The mission of a U.S. diplomat in the Foreign Service is to promote peace, support prosperity, and protect American citizens while advancing the interests of the U.S. abroad.
If you’re passionate about public service and want to represent the U.S. around the world, a challenging and rewarding career is waiting for you. The opportunity to work and experience cultures, customs and people of different nations is truly a career unlike any other.
The work you’ll do will have an impact on the world. You will be asked to serve at one of any of the more than 270 embassies, consulates and other diplomatic missions in The Americas, Africa, Europe and Eurasia, East Asia and Pacific, Middle East and North Africa, and South Asia. Some of these posts are in difficult and even dangerous environments, but working in them affords great challenges and rewards.
Explore a career in the Foreign Service and start your journey with the Department today. Start by looking at where we work, or taking the quiz to find out if the Foreign Service is right for you, or what career track is the best fit.
After you complete orientation and training in Washington, D.C., as a newly hired Foreign Service Officer, you will typically be assigned overseas, although at this time a few officers begin with a domestic assignment.
What qualities do we seek in a Foreign Service Officer (FSO) candidate? The successful candidate will demonstrate the following dimensions that reflect the skills, abilities, and personal qualities deemed essential to the work of the Foreign Service at the United States Department of State.
When registering to take the Foreign Service Officer Test, you will be asked to make the first big decision of your future Foreign Service Officer career – the choice of a career track. While all FSOs are known as “generalists”, the choice of a functional specialization will determine what type of work you will do for the majority of your career. We know that this can be a tough decision, so we’ve developed a questionnaire to help you match your interests to the career track that may be right for you.
The Foreign Service Officer selection process begins with online registration, proceeds through the selection process, and, for those who succeed, culminates in hiring from the Register for assignment to the training and orientation course known as A-100 that marks the beginning of every Foreign Service Officer career.
When hiring Foreign Service Officers, we look for motivated individuals with sound judgment and leadership abilities who can retain their composure in times of great stress — or even dire situations, like a military coup or a major environmental disaster. We are looking for individuals dedicated to public service.