Civilian Overseas Jobs

Currently, there are more than 89,000 federal employees working overseas, in more than 130 countries.

The largest overseas employers are the U.S. Defense Department and the Department of State.

Civilian Overseas Jobs

There are several ways to get an overseas job. One of the ways is to apply directly, through some of the Government agencies and the military.

More than 60,000 civilian federal employees working overseas are U.S. citizens.

In most cases, the upper-level positions are filled “internally”, meaning that government employees who want to work overseas are the first ones to apply for these positions (and get the job).


Candidates have to meet various requirements, such as physical condition, mental stability, qualifications, skills and other abilities, depending on the type of job they are applying for.

Medical Examinations

Candidates are expected to adapt to the new environment (and conditions in numerous locations), and in most cases, hospitals in such areas are not adequate (or there aren’t any). If you suffer from any disease, or you take medications, you won’t be considered for some positions. If you have any physical impairment that can reduce your performance level (or cause hazards to you and other people around you), you won’t be considered a good candidate for certain types of jobs.

Foreign Languages

Depending on the area where you will be working, and the type of your job, you may be required to speak, read and write a foreign language. This is not always necessary, but some types of overseas jobs require candidates to be proficient in local languages. However, even if you don’t speak the local language, you may get a job, and the agency can offer you help with learning the language.

Security Clearance

You will have to pass a security clearance check, suitability check and character check. This is very important, especially if your future job is located in some of the high-risk zones. You may be a perfectly stable person (in normal circumstances), but you don’t really know how you will react in emergencies and dangerous situations (unless you’ve already had such experience).


Candidates must be U.S. citizens.

What Are the Advantages of Civilian Overseas Jobs?

Most applicants are motivated by high salaries. You will also get free travel, housing, transportation and extra vacation. If you have any dependents with you, they will also be taken care of and you will be given considerable help.

Experience is another advantage. You will learn more about the area where you’ll be working, but you will also learn a lot about yourself. Remember, most of these jobs are not regular 9-5 jobs, and you will be constantly facing different challenges. This will certainly change the way you look at the world.