Careers at ERS

Do You Want a Job with a Competitive Salary, Great Benefits, and Job Security?

USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) is actively seeking economic researchers and social science analysts!

Apply Now!

See our latest vacancy announcements

ASSA Job Market Candidates

If you would like to be considered for a virtual informational interview at ERS, please send the following to sarah.king3@usda.gov with the subject line “ASSA Candidate – Name”:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Writing sample
  • List of three references with contact information

Candidates will be considered on a rolling basis. Please note, you must apply through the USAJobs links provided in our vacancy announcements in order to be formally considered for any permanent positions at ERS. However, we will also conduct virtual informational interviews for candidates who would like to learn more about ERS, as would have done had the ASSA meetings been held in-person.

ERS Virtual Career Expo

On April 28, 2020, ERS and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) hosted a Virtual Career Expo. If you missed it please check out the recordings below:

Breakout Sessions for NIFA and ERS Virtual Career Expo:

What You Can Expect Working at ERS

Join a great team of renowned experts working on topics of national importance and affect policy decisions made at the highest levels of government! ERS researchers conduct timely, policy-relevant research on such issues as childhood obesity, global food security, health and nutrition, climate change, bioenergy, and food safety.

At ERS you'll find satisfaction in conducting independent and collaborative research on issues that matter, and a challenging environment in which to continue your professional career. You will partner with colleagues from diverse backgrounds and interact with other professionals through team projects, seminars, and collaboration with peers in academia, government, and other organizations. ERS researchers have access to robust data and state of the art technology, and publish in a broad array of academic journals and other high-quality publications.

Our management team strives for excellence in the workplace. In the 2008 ERS organizational survey, employees ranked ERS high in: job satisfaction, effective leadership, strategic management, teamwork, and training and development.

What You Can Expect as a Federal Employee

The Federal Government pays well and offers great benefits. As an ERS employee you will receive 11 paid holidays and 13 paid vacation days in the first year. Our life and health insurance benefits and our flexible spending account options often exceed those offered by private industry. Flexible schedules and teleworking opportunities allow you to maintain a work-life balance rarely found elsewhere. You will also get 401(k)-like retirement benefits that will transfer throughout your career.

Are You a Student Looking for an Internship?

Start your career at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service. The USDA offers federal internship and employment opportunities for current students, recent graduates, recent veterans, and those with advanced degrees.

Pathways Internship Program

The Pathways Internship Program provides year-round paid work experiences for current degree-seeking high-school, undergraduate, and graduate students. Interns may work during the summer, fall, spring or year-round and are eligible for non-competitive conversion upon program completion.

1890 National Scholars Program

The USDA/1890 Land-Grant National Scholars Program is a partnership between USDA and the 1890 historically black land-grant colleges and universities. The program provides full tuition, fees, books, room and board to students pursuing degrees in agriculture, food, natural resource sciences, or related academic disciplines. When the student has completed the academic and summer work requirements of the scholarship, USDA may at its discretion convert the student to a permanent employee without further competition.

Wallace-Carver Fellowship

Working with the World Food Prize, USDA offers exceptional college students the opportunity to collaborate with scientists and policymakers through paid fellowships at USDA research centers and offices across the United States. Fellows help analyze agricultural and economic policy; assist in the management of food, nutrition and rural development programs; and take part in groundbreaking field and laboratory-based research. Fellows also participate in a weeklong symposium hosted by the USDA in Washington, D.C. Named for Henry A. Wallace and George Washington Carver, two of American leaders in agricultural science and policy who made significant strides toward ending hunger, the Wallace-Carver Fellowship seeks to educate, inspire and train the next generation of agricultural leaders.

USDA partners with a wide variety of organizations to provide students the opportunity to work with our 19 agencies and gain practical experience in different fields. Each of these programs provide differing benefits for students. Recruitment and selection is completed by the host programs.

Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities National Internship Program

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) is a nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) representing more than 493 member institutions across the United States. The HACU National Internship Program places students in federal and corporate internships. USDA has partnered with the HACU for more than 24 years to provide over 2,700 college students with paid spring, summer, or fall internships at various USDA offices in Washington, D.C. as well as field offices. The program gives undergraduate and graduate students valuable professional experience in the federal sector. Students are recruited based on academic performance, leadership, and community service.

Top 10 Reasons To Work at ERS

ERS Work Environment

Current Employment Opportunities

Salary and Benefits


USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

EEO/No FEAR-Equal Employment Opportunity data posted pursuant to the Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 (No FEAR Act), Public Law 107-174.

E-Verify-In accordance with U.S. law, REE Agencies may only employ individuals who can legally work in the United States. E-Verify is the web-based system used by employers to confirm the identity and employment eligibility of newly hired employees. The system electronically matches information provided by employees on the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, against records available to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).