NNSA operates an alternative pay system designed to attract and retain the best and brightest workers in the national security field. Known as "pay-banding," this pay system focuses on pay-for-performance rather than increases based on longevity.
The pay system collapses the traditional 15 General Schedule pay grades into broad pay bands. It features comprehensive career paths covering professional, technical, administrative and support occupations with three or four pay bands in each career path.
The system allows NNSA managers to set higher pay for their employees through appointments, promotions, and performance evaluations. The goal is to improve recruitment efforts and motivate and retain key employees through faster pay progression for high-performing employees.
- Engineering and Scientific Career Path (NN) - All professional positions in the GS-800 engineering family and GS-1300 physical sciences family.
- Professional, Technical, and Administrative Career Path (NQ) - All OPM-recognized professional occupations (except GS-800 engineers and GS-1300 physical scientists) requiring positive education requirements, and all other subject-matter, business, and administrative occupations characterized by a traditional two-grade interval pattern of grade progression (i.e., GS-5/7/9/11).
- Nuclear Materials Courier Career Path (NV) - All positions in the GS-084 job series.
- Technician and Administrative Support Career Path (NU) - All technician, secretarial, assistant, and clerical occupations, and similar positions characterized by a traditional one-grade interval pattern of grade progression (i.e., GS-5/6/7/8).