U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Indian Health Service: The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives
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Public Health Professions (PHP)

Career Paths & Benefits

Please select a career path below to learn more about it:

USPHS COMMISSIONED CORPS |  CIVIL SERVICE |  DIRECT TRIBAL HIRE

USPHS COMMISSIONED CORPS

For many IHS Public Health Professionals, the favored route to a successful and rewarding career is to become a Commissioned Officer of the US Public Health Service (USPHS) assigned to IHS. While not a branch of the military, the Commissioned Corps is one of the seven uniformed services and employees enjoy benefits similar to those in the military. Commissioned Corps Officers working for IHS for a minimum service commitment of two years enjoy exceptional benefits.

Benefits

IHS Commissioned Corps Officers enjoy the same benefits as their counterparts in the US military services, but without many of the restrictions.
  • $15,000 - $30,000 sign-up bonus (with requirements)
  • 30 days paid vacation
  • 10 paid Federal holidays
  • Continuing education*
  • Sick leave as needed
  • Comprehensive health care
  • Tax-free housing allowance
  • Space-available flights on military aircraft
  • No-cost malpractice coverage
  • No overhead expenses
  • Non-contributory retirement
  • Thrift savings (contributory) retirement
*Availability and reimbursement policies vary by profession and position.

Eligibility Requirements

  • US citizenship
  • Medical physical
  • Minimum two year commitment
  • Must be under 44 at time of commission
  • Registered nurses and registered hygienists: Fully accredited baccalaureate degree and valid license from any US state
  • Physicians and Dentists: Degree and valid license from any US state
  • Pharmacists: Graduate of an ACPE accredited college of pharmacy; must have an unrestricted pharmacy license from any US state within one year of graduation.
For more information specific to your profession, contact the PHP Recruiter: Back To Top

CIVIL SERVICE

For many IHS Public Health Professionals, especially those with prior Federal employment, the Civil Service Personnel System offers a rewarding career opportunity with the Indian Health Service. Civil Service employment does not require a multi-year commitment. Flexibility, along with the generous benefits available to Federal employees, makes Civil Service an attractive choice for experienced professionals and recent graduates alike.

Benefits

  • Competitive starting salary and benefits
  • Eligible for transfer after 2 years
  • 13 days paid vacation to start
  • 10 paid Federal holidays
  • Annual continuing education*
  • 13 days sick leave per year
  • Comprehensive retirement program
  • Comprehensive health care
  • No-cost malpractice coverage
  • No overhead expenses
  • Thrift savings (contributory) retirement plan with government match
  • Up to 5 years of retirement credit transferable to employment with Commissioned Corps
*While continuing education in a variety of fields is available at all sites, cost reimbursement may vary.

Eligibility Requirements

  • US citizenship
  • Negotiable employment commitment
  • Physicians and Dentists: Degree and valid license from any US state
  • Pharmacists: Pharmacy degree (BS or PharmD) from an ACPE accredited school of pharmacy and a valid license from any US state
  • Registered nurses: Diploma, ADN or BSN and valid RN license from any US state
  • No age requirement
  • No physical required
For more information specific to your profession, contact the PHP Recruiter: Back To Top

DIRECT TRIBAL HIRE

An alternative to a Civil Service employment career path is to accept employment directly from one of the more than 560 federally recognized Tribes in 35 states. Employment benefits for those who choose to work directly for a Tribe vary depending on the Tribe and the position, but benefits are comparable to those offered by Federal personnel systems. IHS can facilitate opportunities for you to work under contract with a specific Tribe, but you will negotiate pay and benefits directly with the Tribe.

For more information specific to your profession, contact the PHP Recruiter: Back To Top
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