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U.S. Department of State Careers

Our world has changed and so, too, has our foreign policy. Contribute to this change at the U.S. Department of State and build an extraordinary career helping to transform societies into stronger democracies and full partners in the international community.

Foreign Service Officers are culturally aware, adaptable, strategic thinking problem-solvers from all walks of life. Working at any one of our 265 overseas embassies and consulates, Foreign Service Officers are directly involved with challenging issues that result in productive changes within our society. From improving trade opportunities for U.S. businesses to helping American couples adopt children from overseas, to monitoring human rights issues, to providing management supervision for embassy operations, they make a difference.

Who can become a Foreign Service Officer?

The strength and success of the U.S. Department of State may be attributed to its diversity. With diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds, Foreign Service Officers originate from all geographic locations throughout the United States and use their varied interests, talents, and skills to make significant contributions to the social, economic and political health and well-being of America. Foreign Service Officers come from diverse professions, as well. Among their ranks are former businesspeople, attorneys, teachers, scholars, and almost any other profession you can imagine.

What is life as a Foreign Service Officer like?

Few Americans will ever have a chance to experience a life as fascinating, as challenging, and as rewarding as that which Foreign Service Officers experience. While living and working abroad, they enjoy a full range of great benefits — such as a competitive salary, generous housing allowances, and excellent educational opportunities. The U.S. Department of State also provides intensive language and cultural training so that Foreign Service Officers can fully enjoy the pleasures and adventures that come from living in a foreign nation while playing a vital role in America’s dialogue with the world.

How do I get started?

Becoming a Foreign Service Officer begins with registering for the Foreign Service Written Exam held in many cities throughout the U.S. and the world. Registration for this year’s exam closes on March 8, 2006. Space is limited, so it’s best to reserve a place by registering today. To register, or for more information on the U.S. Department of State and Foreign Service careers, visit

U.S. citizenship is required.