Patent Examiner (Engineering, Art/Design)

United States Patent and Trademark Office
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
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  • Job Type
  • Job Status
    Full Time

Patent Examiner (Engineering, Art/Design)

About the Job

At the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), we know that it takes skill to recognize ingenuity. As a patent examiner, you will put your engineering or art/design skills to work in support of American innovation!

The USPTO consistently ranks as one of the best places to work in the federal government.


We currently have hundreds of entry-level positions for Patent Examiners, including vacancies specializing in:

  • Design (Fine Arts/Graphic Design)
  • Computer Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


All current vacancies are based at our Alexandria, Virginia headquarters. Candidates must live near, or be willing to relocate or commute to the DC metro area. Note: Due to COVID-19, the USPTO is currently operating in a state of maximum telework. See more information below**


In this role, your efforts will play a critical role in giving inventors exclusive rights over their discoveries. A patent examiner reviews applications to determine whether patents can be granted for inventions. Patents give inventors the right to exclude others from making or selling their inventions for a limited time. As a U.S. patent examiner, you will handle these basic patent examining functions: 


  • Search prior art to ensure that an invention is new and unique.
  • Review patent applications to ensure conformity to formal requirements.
  • Write legal office actions on patentability and respond to patent applications.


Read more about what it takes to become a patent examiner and see why patent examiners love their work:


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen or National.
  • Your resume and question responses must demonstrate the job-related KSAs.
  • You must meet the definition of specialized experience.
  • Required to pass a background investigation and fingerprint check.
  • Must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable (
  • Suitable for Federal employment.




June 24 (Art/Design deadline), or

July 1 (deadline for all others)


All vacancies are GS-7 to GS-9. The accompanying annual salary for that GS range is $57,641 to $87,464.


**Due to COVID-19, the USPTO is operating in a state of maximum telework and most employees are teleworking full-time. Consequently, you will start your work in a temporary telework status and your training will occur in a virtual environment. Accordingly, you will commence work under a temporary telework arrangement that will remain in effect until the Agency informs you that you are no longer subject to its Situational (Ad Hoc) Telework Program. When the time comes, for example, if your original work location is established as the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, VA, you may be asked to report to campus. The USPTO will provide as much advance notice as possible in the event of this directive and will work with you to allow you a reasonable timeframe to transition.




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Patent Examiner (Engineering, Art/Design)

United States Patent and Trademark Office
Alexandria, Virginia 22314

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