The National Institute of Standards and Technology is striving to be the world's leader in creating critical measurement solutions and promoting equitable standards. Our efforts stimulate innovation, foster industrial competitiveness, and improve the quality of life. Come join our team to work beside world renowned Scientists and Engineers, Nobel Prize Winners, and many other dedicated employees to advance measurement science, standards, and technology.
NIST offers employment to Federal employees at our sites in Gaithersburg, MD, and Boulder, CO, as well as to a large number of Associates (including foreign and domestic Guest Researchers). Here's a brief glimpse of what we can offer you:
In Gaithersburg, MD, our peaceful, wooded 234-hectare/578-acre campus is beautifully landscaped with mature trees and ponds, white-tailed deer and Canada geese, walking paths, and picnic area. The campus provides easy and pleasant access for outdoor repasts, biking, walking, and jogging.
In Boulder, CO, NIST's laboratories occupy a scenic, 84-hectare/208-acre campus at the foot of the Colorado Front Range. The campus is shared with offices and laboratories for units of two other Commerce Department agencies, NOAA and NTIA.
Search for NIST Job Vacancies: Vacancy announcements contain important information that applicants need to know to apply for a specific job opening including the duties and responsibilities of the position; minimum qualification requirements; knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for the position; and general application procedures. For a list of current NIST opportunities please search our current opportunities listed on USAJobs.
For questions, applicants can call the Office of Human Resources Management help desk at 301-975-3000, Federal Relay Service 800-877-8339 (TTY).
Certain individuals with physical or mental disabilities may be hired noncompetitively into excepted service positions. Certain requirements must be met and, once hired, these employees may be eligible for noncompetitive conversion to a permanent position in the competitive service. Additional information concerning recruitment or employment of individuals with disabilities is available from the Civil Rights Office. For further information please look here.
Positions can also be filled with individuals eligible for a variety of noncompetitive appointing authorities including Veterans Readjustment Appointment (VRA), 30 percent disabled veterans, reinstatement of former federal employees with status, etc. For further information please look Special Hiring Authorities/Veterans page.
NIST does not tolerate discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), pregnancy, national origin, age (40 years of age and older), disability (including the provision of reasonable accommodation), genetic information, and participation in protected Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) activities. These protections encompass all aspects of employment, including recruiting, hiring, training, promotions, employee development, separations, and awards. Retaliation against those who initiate discrimination complaints, participate in any employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit, or otherwise oppose discrimination and harassment is strictly prohibited.
The Department of Commerce (DOC) ranks second on the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government for 2016 and NIST is ranked second in the subcomponents of DOC. With such high ratings, it is no wonder employees stay at NIST for a long time. Here are some testimonials from current employees as to why they love working at NIST.
Both Gaithersburg and Boulder campuses offer childcare services, employee counseling/assistance, mentoring, free parking, cafeterias, credit unions, fitness centers/gyms, health units, and employee associations.
There are also several intermural sports teams to join and meet your fellow NIST employees.
Federal employees are offered a generous benefits package. To see a brief description of each benefit program please go visit the site links below. Many of the benefits programs are administered for the entire Federal government by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and other organizations.
- Benefits-Related Websites and Phones Numbers
- Benefits Summary Chart
- Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB)
- Federal Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP)
- Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI)
- Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)
- Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP)
The most noticeable difference between the NIST APMS and the General Schedule (GS) system used by other agencies, is that NIST positions are classified according to career path and pay band, instead of by GS grade. Career paths are categories of occupations grouped by similarities in work, qualification requirements, pay ranges, and career progression. Click here to view the NIST Career Path Chart.
The rate of pay for NIST Alternative Personnel Management System (APMS) employees may be adjusted periodically to correspond with pay rate changes approved by the President for general schedule (GS) employees according to changes in pay rates in comparable positions in private industry, locality pay increases, and a variety of other factors. In addition, employees' pay may be increased through the annual performance appraisal review process.
Under the APMS, employees are considered for performance-related pay increases and bonuses as a part of the annual performance appraisal process.
Under the Federal Wage System (FWS), each grade of a regular wage schedule (WG) has five rates to which an employee may progress with satisfactory work performance. Employees under a regular wage schedule may advance to Rate 2 after 26 weeks at Rate 1; to Rate 3 after 78 weeks at Rate 2; and to Rates 4 and 5 after 104 weeks at the next lower rate.
Different prevailing rate wage schedules are established for different types of work, e.g., apprentice (WT), leader (WL), supervisor (WS), or planner-estimator (WD). Rates of pay for these prevailing rate jobs are different in different localities and are set by periodic surveys of the rates being paid by typical employers in each locality.
Pay increases for SES and ST-3104 employees result from performance pay adjustments.
Annual leave is time off for vacations, personal use, or as a substitute for leave without pay under the Family and Medical Leave Act. To be eligible to earn annual leave, you must have been hired for 90 days or more. The amount of annual leave you earn, referred to as your "leave category," depends on the length of your federal/military service as shown in the following chart.
Years of Service
Hours Earned Each
Total Days Per Year
Up to 3
3 to 15
15 and over
*Part-time employees' earnings of annual leave are prorated in proportion to the number of hours worked. (1 hour of leave is earned for each 20 hours worked)
Carryovers: The total number of hours that may carry over from one leave year to the next is 240 hours for non-SES employees; SES employees may carry over up to 720 hours to the new leave year. Exceptions to these limitations may be approved under special circumstances provided for under leave restoration regulations contained in the DoC Handbook of Leave Administration.
Use: While you have a right to use the annual leave you earn, your absence on annual leave must be approved by your supervisor. Usually, you must get approval for leave in advance. In emergency situations, where you could not foresee the need to take leave, you must notify your supervisor as soon as possible.
Sick leave is time off when you are unable to do your job due to illness; for adoption of a child; for taking care of an immediate family member or as a substitute for leave without pay under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Earnings: All full-time employees, regardless of their length of service, earn four hours of sick leave each two-week pay period. Eligible employees other than full-time earn sick leave at the proportional rate of one hour for each 20 hours in a pay status.
There is no limit on the amount of sick leave you can accumulate for use in succeeding years. It is to your advantage to preserve your sick leave in case you need it for a serious injury or a long illness. If you leave the government, there is no payment for unused sick leave, but such leave is recredited if you are reemployed with the federal government.
How to Apply
- All applicants must use an established account in the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) website (www.usajobs.gov) to apply for Executive Level positions. Instructions to establish an account are provided on the website.
- All applications and supporting documents for positions must be received through www.usajobs.gov by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on the closing date of the announcement to be considered for the position. Please be sure to allow adequate time to compete the application.
Please note: Failure to submit a complete application package which consists of the above items will result in your application not being considered.
Applicants must respond to the application questions which consist of providing 8 narrative responses to the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) and Professional/Technical Qualifications (PTQs). Failure to address the Executive Core and/or Professional/Technical Qualifications will result in your application not being considered.
Do's and Don'ts
DO submit only the information and documentation requested in the Vacancy Announcement.
DO allow adequate time to complete your application as all applications and all supporting documents must be received by 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time on the closing date of the announcement to be considered for this position
DON'T attach superfluous documentation (e.g., performance plans/ratings, position descriptions, letters of commendation and/or recommendation, training; award or other certificates, books, reports, etc.).
DON'T submit out-of-date and/or illegible copies of any documents.
To search current opportunities or apply for a job at NIST please click on the link at the top of the page or follow this link.