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As the world leader in aviation, our benefits are the best in the business. We offer competitive salaries, career development opportunities, and comprehensive benefits programs.


We offer salaries and performance-based raises comparable to private industry. This helps us stay competitive at every possible level.

Health and Life Insurance

Federal health and life insurance benefits programs are a very appealing part of Federal employment.

  • Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP)
    The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) allows you to enroll in a group health benefits plan regardless of your age or medical condition. The government pays part of the cost.
  • Premium Conversion
    Beginning in October 2000, Federal employees were able to use pre-tax dollars to pay health insurance premiums to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program under the "Premium Conversion" program. Premium conversion uses Federal tax rules to let employees deduct their share of health insurance premiums from their taxable income, thereby reducing their taxes. This plan is similar to the private sector, which has allowed their employees to deduct health insurance premiums from their taxable incomes for many years.
  • Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI)
    The Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) provides group term life insurance at reasonable rates. Several options allow you to pick the level that's right for you.

Thrift Savings Plan

The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a retirement savings and investment plan for Federal employees. Congress established the TSP in the Federal Employees' Retirement System Act of 1986, to provide additional retirement income for Federal employees. It offers Federal civilian employees the same type of savings and tax benefits that many private corporations offer their employees under 401(k). For additional information, see

Health Services

  • Employee Assistance Program
    The confidential Employee Assistance Program (EAP) paid for by the FAA helps you and your family/household members resolve personal concerns so you can be your best at work and at home.
  • Health Awareness Program
    The Health Awareness Program (HAP) is part of our continuing effort to ensure that you get the information you need on a variety of health topics, including preventive medical services.

Vacation and Leave

You get ten paid holidays, annual leave, sick leave (for personal use, to care for family member or for bereavement), leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, military leave, jury duty or court leave, or excused absences under certain conditions.

  • Paid Holidays

    Our full-time employees get ten paid holidays each year listed below. When the holiday falls on a scheduled day off, you get an alternate day off. Part-time employees get the holiday only if it falls on a day that you are scheduled to work.

    Paid Holidays

    • New Years Day
    • Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.
    • Washington's Birthday
    • Memorial Day
    • Independence Day
    • Labor Day
    • Columbus Day
    • Veterans Day
    • Thanksgiving Day
    • Christmas Day
  • Annual and Sick Leave

    Usually permanent and temporary employees earn annual and sick leave based on your years of service and your work schedule. Below is a quick summary of annual and sick leave accrual:

    Major HR Activities
    Work Schedule Years of Service Annual Leave Accrual
    (Rate Per Year)
    Sick Leave Accrual
    (Rate Per Year)
    Full-Time Less than 3 years 104 hours 104 hours
    3 Years (but Less Than 15 years) 160 hours 104 hours
    15 Years or More 208 hours 104 hours
    Part-Time Less Than 3 Years One Hour for Every 20 Hours Worked One Hour for Every 20 Hours Worked
    3 Years (but Less than 15 years) One Hour for Every 13 Hours Worked One Hour for Every 20 Hours Worked
    15 Years or More One Hour for Every 10 Hours Worked One Hour for Every 20 Hours Worked
  • Military Leave
    Military leave is a category of approved paid leave available to eligible employees who are members of the National Guard or Reserve Components of the Armed Forces. Military leave may be used for active military duty, active or inactive duty for training, or when employees are activated for Federal or State service to enforce the law or assist civil authorities in emergencies.
  • Jury Duty or Court Leave
    You're granted court leave without loss of pay or leave time for jury duty in a Federal, state, or municipal court or to serve as a witness for the United States, the District of Columbia, state and local government or a military court.

    You are not granted court leave for court suits between private individuals or companies that the United States or a state or local government is not involved in and time spent as a party to a suit against the government.

  • Leave without Pay
    Leave without pay is an approved, temporary, non-pay status and absence from duty. In most cases, LWOP is granted at the employee's request.
  • Voluntary Leave Donor Program
    The Voluntary Leave Transfer Program allows employees to voluntarily donate and receive annual leave or sick leave. The leave recipients are absent from duty for prolonged periods due to certified medical condition that causes a substantial loss of income. FAA employees are the only Federal employees that may donate and receive sick leave. FAA employees cannot donate sick leave to or receive sick leave donations from employees in other Federal agencies.
  • Emergency Leave Transfer Program
    The Emergency Leave Transfer Program (ELTP) is a voluntary program. A Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) employee may donate accrued annual or sick leave to a current FAA employee who is adversely affected under: (a) "Operation Enduring Freedom," or (b) "Operation Noble Eagle," or (c) an emerging disaster that was a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist actions to an employee who has a family member who is directly affected. FAA employees activated for military duty are not eligible to receive donated sick leave.
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
    Under FMLA, an employee is entitled to a total of 12 weeks (480 hours) of unpaid leave, within a 12-month period, for the following purposes:
    • The birth of a son or daughter of the employee and the care of such son or daughter;
    • The placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care;
    • The care of a family member who has a serious health condition; or
    • A serious health condition of the employee that prevents the employee from performing the essential functions of his/her position.

Career Development and Training

We provide learning and development opportunities to employees at all levels. We listen carefully to your goals and needs and make suggestions on how to get there. We also provide training, seminars and classes to ensure that you have the up-to-date skills needed for your fast-moving career.

Worker's Compensation

Workers' Compensation protects you from the economic impact of workplace injuries. The Department of Labor's Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) administers all claims for the federal government. We assist you in initiating claims, monitor employees out of work to ensure appropriate movement towards recovery, and return claimants capable of employment back to work.

The program offers:

  • Wage loss compensation
  • Medical payments
  • Scheduled awards
  • Death benefits


There are two primary Federal retirement systems: the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). Both provide retirement pensions, disability income and survivor's benefits.

You can also participate in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) to supplement your retirement income. The TSP is a tax-deferred savings plan similar to the 401(k) savings plan available in the private-sector.

Our new employees with no prior Federal Service are automatically covered by FERS.

Our new employees with prior Federal Service may be covered under FERS, CSRS, or CSRS Offset. Personnel Specialists review your service history when you start your employment to make a retirement system determination.

Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS)

You are covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) if you were first hired after December 31, 1983. FERS is a three-tiered retirement plan:

  • Basic Annuity Benefit
  • Annuity Supplement until Age 62
  • Thrift Savings Plan

Basic Annuity Benefit

You are paid a basic annuity benefit when you retire from the government. It's based strictly on the length of your federal service and an average of your highest 3 annual salaries earned.

Annuity Supplement until Age 62 When the Social Security Benefit is Payable

You get an annuity supplement from the time you retire until Social Security benefits are paid at age 62 when you retire on an immediate unreduced annuity. The supplement is based on the Social Security benefits you earned as a FERS employee. The annuity supplement stops and the Social Security benefit begins at age 62.

  • Social Security
    All new employees are automatically covered by the Social Security System. You may apply for regular Social Security benefits as early as age 62. Disability Social Security benefits are available at any age under certain conditions.

Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)

The third part of the Federal Employees Retirement System benefit is the TSP, a tax-deferred retirement savings and investment plan. The money you save and earn through the TSP provides an important source of retirement income. It offers the same type of savings and tax benefits that many private corporations offer their employees under 401(k) plans.

All contributions to your TSP account earn interest and may be divided among five funds that make up a diversified program. You can also request a loan from your TSP while in Federal Service.

You may either withdraw funds using different options or leave the contributions in your account to earn interest if you leave the government before qualifying for immediate retirement. A withdrawal penalty may apply if you separate before the year you reach age 55.

Retirement Eligibility

You are eligible for a voluntary immediate unreduced annuity if you:

  • Have five years of creditable civilian service
  • Are separating from a position subject to FERS coverage
  • Meet one of the age and service combinations below:*
    Retirement Eligibility Age and Service combinations
    Age Years of service
    62 5
    60 20
    MRA** 30

    * FERS also has special retirement provisions that allow Law Enforcement Officers, Firefighters, and Air Traffic Controllers to retire earlier if certain occupation requirements are met.
    ** Minimum Retirement Age (MRA) ranges between 55 and 57 depending on your year of birth.

    Minimum Retirement Age
    Year of Birth Age
    1948 55 yrs. 2 mos.
    1949 55 yrs. 4 mos.
    1950 55 yrs. 6 mos.
    1951 55 yrs. 8 mos.
    1952 56 yrs. 10 mos.
    1953-1964 56 yrs.
    1965 56 yrs. 2 mos.
    1966 56 yrs. 4 mos.
    1967 56 yrs. 6 mos.
    1968 56 yrs. 8 mos.
    1969 56 yrs. 10 mos.
    1970 57 yrs.

    You may be able to continue your health and life insurance benefits into retirement under this type of annuity. You must meet the requirements of the life and health insurance programs.

Employee Withholdings

Your contributions are established by law and represent a small portion of the cost for a FERS-covered employee. The balance of the cost is carried by the employing agency. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) establishes the normal cost based on an estimate of the percentage of pay that must be contributed for a typical group of new employees over their entire working careers in order to fully pay for their FERS basic benefits.

The withholding rate for FERS covered employees is as follows:

Withholding Rate for FERS covered employees
Description Withholding Rate
Regular Employees Under FERS .80 percent
Social Security 6.2 percent
Air Traffic Controllers Under FERS 1.30 percent

You can also contribute up to fifteen percent of your salary into the TSP. We automatically contribute one percent of your salary to the TSP even if you choose not to contribute. We also match your contributions dollar for dollar on the first 3 percent contributed, and 50 cents on the dollar for the next 2 percent.

Voluntary Immediate Reduced Annuity

Once you attain the Minimum Retirement Age (MRA) and have at least ten but less than thirty years of service, you may choose a voluntary immediate reduced annuity vice. There is a five percent reduction for each year you are under age 62. You can continue your health and life insurance if you are eligible.

Deferred Annuity

You may get a deferred annuity when you:

  • Reach your MRA with ten years of service subject to a reduction
  • Are age 60 with 20 years of service
  • Are age 62 with 5 years of service

You don't have health and life insurance under a deferred annuity.

Disability Retirement

You are eligible for disability retirement annuity after completing eighteen months of creditable civilian service if certain conditions are met.

Air Traffic Controller Retirement

There are specific retirement provisions and requirements for Air Traffic Controllers. Air Traffic Controllers covered under FERS are qualified for a special Air Traffic Controller Retirement if:

  • You are age 50 with 20 years of service
  • You are any age with 25 years of service
  • You occupy a position that requires you to be engaged in the separation and control of air traffic in providing preflight, in-flight, or airport advisory service to aircraft operators or as an immediate supervisor.

There is a mandatory retirement age of 56 with 20 years of "good time" (i.e., service that is creditable for air traffic controller retirement) service. Your annuity is computed similarly to a regular retirement.

Survivor Benefits

Your spouse, your children or your former spouse may get survivor benefits if you die while subject to FERS deductions after completing at least 18 months of creditable civilian service. A monthly annuity is paid to your spouse if you had ten years (five years civilian) service.

More Information

For more information about FERS, visit the Office of Personnel Management FERS Web site.

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