Benefits Overview

View Foreign Service pay schedules: http://www.state.gov/m/dghr/pay/

Benefits Overview

As an employee of the Department of State, you'll have access to a number of healthcare, educational and personal program benefits, as well as a wealth of professional training and developing programs.

Department of State employees are compensated based on government-regulated pay scales.  So, unlike workers in the private sector, pay scales ensure that all government employees receive equal pay for substantially equal work within each local pay area (barring geographic differences or the level of difficulty of the position.)

While the government uses at least six different pay scales, the majority of Civil Service employees are paid using the GS (General Schedul) pay scale, while Foreign Service employees are paid based on the FS (Foreign Service) pay scale.

So, what's the difference?

The General Service pay scale for Civil Service employees, featuress 15 pay grades, GS-1 (lowest) - GS-15 (highest) with 10 steps within each grade. The Foreign Service pay scale for Foreign Service employees features nine pay grades with fourteen steps within each grade.

No matter what your position is with the Department of State, whether it's Civil Service or Foreign Service, your level of education and professional experience will determine your pay grade and step.

For more information on pay scales, click here.

 
Benefits and Compensation Overview:

All Department of State employees, enjoy the following benefits:

  • Annual Leave
  • Credit Union and Fitness Facility
  • Employee Consultation Service
  • Employee Recreation Association
  • Family Medical Leave
  • Health Benefits Plans
  • Life Insurance
  • Long-Term Care Insurance
  • Sick Leave
  • Thrift Savings Plan (equivalent to 401(k) with Government Matching)
  • 10 Paid Holidays

For more information on paid holidays, click here.

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Benefits and Compensation Overview:

10 paid holidays:

New Year's Day (January 1)

Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Third Monday in January)

Washington's Birthday (Third Monday in February)

Memorial Day (Last Monday in May)

Independence Day (July 4)

Labor Day (First Monday in September)

Columbus Day (Second Monday in October)

Veterans Day (November 11)

Thanksgiving Day (Fourth Thursday in November)

Christmas Day (December 25)

(In addition to the above holidays, the U.S. Government also observes some local holidays celebrated at overseas posts of assignment.)

 

Foreign Service Officer Benefits

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Foreign Service Officer Benefits

In addition to the above benefits, Foreign Service Officers also enjoy additional benefits including:

  • Allowances and Incentives
  • IQ: Information and Referral Services
  • Salary Determination
  • Student Loan Repayment Program
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

Visit the Foreign Service Officer Benefits page for further information.

 

Foreign Service Specialist Benefits

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Foreign Service Specialist Benefits

Foreign Service Specialists also have access to the following benefits in addition to those listed above. These benefits include:

  • Allowances and Incentives
  • Child Care Center
  • Child Care Subsidy
  • IQ: Information and Referral Services
  • Salary Determination
  • Student Loan Repayment Program
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

Visit the Foreign Service Specialist Benefits page for further information.

 

Civil Service Benefits

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Civil Service Benefits

Civil Service employees also have access to the following benefits:

  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Retirement Benefits
  • Social Security
  • Transit Benefits
  • Inauguration Day
  • 10 Paid Holidays

Visit the Civil Service Benefits page for further information.

 

Afghanistan Jobs Benefits

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Afghanistan Jobs Benefits:

The following benefits are specifically for Department of State employees working in Afghanistan.

  • Training
  • Annual Leave
  • Family Medical Leave
  • Family Employment Health Benefits Plans
  • Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA)
  • Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance Program (FEGLI)
  • Sick Leave
  • Thrift Savings Plan
  • Training
  • Travel Benefits
  • Other Benefits

Visit the Afghanistan Jobs Benefits page for more information.

 

Locally Employed Staff Benefits

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Benefits for Locally Employed Staff

U.S. missions compensate Locally Employed Staff based upon prevailing practice in that country. This means that the total compensation, which includes salary and benefits such as health insurance, life insurance, and allowances, is based upon comparable rates that local employers are paying their employees in jobs of similar scope and complexity.

As a result, Locally Employed Staff should receive pay packages and benefits that are competitive with local compensation scales. In addition, locally Employed Staff are traditionally paid in host country currency, unless the prevailing local practice is to compensate all Locally Employed Staff in U.S. dollars.

 

 
 
Training and development Overview:

The U.S. Department of State is dedicated to providing ongoing training and educational opportunities designed to help our employees—and their family members—build successful careers and develop rewarding personal lives. Some of our development and training programs include:

Foreign Service Institute Training

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Foreign Service Institute Training

Our workforce must stay on the cutting edge through professional development and distance learning that fosters the diplomatic, technical, managerial, and leadership skills needed to meet the challenges of the future. The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) offers a wide variety of professional training classes for foreign language, leadership and management; as well as assistance for personnel (and their eligible family members) transiting between domestic and overseas assignments or into retirement.

 

Training Continuation

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Training Continuation

Training helps to develop the competencies needed at each level of a career with the U.S. Department of State. Supervisors and employees work together to choose courses based on the skill set required to perform at the highest level in one's current position, as well as for advancement to the next stage. The Department has developed the following training continua available to employees:

 

Civil Service

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Civil Service

Training Continuum is a roadmap to professional training and personal development

 

Leadership and Management

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Leadership and Management

Training Continuum is a one-stop shop for employees seeking to develop their leadership and management skills.

 

Career Development Resource Center (CDRC)

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Career Development Resource Center (CDRC)

The center provides career development assistance and counseling to the Department's Civil Service employees and Foreign Service family members. Professional counselors are available to provide individual and confidential counseling by appointment.

 

Civil Service Mentoring

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Civil Service Mentoring

Civil Service employees are eligible to apply as protégés or mentors, with Foreign Service employees also eligible to apply as mentors. Ultimately, this program gives employees a chance to work one-on-one with senior employees to learn more about the Department and its career opportunities. Participants commit to meet with each other for two-four hours a month for one year.

 

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

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Master of Business Administration

These classes provide training for U.S. Department of State employees and their family members. The courses integrate information and theories from various disciplines, including accounting, economics, finance, marketing, production operations, and strategic management.

 

Master of Science of Strategic Intelligence Degree Program (MSSI)

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Master of Science of Strategic Intelligence

The Joint Military Intelligence College (JMIC) offers Department employees a free after-hours postgraduate intelligence program, which includes courses in Information Operations; Strategic Warning and Analysis; Graduate Research and Writing; Intelligence Collection: Evidence for Analysis; National Security Structure; and Policy and International Security Environment. Upon completion, students earn a Master of Science of Strategic Intelligence Degree, the only one of its kind in the United States.

 

Mustang Career Mobility

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Mustang Career Mobility

This program is for talented Civil Service and Foreign Service Specialists vying for appointments as Entry-Level Foreign Service Generalists in any one of the five tracks: Consular, Economic, Management, Political or Public Diplomacy. The program also provides expedited entry for those who pass the Foreign Service Oral Assessment (FSOA) and who successfully update or obtain their security and medical clearances.

 

Civil Service (CS) to Foreign Service (FS) Hard-to-Fill

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Civil Service (CS) to Foreign Service (FS) Hard-to-Fill

This annual exercise provides opportunities for Civil Service employees to work overseas in hard-to-fill positions at various embassies or consulates. The (CS) to (FS) (H-T-F) Program is designed to help meet critical overseas staffing needs, while providing a unique career opportunity for Civil Service personnel. Some program participants have even used it as a first step towards a career in the Foreign Service.

 

 
 
Work-life overview and benefits:

Represent America to the World and Receive Exceptional Benefits for You and Your Family.

As a member of the Department of State family, you will experience the intangible benefits of working side-by-side with some of the most knowledgeable, skilled and culturally diverse people in the world. And, you’ll do so in an environment that is conducive to, and supportive of, each employee's personal and professional growth and development.

Whether joining the Foreign Service or Civil Service, or as a participant in one of our Student Programs, the U.S. Department of State makes every effort to provide resources designed to insure a balanced quality of life for our employee and their family members.

So, regardless of whether you're working in the DC area or overseas, working and trying to manage your personal life can sometimes be challenging. The U.S. Department of State’s Office of Employee Relations in the Bureau of Human Resources offers substantial programs to lessen these concerns—and improve your work-like balance.

Advanced Health Care Directive / Living Will

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Advanced Health Care Directive / Living Will

The Department provides one free copy of FIVE WISHES, an advance health care directive/living will document that is legally valid in 35 states, including DC, MD, and VA. This document is automatically provided to all newly hired employees, and to other employees who did not receive a copy upon hire.

 

Child Care

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Child Care

The Department sponsors two child care centers, Diplotots at Columbia Plaza (SA-1) across from Main State, and another at the Foreign Service Institute's (FSI) George P. Shultz National Foreign Affairs Training Center in Arlington, Virginia.

 

Child Care Subsidy

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Child Care Subsidy

A separate childcare subsidy is available to Department employees meeting certain criteria. This program provides child care assistance for employees whose total family income does not exceed a specified amount, and care is provided in a licensed facility. Families who meet this and other eligibility requirements may receive subsidies of up to 50% of their total childcare expenses.

 

Lunchtime Seminars  / Information Fairs

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Lunchtime Seminars / Information Fairs

The Department offers monthly seminars on a wide variety of dependent care and personal health and well-being topics, such as Long-Distance Care Giving, Talking with Children,
Violence, and Medicare / Medicaid.

 

Information and Referral Services

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Information and Referral Services

Information Quest (IQ) is a counseling, education and referral service that helps employees find the providers, information and resources needed to manage their personal and professional responsibilities. Although IQ services are free of charge to all Department of State employees, you are responsible for any fees or costs associated with the services you select.

 

 
 
Amenities & Services:

The Department of State also offers a variety of amenities and services to our employees, including:

Foggy Bottom

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Foggy Bottom

The Foggy Bottom is located in the basement below the dining facility in Main State. It offers such services as a post office, a café, candy shop, barbershop, hair salon, and gift shops.

 

Banking Services

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Banking Services

The State Department Federal Credit Union is located in Foggy Bottom. Department employees are eligible to join and members are offered a complete choice of low-cost financial services. There is also a Bank of America and ATM machine located in Foggy Bottom. The bank offers a full range of services to employees. ATM machines are also located in the Columbia Plaza (SA-1 Annex) on the first floor.

 

Bus/Shuttle Services

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Bus/Shuttle Services

Transportation is available between Main State and State annexes. Anyone working for the Department is eligible to ride as long as he/she has a valid Department building pass.

 

Dining Facilities

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Dining Facilities

Employees have several dining options available to them within the Department. Within the Harry S. Truman Building (Main State) there is a cafeteria located on the first floor, a café in
Foggy Bottom, and several dining rooms on the eighth floor. Columbia Plaza  (State
Annex 1) also has a small café.

 

Foreign Affairs Recreation Association (FARA)

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Foreign Affairs Recreation Association (FARA)

FARA, which is also located in Foggy Bottom, is a private, nonprofit organization governed by a Board of Directors. Member agencies include the Department of State and agencies such as the Agency for International Development (AID), Peace Corps, and ACTION. Employees of these agencies may become active members for a nominal annual fee. Membership cards are issued and must be presented any time you use FARA services. While non-members can shop in the FARA gift shop, they will not receive the FARA discount.

FARA's monthly newsletter, the Spectrum, contains information on its recreational activities, store specials, and discounted services. Copies are available in all FARA service areas and at numerous locations in the Harry S Truman (Main State) building and State's annexes.

 

FARA Fitness Center

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FARA Fitness Center

The FARA Fitness Center is located in "The Foggy Bottom" at Main State and is open 24/7. Contact FARA for more information at: www.recgov.org/state/webstate.html

 

Library

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Library

The Ralph J. Bunche Library of the U.S. Department of State is the oldest Federal government library. Founded by the first Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, in 1789 it was dedicated to,
and renamed, the Ralph J. Bunche Library on May 5, 1997. Employees may borrow books and conduct research using a wealth of resource material from the library designed as a global initiative to bring the 21st Century resources of the First Federal Library to the desktops of all Department of State employees worldwide.