How competitive is the foreign service?

The entry/examination process to joining the US Foreign Service is a cumulative one. Around 45%-50% of those who take the Foreign Service Officers Test (FSOT). Of those who pass, about 25% pass the next step, the Qualifications Evaluation Panel (What is the Qualification Evaluation Panel?) .

How competitive is the foreign service exam?

The FSOT is a very challenging exam with a low pass-rate (hovering between just 30% and 50% of test takers). So you should not underestimate the need to study for this test.

Is foreign service officer a good job?

A career with the Foreign Service may appear glamorous: worldwide travel, government-paid housing, generous pay and benefits. In some instances, though, working as a Foreign Service Officer can be very challenging and sometimes dangerous. During this career you can expect to be assigned to hardship posts.

Do foreign service officers get to choose where they go?

Every Officer is given the opportunity to bid on their next post, but if the Department of State requires your particular set of skills in Peru, then guess where you are going. The U.S. has around 300 embassies and consulates around the world.

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How many foreign service officers are hired each year?

In recent years, more than 20,000 candidates have taken the Foreign Service Officer Test annually. A much smaller number advance to the QEP review, and then only a few hundred are invited to the Oral Assessment. Please note that Foreign Service Officer hiring targets are adjusted regularly.

Is a foreign service officer a spy?

So, let’s be clear: Foreign service officers are NOT spies. They do not work for the CIA, FBI, DIA, or anyone else in the IC (Intelligence Community). … It is very likely that you’ll have some security clearance and deal with classified information as an FSO, but you are not a spy. You’re a diplomat.

Is it hard to become foreign service officer?

The search for extraordinary U.S. citizens to serve as Foreign Service Officers is intense and the qualifying process is rigorous, demanding and highly competitive. If you are interested in becoming a Foreign Service Officer (FSO), you must first register for and take the Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT).

How hard is it to become a diplomat?

The process to become a diplomat is a rigorous one. You have to possess many skills and have the right experience to convince the interviewers that you are right for the job. Moreover, there are always thousands of applicants for one diplomat job.

Is a Foreign Service Specialist A diplomat?

Yes, Foreign Service Specialists posted abroad are diplomats. Diplomatic and/or consular titles are granted to individuals who are members of the Foreign Service assigned to and resident at an established State Department diplomatic or consular post when required for execution of duties.

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Do diplomats get free housing?

While the details of the allowances system is a closely-guarded secret, most get free accommodation and the majority of their bills and household expenses – including staff such as maids and drivers – covered by the taxpayer.

How long is a tour in the Foreign Service?

A standard overseas tour of duty is normally three or four years in length. Certain hardship tours are one or two years in length. The maximum amount of continuous time a member may serve in a given overseas country is normally five years.

Do you need a degree to be a foreign service officer?

To enter the Foreign Service, you must be an American citizen between the ages of 20 and 59 and, although there is no educational requirement to become a Foreign Service officer, the vast majority of applicants hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Do diplomats live in embassies?

The Duties and Responsibilities of U.S. Diplomats

In general, diplomats reside in the country with which the U.S. is developing or maintaining diplomatic ties, and many diplomats reside in the embassy or consulate within that country.

How many times can you take the foreign service exam?

Is there a limit on the number of times a person can take the FSOT? There is no limit on the number of times an individual may sit for the FSOT. However, one must wait 12 months between each test.

Can foreign service officers have tattoos?

There’s no regulation banning tattoos for US diplomats.