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How do You Get a Job at the FDA?

There are FDA jobs available in almost every academic major, but the FDA states that they are actively seeking to fill mission-critical positions. The jobs that are in high demand are public health-based medical and science positions. Anyone who wants a job at the FDA should complete a bachelor’s degree and apply for FDA job openings on the USAJOBS website.

Degree Options

Students can pursue any degree related to science or medicine. This includes biology, agriculture, pharmacology and public health. The latter degree focuses on the various ways that public health professionals can become leaders and researchers who develop methods to prevent disease, promote reforms and increase community health and well-being. A degree in agriculture will explore important issues like famine, food quality, disease epidemics, environmental sustainability and genetic modification. Students will take classes in both the natural and social sciences, such as chemistry, economics and the environmental sciences. A pharmacology degree program will study how drugs affect the body and how to create safe chemical substances for the public. Students will analyze the effects of medicinal compounds and research the harmful and beneficial effects of drugs. A pharmacology degree will include classes in biochemistry, physiology, toxicology and manufacturing quality programs.

Consider a Hiring Program – The Commissioned Corps

The FDA offers three unique hiring programs for potential hires. Students hired through these programs become permanent employees after completing three years. First, the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps is a national team of over 6,000 highly trained public health professionals. These professionals run public health promotion, disease prevention and public health science advancement programs. The Commissioned Corps regularly posts upcoming job opportunities throughout the year. Applicants must have an accredited degree in a qualifying field and valid licensure, certification and registration for their area of study. They must be either a U.S. native or naturalized citizen and be under the age of 44. Applicants cannot have over eight years of prior active public health service in any uniformed program. There are medical, security, suitability and professional requirements. The hiring process may take up to a year.

Consider a Hiring Program – Student Employment Programs

The student employment program provides job opportunities to students who are currently enrolled or accepted as students in degree programs. These programs may be technical, academic, vocational, university or professional programs or schools. There are three programs for students: the internship program, the recent graduate program and the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) program. The internship program simply requires students to be enrolled in an above mentioned educational institution just half-time to obtain a diploma or degree. Students from high school and home school programs are accepted. The FDA may hire interns on a temporary basis for up to one year, or they may hire them for an indefinite period until they meet the educational requirements. There are both part- or full-time internships available. The FDA maintains their own Participant Agreement that interns must sign and obey.

The Food and Drug Administration assures the safety, quality and efficacy of drugs, food, cosmetics, biological products and medical devices. FDA jobs may involve helping the public obtain science-based information on medical products, or reducing disease and death from harmful products like tobacco.