Types of Service Years

Service years are available through a variety of nonprofits, community organizations, and public schools and agencies. In urban and rural areas communities the country, opportunities are available in a wide array of issue areas, including: education, the environment, disaster relief, health care, and many more.

You’ve may have heard about some of the most well-known organizations that host service years — AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, Teach for America, YouthBuild, and City Year to name a few. There are hundreds of additional programs as well that host service year opportunities and are looking for people like you to help power their organizations and make an impact.

What is AmeriCorps?

AmeriCorps is the largest service year umbrella program, offering three main types of service year programs: AmeriCorps State and National, AmeriCorps VISTA, and AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps). These programs are sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), an independent federal agency. Full-time AmeriCorps State and National members are given a living allowance, health care benefits, childcare, and become eligible for the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award upon successful completion of the program. ​You can read more about the education award here and search for service year opportunities that fall under AmeriCorps here.

No Two Programs Are Alike

While most service years are generally 10 - 12 months long and coincide with the academic calendar year, there are some that can run for six months or as long as two years and offer extensive professional training and certification. Regardless of the focus, length, or geographic location, service years share one thing in common: they provide a paid, life-changing experience. Learn more about the focus areas you can tackle during your service year.
Keep in mind that the duration of the application process varies between service years — some are quick and accept applicants in a matter of a few weeks while some can take up to several months. Start and end dates for each service year will vary depending on the opportunity as well.