Human Resources

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Open during regular business hours 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday

703-324-3311
TTY 703-222-7314

12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 270
Fairfax, VA 22035-0035

Cathy Spage,
Director

Equivalencies for Education and Experience

When considering an applicant's qualifications and whether they meet those specified in a job announcement, the following education and experience equivalencies will apply (unless otherwise specified in the job announcement).

One year of relevant professional-level work experience may be substituted for one year of required education. "Relevant professional-level experience" means if the position requires a bachelor's degree in finance, the work experience must be professional-level finance-related, such as research and analysis of financial data, performing financial projections, etc. One year of additional relevant experience each may be substituted for advance degrees (i.e. graduate, doctorate). Most positions require some years of work experience in addition to the required education.

Professional-Level
Relevant Experience
Education
2 years Associate Degree
4 years Bachelor's Degree
1 year Graduate Degree
1 year Doctorate Degree

Examples of acceptable substitutions:

Minimum Qualifications: Bachelor's degree in accounting
Substitution: Four years of professional-level work experience in accounting

Minimum Qualifications: Master's degree in social work
Substitution: Five years of professional-level work experience in social work

Minimum Qualifications: Bachelor's degree in information technology plus two years of experience
Substitution: Six years of professional-level work experience in information technology

Minimum Qualifications: Master's degree in planning plus four years of experience
Substitution: Nine years of professional-level work experience in planning

Note: The work experience must be in the field specified in order to be considered for substitution.

Quarter Hours

Professional-Level
Relevant Experience
Education           
1 to less than 2 years 45 hours
2 to less than 3 years 90 hours
3 to less than 4 years 135 hours
4 or more years 180 hours

Semester Hours

Professional-Level
Relevant Experience
Education           
1 to less than 2 years 30 hours
2 to less than 3 years 60 hours
3 to less than 4 years 90 hours
4 or more years 120 hours

*If the degree is unrelated, 60 semester or 90 quarter credit hours may be counted towards two years of experience.

Conversely, unless otherwise specified in the job announcement, one year of relevant education may be substituted for one year of required work experience.

Quarter Hours

Education Hours Equivalent Professional-Level
Relevant Experience
45 to less than 90 hours 1 year
90 to less than 135 hours* 2 years
135 to less than 180 hours 3 years
180 or more hours 4 years

Semester Hours

Education Hours Equivalent Professional-Level
Relevant Experience
30 to less than 60 hours 1 year
60 to less than 90 hours* 2 years
90 to less than 120 hours 3 years
120 or more hours 4 years

*If the degree is unrelated, 60 semester or 90 quarter credit hours may be counted towards two years of experience.  

Level of experience

Only related professional-level experience will be credited for professional positions.  Non-professional level experience may not be substituted for the required professional level experience. In certain instances, non-professional experience may be substituted for educational requirements.

Substituting specialized training

Relevant specialized training completed in non-credit programs may be considered, provided that the total classroom hours for each course can be documented. Equivalency is on an hour-for-hour basis for relevant training as identified by the learning institution (i.e. business or technical schools, junior colleges, colleges, universities).  Examples of specialized training include certificate programs and continuing education programs.  Your application must clearly describe the specialized training, provide the name of the learning institute and hours completed.

Credit for pertinent volunteer experience with civic, welfare or service organizations, with or without compensation, may be granted. Your application must clearly describe the actual amount of time spent in such work; for example, indicate the average hours volunteered per week or per month. Provide complete work history information, including dates and duties, just as you would for a paid position.

  • One "full-time" year of experience at 40 hours per week is considered to be 2,080 hours.
  • One "part-time" year would be considered to be 1,040 hours.
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