Volunteer Types

General Volunteer

This type of volunteer usually makes a more long-term commitment, providing their skills and services for community involvement. This provides a wonderful opportunity to build networking relationships while building a resume.

Job Shadow

This type of volunteer is visiting, and will observe Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department staff at work and be able to ask them questions about their job as well as their education. This is a time for observation, to interact with others and to help a person gain an insider’s view of a career field. The time period to job shadow is brief, usually no more than eight hours.


Student-in-Training is an organized learning program. The learning program may be for a class of students or an individual, and is usually class led by a professor, teacher, or career counselor to provide real life work experience in a learning environment. This volunteer opportunity will provide real world experience to gain the relevant knowledge and skills required to enter into a particular career field. This may be Optional Practical Training (OPT) or Curricular Practical Training (CPT). OPT gives students an opportunity to gain work experience before and/or after completion of a degree. Unlike CPT, OPT does not have to be included as a required practicum listed in the students curriculum. CPT is included as a required internship or practicum listed in a student’s curriculum.


Individual internships provide real world experience to those looking to explore or gain the relevant knowledge and skills required to enter into a particular career field. This is an excellent way to begin building important connections that are important in developing and maintaining a strong professional network for the future. For some student’s, an internship, may be required as part of their curriculum. For internships that qualify for class credit, usually a faculty sponsor works along with the site supervisor to ensure that the necessary learning is taking place. Interns can be high school or college students.

Internships are relatively short term in nature (approximately 240 to 380 hours) with the primary focus on receiving on the job training and taking what a student learns in the classroom and applying it to the real world. An intern generally has a site supervisor who assigns specific tasks setting goals and objectives specific to the student’s academic program and evaluates the intern’s overall work.

Pierce County Medical Reserve Corps

For more information about volunteering with the Pierce County Medical Reserve Corps please check out their page.

Community Partners

Community Partners include individuals from public, non-profit organizations and private entities who partner with Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department to assist in advancing our mission. Individuals are placed onsite and are not employed by and may or may not be directed by the Department per a contract agreement. Community Partners may serve various lengths of time, working in coordinated efforts with the Department, relying on each other's strengths to provide the highest possible community service.