Work-life balance

We know that your life doesn’t exist solely within the walls of your workplace.  We’re constantly working to provide you with all the resources you will need to have a complete, well balanced personal and professional life.

Our balanced work-life package includes:

  • Relocation assistance
  • Flexible work schedules
  • Paid overtime and/or compensatory time
  • 10 paid holidays each year
  • 13 days of vacation leave, and 13 days of sick leave per year (vacation leave days increase to 20 per year after three years of service, and increases again to 26 days after 15 years of service)
  • Health benefits plan
  • Comprehensive retirement package
  • Business casual dress policy
  • Transit subsidy, including metro fare cards.
  • Job security

Compensation

We follow the Federal Government's General Schedule (GS) salary table for the Washington DC area. Patent examiners follow a special federal salary table.

Telework

We continue to build upon the historically successful Patents and Trademarks telework programs by expanding telework program development into other corporate business units. Each business unit telework program is designed to meet the specific needs of the individual business unit.

The USPTO is considered a model for telework in the federal government and has secured numerous awards for its exemplary telework programs including those from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, the Telework Exchange, the Alliance for Work-Life Progress, the Mid-Atlantic Telework Advisory Council, the Telework Coalition, and the Potomac Forum.

What work schedules are available for patent examiners?

The USPTO is one of few federal agencies offering flexible work schedules. We permit flextime hours with morning arrival as early as 5:30 am and as late at 11:30 am; a 4/10 plan, where you work 10 hours four days each week, with two days off each pay period; and a 5/4/9 plan, that lets you work eight nine-hour days, plus one eight-hour day, with one day off during each pay period. Once you are hired, your supervisor will advise you of your work schedule. As their career advances, examiners may qualify for the teleworking and hoteling programs.

Flexible Spending Accounts

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) enable eligible employees to pay for certain medical and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars. Two different FSAs – one for health care and one for dependent care– are available to employees who elect to participate in the Federal Flexible Spending Accounts Program (FSAFEDS).

Health insurance

The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program helps to meet the widely varying health care needs of Federal employees, retirees and their survivors. With the widest selection of health plans in the country, employees enjoy choice of coverage for themselves only, or self and family coverage that can include spouses and unmarried dependent children under age 26.

LifeCare

We realize you may face work/life issues and has made available to all its employees an agency-paid benefit, LifeCare, a comprehensive work/life, which offers educational materials, personalized referrals, and an interactive web site to assist with the following issues:

  • Relocation assistance - USPTO employees can get personalized referrals to movers, real estate services, local child and adult care, schools, and other resources.
  • Child Care & Parenting-Care options, centers, in-home care, child health & safety, parenting resources, backup care, etc.
  • Pregnancy & Adoption-Prenatal care, birthing options, breastfeeding, domestic and international adoption resources, raising adopted children, etc
  • Education-Pre-K to college, financial aid, scholarships, homework resources, etc.
  • Financial & Legal Issues - free financial consultations to assist with budgeting, financial planning, college planning, home buying, retirement, and identity theft (includes free family budget preparation and discounts on other services). Plus, free attorney consultations on up to 3 new legal topics per year
  • Adult Care & Aging - short- and long-term care options, caregiving resources, retirement, senior health & safety, grief & bereavement, etc.
  • Special Needs-Programs, schools, and child care options for children with special needs, such as physical, behavioral or emotional disabilities
  • Kits - Free Prenatal, Child Safety, and Adult Care Kits (for expectant parents, parents of toddlers, or adult caregivers)
  • Backup Child Care-Access to ChildrenFirst backup care centers around the country.

Throughout the course of your employment at the USPTO, you’ll have access to 24/7 life care-giving support services mentioned above as well as prescreened referrals to care resources, educational resources, health and wellness services, as well as daily life service resources such as home improvement, automotive services, pet care, travel, utilities, and many other services.

Fitness center
We are dedicated to providing an opportunity for all employees to improve their general health and well being through the use of the USPTO Fitness Center and related programs and activities.  For a small fee, you’ll have access to the facilities and classes offered at the Fitness Center, which is located in the Knox Building, Suite 1B45. The fitness center is open 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. More information is available at www.ptofitness.org.

Life insurance

Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) is the world’s largest group life insurance program, ensuring more than four million Federal employees, family members and retirees.

Insurance

The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) provides the protection, benefits and peace of mind of long term care insurance to Federal employees, family members and retirees.

Retirement

U.S. Federal Government employee retirement is recognized as the gold standard for retirees nationwide and worldwide. Currently it is being made even better through the efforts of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Retirement Systems Modernization (RSM) Program.

Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)

The TSP is a retirement savings plan administered by The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board to provide Federal employees with many of the same savings and tax benefits that 401(k) plans offer the private sector.