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Facts for Your First Day of Work -- Gaithersburg, Maryland

The following information will prepare you for your first day of work. Remember that PRIOR to entering on duty, you will need to complete the forms from the Enter on Duty forms web page and bring them with you to orientation. Also, you MUST bring two forms of identification with you to orientation in order to receive a badge and access to the facility.

Reporting for Work

You will attend a one-day "New Employee Orientation" program which begins at 8:30 a.m. Please refer to your offer letter for the location. At the conclusion of orientation, you will be picked up by an "employee sponsor" who will assist you with your initial acclimation to NIST.

During this orientation, you will be introduced to NIST programs and services; you'll learn how your contributions will support NIST's mission; and you will also complete the necessary documents to finalize your entry on duty.

Please plan to arrive approximately 15 minutes early because when you arrive at the main gate of the campus, you will need to stop at the Visitor's Center and present photo identification and a vehicle registration card to receive the temporary pass for entrance to the campus.


The National Institute of Standards & Technology is located in Gaithersburg, Maryland, just off Interstate Route 270, about 25 miles from the center of Washington, D.C. Our address is:

100 Bureau Drive
Gaithersburg , MD 20899

Getting to NIST

You can get to the NIST campus via car, bus, subway, or MARC train. Directions by car are shown below. See information about getting to NIST using other modes of transportation.

From northbound I-270: Take Exit 10, Route 117 West, Clopper Road. Bear right at the first light onto Clopper Road/West Diamond Avenue. At the next light, turn left onto the NIST grounds.

From southbound I-270: Take Exit 11, Route 124, Montgomery Village Avenue/Quince Orchard Road. Bear right at the first light onto Route 124 West, Quince Orchard Road. After you merge onto Rt. 124, Quince Orchard Road, turn left at the second light onto Route 117, West Diamond Avenue. Turn right at the first light onto NIST grounds.


  • Parking at NIST is free.
  • Please park in the parking lot in front of the Administration Bldg. (101).
  • Please do not park in spaces designated as "carpool."

Official Days and Duty Hours

NIST core hours are from 9:30 a.m. through 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Employees must work with their immediate supervisors to arrange their official work schedule.


Employees on permanent appointments, or temporary appointments of 90 days or more, are eligible to earn leave UNLESS they work an intermittent tour. Intermittent employees DO NOT earn annual and sick leave. Part-time employees earn annual and sick leave on a prorated basis, based on the number of hours per pay period they work.

Annual Leave:  For full-time employees, the amount of annual leave earned is based on the length of creditable civilian and/or military service as follows:

Annual Leave Accrual Rates:

Length of Service



Up to 3

4 hours

13 days

3 to 15

6 hours

20 days

15 and over

8 hours

26 days

Sick Leave:  Sick leave is accrued at the rate of 4 hours per pay period for full-time employees and is prorated for part-time employees based on the number of hours they work per pay period.

View more detailed information about annual, sick, and other types of leave for NIST employees.


The Federal Government issues salary payments on the 2nd Thursday after the close of each biweekly pay period. Thus, a new employee will not receive their first payment until four weeks after he/she has been entered on duty. The "pay lag," as it is commonly referred to, is offset by the receipt of a payment two weeks following the close of the pay period which covers the date of separation. The NYMEO Federal Credit Union, may be able to help new employees with a loan upon approved credit during the period of the pay lag.

NYMEO Federal Credit Union

Like most other Federal agencies, NIST provides a Federal credit union which offers a variety of services to its members. Over the years, the Credit Union has made it possible for members to save and borrow at competitive rates. The NYMEO Federal Credit Union at NIST is located in Room 304 in Gaithersburg, 301-975-9811.

Standards Employees Benefits Association (SEBA)

All employees of NIST are automatically eligible to become members of the SEBA when they are appointed. The Association, which is an employee-operated activity, sponsors various welfare, recreation, and entertainment activities throughout the year. Employees may join the Association by filling out a Membership Application and paying the nominal yearly dues. The SEBA Store Office is located in Room A-46 in the basement of the Administrative Building, 301-975-3313.

Medical Services

The Institute has a part-time medical officer and full-time nursing staff on duty in Room C-33 of the Administration Building at Gaithersburg, 301-975-5131. For emergencies when on the NIST campus, dial extension 2222.

Cafeterias, Food, and Beverages

There are two cafeterias at Gaithersburg located on the main floor of the Administration Building (Bldg 101) and the Supply and Plant Building (Bldg. 301). Vending and soda machines are located throughout the Gaithersburg campus.