Youth Conservation Corps

YCC youth work on a project
YCC Youth work on a project

We need you! Get paid to accomplish needed conservation work on public lands. Work on historic structures, restore native species, disappearing trails, and the eradication of invasive species.

What is the Youth Conservation Corps?
The United States Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) is a summer youth employment program that engages young people in meaningful work experiences on national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and fish hatcheries while developing an ethic of environmental stewardship and civic responsibility. YCC programs are generally 8 to 10 weeks and members are paid the minimum wage for a 40-hour work week. Most YCC opportunities are non-residential programs which provide paid daytime work activities with members who commute to the Federal unit daily.


Who is eligible?
Youth, 15 through 18 years of age, who are permanent residents of the United States, are eligible for employment without regard to social, economic, racial, or ethnic backgrounds. Youth with physical or other challenges who can effectively participate in most YCC activities are eligible. Youth must have no history of serious criminal or other antisocial behavior that might endanger their safety or that of others; have or be able to obtain a work permit as required under the laws of their State; have a Social Security number or have made application of one.

What would I do?
Youth Conservation Corps members work in a healthful outdoor setting on a variety of projects including building trails, maintaining fences, cleaning up campgrounds, improving wildlife habitat, environmental education planning and teaching, stream restoration, historic building preservation, and more! You'll also participate in educational field trips where chances are you'll see wildlife or history before your eyes, hike and stand on a mountaintop, or gaze at an ancient ruin.

How do I find an opportunity?
Looking for a Youth Conservation Corps program near you? Check out our list of opportunities from our listing here and inquire if the park is offering a YCC program.

How do I apply?
1. Use form below to apply.

2. Send your completed form by due date directly to your federal site(s) of interest (most sites have an April 15th due date).

How are selections made?
Enrollees are selected without regard to civil service or classification laws, rules, or regulation. The selection process is conducted in a public forum by the random selection method.

Youth Conservation Corps Experiences

  • National Parks of New York Harbor (New York, New Jersey)
    Check out this special podcast of Youth Conservation Corps members at several sites. See the parks through their eyes and learn how their work experience contributed to the mission of the National Park Service.
Youth conservation corps members 2015
What benefits would I get from participating?
Not only would you get paid to work in some of the coolest places in the country, but you will also have the chance to learn about careers with the National Park Service and gain valuable work skills that can help you get your next job! You will be working with other incredible people and hopefully you will build a lifetime bond. If you like to hike, backpack, climb, kayak, bike, horseback ride, etc national parks are perfect for that!

Looking for a YCC program near you?
If you are interested in applying for a YCC program, please use the NPS park locator to identify a site prior to applying for the program in efforts to ensure that the selected site is hiring a YCC crew for the summer and to confirm application deadline, as details may vary
based on location.