Salary & Benefits

Salaries are based on the position and location of the job you are selected to fill. The Law Enforcement Special Salary Rate and Locality pay scale may vary from the General Schedule and Locality pay scale. Salaries for positions such as Electrician, Mechanic, and Plumber, are found on the Federal Wage System (FWS) pay scale. View current Federal Government pay rates and locality pay on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management's website at Those assigned to evening duty (i.e., 4:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.) are paid a percentage of their basic hourly rate above regular pay, and employees assigned to Sunday duty are paid 25 percent above regular pay for all work on Sunday. Contact the Employee Services Department at the institution where you are applying for further clarification.

Vacation, Sick Leave, and Holidays

Annual or vacation leave is earned on the basis of years of Federal service, including creditable military service. Full-time employees with 15 years or more of creditable military service accrue 26 days of annual leave per year; those with more than three but less than 15 years earn 20 days; and those with less than three years earn 13 days. All full-time employees earn 13 sick days per year. While requests for particular leave dates are accommodated as much as possible, it is occasionally necessary to schedule vacations to meet the needs of the organization and spread absences throughout the year. Occasional absences for short periods will be granted if possible. There are ten (10) paid Federal Government holidays during the calendar year.

Awards Program

The BOP's Awards Program was established to encourage employees to participate in improving Government operations and to provide a means of rewarding superior performance. The program is a systematic process for focusing attention on ideas and performance and for providing personal recognition and rewards for contributing to better Government. Awards can improve the employee's chance for advancement because awards are considered positively in competition for a promotion.

Commuter Subsidy

Staff who take public transportation to work can be reimbursed up to $230.00 per month in certain large metropolitan areas (for more information, check with the Employee Services Department staff at the institution where you are applying).

Life and Health Insurance

A variety of health insurance ( plans are available to Federal employees, with the Government paying about 60 to 72 percent of the cost and the employee paying 28 to 40 percent, depending on the health plan. Basic life insurance ( is automatic and effective on the first workday the employee is in pay and duty status, unless the employee chooses to waive life insurance coverage. The Government pays one-third of the cost for Basic life insurance. Basic life insurance is the employee's salary, rounded to the next higher $1,000, plus $2,000. The employee pays 15 cents per $1,000. Optional life insurance is available for purchase.


An employee who has completed 20 years of service in a position covered by "hazardous duty" law enforcement retirement provisions (this includes any full-time job working within a prison) is eligible to retire at age 50. Employees with 25 years of law enforcement service may retire under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) at any age. Visit the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) website for information.

Thrift Savings Plan

The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a retirement savings and investment plan for Federal employees. The purpose of TSP is to provide retirement income. TSP offers Federal civilian employees the same type of savings and tax benefits that many private corporations offer their employees under the "401(K)" plans. Visit the TSP website for additional information.

BOP Worklife Programs

Balancing work and family life today has become more difficult to accomplish. In an effort to support the workforce, the Bureau strives to provide worklife options, to the extent possible, that will not jeopardize the agency's mission, safety or security. Below are options currently available to staff. You may click on the links for further information regarding these options.

    Compressed Work Schedules: Compressed work schedules allow full-time employees the option to complete their 80-hour biweekly work requirements in fewer than 10 workdays. With this option, an employee works longer hours each day to obtain one "off day" per week or per pay period.
    Flexible Work Schedules: A flexible work schedule allows an employee to determine his or her own schedule within the limits set by the agency. The BOP currently allows employees to work "Flexitour" schedules. A "Flexitour" schedule is a type of flexible work schedule in which an employee is allowed to select starting and stopping times within a tour of duty. Once selected, the hours are fixed until the agency provides an opportunity to select different starting and stopping times.
    Part-Time Employment and Job Sharing: Part-time and job sharing opportunities assist individuals who want to work fewer hours. Employees work between 16 and 32 hours per week, at the discretion of the local CEO and within the scope of Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and Department of Justice (DOJ) guidelines, consistent with office workload requirements. Job sharing is a form of part-time employment in which two employees cover a single full-time position.
    Teleworking (Formerly Telecommuting): Teleworking allows an employee to work from a home office for an agreed upon portion of the work week. It affords a quiet, uninterrupted work environment and freedom from the time constraints and costs associated with commuting to a primary office site. (View BOP policy.)
Additional Benefits Resources

Federal Long Term Care Insurance

Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS)

Federal Employees Health Benefits Program

Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance Program(FEGLI)