National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency


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Yes, you must be a citizen of the United States when you apply to work at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. NGA does not assist individuals in applying for U.S. citizenship.

A paper copy (via fax or U.S. mail) is not necessary or advantageous after you have submitted your resume online. The online submission process was specifically designed to provide the applicant with quick entry into our active applicant database.

Having an undergraduate degree is not mandatory, but is highly recommended. Life experiences are taken into consideration. However, a standard requirement for intelligence analysts and other positions is a college degree, preferably an advanced degree.


The Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS) is a management system widely used in the Intelligence Community to set pay scales. The system ensures:

  • Total resulting pay fairly reflects employee performance at his or her band level.
  • Combined salary and bonuses/awards result in a compensation package that effectively rewards each employee for his or her efforts.
  • Promotion decisions reflect performance-based potential and the need for higher level work within the agency.

Pay Bands

Pay Band 01 - GS Equivalent: 01-07
Pay Band 02- GS Equivalent: 07-10
Pay Band 03- GS Equivalent: 11-13
Pay Band 04- GS Equivalent: 13-14
Pay Band 05- GS Equivalent: 15


The table below shows basic salary ranges and equivalent GS grade levels as of Jan. 3, 2021:

Base Salary Range

Pay Band

Band Min

Step 10 Max

Band Max*

Salary Growth Potential**

Band 1





Band 2





Band 3





Band 4





Band 5






Locality Pay

The Federal government has established numerous pay localities to provide locality pay adjustments that add to total pay according to geographic duty locations. The following table shows the locality pay for the Washington, D.C. and St. Louis, MO. areas which are the two primary locations for NGA.

Washington DC Salary Chart with Local Market Supplement: 30.48%

Pay Band

Band Min

Step 10 Max

Band Max*

Salary Growth Potential

Band 1





Band 2





Band 3





Band 4





Band 5






St. Louis Salary Chart with Local Market Supplement: 17.65%

Pay Band

Band Min

Step 10 Max

Band Max*

Salary Growth Potential

Band 1





Band 2





Band 3





Band 4





Band 5





*Maximum includes equivalent of a step 12, derived from the highest GS grade associated with each Band.

**Salary Growth Potential reflects the difference in pay range limits between the GS Step 10 Max and the Band Max.

Because the NGA is a member of the Intelligence Community, our hiring process can take a little longer than people might expect. Depending on a candidate’s personal circumstances, such as the frequency of residential and employment moves and overseas travel, the total process may take as little as two months or more than a year. The following steps are part of the NGA hiring process:

    Background Investigation: Because of the classified nature of our work at NGA, all candidates must be eligible for a TOP SECRET/SCI security clearance, and they must take a polygraph examination. In order to obtain the required security clearance, candidates must undergo a thorough background investigation that examines a candidate’s life history, character, trustworthiness, reliability and soundness of judgment. The investigation includes a review of the candidate’s employment history (including contact with the candidate’s current employer), verification of education credentials and residential history, and interviews with knowledgeable sources such as friends, neighbors, supervisors and co-workers. Depending on your situation, the background investigation process may take 2 ½ months or longer. Investigators will also examine the potential for conflicts of interest, potential to be coerced and the candidate’s willingness and ability to abide by regulations governing the use, handling and the protection of sensitive information. In addition, credit bureau and criminal background checks are conducted to ensure that all candidates meet the high personnel security standards set by NGA and the Intelligence Community.

    NOTE: Intentional misrepresentations in application documents raise serious doubts as to the applicant’s honesty and fitness for employment, and can be sufficient to establish that the applicant is unsuitable for federal employment.

    Clearance Adjudication: After the background investigation is completed, the information is passed to an NGA adjudicator who reviews the results and compares them to established qualifying criteria for granting security clearances with access to classified information, or for an appointment to a sensitive position or position of trust. Once adjudication is complete and the security clearance is granted, the adjudicator notifies the Investigations Branch, who, in turn, contacts HD to proceed to the next steps in the process. The adjudication process averages less than 20 days, but may take longer depending on a candidate’s personal circumstances.

    Drug Test: A pre-employment urinalysis test is required to detect the presence of illegal or controlled substances in a candidate's system. Positive test results or refusal to be tested will be considered in determining an applicant's eligibility for employment, and may be the basis for denial of employment. NGA has the option of not testing applicants transferring directly to NGA from another federal agency where they held a drug testing-designated position (TDP) and had been subject to a test within the previous 12 months. This test usually takes approximately 10 to 15 days to order and complete.

    Other Tests and Paperwork: Certain positions may require a pre-employment medical examination and/or a vision test. The time needed to complete these tests can take approximately six to eight weeks.

    Beginning Employment or Enter On Duty (EOD): After a candidate has been placed with a specific NGA office, the recruitment center will contact the candidate to coordinate the best date for the candidate to EOD and begin his/her career at NGA. A follow-up letter will be sent to confirm a candidate’s EOD date, salary and position. Please note that NGA will normally EOD new employees at the beginning of a pay period (every two weeks). You, the candidate, will make the determination as to when you can start with NGA after completing the hiring process.

We suggest that candidates tell immediate family and friends that they are pursuing employment with NGA, because the candidate’s references, family and friends may be contacted as part of the security background investigation. References may be asked about a candidate’s honesty, reliability and trustworthiness, and whether the candidate should be given access to classified information or assigned to a sensitive position or position of trust. The investigator may also ask about the candidate’s past and present personal activities, employment history, education, family background, neighborhood activities and finances. References should be encouraged to be honest and forthcoming with the investigator.

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency receives approximately 1,000 resumes a month. Our goal is to contact candidates in as timely a manner as possible as they proceed through the hiring process. Please note that during the investigation process, NGA may not have any information to share until the security clearance is actually granted or denied since those processes are handled by other agencies. We ask all candidates to remain patient.

NGA provides education and career development opportunities to its employees to ensure the workforce is prepared to meet current and future mission requirements. Candidates for some positions, primarily analytical positions, will be required to successfully complete an analytical training program in order to continue employment and must sign a Training Service Agreement. The training required depends on the requirements of each position, along with the skills, education and experience of the individual. Be advised that this training may be held at a number of local NGA sites on day and evening shifts. Transportation to and from training is the responsibility of the employee. New hires in non-analytical positions and their hiring managers will determine what, if any, internal/external training and experiences are needed to enable the person to quickly become a productive member of the NGA team.

NGA provides education and career development opportunities to its employees to ensure the workforce is prepared to meet current and future mission requirements. Employees participating in internal NGA training programs of 160 hours or longer, and who receive salary covering the training period, must agree in writing to continue in NGA service for a period of three times the length of the training period. Employees who begin but do not successfully complete the 160 hours or longer training course, including the Geospatial Intelligence Training Program (GITP), may be terminated and/or required to reimburse the government for training cost (excluding salary) associated with their attendance. Employees who leave NGA after completion of the training, but prior to completion of their service obligation, may be required to reimburse the agency for training costs (excluding salary) associated with their training attendance. Execution of a service agreement does not in any way guarantee continued employment with NGA.

For those employees who elect to participate, NGA provides a formal mentoring program. This highly encouraged program promotes partnerships for all employees to develop themselves personally and professionally with the assistance of a more experienced employee. These partnerships continue for as long as mutually desired, and serve as an opportunity for newer employees to grow in the skills of professional leadership and technical excellence. Studies prove that having a mentor assists employees in getting off to a great start in their careers and in developing themselves for the future.

Travel, like training, depends on the requirements of each position. The manager and the employee should discuss what travel opportunities are available to best develop the employee’s skills and make him or her more productive.

Authority: 5 U.S.C. sections 3301, 4118, 8347; 10 U.S.C. sections 1601-02; and Executive Orders 9397, 9830 and 12107.

Principal Purpose: This information is needed to ensure the accuracy of critical data in each employee/applicant record. The records have various uses by the agency, including screening qualifications and determining status, eligibility, and rights and benefits under pertinent laws and regulations.

Routine Uses: Information may be disclosed in accordance with the routine uses established for OPM/GOVT-1, General Personnel Records, which permits disclosures to be made to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Justice, to law enforcement agencies, and other federal and state agencies.

Disclosure: Disclosure is voluntary. However, failure to provide your Social Security number, as well as all other required information, will disqualify you from further employment consideration.

NGA's eRecruit system requires an email address as a user ID. If you do not have an email address, several Internet service providers offer free email accounts. Hotmail and Yahoo are just two of these.