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Facts for Your First Day of Work Gaithersburg, Maryland

The following information will prepare you for your first day of work. 


ORIENTATION:  NIST will be conducting virtual orientation.  You will be sent a separate e-mail that includes the date and time of the virtual orientation and instructions regarding how to attend the virtual session.

Reporting for Work

Federal Employees:  You will attend a two hour orientation on your first day at NIST.  This is a virtual orientation that you can attend at home or on campus.  Your orientation will begin at 11:00 a.m EST. 

Before orientation begins you will meet with an HR Assistant and complete the necessary documents to finalize your entry on duty. During orientation, you will be introduced to NIST programs and services; have a general run down of your Federal Benefits; and you will learn how your contributions will support NIST's mission.


The National Institute of Standards & Technology is located in Gaithersburg, Maryland, just off Interstate Route 270, about 25 miles from the center of Washington, D.C. Our address is:

100 Bureau Drive
Gaithersburg , MD 20899

Getting to NIST

You can get to the NIST campus via car, bus, subway, or MARC train. Directions by car are shown below. See information about getting to NIST using other modes of transportation.

From northbound I-270: Take Exit 10, Route 117 West, Clopper Road. Bear right at the first light onto Clopper Road/West Diamond Avenue. At the next light, turn left onto the NIST grounds.

From southbound I-270: Take Exit 11, Route 124, Montgomery Village Avenue/Quince Orchard Road. Bear right at the first light onto Route 124 West, Quince Orchard Road. After you merge onto Rt. 124, Quince Orchard Road, turn left at the second light onto Route 117, West Diamond Avenue. Turn right at the first light onto NIST grounds.


Parking at NIST is free. Please park in the parking lot in front of the Administration Bldg. (101). Please do not park in spaces designated as "carpool."

Official Days and Duty Hours

NIST core hours are from 9:30 a.m. through 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Employees must work with their immediate supervisors to arrange their official work schedule.


Employees on permanent appointments, or temporary appointments of 90 days or more, are eligible to earn leave UNLESS they work an intermittent tour. Intermittent employees DO NOT earn annual and sick leave. Part-time employees earn annual and sick leave on a prorated basis, based on the number of hours per pay period they work.

Annual Leave:  For full-time employees, the amount of annual leave earned is based on the length of creditable civilian and/or military service as follows:

Annual Leave Accrual Rates:

Length of Service Biweekly Yearly
Up to 3 4 hours 13 days
3 to 15 6 hours 20 days
15 and over 8 hours 26 days

Sick Leave:  Sick leave is accrued at the rate of 4 hours per pay period for full-time employees and is prorated for part-time employees based on the number of hours they work per pay period.

View more detailed information about annual, sick, and other types of leave for NIST employees.


The Federal Government issues salary payments on the 2nd Thursday after the close of each biweekly pay period. Thus, a new employee will not receive their first payment until four weeks after he/she has been entered on duty. The "pay lag," as it is commonly referred to, is offset by the receipt of a payment two weeks following the close of the pay period which covers the date of separation. The NYMEO Federal Credit Union, may be able to help new employees with a loan upon approved credit during the period of the pay lag.

Standards Employees Benefits Association (SEBA)

All employees of NIST are automatically eligible to become members of the SEBA when they are appointed. The Association, which is an employee-operated activity, sponsors various welfare, recreation, and entertainment activities throughout the year. Employees may join the Association by filling out a Membership Application and paying the nominal yearly dues. The SEBA Store Office is located in Room A-46 in the basement of the Administrative Building, 301-975-3313.

Medical Services

The Institute has a part-time medical officer and full-time nursing staff on duty in Room C-33 of the Administration Building at Gaithersburg, 301-975-5131. For emergencies when on the NIST campus, dial extension 2222.

Cafeterias, Food and Beverages

There are two cafeterias at Gaithersburg located on the main floor of the Administration Building (Bldg 101) and the Supply and Plant Building (Bldg. 301). The Building 101 cafeteria is currently closed for renovations.

Vending and soda machines are located throughout the Gaithersburg campus.

Created June 29, 2009, Updated August 1, 2022