The majority of the people at GAO who are engaged in mission work are analysts. Analysts review federal agency programs and operations and federal activities in all areas. Working on audits in certain areas (such as Information Technology or Financial Management) may require specific experience or qualifications. Typically, an analyst works as part of a team and uses methodological, research, documenting, writing, and presenting skills.

Entry-level analysts are assigned to GAO’s Professional Development Program.

Acquisition Management Specialists

Acquisition management specialists are responsible for all contracting, procurement, and e-business within GAO, including developing agency procurement procedures and managing the purchase card program and Contracting Officer's Representatives certification.

Administrative Professional

Our Administrative Professional staff include administrative assistants, counselors, educators, facilities staff, labor relations specialists, legislative specialists, liaisons, records managers, security specialists, system analysts, and more. Learn more about being an administrative professional at GAO (PDF, 2 pages).


GAO's Office of General Counsel serves GAO and the Congress. Learn more about our legal careers.

Communications Analysts (Visual)

Visual communications analysts typically produce graphics and other visual media to help present data and messages simply and cleanly.

Communication Analysts (Written)

Written communications analysts typically review documents for logic, clarity, and consistency, and work collegially with diverse groups to present detailed information clearly and succinctly.

Criminal Investigators

Criminal investigators contribute to forensic audits, security and vulnerability assessments, and special investigations.


Economists’ duties include identifying options for study designs, conducting economic analyses, and presenting results. Economists usually work alongside teams and use applied research, interpersonal, and communication skills.

Financial Auditors

Financial auditors typically perform financial analyses, promote financial management best practices, assess internal controls, and identify and suggest improvements. Auditors also annually audit the U.S. government's consolidated financial statements and those prepared by major federal agencies, such as the IRS.

Human Capital Management Specialists

Human capital staff provide human resources management services including employee relations and benefits; performance and compensation; diversity and inclusion; recruitment; classification and hiring; counseling; and personnel processing.

Information Technology Management Specialists

The Information Systems and Technology Services team provides GAO’s technology support, including network operations, telecommunications, application development, web services, enterprise architecture, IT security, and hardware/software procurement.

A group of young interns of many races and genders
GAO Summer Interns.

Student Programs and Internships

Paid Internships

Student intern positions are available year round in all GAO mission teams, operational units, and offices. Our interns work between 400 and 640 total hours

To be eligible for an internship, students must be enrolled on at least a half-time basis as determined by their college or university. GAO student interns are appointed on a nonpermanent basis and may be eligible to be converted to a permanent position after completing 400 total hours and after meeting degree requirements. These internships are open to both graduate and undergraduate students. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic all of our internships are currently being conducted virtually.

GAO also offers unpaid student volunteer positions.

Student Volunteers (Unpaid)

Student Volunteer positions are available throughout the year in all GAO mission teams, operational units, and offices. To be eligible, students must be at least 16 years old, a U.S. citizen, enrolled in and/or attending an accredited academic institution at least half-time, and in good academic standing. Student Volunteers may volunteer during the school year and/or during summer or school vacation periods. The nature of the volunteer assignment, as well as the work schedule, will be established once on-board.

Have a question about Student Employment Programs?

Please send your request to

Employee Development Programs

Professional Development Program

During the first two years with GAO, entry-level employees are members of our Professional Development Program (PDP). This experience includes a combination of on-the-job and classroom training, regular feedback and coaching, and exposure to different projects and management styles. All members of the PDP regularly meet with advisors to identify professional goals, discuss developmental opportunities, and reinforce performance feedback.

Entry-level employees are hired to participate in our PDP in one of three ways. They are hired either as

  1. specialist analysts or auditors assigned to one team to work on different projects within that team’s area or specialization such as Information Technology or Financial Management,
  2. analysts assigned to rotate among several teams to work on studies of different subject areas--these staff are permanently placed after the 2-years into one of the rotation teams), or
  3. management analysts or other operations professional staff assigned to one of our internal operational units such as our Learning Center or Human Capital Office.

Learn more about working as a PDP at GAO (PDF, 2 pages).

Please send your questions about PDP to


GAO's Executive Candidate Assessment and Development Program Participants.
GAO's Executive Candidate Assessment and Development Program Participants.

Executive Candidate Assessment and Development Program

The Executive Candidate Assessment and Development Program (ECADP) is designed to develop a talent pool of executives for GAO's evaluation and audit teams performing mission work that supports its external strategic goals.

Generally, the program lasts from 18 to 24 months, and will vary in length depending on the needs of the individual participant. Each candidate selected will work with a mentor who is a current Senior Executive Service member to develop the candidate's program curriculum based on the candidate's individual needs and assessment survey data.

The Comptroller General determines whether additional executive candidate classes are necessary to meet future executive position needs. The program is open to anyone through a Job Opportunity Announcement which identifies the evaluation criteria, i.e., professional and technical qualifications and executive core qualifications, and the selection procedures.