Employees of the federal government receive a variety of benefits. Besides health insurance and a retirement program, many federal employees qualify for tuition reimbursement or assistance for job-related education and training. In most cases, the tuition reimbursement is 100 percent. Opportunities for federal employee educational training depend on the particular agency and the employee's career path.
Federal Workforce Flexibility Act
In 2004, President George W. Bush signed the Federal Workforce Flexibility Act, which provides opportunities for and emphasis on federal employee training and development within a particular agency's mission. Each federal agency is responsible for development of training programs to assist in achieving employee educational goals consistent with its mission. These programs and goals may include skill set and technical training, seminars and workshops, leadership and management training and fellowships. Such training and programs work under either a tuition assistance or tuition reimbursement basis.
Programs for federal employees eligible for tuition assistance or reimbursement may be held at post-secondary institutions of higher learning near the the employee's work site or conducted on-the-job or at the actual work site. Although "federal government" brings to mind Washington, D.C., only 15 percent of the country's federal employees work in D.C. or its environs. The other 85 percent work in federal facilities all over the nation, and classes for federal employees' further education may be held in community colleges, four-year degree-granting institutions or universities for post-graduate work and degrees.
Federal Employee Tuition Reimbursement
Federal government employees must be U.S. citizens. Employees must be full-time workers to qualify for most federal employee tuition reimbursement programs. Tuition reimbursement usually includes cost of books and related fees along with actual tuition. Before registering for any courses at participating post-secondary institutions, the employee should confirm with superiors that the classes are approved by his agency and the amount of tuition reimbursement and related reimbursement for mandatory course materials and fees. The college, university or technical school is not responsible if the federal employee is ineligible for tuition reimbursement.
Federal Jobs and Tuition Reimbursement
Federal employees work in many fields, but opportunities for additional training and education with tuition reimbursement tend to focus on technical, scientific, information technology and other careers in which skill needs change rapidly and require regular updating. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the federal government is the nation's largest employer, with 2 million workers as of 2008, the latest year in which statistics are available. This figure does not include employees of the U.S. Post Office.