The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently announced plans to hire hundreds of patent examiners in the coming months. The new positions will be in the biomedical, computer, electrical, and mechanical engineering technology sectors.
Interestingly, all positions are specifically located in the Alexandria, VA office, requiring candidates to “live near, or be willing to relocate or commute to the DC metro area,” and relocation expenses are not reimbursed. The postings make no mention of the availability of remote work. While the USPTO announced last year that its abrupt transition to almost 100% remote work had gone extraordinarily well, it seems that the agency would nonetheless prefer to return to in-person work.
The requirements for the positions are relatively strict. For example, mechanical engineering examiners must have “Superior Academic Achievement (SAA),” which may be achieved by:
Graduating in the top third of their class
Having an overall GPA of 3.0 and a major field GPA of 3.5, or
Having been elected to a national scholastic honor society.
The agency will also consider applicants with a combination of education and experience, such as having already worked at the G-5 level in a relevant capacity or having completed some graduate-level education.
Starting at the GS-7 pay grade level and progressing to GS-9, the positions offer a base salary of $57,641 and a maximum salary of $87,464.
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