NASA Workforce Map
A Quick Look at NASA Employee Benefits

Your Pay Or Benefits

As a NASA Civil Service Employee

Challenging,  Interesting  Work
Planned a mission to Mars lately?  Ever replaced a gyro on an orbiting telescope traveling at 17,600 mph in a full vacuum?  As a NASA civil servant, you will participate in or provide critical support to activities just like these.  Each day you will be helping to make our Nation's history...and create our future.  Your work is to invent, to create, to explore, to explain.  Often, it's not very easy...but it's very satisfying and personally--very rewarding.  Each day, you have the opportunity to perform meaningful, challenging work in state-of the-art facilities.  Your work is important not only to our Nation's space program....but also to the future of humankind. Working for NASA, you can really make a difference that is literally and figuratively...out of this world.
Financial & Job Security
You receive a very competitive salary with a comprehensive retirement and benefits package.  As a Federal employee, you have numerous employment safeguards that insure that promotions and advancement are based on performance, achievement, and productivity.  Even though NASA has been downsizing for the past couple of years, we've been able to meet our targets without any involuntary separations.  What this means to you is that if you join NASA and continue to perform satisfactorily, you most likely will have the opportunity to remain with us throughout your entire career.  As shown by our very, very low turnover rates, NASA is a proven "employer of choice."
Family Friendly Workplace
To meet the needs of our evolving workforce, NASA has instituted a variety of programs and policies designed to insure that you can continue to meet the needs and demands of family and personal life while continuing to successfully perform your NASA duties.  NASA Family Friendly initiatives include: flexible work and leave schedules; leave sharing, flexi-place programs; safety, wellness, and recreation programs; Employee Assistance Programs; educational outreach; career and benefits counseling, and relocation assistance.  Many NASA installations also offer onsite or nearby childcare facilities.
Great Work Environment!
NASA provides state-of the-art facilities that provide a safe, secure, and well maintained work environment. You work along-side well-trained, experienced professionals who share not only your sense of dedication to our mission but also a passion for our work. Click here for information about our installations.
Life-Long Learning
NASA is all about learning and education. As a NASA employee, our expectation is that you will continue to learn and develop throughout your career. Life-long learning is not only is absolutely necessary for our continuing success. As we stretch the limits of human knowledge and the boundaries of our known universe--you, as a NASA employee, will be expected to develop and expand your knowledge, skills, and abilities. To help you, NASA has a number of tools, programs, and experiences that will not only develop--but also challenge you. Subsidized continuing education, extensive onsite training, continuing exposure to the latest technology, and a constant influx of new and challenging projects will help you continue to learn throughout your NASA career. Click here for more information.
Competitive Salary
Your salary is based upon established government-wide standards and adjusted for longevity, cost of living, and locality costs. Click here for more information.

Locality Pay

In addition to you salary, you will receive an additional percentage of your pay that is intended to insure that your civil service pay is competitive with that offered in the private sector. This pay is based upon average local wage costs in the geographic areas in which our NASA facilities are located. Click here for more information.

Pay Increases For Experience & Longevity

In addition to a competitive salary and locality pay, you receive "within grade" pay increases based upon time in your pay grade and satisfactory job performance.  These ten "steps" occur at 1, 2, and 3 year intervals.

Cost Of Living Pay Increases

Usually each year, Congress approves a small percentage salary increase for most employees.  This increase is generally intended to insure that Federal salaries keep pace with inflation.

Incentive Awards Program

NASA has an active incentive awards program that rewards and recognizes outstanding achievement, innovation, and performance. Awards are both monetary and non-monetary (time-off, medals, and certificates).

Choice Of Health Benefits Plans

You have a choice from a variety of Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO) or fee-for-service health plans. If you are enrolled, NASA pays approximately 75% of your biweekly health benefit premium. There is an annual open season for switching plans. Pre-existing conditions are covered. Coverage may be carried into retirement. Click here for more information.

Health Clinic

Most installations have onsite health clinics that provide preventive care, limited immunizations, and health screening at no charge.

Safety & Wellness Programs

NASA considers your safety and wellness to be of paramount importance to the accomplishment of our agency missions.  As a NASA employee, not only will you be a key player in our safety and wellness programs, you will also be a major beneficiary in that our processes, products, facilities, and workforce are all focused on insuring that you are safe, secure, and well cared for.

Sick Leave

You earn 4 hours of sick leave for each two week pay period.  You may accrue sick leave indefinitely throughout your career.  You may also be advanced up to 240 hours of sick leave in cases of serious illness.  You may use up to 104 hours of your sick leave each year to care for sick family members.

Short Term Disability Protection

You receive 100% of pay and benefits during the period covered by your accrued and advanced sick leave and accrued and advanced annual leave and credit hours.  Through our Leave Donor Program, you may also receive donated leave hours from your co-workers for use during periods of extended illness.

Long Term Disability Protection
If you become disabled and have at least 18months of service you may be entitled to long term disability benefits.  NASA will also make extensive efforts to accommodate any handicapping condition and allow you to remain as a productive member of our workforce.

FEGLI Life Insurance

NASA employees may enroll in the government-wide Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) Program. FEGLI provides a variety of coverage and benefit amounts.  NASA pays 1/3 of the cost of your basic premium. Click here for more information.

NEBA Life & Travel Insurance

NASA employees may also enroll in the NASA Employees Benefit Association (NEBA) Life & Travel Insurance Program. NEBA is an employee operated not-for-profit association that offers a variety of coverage including free child coverage--at very competitive rates. Click here for more information.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Each NASA facility has an active Employee Assistance Program that offers confidential evaluation, counseling, education, and referral services to NASA employees and their families. These services are free of charge.

Annual Leave

You earn 13 days paid annual leave during your first 3 years of Federal service; 20 days of annual leave per year up to your 15th year of service; and 26 days of annual leave per year after your 15th year of service. You may also carry over up to 30 days of unused annual leave each year.


As a Federal employee, you will receive 10 paid Federal holidays per year. Click here for more information.

Military Leave
NASA is supportive of your participation in the U.S. military as a reservist or member of the National Guard.  You may receive 15 or more days paid military leave each year for periods of active military duty.

Leave For Jury Duty

If called to jury duty, you will be given additional paid leave without having to use your own annual leave.

Flexible Work Schedules

NASA employees have a variety of different work schedules that are available to them depending upon their duties, location, and personal needs. Schedules include flextime, variable day (VDS), regular, and irregular work tours.

Most NASA installations offer programs that support telecommuting to accommodate medical, family, commuter needs, or clean air programs.
Retirement Plan
As a NASA civil servant, you will be enrolled in the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS).  You will be eligible to receive retirement income from three sources: a basic retirement plan, your Thrift Savings Plan, and Social Security.

Retirement Eligibility

Depending on your year of birth, you will be eligible to retire at age 55-57 with 30 years service (or 10 years service with a reduced annuity); or age 60 with 20 years service; or age 62 with 5 years service. Under some circumstances, you may also be eligible for early retirement at any age with 25 years service or after age 50 and 20 years service.

Thrift Savings Plan 

As a NASA employee you will be eligible to contribute to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). This plan is similar to a 401K plan in the private sector. You may contribute up to $15,000 of your salary each year. The government will automatically contribute 1% of your salary with additional matching up to a total of 5% match of your salary.  Click here for some more information.

Social Security Coverage

If you've earned at least 40 Social Security credits, you will be entitled to social security benefits--normally at age 62.

Medicare Coverage

As a Federal employee, you will be eligible for Medicare at age 65.

Credit For Active Duty in the U.S. Uniformed Services

In most circumstances, you may receive civil service credit for your active duty in the U.S. uniformed services.   Credit may be used for determination of your leave accrual rate and your retirement eligibility.

Tuition Assistance

NASA may pay tuition for college coursework related to your job. This is determined on a case by case basis and is not a guarantee.

Relocation Assistance

For most jobs, NASA offers relocation assistance for your move to your new NASA duty station. First duty station benefits include movement of your household goods and travel reimbursement.

Reasonable Living Costs

Most NASA facilities are located in areas  that are rated below the national average for costs of living....but are rated high for quality of life.

Competitive Internal Job Placement
When filling most positions, NASA considers current employees first.  If the position involves a possible promotion, we will announce the job opportunity.  If you meet the basic qualifications, you will be allowed to apply for the job vacancy and compete for the job with other internal  applicants.

Job Portability

If you are on a career appointment, your service credit, pay grade, sick leave, annual leave, and retirement are transferable to other Federal government agencies.  If you leave government service, you will also carry over Social Security credits and be able to rollover Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) investments into a private sector plan.  Even if you leave before normal retirement, you may be eligible for a deferred annuity.

Cafeterias Onsite

Most NASA facilities have food service facilities conveniently located within walking distance of your office or work area.  Food service is offered at very competitive prices.

Travel Agency Onsite

Most NASA facilities have an onsite travel agency that, in addition to arranging government travel, also provides personal travel assistance.

Federal Credit Union

As a NASA civil servant, you will be eligible for membership in various Federal Credit unions.  Branches are conveniently located near most NASA installations or accessible on-line.

Recreation & Fitness Programs

Most NASA installations have recreation and fitness facilities or arrangements with nearby providers.  Many installations sponsor athletic leagues, recreational and wellness classes, and special events that are also open to family members.

Scholarship Programs For Dependents

NASA has both agency-wide and local installation scholarship programs that are open to NASA dependents.  Competitive selections are made annually.

Free Or Subsidized  Parking; Commuting Assistance

If you have to pay $100-$150 per month in parking or commuting costs like many workers in larger cities---you'll understand why this is one of our hidden benefits.  Most NASA installations have ample, nearby onsite parking that is free or subsidized.  Where needed, some NASA installations have programs to help reduce commuting time or public transit costs.

Your NASA Job
It's worth repeating--your NASA job is the greatest benefit of all.  When you put the whole package together---our work, the pay, the benefits, being part of the NASA family---we truly have some of the best jobs on earth...or above it!