Education and Experience Equivalency Guide
Substituting Education and Experience
Executive Order 278, Recognizing the Value of Experience in State Government Hiring, directs the NC Office of State Human Resources (OSHR) to create processes to identify job classifications that do not require academic degrees and train agency human resources (HR) personnel on how to properly screen applications to broaden access to career opportunities in state government. This resource explains the years of directly related experience that are equivalent to various academic coursework.
Job Posting Language
Some state job postings say you can qualify by an "equivalent combination of education and experience." If that language appears on the job posting, then you may qualify through EITHER years of education OR years of directly related experience, OR a combination of both.
Note, this equivalency guide is a general resource. Some classification specifications have different equivalency requirements.
Usually, one year of directly related experience is equivalent to one year of education. However, look at the job posting to see if it says that a different number of years of experience can substitute for a degree. When a job posting says you can qualify by an “equivalent combination of education and experience,” you may qualify through years of education, OR years of directly related experience, OR a combination of both.
If a vacancy posting indicates “or equivalent combination of education and experience” and requires a minimum education of a bachelor's degree, it would be equal to:
- An associate degree and two years of related experience
- A high school diploma or GED and four years of related experience
If a vacancy posting indicates “or equivalent combination of education and experience” and requires a bachelor's degree and two years of related experience, it would be equal to:
- An associate
sdegree and four years of related experience
- A high school diploma or GED and six years of related experience
|Undergraduate Course Work||Equivalent Experience|
|30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours||One year experience|
|20 semester hours or 30 quarter hours||Eight months experience|
|15 semester hours or 22.5 quarter hours||Six months experience|
|10 semester hours or 15 quarter hours||Four months experience|
|Graduate Course Work||Equivalent Experience|
|36-48 semester hours||Two years experience|
|25-35 semester hours||18 months experience|
|18-24 semester hours||One year experience|
|8-12 semester hours||Six months experience|
Note on Education and Experience Equivalency
Equivalency can go both ways. If a job has a minimum education and experience of associate degree and two years’ experience, someone with a bachelor's degree could qualify.