our everyday life

How do I Apply for a Job With the Social Security Administration?

by Tom Streissguth, studioD

The United States Social Security Administration runs federal retirement and disability programs. With about 66,000 employees and more than 1,300 field offices and processing centers in 2013, the agency has a fairly constant need for new staff. The job application process for this agency is similar to that for other federal jobs, and has been made easier in recent years by the Internet.

Navigate to the Social Security job search website (see references). You can search this database by keyword -- for example, Social Security Administration -- and location (city, state, zip code). Click "Search." A results page will list all jobs fitting your criteria alphabetically by title. Under the title, each listing gives a short job description, the open period for applications, job location, salary, pay grade, position information (for example, full or part time), a control number and a JOA (job application) number.

Click on the "Quick View" link to the right of the job title to see a pop-up window with a more complete job description. If this job description meets your interests and qualifications, click on the job title itself to go to a complete listing. This page gives you the full description of the Social Security Administration job, including key requirements, duties, qualifications, benefits and how to apply. You can print out this page, or save it to a personal database of open job listings by setting up an account with the USAJobs site. The site will also e-mail you current results from up to three different searches.

Click on the "Apply Online" link to the right of the job description (to apply, you must have set up an account with the USAJobs site). You will need to enter basic contact information, complete a series of questions about your work and educational history, and upload required documents such as a college transcript, an Occupational Questionnaire and a resume. Once you file the application, you can log into your account at any time to check the status of your application. Your Application History section will have a job summary, which lists the local contact information for that particular listing.


  • The Social Security Administration runs a Recent Graduates Program to promote interest in a career with the agency for new entrants to the workforce. To participate, you must have earned a degree or certificate within the last two years. If you are an eligible veteran, this period extends to six years.
  • Navigate to the SSA's "Career Opportunities" page, via a link from the agency's homepage at ssa.gov, to find more information on Social Security jobs in information technology, legal, disability adjudication support and public contact.


  • Follow instructions carefully for uploading supporting documents. Most listings require PDF or Word files. If you submit in a different file format, the document will be rejected and your application will be at a standstill.

About the Author

Founder/president of the innovative reference publisher The Archive LLC, Tom Streissguth has been a self-employed business owner, independent bookseller and freelance author in the school/library market. Holding a bachelor's degree from Yale, Streissguth has published more than 100 works of history, biography, current affairs and geography for young readers.

Photo Credits

  • Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images