Do new Patent Examiners receive training?
Yes, you will receive extensive training before reporting to your new office. Additional on-the-job
training from an experienced Supervisory Patent Examiner (SPE) is then provided.
What is a Patent Examiner?
A Patent Examiner is a federal employee who examines patent applications to determine whether or not a
patent can be granted for various new inventions - many of which are on the cutting edge of tomorrow's
What work schedules are available for Patent Examiners?
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is one of few federal agencies offering flexible work schedules.
We permit flextime hours with morning arrival as early as 5:30 am and as late at 11:30 am; a
4/10 plan, where you work 10 hours four days each week, with two days off each pay period; and a 5/4/9
plan, that lets you work eight nine-hour days, plus one eight-hour day, with one day off during each pay
period. Once you are hired, your supervisor will advise you of your work schedule.
What is the career progression of a Patent Examiner?
Patent Examiners may receive a one-time accelerated promotion after six months, from GS-5 to GS-7; GS-7 to
GS-9; or GS-9 to GS-11. The full-performance level is GS-13; however, after completion of the
partial/full signatory program, Patent Examiners may be promoted to GS-14. All promotions are
submitted by your supervisor and will be based on your productive and timely processing of patent
Is travel involved in a career as a Patent Examiner?
No. There is typically no travel expected of most U.S. Patent and Trademark Office employees.
Is a Patent Examiner expected to work overtime, on evenings and weekends?
No evening or weekend hours are expected of our employees, but the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office does
offer paid overtime and encourages all of our employees to take advantage of it.