The Natural Resources Conservation Service ACES Program (NRCS-ACES)

Program Overview

NRCS logo
The Natural Resources Conservation Service Agriculture Conservation Experienced Services (NRCS-ACES) Program offers individuals 55 and older temporary paid assignments to provide technical services in support of the conservation-related programs of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

These services may include conservation planning assistance, technical consultation, and assistance with design and implementation of conservation practices. The NCRS-ACES program supports the work of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Section 2710), the program is patterned after the Senior Environmental Employment Program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Senior Service America, Inc. administers the NRCS-ACES Program as one of four national nonprofit organizations selected by USDA through a competitive process. Through Task Agreements, NRCS awards funds for SSAI to recruit, screen, place, and pay NRCS-ACES Enrollees. After qualified applicants are selected through a cooperative process, NRCS staff oversees the work activities of NCRS-ACES Enrollees while SSAI provides payroll, time record maintenance, record keeping, and administrative support.

To be eligible for the NRCS-ACES Program, individuals must be at least 55 years old and legally eligible to work in the United States. NRCS-ACES Enrollees are not employees of either USDA or a State agriculture department but receive wages and benefits including paid federal holidays, and vacation and sick leave. Enrollees work from 16 to 40 hours a week.

By law, NRCS-ACES Enrollees cannot displace or reduce the non-overtime hours, wages, or employment benefits of USDA employees; perform work of USDA employees who are in a layoff status from the same or a substantially-equivalent job or function; or affect existing contracts for services.

Who is eligible for the NRCS-ACES Program?

To be eligible, you must be at least 55 years old and legally eligible to work in the United States.

What are the pay and benefits for NRCS-ACES enrollees?

Position Level reflects the four categories in the NRCS-ACES Program. Work hours vary between 32 and 80 hours per two-week pay period.

Position Level Position Requirements Wage Range
Level I Technical, no degree required $11.33 to $14.63
Level II Technical Non-Specific Degree or Undergraduate Degree required $14.16 to $19.58
Level III Professional, Specific Degree required or Master’s Degree required $20.53 to $27.71
Level IV Professional, Professional/Expert Advanced Degree required or Doctoral Degree required with extensive experience $30.80 to $38.48

Fringe Benefits

ACES Enrollees are entitled to the following fringe benefits.

  • FICA
  • Workers Compensation
  • Annual Leave (15 Days)
  • Sick Leave (15 Days)
  • 10 paid Federal Holidays

For more information about the NRCS-ACES Program

SSAI ACES Program Contacts.
All National ACES Grantee Contacts.

Current openings in our NRCS-ACES Program

Browse the vacant positions in our NRCS-ACES Program for a list of current openings.

How do I apply for the NRCS-ACES Program?

If you are interested in applying, please complete the enrollment application and submit with your resume to or fax to (301) 578-8895.

For NRCS-ACES Enrollees

NRCS-ACES Handbook

  • This is an information tool for the purpose of acquainting enrollees and monitors with the policies, procedures, benefits and restrictions affecting enrollee participation in the ACES Program.


NRCS-ACES Traveler’s Forms

Payroll Information

Insurance Information

Enrollees working 30 hours or more may choose to be covered by a comprehensive insurance plan. Premiums are paid by SSAI with program funds. No Dependent Coverage is offered.

All enrollees are eligible to participate in a Dental Plan for a modest cost through payroll deduction.