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Student Opportunities at NWS Austin/San Antonio

National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs) provide opportunities for college students to gain valuable work experience, both as paid employees and as unpaid volunteers. Many NWS employees participated in such programs themselves when they were students and are eager to help current students.

The NWS benefits greatly from these programs as well through working on special projects with students and by fostering partnerships with university faculty. 

There are several programs students can potentially participate in at WFO Austin-San Antonio. This StoryMap is a one-stop shop with links to many of the programs and NWS offices around the country. Below are more details on the programs most often used at our office.


Pathways Program

The Pathways Program is a paid internship for full or part time students at a college or university. Pathway students are selected through a competitive application process and often work at a WFO full-time during the summer months, and part-time as schedules allow during the academic year. Participants who complete at least 640 hours may be noncompetitively converted to permanent positions upon graduation. Funding for this program varies, so positions may not always be available. In addition, not every office is chosen for a pathways internship each summer. If new positions are available they are posted usually in the first quarter of each year on


Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship Program

The Hollings Scholarship Program is a competitive scholarship that provides undergraduates the opportunity to (a) receive scholarship funds during their junior and senior years, and (b) paid full-time work at a NOAA facility (including WFO Austin/San Antonio) for 10 weeks over the summer. Hollings Scholars gain familiarity with NWS operations, as well as conduct research on a specific project and present their results at a NOAA conference at the conclusion of the summer. For more information:


Student Volunteer Program

The Student Volunteer Program offers work experience by giving students an opportunity to learn and participate in day-to-day NWS operations, as well as working on special research and development projects. Student volunteer selections for upcoming summer terms are made in early March. Since many students wish to volunteer, these positions are competitive.  Factors for selection include:

  • Number of students we can handle at one time

  • Academic year classification and coursework in meteorology completed

  • Academic record

  • Activities outside of class (clubs, teams, volunteer work, etc.)

  • Previous volunteer internships with the NWS

  • United States citizenship (required)

  • Status as a current student (required)

Work Hours for Student Volunteers

We understand that student volunteers have many other commitments, including their academic work and perhaps actual paid employment. For this reason, we are flexible about the specific hours that a student works as a volunteer. We ask that student volunteers average 2 to 3 days per week for a consecutive 6 to 10 week period during the summer. Work hours should primarily be between 7 am and 4 pm, but some evenings can be scheduled.


Earning College Credit as a Volunteer

Students may wish to check with their academic advisor about earning college credit (generally as independent study) for the time they spend volunteering with us. Specific policies vary by institution.


Rules and Regulations for Volunteers

The National Weather Service, as an agency of the United States Department of Commerce (DOC), is bound by the laws, policies, guidelines, and procedures regarding voluntary and uncompensated services as summarized in DOC Administrative Order 202-311. This is important information for potential volunteers. For example, Section 2.03.d in this document explains the citizenship requirements for volunteers: "If an agency may not hire citizens of a particular country, citizens of that country may not serve as student volunteers." In addition, the student must be enrolled at least half time at an accredited school, is recommended by the school, and is acceptable to the agency.  All prospective volunteers will also be required to complete the necessary paperwork and security forms before being allowed to spend time at the NWS office.


Applying for a Student Volunteer Position at NWS Austin/San Antonio

If you are interested in being a student volunteer, please fill out this application form: and have a reference submit a letter of recommendation to the email addresses in the application form between January 1 and February 28th. Positions will be competitively selected with applicants notified in early to mid March.


Job Shadow Program

For college students not interested in, or selected for, a longer volunteer opportunity, we offer a one or two day job shadowing opportunities. Some high school students may also be eligible for job shadowing. Job shadowing provides first hand experience and knowledge of the day-to-day operations of WFO Austin-San Antonio. For more information on setting up a potential job shadow please email us at


Other Student Opportunities

For other opportunities, view this link provided by NOAA: