The best of technology.
The best of government.
And we want you.
We're looking for the most tenacious designers, software engineers, product managers, and more, who are committed to untangling, rewiring and redesigning critical government services. You'll join a team of the most talented technologists from across the private sector and government.
If you have questions regarding employment with the U.S. Digital Service, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who we're hiring
The U.S. Digital Service is seeking engineers, designers, product managers, bureaucracy busters, recruiters, procurement experts, and more who are committed to untangling, rewiring, and redesigning our government. Our staff comes from all corners of the technology industry and government to serve time limited tours of duty, helping to solve some of our nation’s most important problems.
The U.S. Digital Service is a network of teams with technology experts embedded in agencies across the Federal government. If you apply, your application will be considered for roles in any of the agencies that have U.S. Digital Service teams.
Skill sets we're looking for
We are looking for candidates with the hands-on skills and leadership ability to work with a diverse group of teammates to improve our Nation’s most critical digital services. We’re looking for the following skills:
- Software development
- DevOps and site reliability engineering
- Engineering management
- Product management
- Product design
- User experience and user interaction design
- Content design
- Contracting and technology acquisition expertise
- Technical recruiting and talent operations
- Product counsel
- Navigating bureaucracy and policy
This is not an exhaustive list, but it does represent the most common skills sought our teams. Don’t see what you do on this list? Apply anyway!
There are a few basic, non-negotiable requirements to work at the U.S. Digital Service:
- You must be a U.S. citizen. Unfortunately, we cannot currently hire non-U.S. citizens, regardless of whether they have work authorization.
- You must be willing to move to Washington, DC, if you are not already located here. Nearly all of our positions are located in DC. We’re working shoulder to shoulder with leaders across the Federal government, so it’s important for us to be in the same room. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide relocation assistance.
- You must be willing to work within the government pay scale, which is set each year by Congress. The highest pay grade ranges from $128,000 to $163,000 per year, and we will do our best to match your current pay up to that amount.
- You must be able to pass a thorough background investigation and drug test.
- You must be available to start within the next six months and plan to stay, fulltime, for at least six months (preferably a year).
There are no formal educational requirements to apply to the U.S. Digital Service. We’re looking for people who are experts at what they do and have worked on big, hard problems in a complex environment. Candidates with experience building and improving digital services using modern software engineering and product design practices such as those described in the Digital Services Playbook will be particularly competitive.
Meet the team
Today, the U.S. Digital Service is around 200 people. You can read more about the team and their stories here.
The U.S. Digital Service is an equal opportunity employer
We don't discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factors. If you have the skills we need, that’s all that matters.
The interview process
The entire interview process usually takes 3-6 weeks, followed by 4-12 weeks for onboarding.
The interview process begins with a 30-minute preliminary call with a member of the U.S. Digital Service talent team. Plan to talk about your skills and experience, what you're passionate about, and the work we do here. The call will also cover the interview process, structure, and basic employment requirements.
First technical interview
After your preliminary call, your guide will schedule you for a first technical interview with a member of our team. This interview is generally held over the phone and lasts approximately one hour. You will be asked a variety of questions about your experience and skills, and how you would apply them at the U.S. Digital Service.
Second technical interview and behavioral interview
If the first technical interview goes well, you will be invited to a second technical interview and behavioral interview. These two interviews are usually done back to back on Thursday afternoons. Each one will last about an hour and are usually conducted over the phone. The second technical interview will dig deeper into your skills and how you would apply them, and the behavioral interview will assess how you interact with colleagues and get work done. In some cases, these interviews will be followed by additional interviews to evaluate skills we want to know more about.
Final fit interviews
After you complete your technical and behavioral interviews, the talent team will share your application with our teams to find the right fit. You may be matched with up to two teams, with whom you will have final fit interviews. The fit interviews are a chance for the team to determine whether your skills are a match for the team’s needs and for you to learn more about the projects they have underway. Following your fit interviews, those teams will decide whether or not to make you an offer.
The offer and onboarding process
You may receive up to two offers from different teams at the U.S. Digital Service. Once you’ve chosen which team you prefer, you will receive a conditional offer followed by an official offer:
- You will have a call with a representative from the team or agency to go over your conditional offer, including salary. "Conditional" means it's contingent on passing the suitability and security reviews required for the agency. If you accept the conditional offer, you will move on to the following steps.
- You fill out an SF-85 or SF-86, a standard government form that covers all your employment, travel, and residences from the last ten years.
- You will complete a drug test.
- You must be able to pass a thorough background investigation and drug test.
- Once you pass the background check, suitability review and drug test, you will receive your formal offer.
- We work with you to set a start date. New staff start every other Monday
All government positions require some kind of background check. Most positions at the U.S. Digital Service require "public trust," which is more thorough than most private-sector background checks but not as intensive as a higher security clearance. The background review process adds some time and forms to the hiring process, but we will guide you through it.
Note that the form you will fill out for your background review is quite extensive. It may take substantial time to collect contact information for previous employers, as well as old addresses. Delays in providing this information will slow down your onboarding process.
All joining full-time for more than three months are eligible to receive health insurance. Many employees will also be eligible for dental and vision plans and will be automatically covered by basic life insurance with the option to elect into additional coverage. Your HR contact will go over the benefits that apply to your offer.
Many employees joining the U.S. Digital Service for at least one year will be eligible for the Thrift Savings Plan, the government’s version of a 401k, which offers up to five percent matching.
Employees who commute by public transportation may receive subsidies for commuting costs. This benefit aims to reduce traffic congestion, conserve energy, and improve air quality.
Tours of duty
U.S. Digital Service members join us for what we call a tour of duty. We are seeking candidates interested in joining the U.S. Digital Service fulltime, ideally for at least 12 months. In some cases, we can accommodate candidates who can only commit to a shorter amount of time. Three months is the minimum time commitment we can accommodate. All members of the U.S. Digital Service hold "term-limited" positions, which means that at the end of a prescribed term, the candidate's employment with that agency must end.
Don’t worry — most days you can dress like you’re at any other startup. Every now and then we dress up for important meetings, so it’s good to have at least one formal outfit in your closet.
Pay: General schedule grade levels
All U.S. Digital Service employees are subject to the federal government’s general schedule (GS) pay scale. Each position in the federal government is assigned a particular grade within the GS scale, from 1 to 15. The grade specifies the compensation range for the position, which is adjusted based on the location of the job (federal jobs in Washington, DC are paid at higher rate than in Oklahoma City, because of increased costs of living, for example). Grades are determined based on a number of variables, including education and experience requirements, the complexity and responsibilities of the position, and more.
There are 10 steps within the range of each grade, each representing a different compensation level. New employees start at step 1 within the grade assigned to their position, except in exceptional circumstances. Find out more about the GS system from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
Try the GS Salary Calculator if you'd like to see how GS level, step, and locality affect compensation.
We are not able to offer bonuses.
With few exceptions, all of our roles are based in the Washington, DC metro area. We’re working shoulder to shoulder with leaders across the federal government, so it’s important for us to be in the same room.
Unfortunately, we’re unable to provide relocation assistance.
The U.S. Digital Service does not have an internship program.