Student Training Experience Program (STEP) Initiative

The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality is excited to announce the Student Training Experience Program (STEP) Initiative! This initiative is committed to seeking talented and motivated students to apply for opportunities within DEQ. Students will gain practical, hands-on experience and learn more about DEQ’s role in protecting the environment through paid summer work offered during the summer.

The NC DEQ Summer STEP Initiative has many benefits:

  • Gain valuable hands-on working experience relevant to your major.
  • Network with industry professionals.
  • Gain confidence and begin to build the start of your career.
  • Develop and build new skills.

Summer STEP opportunities are offered from May 2020 – July 2020.

DEQ offers many temporary opportunities during the summer. These opportunities will be paid, but no housing allowance will be provided. Typically, students are currently enrolled with an accredited college or university and are rising juniors, rising seniors, or graduate-level students.

Application Process

STEP opportunities will be advertised on this website beginning in February 2020.

If you are interested in upcoming summer opportunities, please send an email to

Sample STEP Opportunities

STEP Position Title


Public Affairs Summer Opportunity

Communications, Journalism, English

Legislative Summer Opportunity

Political Science, Communications

Energy Policy Summer Opportunity

Environmental Engineering, Energy Policy/ Science, Environmental Sciences/ Technology

Environmental Impact Summer Opportunity

Environmental Engineering, Energy Policy/ Science, Environmental Sciences/ Technology


Each STEP opportunity will have different requirements and qualifications. Below are possible requirements.

  • Rising junior/ senior/ graduate student currently enrolled with a college/ university (depends on position needs/requirements)
  • Must possess excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Must possess excellent interpersonal, collaborative, and team-building skills
  • Must have the ability to present ideas professionally and work on a project team


  • February 2020 – STEP opportunities advertised and posted
  • March 2020 – Begin review of applications
  • April 2020 – Interviews will occur
  • May 2020 (middle of the month) – STEP will officially start
  • End of July 2020 – STEP will end

Special Notes

  • STEP opportunities will be paid and will last 10 weeks from the end of May through July.
  • Housing allowance will not be provided by NC DEQ.

For questions, email