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Veterans’ Preference

The State of Utah recognizes the sacrifices and contributions of men and women who have served in the United States armed forces and provides veterans’ preference points to qualified veterans.

On November 8, 2013, Governor Gary Herbert proclaimed:

“Our veterans have freely given their time, sweat and blood to serve this great state and nation. Each and every veteran deserves an opportunity to continue that service through employment opportunities here at home. The State of Utah will serve as a model employer for our veterans.”

The State of Utah provides employment preference to U.S. armed forces veterans in two ways: 1) Through the traditional Veterans’ Preference point system; and 2) through the new Veteran Employment Opportunity Program. Each of these programs is described below.

Who can claim Veterans’ Preference?

As a veteran of the armed services, you may be entitled to preference when seeking initial employment with Utah state government (Utah Code 71-10-1). For state jobs open to the public veterans’ preference is provided to applicants who meet any of the following criteria:

  • Any individual who has served on active duty in the armed forces for more than 180 consecutive days, except active duty for training purposes such as initial basic and advanced individual training or active duty to attend a military course, and who was separated under honorable conditions.
  • A member or former member of a reserve component who served in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign medal has been authorized and who was separated from active service under honorable conditions.
  • A veteran with a disability, regardless of the percentage of disability.
  • The spouse or unmarried widow or widower of a veteran.
  • A Purple Heart recipient.
  • A retired member of the armed forces.

How do I claim Veterans’ Preference?

To receive veterans’ preference points, click “yes” on the Veteran status indicator when applying for specific positions. Then you will select the basis upon which you should be awarded veteran preference points. 

In your job seeker profile please upload a copy of your DD 214, or your spouse’s DD 214 in the event you are requesting veterans’ preference on the basis of your spouse’s service. If you do not have the ability to upload a scanned copy of your DD214, you should contact the position’s recruiter to ask how you can get a copy of your DD 214 to them so that it can be added to your profile.

How is Veterans’ Preference Awarded?

Preference will be awarded as follows (Utah Code 71-10-2):

  • Five points or five percent of the total possible score (whichever is greater), if the preference eligible applicant is a veteran;
  • Ten points or ten percent of the total possible score (whichever is greater), if the preference eligible applicant is a veteran with a disability or a Purple Heart recipient; or
  • In the case of a preference eligible spouse, widow, or widower, the same percentage the qualifying veteran is, or would have been, entitled to.

Veteran Employment Opportunity Program (VEOP)

The Veterans’ Employment Opportunity Amendments (HB327) became law effective May 13, 2014. This law found in Utah Code 67-19-15(2)(b)(ii) allows for veterans of the U.S. armed forces to be hired into designated career-service positions with a 6-month on-the-job examination period in lieu of a competitive hiring process. Recruitments eligible for the VEOP will be determined at the time the recruitment is initiated. To opt in, veterans must meet the veterans’ preference criteria specified above, upload their DD214 to the Job Seeker website, and indicate that they would like to be considered for hire under this program. Hiring officials may choose to interview and hire a qualified veteran who has opted into this program separately from other candidates. Ultimately, a qualified veteran or another candidate may be selected for the position depending on candidate qualifications and the hiring manager’s specific needs.

If you are a disabled veteran you may also qualify for the Alternative State Application Program (ASAP), which is designed to appoint qualified persons with disabilities through an on-the-job examination period rather than through a traditional competitive process.

If you have any questions about veterans’ preference points or the new Veteran Employment Opportunity Program, please feel free to contact the position’s recruiter. We are grateful for the service our veterans have provided to our nation and wish you well in the hiring process.

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