and learn more about the different tracks, click here.
The Senate Employment Bulletin is the official resource for Senate offices to advertise vacancies. The Employment Office publishes vacancy announcements in real-time throughout the day. Follow @Senate_Jobs on Twitter for live updates.
The Senate does not function like the private sector, so Senate offices do not typically “front load” their recruiting. If they have an open vacancy, they are typically looking to fill that position immediately, not six months from now. It is recommended that you apply when you are about a few weeks from availability for full-time employment.
Every two years, during the election cycle (November to January), the Employment Office assists new Senate offices with filling various staff vacancies. Information about the senator-elect resume collection process will become available on the Senate Employment Office’s website around this timeframe.
Once you’ve identified a position on the Senate Employment Bulletin, follow the application instructions provided in the “how to apply” section, typically located near the end of the vacancy announcement. If you wish to be considered for more than one vacancy, you will have to submit a separate application for each position. Be sure to take note of the job referral number.
Vacancy announcements will include the minimum qualifications required to be considered for a position, such as desired education, experience, skillsets, and more. You should review the vacancy announcement to determine whether you meet these requirements before applying.
Response times will often vary by office since each Senate office has its own timeline for candidate screening, interviewing, and selection. The recruitment process may also be delayed due to the Senate floor schedule or because of the high volume of applications received. When determining whether to follow-up on the status of your application, be mindful that some offices enforce a strict policy regarding “no phone calls, direct emails to staff, or drop-ins.”
- Prepare ahead. Make sure your resume and cover letter are ready so that you can be one of the first applicants.
- If possible, tailor your application materials to the specific office and role.
- Highlight your existing strengths and transferrable skills you’ve developed in previous jobs.
- Highlight your state or regional ties to the Member office, if applicable.
Since each Senate office functions as its own employer, remote work availability is at the discretion of the Senator and senior staff. Senate offices have been working fully remote, in a hybrid schedule, or fully in-person.
The Senate Sergeant at Arms and Office of the Secretary of the Senate provide operational assistance to Senate offices and staff. These organizations are nonpartisan and offer positions in various occupations, including cybersecurity, facilities maintenance, human resources/administrative support, information technology, printing and graphics, telecommunications, training, and more.
Additional opportunities with other nonpartisan organizations such as the Architect of the Capitol, Congressional Budget Office, Government Accountability Office, Library of Congress, and U.S. Capitol Police, are available online.
Each Senate office can independently set their own job requirements, compensation, and conditions of employment. For more information, please read the Congressional Research Service’s report on Staff Pay Levels for Selected Positions in Senators’ Offices.
Major benefits that may be of interest to prospective employees include health and wellness benefits, employer matching retirement contributions, transportation subsidy or parking, the federal student loan repayment program, training and development opportunities, and the Employee Assistance Program. Policies and benefits are subject to change at the discretion of the employing office.
On the Senate Employment Office website, we offer a number of employment resources available to congressional job seekers. In addition, we’ve compiled a resume and cover letter guide, information about fellowships, position descriptions, potential career paths, and more. Please visit: https://employment.senate.gov/resources/.