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17 April, 2012 / Emily

How long does it take to get into Job Corps?

There are a few things that will influence the amount of time it takes you from the time that you attend the orientation meeting until the day you arrive on center.

Orientation: You will be given a choice of places and times for orientations happening near you. This is the first step, a required step, in your application to Job Corps. You will sit down with a number of other potential Job Corps attendees and view a presentation, collect a few handouts, and participate in a question-and-answer time. You may also be able to schedule your interview here – if you can, do.

ย Interview: Be sure that you bring everything on the list as well as have filled out all of the necessary fields in the application packet you were given. This interview will give you a chance to learn more about Job Corps in a one-on-one setting. You will get more information here, as well as some forms to fill, and the interviewer will determine whether or not you are a match for the program.

At this point, there is a lot of information that will need to be reviewed before they can accept or decline your application. ย Your packet will be mailed to a headquarters and reviewed and then forwarded to the center that you decided on with your interviewer. It will have to make its rounds through different departments at that center until each has okay’d their portion (Disability coordinator if you’ve indicated a disability, Health and Wellness for your general health record and medications, etc…)

All of this can take months. Many students aren’t prepared for the wait, and withdraw their application. Don’t be one of those people. You will have to wait anywhere from two months to a year. If a wait that long isn’t acceptable, Job Corps may not be the program for you.



Leave a Comment
  1. Love / Apr 27 2012 10:24 PM

    I don’t have my birth certificate, cause I was born in Ghana. But I have my SSC and other requirement… Can I be consider?


  2. HEY iM CHANDRA, / Jul 29 2012 6:39 AM



    • Emily / Aug 1 2012 4:16 PM

      Congratulations on attending orientation – the first step toward enrolling in the program!


  3. victoria / Aug 29 2012 5:25 PM

    i had my orientation but in orientation i was told that you have to be clean of drugs for atleast 60 days because they take a hair follicle sample for drug testing & im not sure if its been 60 days since i last smoked but i know for sure 09/22/12 will be 2 months i havent smoked. i wanna get into job corps asap i wonder how long it will take after the 1 on 1 interview


    • Emily / Dec 5 2012 12:09 AM

      For your region the testing procedure may be different. Being positive upon arrival isn’t grounds for termination, however.


  4. monae / Sep 30 2012 4:05 PM

    i am still waiting on my interview..?


  5. Ashleyy / Jan 6 2013 9:42 PM

    iHave Already Went To Orientation , Did My Interveiw , Now Im Just Waiting For Them To Call Me Back. Im First Priority Because iHave A Child. Im So Impatient && Ready To Goo How Long Will It Take


    • Emily / Jan 7 2013 5:22 PM

      I’m not aware of any program in which you would have a higher priority just because you have a child.

      If you’re finished and waiting on their call, you’re probably waiting for them to make physical space for you (an empty bed) in your center of choice.

      You’ll have to call your admissions counselor to get a better idea of how long your wait will be.


  6. Christina Taylor / Jul 7 2013 8:10 AM

    I’m interested in furthering my education an would like to get the process going I’m a single mother of three I’m 20 years old an would like to know what this facility has to offer for mothers…..


  7. Leyla / Dec 2 2013 7:08 AM

    i called back in october, i went in for an orientation TWICE! Thye first time was because the 800 # rep didnt give me the correct office so i wasted my time and the second i brung all my paperwork and did the interview. now im waiting… i have two kids i need a faster process . how long does it take to get accepted into job corps after you completed your interview , two orientations and brung all your paperwork?


  8. shakylle davis / Dec 24 2013 10:11 AM

    tyrin to get & job corp asap


  9. robert / Jan 17 2014 9:05 PM

    if u fail ur drug test on orientation what happens?


  10. Samuel M / Jan 30 2014 1:23 PM

    Hi, Im currently waiting to go do the Admissions counselor interview in about 15 days In los Angeles, Ca i was wondering how is the actual drug process they go through in this area, I had a couple joints last week but since i know the actual day is coming im not gunna smoke anymore thank you


    • Emily / Mar 4 2014 10:12 AM

      Hello Samuel,

      Sorry that I didn’t receive your message in a timely fashion. At the center I attended, testing positive for drugs even on the initial drug test on-center wasn’t grounds for termination. If you were to test positive *after* you begin center life, Job Corps will take disciplinary action up to and including termination based on the circumstances of that offense as well as prior offenses.


  11. isaiah / Mar 2 2014 11:43 PM

    I have all my stuff filled out its taking so long i really want to go. No i need to go i think if i cant get out of my envirement then i will fail as an adult in life.


    • Emily / Mar 4 2014 12:52 AM

      Hello Isaiah,

      The fact that you’re able to see that your current environment is contributing to your stresses and problems is something that not everyone is able to do, and having the courage to do something about it is admirable! You’re making the right steps in moving your life in a more positive direction.

      Sometimes the things we need take time, and what I can offer is that – though it might be hard – you gotta hang in there until help arrives, whether it’s Job Corps or some other means.

      Also remember that the time of our youth does not define the path of our adult lives.

      Our mistakes need not condemn us.

      Our conditions need not cripple us.

      You’ve already shown the strength inside, and even if Job Corps doesn’t pan out you will have the strength you need to do what needs to be done to get to a better place.


  12. Andrew hearns / Mar 17 2014 9:47 AM

    I filled out all of my paperwork on march 3rd I called one of the locations to apply and asked when was the next orientation held so she told me to come in before the that and she gave me an application to fill so she told me that the center that I applied for was take ppl in asap like weeks later after applied she said jus wait the center to call her and she’ll call me now its march 17th and I still havent heard from anyone


    • Emily / Mar 17 2014 5:47 PM

      Hello Andrew,

      Did you read this post in full? Half a month is not a long wait by Job Corps application standards.

      One thing you can do is be persistent. Choose a day of the week and call them every week on that day, saying that you’re wondering about the status of your application. If you choose not to call each week they’ll get back to you too, but if you call regularly they know that you’re serious and will be reminded of your application. Remember that the people processing your application have a lot on their plates, so giving them a call can be a help to get your file through the system. As an added plus you’ll have a better idea of where your file is in the application process.


  13. Justin Britton / Mar 27 2014 7:47 AM

    Hey, Emily. I like how you encourage people here. I just got done with my interview a few days ago. How do you get the number of the job corp you’re trying to get into? o.O Unless I’m mistaken in what you meant in a previous post.


    • Emily / Mar 27 2014 10:19 AM

      Hey Justin,

      Thank you for your positive feedback! It’s fantastic that you’re looking to be productive during the ‘waiting’ period.

      To find the phone number of the center you wish to apply to (or that your application has been sent to) a quick Google search will bring up all of the information you need. Here’s an example of the search for Tongue Point:


      • Justin Britton / Mar 27 2014 3:27 PM

        Thank you, Emily. ๐Ÿ™‚ I owe ya. ๐Ÿ˜›


  14. Jay / Mar 30 2014 4:26 PM

    Hey, its been a week since my counselor submitted my application because my high school had to fax her my immunization records. I receive food stamp benefits ( my income is very low) and I served some time in the military (not a VEt but a medical discharge) how much longer do you think it would take for me to be accepted? my counselor told me I would be review quicker because of my situation.


    • Emily / Mar 31 2014 11:36 PM

      Hello Jay,

      That really depends, and I can’t give you any sort of estimate. Your circumstances do point to a quicker acceptance, but there are things that could delay it in any case. Being that you’ve only waited a week, I’d say you have at least another week – which is the absolute soonest I can imagine it would pass through all of the places it needs to be reviewed and signed off.


  15. Jay / Apr 18 2014 8:30 PM

    Hey Emily,

    I called the site themselves to schedule a time to arrive and it worked, they had my application all along. thank you for the advice.


    • Emily / Apr 19 2014 11:12 AM

      Brilliant, Jay!

      It’s exciting when things are finalized. Feel free to voice any questions, concerns, or anxieties and I’ll do my best to help. If you’ve got something you’d rather wasn’t on the blog, I’m always available at

      Good luck on your Job Corps adventure- don’t forget to keep your chin up and head out of the drama!


  16. Nina Malcolm / May 28 2014 11:24 AM

    I received a call from the center I wanted to go but due to some family problems I was not able to take the offer, but I was still interested in going. Now that im able to go i tried calling the recruiter but im no getting any feed back. What can I do to get back on the list since I was already approved?


    • Emily / May 29 2014 12:27 PM

      Hello Nina,

      At this point, if the recruiter is not getting back to you, I’d call the center directly and ask to speak with their Admissions office. A quick Google search will bring you to the center’s number. If you speak with the Admissions staff directly, explain your family situation and then ask them what you asked me: “What can I do to get back on the list since I was already approved?”

      If you get an answering machine, I’d include in the message first your full name and that you are approved for that center and you had a few questions. Then give your phone number slowly twice. You’d be surprised how many people don’t leave decipherable phone numbers on messages!

      Good luck with your phone call and if you’ve got any other questions, I’m always available either through comments here or at


  17. Sehaira Williams / Aug 19 2014 6:08 PM

    I’m currently waiting to be called to job corp didn’t know the wait was so long so I got a job in the mean time but im sick of working dead end jobs so I cant wait till my name is called so I can start my new page in life for my daughter and I cause she deserves the best


    • Emily / Sep 30 2014 8:29 AM

      Hello Sehaira,

      Congratulations on beginning the process and wanting to improve your life for yourself and your daughter, and well done for being productive in the waiting time!

      I wish you all the best in your future ๐Ÿ™‚


  18. Eternity / Sep 18 2014 1:53 AM

    Hi my name is Eternity
    I have orientation on the 19th of this month I have all my documents except my medical records and I dont have my id ot got stolen 4 days ago will not having those set me back in getting into job corps .


    • Emily / Sep 30 2014 8:26 AM

      Hi Eternity,

      What a lovely name!

      As far as I know, you definitely need a picture ID. Seeing that you posted this on the 18th, I can only assume that you’ve attended your orientation already and that my reply comes a bit late. Many apologies.


  19. Jerrod maxwell / Sep 27 2014 3:30 PM

    hi I just wanted to know that if I’m on the verge of becoming homeless and I have JOBCORPS orientation soon will that push them a little faster to get me into the program knowing that fact oh and I stay in the same city as the JOBCORPS I want to attend which in this case is the Los Angeles jc please help me my orientation is on the 16 of October it’s coming very soon and I just want to get into jc by the middle of November if I can


    • Emily / Sep 30 2014 8:22 AM

      Hello Jerrod,

      Most of your question is answered here already. While homelessness or threat of homelessness does put your application higher on the list and on a faster track, your application still needs to go through the steps to become approved by the center you’re wanting to attend. I’ve heard of people getting in within a month, but that’s really the exception to the rule. Many of the students who were there when I attended waited many months, and some waited over a year.

      That said, I’d let your admissions counselor know that time is of the essence for you. If they know that your situation warrants a faster push for your application through the system, they’ll be able to take those steps to try and help. You’ll really need to communicate regularly with that counselor in order to know what they can (or cannot) do for you.

      Good luck!


  20. Nini / Oct 7 2014 5:24 PM

    I was wondering can I still get in without my hs transfer ?


    • Emily / Oct 16 2014 11:02 AM

      Hi Nini,

      You’d need to call your admissions counselor for the specifics on that one, as I can’t provide the details.

      All the best :]


  21. Eli / Oct 15 2014 10:27 AM

    I Ben waiting for a month and still no call in for me


  22. Eli / Oct 15 2014 10:28 AM

    I Ben waiting for a month and I still havent got a call


    • Emily / Oct 16 2014 11:04 AM

      Hi Eli,

      Have you been phoning your admissions office? If not, you’re not doing everything you could be. Phoning them once a week (not more than that) lets them know that you’re serious and also helps motivate the process.

      Let me know if you have more questions!


  23. Tekeria / Oct 19 2014 5:54 PM

    Hi, I’m a 22 year old female trying to get into job crops, I’ve been trying to just get an GED at a local community college but that didn’t work out so well with me. I’ve been calling the admissions office twice in once week leaving my name and number. I just would like to know when is a best time to call & also how long is the waiting period until you get approved to join? And also how long is the program until you receive your high school diploma? After you receive your high school diploma can you join the military and/or attend college? Are there many programs that you can start your career with if military and college is not something i wanna do? I’m just ready to join and begin my future I should have signed up and joined along time ago.


    • Emily / Oct 22 2014 5:00 PM

      Hi Tekeria,

      You’ve asked some good questions. I’m not sure why it didn’t work out getting your GED at the community college, but Job Corps is a very good place to get the help to study and understand the material if you’re struggling.

      Calling twice a week is a bit much, in my opinion. Once a week lets them know you’re serious but (generally in life) when people feel harassed they’re more likely to put off contacting you. I’d cut back to calling once per week during the workweek (Monday-Friday) and call during business hours, which are usually 9am-5pm. I’d suggest calling earlier in the day, 10am gives you the best chance to catch them near the phone and also helps them have less distraction during the first hour or two of their day so that they can attend to other, perhaps more urgent business first.

      Please refer to my posts and the comments for the length of the waiting period. All of the information you’ll need for that is already here.

      There is a lot of support available both before and after getting your diploma/GED. Military and college are both options, and you can get information and guidance about both paths. After graduating the Job Corps program, there is a transitionary stage where you’ll get help finding housing, resources, and a job.

      I know you’re anxious to get your life moving in a forward direction, but I’ll caution you about missed opportunities. There are any number of things that people don’t like doing and don’t *want* to do. People who are successful in life know that things need to be done, and they do those things anyway. Military is difficult, college is difficult. Both are worthwhile pursuits. And as you’ll probably have heard before, avoiding difficult projects and situations doesn’t allow for growth as a person. The harder your struggle up the mountain, the better the view.

      If you’re truly ready to begin with forward momentum, be prepared to work hard for the things that matter.


  24. Eli Carter / Oct 24 2014 3:41 PM

    Um, if I don’t show up on real job corps center for interview one last time missed a day. Can other a chance on one more time JC center?


    • Emily / Feb 7 2015 4:59 PM

      Hello Eli,

      I don’t have the full details for your situation, but I’d call a member of Job Corps staff to ask this question.

      When someone no-shows for a job interview they’re generally put straight into a ‘Not Eligible For Rehire/Reapplication’ pile. I’m not sure if you let your Job Corps interviewer know you’d be absent that day, but it’s universally considered rude to no-show for any type of appointment – especially with no advance notice – and it displays disregard for the center and staff in question.

      If they’ve rejected your application for the no-show you can always try to show them you’re serious about attending, and perhaps they’ll give you another go.


  25. Emily jasper / Dec 16 2014 7:38 AM



    • Emily / Dec 17 2014 3:02 PM

      Hey Emily,

      The drug test is upon arrival at the Job Corps center, and it’s a urine test.

      Let me know if you have any other questions ๐Ÿ™‚


  26. Emily jasper / Dec 16 2014 7:40 AM

    BTW I’m in trying to attend what it considerd Atlanta reqion (jax fl) facility


  27. Refugia / Jan 1 2015 7:54 PM

    Hi im trying To get into job corps ive Been talking to my job corps councelor every week he said someone from the center I’m looking into getting in wants to speak with me what does that mean?


    • Emily / Feb 7 2015 4:45 PM

      Hello Refugia,

      Keeping contact each week is excellent – keep doing that! As for someone from the center needing to speak with you, there’s no way to know what it’s about except to speak to them. Sometimes, as an application is processed in each department at the center, one of the staff would like clarification about something in your file. It happens, and if they come across an issue they’ll let you know ๐Ÿ™‚


  28. Steph / Jan 4 2015 8:33 PM

    I hope somebody can answer a few questions I have. I’m a 24 year old single mother applying for the jobcorps program, I have orientation either on the 22nd or 27th of this month (currently waiting for the papers to arrive in the mail or phone call.) Now I have all the documents the recruiter said I would need: my high school diploma, ssc, birth certificate, food stamp application letter, state id, as well as my sons immunization records, ssc, and birth certificate. One of my questions is whether or not I need my own medical records? I don’t have any medical disabilities or conditions, nor do I take medications so is it necessary? Also I haven’t really had a regular doctor in years so I wouldn’t even know where to begin to get the proper documentation needed.

    Also either at the end of this month or some time in February we’ll be homeless. Currently I’ve been looking into trying to stay with family or homeless shelters in my area (That hopefully don’t need me to have to go through the city’s waiting list program to be put on more waiting lists.) As much as I hope and wish for my son and I to be the exception and be headed to a jobcorps center within a few weeks, realistically I know that will not happen (though I hope it doesn’t take a year holy crap!) So what can I do to try and help this process move along (if it’s confirmed I qualify) as fast as possible? I was also informed by the recruiter based on my career interests and household situation on which jobcorps center my son and I would most likely be going to, if that helps.


    • Emily / Feb 7 2015 4:40 PM

      Hey Steph,

      I’m so sorry for getting to your comment so late. Sometimes life gets busy and I neglect the blog and miss time-sensitive questions, many apologies.

      By now you’ll probably have had your interview – how did it go?

      Homelessness or threat of homelessness is one of the few things that will push an application through faster, so your application is probably already flagged as high-priority. Things you can do to help it along even faster:

      Call the recruiter / center once each week. Example: “Hello, I was just calling to ask about my application. What stage of the process is it at?” This lets them know that you’re serious, but isn’t harassing by calling multiple times each week.
      Keep yourself productive during the wait time. It can be easy to panic as you wait, especially with potential homelessness looming. Try to relax and have hope, even if things seem impossible. Just as you’ve been doing, continue to plan for the immediate future – have a Plan A for if you’re accepted before becoming homeless, but set Plan B in action now so that if your application isn’t pushed through soon enough you’ll have a place to be safe. If you’re working, don’t quit the job before you know absolutely for certain when you’re to depart for the center – keeping busy not only makes the time seem to pass more quickly, but continuing to gain work experience and cash will help you both now and in the future.

      I’ll be looking in to the blog more often to answer questions, but if you’d like to reach me quicker my email is

      Wishing you the speediest of processes!


  29. Fernando / Jan 9 2015 1:02 AM

    Hello Emily,
    I was just reviewing all these comments and It is real nice of you to help out people who are with desire to get into job corps. I’m really interested in joining really soon too.


    • Emily / Feb 7 2015 4:24 PM

      Hi Fernando,

      Thanks for your comment! I’m glad to be of service – making potentially life-changing decisions can induce anxiety if questions go unanswered.

      Congrats on looking into options for your future!


  30. domonique law / Jan 17 2015 6:54 AM

    hi im just waiting to get my documets together so i can go to my irwitation i was just wondering when the drug test will be given and i want to go to the red rock job corps in pennsylevanie for business technology and i was wondering if that usly is a trade that will get you in to the actual job corp center quicker thank you


    • Emily / Feb 7 2015 4:11 PM

      Hello Domonique,

      That’s a question you’d need to ask either the interviewer or call up the Job Corps you’d like to attend and ask about the speed of vacancies. Business tech isn’t a specialized trade so my guess is that it’ll be a slower wait for that one.


      • Christopher Bradshaw / Jun 3 2015 6:50 AM

        Hi, Emily I have a question. I want to join the military. But have no hs diploma/ GED. Im on the edge of being homeless and I have no job because of my transportation issue. I havent called job corp yet. But my question to you is would it be a faster process going through my circumstances and wanting to join the military I have no criminal back ground never even been in handcuffs and I havent done any drugs


      • Emily / Jun 13 2015 3:13 PM

        Hello Christopher,

        Your circumstances do put your application on a faster track than others who, for instance, have stable housing. Joining the military is an option as you complete your schooling, but (as far as I know) that path is no faster than finding a civilian job at the conclusion of your time at Job Corps. The bulk of your time at the center will be in getting your diploma/GED and building marketable skills – once you’ve completed that you’ll look at your options for transitioning into the military or workforce.


  31. Joe / Feb 16 2015 12:09 AM

    If you request to go to a job corps center out of your state do you still get the free ride to the center?


    • Emily / Jun 13 2015 3:46 PM

      Hello Joe,

      That’s an excellent question. From what I recall: if you’re accepted to a center, they’ll get you there. And back! But you might call your local Job Corps office to be sure.


  32. dale h / Mar 18 2015 2:35 PM

    Hi I’ve been trying to join job corps but can’t seem to get a hold of an admissions councillor.I don’t know what I need to do to join I’m homeless and need a place to go can u help?


    • Emily / Jun 13 2015 3:44 PM

      Hi Dale,

      I’m unsure of the resources where you live, but if you Google “Job Corps in ______”, you’ll get a phone number for your local Job Corps office. There may be other resources in your area that can help with your immediate needs – the wait (even when your application is rushed) might seem like much longer if you don’t have anywhere to stay while you wait.


  33. Reuben Plasencia / May 3 2015 12:39 AM

    I would like more information about job crops and how enroll in classes


    • Emily / Jun 13 2015 3:32 PM

      Hey Reuben,

      There is quite a lot of basic information on the Job Corps sites and there’s a lot you can read about on this blog. You’ll want to call your local Job Corps office to see about attending an orientation.


  34. Deonte / May 17 2015 6:37 AM

    i went to my orientation two days ago an the person made us fill out our name an address with a phone number to call an scheduled an appointment also gave us an application to fill out at home.the question i’m basically asking is all of this worth it an how long will it take for them to call an see me?


    • Emily / Jun 13 2015 3:30 PM

      Hi Deonte,

      If they instructed you to call and make an appointment, they’re waiting on your call in order to get things going.

      Is the drawn-out process worth it?
      For many, many people, yes. For you? You’ll need to assess your current circumstances. For most people who inquire, Job Corps has quite a lot to offer. When you call to schedule your appointment, you can ask how Job Corps might contribute to your successful future. Then you’ll know for sure ๐Ÿ™‚


  35. tyler / Jun 6 2015 11:16 PM

    hi i was just wondering if i already attended job corp 2 years ago and want to get back into a different jobcorp what are the chances of me getting back in?


    • Emily / Jun 13 2015 3:07 PM

      Hi Tyler,

      There are many factors when considering re-entry, for example:

      How did you leave Job Corps?
      Are you eligible for re-entry into the programs? If you were terminated due to drug or conduct violations, you might not be permitted to try again. If you departed on a medical leave, you are likely eligible to give it another go. You’ll want to contact your local Job Corps office to check on your status.

      If you are allowed re-entry, all of the first-timer factors still apply in your case – your preferred center may have a longer waiting list than other centers you might choose, your application will need to go through, etc.


  36. Gregory / Jun 7 2015 12:02 PM

    Hello im 20 years old i graduated high school but im currently a college drop out is jobcorps good for me?


    • Emily / Jun 13 2015 2:59 PM

      Hello Gregory,

      Job Corps has much to offer, but ultimately only you can decide if the program would be a good fit. You could make a list of things that you want for your life, and check that list against the things that Job Corps has to offer that will help you get where you want to be. You can always call your local Job Corps office and tell them your story – they’ll be able to give you a better idea of how Job Corps might help in your specific situation.


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