The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) actively recruits for experienced and qualified health care providers to staff more than 150 VA Medical Centers and over 1,400 health care clinics nationwide.

VHA receives more than one million job applications annually for roughly 40,000 positions, from Veterans and non-Veterans alike. There are many exceptional doctors, nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists and other caregivers who are working in the VA Medical Centers who are also Veterans.

Veterans’ preference gives eligible Veterans preference in appointment over many other applicants for federal government positions. Here are the answers to several frequently asked questions related to Veterans’ preference:

Do Veterans receive hiring preference at VA?

Veterans’ preference applies to virtually all new appointments in both the competitive and excepted service. Veterans’ preference does not guarantee Veterans a job and it does not apply to internal agency actions such as promotions, transfers, reassignments and reinstatements.

Am I eligible?

Determining Veterans’ preference eligibility can be confusing. In accordance with title 5, United States Code, Section 2108 ( 5 USC 2108), Veterans’ preference eligibility pertains to those released from active duty under honorable or general discharge, and is based on dates of active duty service, receipt of a campaign badge, Purple Heart, or a service-connected disability. Not all active duty service may qualify for Veterans’ preference.

If you are not sure of your preference eligibility, visit the Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Preference Advisor.

Whether a Veteran or not, consider a career caring for Veterans, especially in the critical hiring areas of physicians, nurses, psychologists and other health care certified professionals. All agencies, public or private, have their own unique hiring processes. Even within VA, those processes can vary slightly from one health care facility to the next. However, understanding the basic structure of VA hiring procedures will help you navigate the process more efficiently and quickly.

For Veterans looking to find out how your military skills translate into a career, and for assistance building a resume, visit:

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Published on Apr. 6, 2015

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One Comment

  1. nace prejen April 9, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    I am and unemployable vet. Does my spouse/caregiver have va preference?

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