Working at NNSA

National Nuclear Security Administration

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Working at the National Nuclear Security Administration
Competitive pay, a compelling mission, and multiple ways to serve make NNSA an attractive place to work. Join our team!

Our employees use their scientific, technical, and professional expertise to oversee world-class science and engineering programs that push the envelope of creativity and innovation.

Whether you’re a new college graduate, someone with industry experience looking to move into a Federal job, or a current government employee looking for a new adventure, NNSA can offer you a competitive salary and exciting career opportunities.

Learning doesn’t stop with a college or post-graduate degree. It is a key part of individual career development and is central to NNSA’s efforts to build a highly-skilled workforce ready to meet the challenges of a changing world.

NNSA Management & Budget articles and press releases

Opportunities
NNSA has a variety of opportunities for workers.
There is a great variety of work opportunities at NNSA.

Whether you're a student seeking to learn more about a future career, just starting out, mid-career or an experienced executive, NNSA may have the right opportunity for you!

All job listings for NNSA are listed on USAJobs. There you’ll learn what positions are available and where they are offered – NNSA has positions at locations nationwide. Start your NNSA job search at USAJobs.

NNSA does much of its work through its sites, which are run by organizations that hire their own workforce. Click here for a list of NNSA sites.

Our pay and benefits
Bike to Work Day at NNSA
The NNSA team has a rewarding mission and a fun work environment.

Pay

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.

Career Path Pay Band I Pay Band II Pay Band III Pay Band IV
Engineering & Scientific (NN)

GS-5-GS-8

($28,545-$50,904)

GS-9-GS-11

($43,251-$68,025)

GS-12-GS-13

($62,722-$96,958)

GS-14-GS-15

($88,136-$134,776)

Professional, Technical & Administrative (NQ)

GS-5-GS-8

($28,545-$50,904)

GS-9-GS-12

($43,251-$81,541)

GS-13-GS-14

($74,584-$114,578)

GS-15

($103,672-$134,776)

Nuclear Materials Courier (NV)

GS-8-GS-10

($39,159-$61,922)

GS-11

($52,239-$68,025)

GS-12

($62,722-$81,541)

GS-13

($74,584-$96,958)

Technician & Administrative Support (NU)

GS-1-GS-4

($18,526-$33,164)

GS-5-GS-8

($28,545-$50,904)

GS-9

($43,251-$56,229)

N/A

Base pay levels as of January 2017.

NNSA positions are divided into four career paths:

  • 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).

A closer look at how NNSA's pay system compares to the General Schedule, including locality pay tables.

Benefits

NNSA employees are entitled to Federal benefits, including health insurance, paid leave, and retirement.

Learn more at the Office of Personnel Management site.

Student opportunities
Members of the NNSA Graduate Fellows Program
NNSA Graduate Fellows gain experience addressing real-world challenges on the job and participate in a rigorous learning and development program.

NNSA offers a variety of ways for students to work and learn. From nonproliferation to law, there are numerous opportunities.

  • NNSA Graduate Fellowship Program: Graduate students who are selected fill a position in one of NNSA’s program offices. They gain experience addressing real-world challenges on the job and participate in a rigorous learning and development program that prepares them for leadership in the national security field.
  • Legal Internship Program: The Office of General Counsel has an internship program that employs student interns year-round. The office employs interns or externs part-time during the academic year and full-time in the summer. The office is responsible for the provision of legal services, counsel, and support to the NNSA Administrator and all NNSA elements worldwide. All areas of law are involved, including procurement, environmental, fiscal, labor, national security, and international.
  • Military collaborations: Military advisors encourage eligible cadets/midshipmen to apply. Two programs are available. They place military academy cadets/midshipmen in tours of duty within science, technology, engineering, national security, and relevant fields at an NNSA site. Participants expand their understanding of the Nuclear Security Enterprise and Department of Defense programs while working closely with nationally recognized staff and researchers on national security research and production. 
  • Minority Serving Institutions Internship Program: Combining studies with on-the-job training and experience directly related to the student's academic program allows them to make more informed career choices. The 10-week summer program gives them the opportunity to work on exciting projects at NNSA’s laboratories, field offices, or with our partners.