Working at the White House is a dream for many current and aspiring professionals. Learning how to get a job at the White House can bring you one step closer to your professional goals. You get to affect change at the highest office by contributing to small or big roles. This article will guide you on how to apply at the White House office through a reliable step-by-step process.
According to the Center for Presidential Transition, every presidential administration has approximately 4,000 positions to fill. These positions range from non-career and career positions to internships and fellowships. If you’d like to join the many employees working at the White House, continue reading to learn about White House jobs, applying for them, and their expected benefits.
The White House: Company Background
Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington DC, the White House is the official residence and primary workplace for the president of the United States and the first family. Since being finalized in 1800, over 40 first families have resided at the White House, including John and Jacqueline Kennedy, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Michelle and Barack Obama.
The White House is where the presidential administration works, implementing policies and managing national affairs under the leadership of the president. The White House administration comprises the president, the vice president, the first lady, and the second gentleman.
How Hard Is It to Land a Job at the White House?
It is hard to get a job at the White House, especially if you seek a full-time position. Prepare for a competitive application process, whether you’re seeking an internship or applying to specific departments. There are different types of appointments, but each position is highly coveted because working at the White House boosts your resume and professional experience.
The White House application process analyzes your qualifications and determines your competence. Most jobs at the White House require at least a bachelor’s degree in your field of study, even for non-career positions.
How to Apply for a Job at the White House
- Go through the job postings. The White House highlights a wide range of job openings on USA Jobs. You can also explore other job boards, including Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Indeed, and ZipRecruiter. If you are pursuing a political appointment, you should log in to the official White House website.
- Fill out an application form. Those seeking presidential appointments must fill out an application form on the official website. You will need to provide your contact information, resume, and political affiliations. If you are applying through job boards, you will need to follow the steps laid out on the page.
- Answer a range of personal questions. After filling out your form, you will proceed to a section of basic questions that gauge your professionalism, knowledge of government affairs, lifestyle, and online activities.
- Submit your application. After completing all application procedures, click “Submit” at the bottom of the page. Depending on the job opening, you may have to include essays or letters of recommendation.
- Pass a background check. You must pass an FBI background check. This process checks you for legal woes, criminal history, or any activity that may taint your application. You will only advance to the interview stage if you pass the application process.
The White House Application Process
The White House application process is straightforward. You must fill out and submit an application form, complete an extensive list of questions, and pass background checks before qualifying for an interview. Only US citizens aged 18 years old and above are eligible to apply. Due to the number of applications, the process can take anywhere from three to four months.
The White House Interview Questions
- Why do you want to work at the White House?
- What is your political affiliation and why?
- What was your previous job?
- Which skills make you a good candidate for the job?
- What is your opinion of the current administration?
What’s It Like to Work at the White House?
Working at the White House with highly-skilled professionals from different fields impacts your professional life and gives you many professional opportunities. However, the White House is a fast-paced government institution, and you must be prepared for the intense highs and lows that come with the demands. Below are three things you can expect as a White House staffer.
Pressure to Perform
White House employees must be efficient and motivated. It is a fast-paced organization handling a wide range of high-priority issues daily. You must be accustomed to working under pressure, withstanding long work hours, and adapting to spontaneous workflows. However, most employee reviews on Glassdoor say that the immense pressure to perform is worth it.
Great Pay and Benefits
As a White House employee, you and your family are eligible for several perks and benefits. You will receive an impressive annual salary, health care plans, access to the Federal Employee Retirement System, the Federal Managers Liability Insurance, paid vacation days, and life insurance. You have access to various benefits, although, they vary from position to position.
According to Glassdoor reviews, 75 percent of current and former White House employees recommend working at the White House to a friend. Employees commend the work environment and express that despite the long hours, it offers rewarding experiences and opportunities.
The White House Benefits
- Health Insurance. As a federal employee, you will be eligible for the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program, which covers your health insurance. This can also include your spouse and children under 26 years old. The program features a wide variety of health plan choices.
- Dental and Vision Insurance. White House employees can apply for the Federal Employee Dental Vision Insurance Plan. Depending on how much you can contribute annually, you can select a dental plan, a vision plan, or both. This program also features different plans that can cover your spouse and children under 22 years old.
- Long Term Care Insurance. This insurance oversees long-term care where an employee can no longer perform daily tasks due to accidents, chronic illnesses, or old age. This cover goes hand in hand with the Federal Health Benefits Program. You can also apply for the Federal Manager’s Liability Insurance.
- Retirement Planning. White House employees participate in the Federal Employee Retirement System. You will contribute 4.4 percent of your annual salary to prepare yourself for life after retirement. You can also take advantage of other retirement saving plans to increase your savings.
- Life Insurance. Life Insurance policies are essential in securing your family’s future and ensuring you get a befitting send-off in the event of your passing. Federal employees are eligible to apply for the Federal Employee’s Group Life Insurance program. Depending on your flexibility, you can start saving as soon as you get hired.
The White House Career Opportunities: Job Titles and Descriptions
Every year, the White House releases a list of vacancies for those seeking to join the Presidential administration. You can apply for jobs in communications, IT, administration, public engagement, legal affairs, scheduling, and legislature. We have compiled a list of 10 jobs that were available this year.
- Salary: $158,184 – $274,443
- Benefits: Competitive annual salary, health insurance, life insurance, retirement plans
- Required Experience: One year of specialized experience equivalent to GS-14 and GS-15 grade level in the Federal Service
- Required Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Economics
This position is available in the Office of Financial Research, Research and Analysis Center. You will join the team as an official financial research expert, performing economic modeling of financial systems. Other duties include developing research projects, designing computational methods and computer codes, and coordinating with senior officials.
Lead IT Specialist (INFOSEC)
- Salary: $148,484 – $176,300
- Benefits: Health insurance, competitive pay, long-term care benefits, flexible spending accounts
- Required Experience: One year of experience equivalent to GS-14 grade level in the Federal Service
- Required Education: No academic qualification requirement
You will work in the Office of the Chief Information Officer. They provide tech services to the Executive Office of the President. Your role involves analyzing data security requirements, designing and maintaining processes that facilitate third-party vendor solutions, and overseeing the data security team. You must present a recent performance appraisal and Career Transition Assistance Program documentation in your application.
- Salary: $89,834 – $116,788
- Benefits: Health insurance, life insurance, long-term care insurance, dental and vision insurance
- Required Experience: One-year specialized experience in architecture and engineering
- Required Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering from an accredited institution
You will work in the Department of the Army, participating in engineering management for the Director of Public Works. Your primary duties include guiding projects through different phases, recommending development plans, and negotiating the administration of contracts. Expertise in electrical engineering, program management, and project management is prioritized.
IT Specialist (Data Management)
- Salary: $74,950 – $138,868
- Benefits: Health insurance, retirement saving plans, long-term care
- Required Experience: IT-related experience, One year of experience equivalent to GS-09 Federal Service or private sector experience
- Required Education: Three years of progressive graduate-level education in a relevant field
You will work in the Executive Office of the president alongside the chief of staff. Your duties include developing electronic portals, implementing application workflows between technical systems, and handling procurement actions. Qualified candidates are skilled in data and business analysis, programming, software design, and debugging.
Emergency Management Specialist
- Salary: $74,950 – $116,788
- Benefits: Health insurance, great pay, flexible spending account, life insurance
- Required Experience: One-year specialized experience in Federal Service (GS-11)
- Required Education: Relevant PhD or equivalent graduate-level degree
This position is available at the White House Operations Center. You will handle crises including disasters, humanitarian emergencies, or technological incidences. Common duties include overseeing the implementation of operational policies, identifying shortcomings in response operations, testing equipment, and maintaining liaison with White House stakeholders.
Visual Information Specialist
- Salary: $61,947 – $116,788
- Benefits: Health insurance, dental and vision insurance, paid vacation days
- Required Experience: One-year specialized experience equivalent to GS-07 grade level Federal Service
- Required Education: Master’s or equivalent graduate-level degree in a relevant field
You will work in the Design and Communication Services Division, providing insight on several design and communication fundamentals. Some of your roles include designing visual aspects of a presentation, providing graphics, photography, and approvals, and reviewing work to ensure compliance. You can also have an advantage if you have private sector experience in visual arts, print or web-based design, and translating visual designs to communicate objectives.
Human Resource Assistant
- Salary: $61,947 – $80,532
- Benefits: Health insurance, life insurance, dental and vision insurance
- Required Experience: One-year specialized experience equivalent to the GS-08 level in the Federal Service, programming, research
- Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field
This position is for those who are well-versed in human resources. You will work at the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer, providing technical guidance to supervisors and handling payroll actions. Other roles include conducting employee orientation, maintaining Office Personnel Folders, and ensuring effective customer service. You must also present proof of any volunteer work done through National Service programs.
- Salary: $50,5643 – $80,532
- Benefits: Life insurance, impressive starting salary, health insurance
- Required Experience: Recent graduates, final year students, veterans
- Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field
This is a service appointment under the Department of Justice Pathways Recent Graduate Program, aiming to help graduates excel in high-ranking White House jobs. Your duties involve providing support to senior paralegals, preparing trial exhibits, organizing documents, and preparing memoranda and litigation reports.
- Salary: $50,643 – $65,831
- Benefits: Life insurance, flexible spending accounts, health insurance
- Required Experience: One year of experience equivalent to the GS-06 grade level in the Federal Service, private sector experience in supply and property management
- Required Education: No education qualification requirement
This is a permanent position in the Office of the Chief Operations Service, Mail, and Logistics Management Division. The role involves handling supplies, performing surveys to determine workforce and transportation, and adjusting inventory. Learning supply chain management can improve your chances of landing this position.
Logistics Assistant (Mail/MVO)
- Salary: $50,643 – $65,831
- Benefits: Life insurance, flexible spending accounts, health insurance, long term care insurance
- Required Experience: One year of experience equivalent to the GS-06 grade level in the Federal Service.
- Required Education: Undergraduate Degree in Logistics
You will work in the Office of the Chief Operations, Mail, and Logistics Management Office as an assistant. It is a permanent position that involves providing customer service, delivering mail and express packages, tracking workload statistics and creating reports, and collecting unclassified materials.
What Does It Take to Get a Job at The White House?
To get a job at the White House, you must be a highly qualified, hard-working, ambitious person, and possess the skills relevant to your role. You must have the appropriate education, prepare your documents, and maintain your status as a good American citizen. You can also enhance your resume by involving yourself in extracurricular activities and volunteer work.
As you prepare for the application process, you can gain new skills through coding bootcamps, online courses, and other short-term programs. Remember, these positions are highly competitive, and only the best proceed to the final stage. Take time to understand the requirements of each role and the working demands of the executive branch.
How to Get a Job at the White House FAQ
The application process can take three months or more, depending on the role. You must complete several application forms, questionnaires, background and medical checks, and a series of interviews. The White House is an equal opportunity employer, taking time to vet each candidate before selecting the best one.
No, the senate does not confirm each employee. Most employees are presidential appointees, and the senate input isn’t necessary. However, some roles require senate confirmation, including the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, chairmen and members of the Council of Economic Advisers, and the United States Representative to the United Nations.
Yes, background security checks are a mandatory part of the application process. You will undergo a background check and a drug test to ensure you are a viable candidate.
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No, White House interns are not paid. However, you will gain valuable professional experience and the chance to network widely.
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