8 days old

Patent Examiner

Alexandria, Virginia
  • Job Type
  • Job Status
    Full Time

It Take Skill to Recognize Ingenuity.

We have several open vacancies for Patent Examiners with an emphasis in Electrical Engineering.

Join us as we host a recruitment open house to meet top engineering prospects in Alexandria, Va. The two-day session will be held on Friday, February 28 and Saturday, February 29 at the USPTO headquarters. This event is FREE and walk-ins are welcome! 

Register now: www.uspto.gov/jobfair




A patent examiner (PE) 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. Prior art is information that has been disclosed to the public about an invention before a given date - including any related patents, published articles and public demonstrations.

  • Review patent applications to ensure conformity to formal requirements.
  • Write legal office actions on patentability and respond to patent applicants.

GS-7: Perform basic patent examining functions with extensive instructions from the supervisor. Training will develop the ability to apply technical concepts to the patent examining process. Assignments combine performance of productive work with supervised on-the-job training.

GS-9: Independently perform basic patent examining functions with some supervision. Assignments are of average difficulty and require the application of technical concepts to the patent examining process. May perform advanced patent examining functions with supervision (e.g., the evaluation of special claim constructions, the requirement of restrictions, the recognition and development of probable interferences, etc.). These advanced activities are supported by close review.

Almost all of a Patent Examiner's work is performed using a computer and is visually very demanding.

This is an Electrical Engineering position. If this is not your area of expertise, please consult our Careers Website and consider one of our other open Patent Examiner positions. We regularly have openings for patent examiner positions in disciplines such as:

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

This vacancy announcement is for positions located in Alexandria, Virginia, only.  Your application to this vacancy announcement will only allow consideration for this announcement and this duty station. 

Note:  Applications will be accepted from students who expect to complete qualifying education within 9 months from the date of application.  USPTO requires verification of successful completion before extending a final offer.

View a day in the life of a patent examiner at America’s Innovation Agency: http://bit.ly/2C13Zq5.


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 (www.sss.gov)

  • Suitable for Federal employment.

Candidates must live near, or be willing to relocate or commute to the DC metro area.  


To be considered for this position, you must have either: (A) successfully completed a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree in Engineering; OR (B) a combination of qualifying education and experience.  

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social).  Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.


Posted: 2020-02-18 Expires: 2020-03-19

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Patent Examiner

Alexandria, Virginia

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