Working at NRC

The NRC represents a career opportunity that you will find rewarding on many levels. It begins with a mission as important as it is far-reaching, and continues with a positive, collaborative, and diverse work environment.

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The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) mission is to license and regulate the Nation's civilian use of radioactive materials to provide reasonable assurance of adequate protection of public health and safety and to promote the common defense and security and to protect the environment. To fulfill its responsibility to protect public health and safety, the NRC performs five principle regulatory functions: developing regulations and guidance for applicants and licensees; licensing or certifying applicants to use nuclear materials, operate nuclear facilities, and decommissioning facilities; inspecting and assessing licensee operations and facilities to ensure that licensees apply with NRC requirements and taking appropriate follow-up or enforcement actions when necessary; evaluating operational experience of license facilities and activities; and conducting research, holding hearings, and obtaining independent reviews to support regulatory decisions.


In conducting all of our work, we at the NRC adhere to the following fundamental organizational values. These values guide every action we take; from a decision on a safety, security or environmental issue; to how we perform an administrative task; to how we interact with our fellow employees and other stakeholders. 

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Welcome to the NRC Ethics Web site. Here you can find laws, regulations, and policies governing the conduct of NRC employees as well as financial disclosure forms and articles on ethics issues.

The fundamental ethical principles call upon Federal Employees to place loyalty to the Constitution, our public laws, and ethical standards above private gain. Every NRC employee is responsible for knowing and understanding the Federal and NRC ethics rules.

Because some of these rules are complex and may require some analysis, NRC employees are encouraged to seek the advice of an ethics counselor before taking any action that may be covered by these rules.

The NRC creates and maintains a work environment to maximize the potential of all employees. At the NRC, we encourage trust, respect, and open communication to foster and promote an inclusive work environment. Our goal is to build a diverse work force that is valued, appreciated and committed to enhancing regulatory excellence. Come join our agency team and experience a rewarding and challenging career.

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NRC's approximately 3,000 employees are at our Headquarters complex in Rockville, Maryland, and in four regional offices in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Illinois, and Texas. Our workforce represents diversity in gender, ethnicity, education, occupation, and age.

The agency's workforce is 40% female and 60% male. Workforce under the age of 40 is 22% and workforce over the age of 50 is 57%. Ethnic and racial demographics are African-American—15%; Asian Pacific American—10%; Hispanic—7%; Native American—less than 1%; Two or more races─less than 1%; and white—63%.


The Office of Small Business and Civil Rights administer NRC’s Affirmative Employment and Diversity Management program (AEDM), which helps the agency pursue actions to eradicate employment discrimination and eliminate prejudice, improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and create an environment where NRC employees are valued, respected, and free to develop and perform to their fullest potential. The AEDM also leads NRC’s efforts to integrate its FY 2021-2026 Inclusive Diversity Strategic Plan (IDSP) agency-wide.


It is the policy of the NRC to foster equal opportunity for all employees and to promote principles of diversity management that will enhance the level of effectiveness and efficiency of its programs. The concept of diversity management is a strategic business objective that seeks to increase organizational capacity in a workplace where the contributions of all employees are recognized and valued. NRC's goal is to build a high-performing, diverse workforce based on mutual acceptance and trust. It is also NRC's policy to select the best-qualified applicant for the job, regardless of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor. 

The NRC’s FY 2021-2026 Inclusive Diversity Strategic Plan (IDSP) is a six-year plan to help us achieve our business and people goals.  The IDSP is the centerpiece of the NRC’s diversity and inclusion initiative. The IDSP provides agency direction and organizational commitment to foster a culture that encourages workplace diversity and inclusion. It provides a solid foundation for fully integrating diversity and inclusion into the NRC’s mission and strategic decisionmaking and for developing strategies and initiatives at all agency levels. The NRC considers the IDSP as a blueprint that links engagement of our employees and transformation of our organization to our safety and security objectives. 

The NRC recognizes that a diverse workforce contributes directly to the achievement of NRC’s mission by bringing a wide variety of perspectives and approaches to our work.  An ideal workforce is an inclusive workforce, supported by an agency that draws on the creativity and innovation produced by employees with diverse backgrounds, perspectives, experiences, approaches, and thoughts. By considering diversity and inclusion in recruitment, hiring, promotion, advancement, and other selection activities, as well as developmental and training opportunities and inter-agency working groups, we position our workforce to effectively address the greatest challenges we face. 

Workforce diversity is often linked to stronger organizational performance, increased innovation, and high productivity.  The IDSP will guide the NRC as it competes for qualified talent in today’s job market. It will also help us maintain our focus on proactive pursuit of a healthy organizational culture in which employees feel a sense of belonging and accomplish the NRC’s mission in a high-trust environment. We also strive to ensure that the NRC is regarded as an agency that provides equal employment opportunity and serves as an employer of choice for a diverse workforce.


The agency has eight Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Committees to assist agency management in accomplishing diversity objectives. These include the Advisory Committee for African Americans, Advisory Committee for Employees with Disabilities, the Asian Pacific American Advisory Committee, Diversity Advisory Committee on Ageism, Federal Women's Program Advisory Committee, Hispanic Employment Program Advisory Committee, Native American Advisory Committee, and the NRC Pride Alliance Advisory Committee. These committees provide advice and recommendations to the Director, Office of Small Business and Civil Rights, regarding policies, procedures, and practices related to career development of NRC employees and selection of applicants for employment. See how NRC Special Emphasis Groups work collectively to promote diversity and inclusion at the NRC.


On July 2010, Executive Order 13548 was signed which required Federal agencies to improve their efforts to employ individuals with disabilities through increased recruitment, hiring, and retention of individuals with disabilities. For more information, please see the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) Disability Program Strategic Project Plan, FY2019 – FY2024.


On January 3, 2017, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued an update to Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended.  Pursuant to 29 CFR 1614.203(e)(2), each agency shall make an affirmative action plan for the hiring, placement, and advancement of individuals with disabilities and make it available to the public.  This plan is updated on an annual basis.  Click on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) Affirmative Action Plan to access the agency’s Disability Affirmative Action Plan, which was approved by the EEOC.


NRC provides reasonable accommodation for qualified applicants and employees with disabilities except when doing so would pose an undue hardship on the agency. Information about accommodations can be found in the Procedures for Providing Reasonable Accommodation for Individuals with Disabilities.


NRC sponsors several special emphasis observance celebrations and Diversity Day at its Headquarters offices to highlight contributions made to this country by people from various cultures. Similar events are frequently sponsored at the regional offices.

January Martin Luther King, Jr., Birthday (Poster Exhibit)
February African American History Month (Poster Exhibit/Program)
March Women's History Month (Poster Exhibit/Program)
May Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (Poster Exhibit/Program)
May Older Americans Month (Poster Exhibit/Program)
May Military Appreciation Month (Poster Exhibit/Program)
June Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Pride Month (Poster Exhibit/Program)
June Juneteenth (Poster Exhibit/Program)
August Women's Equality Day (Poster Exhibit)
September Hispanic Heritage Month (Poster Exhibit/Program)
October National Disability Employment Awareness Month (Poster Exhibit/Program)
November Native American Heritage Month (Poster Exhibit/Program)


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Never before has our culture placed so much emphasis on maintaining a balance between the professional and the personal. "Work/Life Balance" is not just a phase that gets tossed around but is part of who we are. Our programs help employees cope with the dynamic complexities of today's life and offer the opportunity to balance career and family. Programs include:

    Striking a balance between work and life obligations requires some of the more difficult decisions in anyone's career. The NRC allows for telecommuting and flexibility in scheduling working hours to better fit the rest of your life.

    Allows an employee to use up to 13 days of their available sick leave per year to provide health care for a family member or to attend a funeral of a family member.

    Our Child Development center is located at our headquarters complex. Children are accepted from ages 6 weeks to 6 years old. The Center is open from 6:45 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The program balances play and work in satisfying and productive ways, develops basic readiness skills, and assists the children to challenge and test themselves and experience the joys of learning in a whole-child environment, and it includes all-day Kindergarten.

  • ON-SITE FITNESS CENTER (Headquarters only)
    The NRC maintains a state-of-the-art fitness center in the headquarters building complex. The NRC Fitness Center is equipped with bikes, treadmills, ellipticals and other such equipment. The Fitness Center also staffs professional trained exercise physiologists and provides an array of health and fitness programs to meet your individual needs for achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. NRC headquarter employees are eligible to join.

  • ON-SITE HEALTH CENTER (Headquarters only)
    The NRC provides an on-site health center that is staffed with nurses and a doctor. Services include various screening programs, such as diabetes, glaucoma/vision testing, and high blood pressure testing. Employees who must have allergy shots can have them administered at the health unit if prescribed by their personal physician.

    Cafeterias are located in each of our buildings. The One White Flint Cafeteria is open from 6:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.; the Two White Flint cafeteria is open from 6:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. The coffee shop is open from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. In addition there is a snack shop operated by the Maryland Workshop for the Blind.

    Do you use public transportation to get to work? If so, you may be eligible for a transportation subsidy each month. The headquarters complex is located on the Metro system Red Line.

  • Opportunities to travel
  • Ability to publish
  • Public Service
  • Providing advice on public safety issues
  • Working with world class scientists
  • Relocation possibilities
  • Training, both on-the-job and formal study
  • Portable retirement benefits


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NRC employees receive a competitive salary and enjoy a superior benefits package.  Pay rates are competitive with the private sector and generally include annual pay increases, longevity raises, and the possibility of cash awards and bonuses. Salary for new employees depends on the grade and geographic area of the position you are selected for, as well as any prior Federal or private sector experience you may have.

Below are the NRC current salary charts.

How NRC decides what salary to offer

When offering starting salaries to prospective employees, NRC strives to be fair and competitive, and typically considers and uses a range of available pay setting flexibilities. For non-Federal applicants, this may include offering a step and corresponding salary above step 1 (the minimum of any grade) for candidates with superior qualifications, and generally taking into consideration current or recent pay, within applicable parameters/limitations; and bringing on certain candidates at pre-determined steps/salaries (typically entry level professional positions) and in some cases offering standard recruitment incentives (signing bonuses). For current or former Federal candidates, NRC may be able to offer higher salaries through use of Maximum Payable Rate rules.

The Office of Personnel Management has issued various fact sheets on Federal pay setting flexibilities, many of which are applicable at NRC. 

If you would like to contact us about Pay, see Contact Us About Employment and select "Pay" from the dropdown list.



Paid Time Off

  • Annual Leave:  Full-time employees earn from 13 to 26 days paid vacation per year depending upon their years of Federal service.
  • Sick Leave: Full-time employees earn 13 paid sick days per year, which can be used for personal illness, care of sick family members, adoption, and medical appointments.
  • Holidays: Full-time employees enjoy 10 paid holidays per year.

Retirement Plans 
The NRC has two primary retirement plans. The first is for NRC employees who were Federal employees before December 31, 1983 and is called the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). The CSRS is a defined benefit system with no portability outside the Federal sector and with no benefits for employees who do not stay until retirement.

The second retirement plan, which is available to new employees, is the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). FERS recognizes that not all Federal employees stay long enough to qualify for retirement, so it is a three-tiered design with portable benefits. The basic components of FERS are (1) Social Security; (2) automatic enrollment in the Thrift Savings Plan; and (3) a defined benefit (Basic Annuity) element based on years of service, pay level, and age at retirement. Other applicable retirement plans include CSRS-Offset, CSRS- and FERS- Special (for law enforcement officers), and social security.

Thrift Savings Plan
The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a retirement savings and investment plan for Federal employees. The purpose of the TSP is to provide retirement income. It offers Federal civilian employees the same type of savings and tax benefits that many private corporations offer their employees under ''401(k)'' plans.

The TSP is a defined contribution plan. The retirement income that you receive from your TSP account will depend on how much you (and your agency, if you are a FERS employee) have contributed to your account during your working years and the earnings on these contributions. The contributions that you make to your TSP account are voluntary and are separate from your contributions to your FERS Basic Annuity or CSRS annuity.

Insurance Benefits
As a new/newly eligible Federal employee, you may be able to enroll in health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, flexible spending accounts, life insurance, and/or apply for long term care insurance.

Employee Assistance Program
The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides professional counseling services for NRC employees who are experiencing personal problems that may be affecting their ability to perform on the job. The program offers assessment, referral, short-term counseling, and follow-up for employees dealing with family and marital problems, substance abuse, stress, depression, and many other personal challenges.

All employees of the NRC may use the program at any time. Employees are encouraged to contact an EAP professional whenever they are experiencing personal problems. In many situations, family members of NRC employees are also eligible for the services of the program. Supervisors and managers may also seek the guidance of the EAP to help determine the appropriateness of referring employees who may be experiencing work performance and conduct changes due to personal problems.

Recruitment Incentives
For entry level engineers and scientists and certain other "hard-to-fill" positions, the NRC may provide a one-time recruitment incentive. Employees receiving a recruitment incentive are obligated to continue their service with the NRC for a specified period of time.

Relocation Expenses for New Employees
For certain "hard-to-fill" positions, some relocation expenses may be authorized. Such determinations are made on a case-by-case basis. Employees receiving relocation expenses are obligated to continue their service with the NRC for a specified period of time.

Student Loan Repayment
The NRC may pay a portion of an employee's federally guaranteed student loan. Employees for whom student loan expenses are paid are obligated to continue their service with the NRC for a specified period of time.

Union Representation
The National Treasury Employees Union is the exclusive representative for many employees at the NRC. Those employees may contact NTEU for further information on their services.

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Knowledge and experience are the keys to carrying out the NRC mission. The NRC offers classroom and on-the-job training; supervisory and management training; and specialized training. This training provides you unprecedented opportunities to gain expert knowledge, develop your career, and stay a step ahead of changing technology and industry. Here are a few examples of the kinds of training and career development programs we offer:

Employee Training: The NRC provides employees with instructor-led, computer-based, and self-study training opportunities in a wide spectrum of technical disciplines in support of the NRC's regulatory programs and in broad areas of interest to NRC employees. Training is offered using traditional classrooms, computer laboratories, full-scope nuclear power plant control room simulators, and web-based training.

Technical Training: Whether in the classroom, simulator or laboratory, on-line, or through on-the-job training and self-study in the field, our training programs provide engineers, scientists and other technical professionals with the latest information and valuable practical experience in evaluating the design and operation of the various types of nuclear facilities in order to develop the competencies required to carry out their assigned regulatory activities. Employees learn how to perform inspection, investigation, licensing, and enforcement activities and gain an understanding of nuclear facilities and engineering principles in order to enhance communication and decision-making abilities.

Group Training: Comprehensive group training programs are offered for executive, supervisory, and management development, including training in equal employment opportunity and diversity.

Training Facilities: The NRC maintains and operates a Technical Training Center in Chattanooga, TN and a Professional Development Center at NRC headquarters in Rockville, MD.

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The awards and recognition received by the NRC are listed below.

Some of the links on this page are to non-NRC servers and websites and are provided solely as a reference for the convenience of users. NRC cannot guarantee the authenticity of documents or the validity of information obtained at these non-NRC websites. See our Site Disclaimer for more information.

Top Supporter 2003-2017 Award Listed in the 2017 "Top Supporters of HBCUs" by Career Communications Group
Best Places to Work Award Ranked one of the "Best Places to Work in the Federal Government"

Employee Satisfaction Survey Results
Top STEM Workplaces, winds of Changes Magazine, 2019 Award American Indian Science and Engineering Society Top 50 STEM Workplaces for Native STEM Professionals
2020 Top 20 Government Employers Woman Engineering Magizine Award

Ranked in the "Top 20 Government Employers" in Women Engineer Magazine