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Career Paths

NIST employees follow five main career paths:

Scientific & Engineering

NIST's scientific and engineering staff pursue research in a wide range of fields, including advanced communications, bioscience, chemistry, electronics, energy, fire, forensic science, information technology, infrastructure, manufacturing, materials science, mathematics, nanotechnology, neutron research, physics, public safety, resilience, and transportation all with a common mission of promoting U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.

Learn more about what some of our scientists have to say about working at NIST.


Administrative Professionals

From information technology specialists and public affairs officers to contracting officers and human resource specialists, NIST’s administrative professionals are key to keeping NIST—and the important science happening here—running smoothly.

Career fields include information technology, public affairs, contracts, finance, government affairs, human resources, administration/management and more.

Learn more about what some of our administrative professionals have to say about working at NIST.


Administrative Support

Without the hard work of the administrative support staff at NIST, the world-class science and research would not get done. Administrative assistants do everything from booking travel and overseeing office purchases to managing calendars and providing other general office support.

Many of NIST’s administrative support professionals enter NIST via the Administrative Support Program (ASP), which places individuals into both short-term and long-term positions across NIST as opportunities arise. While an individual’s work schedule may start out as intermittent, many individuals who begin their NIST career as part of this program transition into full-time permanent positions when they are available.

Hear from one of our administrative support staff.

Facilities Support

NIST's campus wouldn't run smoothly without the support of a facilities team  that plans, builds, operates, maintains and services the facilities where the science is being done. NIST's facilities support team helps to provide a safe, secure, and sustainable environment. Tasks include space and real property management; facilities planning, building design, construction and renovation; building system operation, maintenance and repair; central plant operation and utility distribution services; grounds maintenance; janitorial services; oversight and support for NIST construction grants; and facilities support services including mail, reproduction, transportation, visual communications, logistics and personal property management.

Students and Postdocs

NIST provides opportunities for students and postdocs mainly through four programs: the NRC Postdoctoral Research Associateships program, the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program, the Graduate Student Measurement Science and Engineering (GMSE) Fellowship program and the Professional Research Experience Program (PREP).

Hear from one of NIST's interns.

Created March 1, 2018, Updated July 26, 2023