Benefits of AmeriCorps: Why You Should Join
Last updated January 24, 2024
Are you looking for a summer job but aren’t sure what options are available? If you want to do something that’s fun and can help you learn new skills, boost your resume, and pay the bills, AmeriCorps might be a great option for you.
What is AmeriCorps?
AmeriCorps is a national service program that helps improve lives and foster civic engagement. AmeriCorps members commit to 3-12 months of service, addressing critical community needs like increasing academic achievement, mentoring youth, fighting poverty, sustaining national parks, and preparing for natural disasters.
Benefits of joining AmeriCorps
There are several perks to being an AmeriCorps member. Members receive a living allowance, an education award to pay for college, trade school expenses, or repay student loans, professional development and training, health benefit options, access to the alumni network (which has over 1 million members), and a connection to career opportunities with leading employers from the private, public and nonprofit sectors.
The largest financial benefit is the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award. This amount can vary based on the federal government’s loan amounts, but in 2024, the max amount is $7,395 after completing a full year of service! That is a great way to pay back student loans or plan for future education. This amount will be based on the amount of service hours you complete, so be sure to talk to program staff about what to expect.
Types of AmeriCorps programs
There are three types of AmeriCorps programs to choose from:
The AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps is a full-time residential program for young adults ages 18-26 that strengthens communities while developing leaders through direct, team-based national and community service. AmeriCorps NCCC members travel the country together completing hands-on projects in several cities throughout the year.
AmeriCorps State and National is the largest AmeriCorps program. Typically housed in community based organizations across the nation, these AmeriCorps programs address several community needs and offer the most flexibility and variety, with full-time, part-time and summer-only options available.
AmeriCorps Volunteers In Service To America provides full-time staff to community organizations and public agencies to create and expand programs that build capacity and ultimately bring low-income individuals and communities out of poverty. Most VISTA programs require you to have a four-year college degree to participate.
How to search for an AmeriCorps program
AmeriCorps has thousands of openings available year-round. To find the right opportunity for you, first decide which program interests you the most.
- Are you between the ages of 18 and 26 and interested in working on a team and traveling the country? Then start by looking at AmeriCorps NCCC programs.
- Are you interested in fighting poverty and can commit to one year of full-time service? Take a look at AmeriCorps VISTA programs.
- Are you looking for a program with more flexible options or opportunities to work on projects that align with your specific interests? Start with the AmeriCorps State & National programs.
- Do you want to see all the opportunities available in your state before you decide? You can do a general search to see every AmeriCorps position in your state.
Ready to research opportunities?
1. Head to AmeriCorps.gov and click ‘Join.’
2. Scroll down to “How to join’ and select “Search Positions.”
3. Choose the type of Americorps program you are interested in (NCCC, AmeriCorps VISTA or leave it blank if you want to see positions from every program).
4. Select your state, then click “Search” to see opportunities in your area.
Now that you’ve done your research, it's time to apply!
- Create a profile to access the application. Make sure you have your social security number handy, since it’s required to complete your profile.
- Fill out your application. Block out one hour of uninterrupted time to complete your application. Have your resume on-hand along with the names and email addresses of two references. Need a resume? Use our resume template to get started. For help with securing your references and recommendations, start here.
- Submit your application. Now that your application is complete, submit it to every program that interests you.
After you submit your application
Check your email on a regular basis; AmeriCorps programs will reach out to you via email for next steps. Make sure that you have [email protected] listed as a safe sender, so your emails don’t go to spam.
Have any questions about AmeriCorps? Text #Hello to 33-55-77 to chat with one of our advisors. If you're using a mobile device, click here to have the text message set up for you!