HR Onboarding Phase 2 - Official Job Offer


1.You will receive the Official Job Offer, usually via email, from a Human Resources (HR) point of contact (found on your offer letter). This notice will confirm the position title, series, pay grade, duty station, and salary being offered to you. It will include your effective date designating the beginning of your appointment to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the date you report to work, which is also referred to as your entry on duty (EOD), and your supervisor’s name and contact information. 
2.The Official Job Offer will also include instructions on additional forms and actions required before you can begin your new job in Phase 3. Carefully follow the instructions in your Official Job Offer to complete and submit documents within the timeframes indicated to avoid delays starting your new job. 


Refer to your Official Job Offer for your reporting date and supervisor contact information. If you have not received instructions on where to report to work at least one week before your first day, please contact your new supervisor. If you are unable to reach your supervisor, you may contact your Human Resources (HR) point of contact.


If you are transferring from another agency, coordinate with existing agency on Entrance on Duty Dates (EOD), ensure to get most recent non-award SF50, SF75 information brought over, get copy of last LES (Leave and Earnings Statement).   

Before your first day, feel free to familiarize yourself with FWS through our website! Please take a peek at our Mission and Vision, the species we work to protect, and more information about our 8 regions.


If applicable, complete all your tasks in USA Staffing, and fill out all questionnaires. If applicable, assemble the documents required for the completion of your I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) on your first day at work.

Official Transcripts:

Official transcripts are required to verify qualifications for some occupations with defined education requirements or to verify eligibility for appointments. 

Personal Identity Verification (PIV) Card:

  1. Prior to your first day, you will be receive an email notification from "HSPD12Admin" in your personal email to schedule your enrollment appointment (you may also need to check SPAM if you’re unable to locate it in your inbox).

  2. Please use the information located in the message to schedule your enrollment appointment at the nearest shared credentialing center (please do not schedule appointments at any dedicated centers outside of DOI).

  3. After you complete enrollment, your digital fingerprints will be submitted for clearance.  It will take approximately 48 hours to receive your clearance information from Defense Counterintelligence Security Agency (DCSA).

  4. Once cleared, your PIV card will be submitted for print.  It will take approximately 5-7 days for your new PIV card to arrive at the credentialing center for card pickup and activation. Please visit the USAAccess site for information on credentialing centers.

  5. If you have not received your automated email notification within seven days, please check your SPAM folder.  If you are still unable to locate the message, please contact your PIV Sponsor for additional assistance

  6. When your PIV arrives at the center it will be inventoried in the system and this will generate an automated email notification from "HSPD12Admin" to your personal email inbox to schedule your card pickup appointment at the center.  

Helpful Resources and Potential Requirements

Helpful Terms
Effective Date: Your Effective Date is usually the first day of a two-week pay period which falls on Sunday. 
Entry on Duty Date (EOD): The EOD, also referred to as the reporting date, is your first day on the job and is often a Monday. For new employees who transfer from another Federal agency with government-funded travel to the new job, your report date may be several days after the effective date.  
Service Computation Date (SCD): The SCD represents the first date of Federal employment or creditable military service. The SCD is used to calculate your retirement eligibility and available benefits.
Information Management and Technology (IMT) Awareness Training

Getting Started:

- You must complete the course below in a single sitting (~90 minutes).

- There are no bookmarks or stopping points.

There are seven modules for this course, please complete all of them.

Training Guidance:

1. From a personal computer, go to:

2. Click the Information Management and Technology (IMT) Awareness Training and complete the course.

3. Save a copy of the Certificate of Completion (which includes the date completed). If you skip this step, you may have to retake the course to receive a new certificate.

4. Provide a copy of the Certificate of Completion to your new Supervisor (at least two weeks before your start date (if possible)).

Government Computer and IT Equipment
Your supervisor will determine which IT equipment you need for your job, and will submit the appropriate requests to our Information Resources and Technology Management (IRTM) to initiate government computer access, issue computer or mobile devices such as cell phones, tablets, or radios, and any other necessary service or equipment.
If assistive technology will be needed, you should initiate a discussion with your supervisor or Human Resources (HR) point of contact so that equipment can be ordered.
Pay Grade and Schedules
The following pay schedule links will take you to information provided by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Your Official Job Offer contains your ‘grade’ and ‘step’, which determines the amount you will be paid. In some cases, your pay rate is increased to reflect higher costs of living; this is referred to as Locality Pay rates.  
You can find your grade and step in these pay tables. Most employees will be paid using the rates in the General Schedule (GS) and Locality Pay tables. You can visit with your HR POC or your supervisor if you have questions.
General Schedule (GS) Locality Pay Tables
Federal Wage System Pay Schedules
Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) General Schedule Locality Pay Tables
Special Rate Tables
Executive & Senior Level Employee Pay Tables
Payroll Calendar
Our payroll is handled through the Interior Business Center (IBC). On their site you can find our annual payroll calendars.
Pay Grades and Career Ladder Positions
Some new employees may notice two or more grades, or pay rates, stated in your Official Job Offer. This likely indicates you have been selected for a career ladder position. The numbers, or grades, represent the normal pay rate progression through which employees advance to reach the full-performance level, or top grade of the career ladder, of a particular occupation. The promotion potential to reach the full performance level of a position is established when the position is advertised. For example, a career ladder vacancy announced as GS-5 target GS-7 means that you begin the job at grade GS-5 and you may be promoted to GS-7 when you meet requirements for the next grade, typically after a year with satisfactory performance and after you meet any specialized experience requirements. Some occupations may have career promotions at one-grade intervals (i.e., GS-5 to GS-6) and some at two-grade intervals (i.e., GS-5 to GS-7) or even multiple two-grade intervals such as a GS 5/7 to GS-9. Your supervisor must submit a request to Human Resources to activate each promotion. 

Federal Benefits

Permanent Employees: As a Federal employee in a permanent position, you may be able to enroll to receive benefits such as health, dental, vision, life insurance, flexible spending accounts, and long-term care insurance. Now is a good time to become familiar with Federal employee benefits, so you’ll be prepared for enrollment decisions that you’ll need to make within 60 days after you start your new job. Some benefits will depend on whether you are on a full time, part time, or intermittent work schedule.

Temporary Employees: As a Federal employee in a temporary position, your benefits may include health insurance, flexible spending accounts, long-term care insurance, sick leave and annual leave, holiday and overtime pay, uniform and boot allowances, government quarters, transit subsidy, flexible work schedules, and access to the Employee Assistance Program. Temporary employees pay into social security and Medicare programs, but are not eligible for the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). You can find information about many of these programs on the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) New and Prospective Employees webpage. The specific benefits offered to you are based on the type of position, such as permanent, term, or temporary, and work schedule such as full time, part-time, or intermittent. Your Official Job Offer will outline which benefit programs apply to your position. Potential benefits include:

Health InsuranceThe Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHB) offers many different health insurance plans for eligible employees, their spouse, and any children under the age of 26. You can read more about health insurance here. You have 60 days to enroll once you're hired. You can also enroll, cancel, or change coverage during the annual open season in November.
Dental/Vision InsuranceThe Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) is a voluntary, enrollee-pay-all dental and vision insurance program available to Federal employees and family members. Learn more about dental/vision plans.
Flexible Spending AccountA Health Care Flexible Spending Account (HCFSA) and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (DCFSA) are pre-tax benefit accounts designed to pay for eligible medical, dental, and vision care expenses not covered by your health care plan or elsewhere. With a FSA, you set aside and use pre-tax dollars to pay for qualified out-of-pocket health care expenses. Learn more about the FSA.
Long-Term Care InsuranceLong-term care insurance covers some of the costs of securing long-term care either in an assisted living facility or in one’s own home if one meets specific health and mobility limitations. Visit the Office of Personnel Management website to learn more about Long Term Care Options available to many Federal employees.
Life InsuranceThe Federal Employee Group Life Insurance Program (FEGLI) is a benefit available to any employee covered by a retirement system. New employees have 60 days to enroll; there is no regular open season for life insurance coverage. If you miss the 60-day enrollment period, you will have to wait until you experience a "qualifying life event" such as marriage, divorce, or birth of a child. The amount of your coverage varies based on your choice and on your salary. To see how a salary change will impact your coverage and the bi-weekly deductions for your FEGLI, please visit the FEGLI Calculator at OPM. The Office of Personnel Management has detailed program, eligibility, enrollment, and beneficiary information. 
Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS)FERS is a retirement plan that generates benefits from three different sources: a Basic Benefit Plan, Social Security, and the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). Two of the three parts of FERS, Social Security and the TSP, can go with you to your next job if you leave the Federal Government before retirement. The Basic Benefit and Social Security parts of FERS require you to pay your share each pay period. If you are eligible for FERS, you will be automatically enrolled when you are appointed. The cost of the Basic Benefit and Social Security will be withheld from your pay as payroll deductions, and the Fish and Wildlife Service will pay the agency portion. After you retire, you could receive annuity payments each month for the rest of your life plus potential income from your TSP investments.
Thrift Savings PlanThe Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a retirement savings and investment plan for civilian employees of the United States Government and members of the uniformed services. It is similar to a 401K plan offered by many public and private corporations. If you are a FERS employee who began Federal service after July 31, 2010, you will be automatically enrolled in the TSP. Three percent of your basic pay will be deducted from your paycheck each pay period and deposited in the traditional balance of your TSP account unless you choose to change or stop your contributions. You can make an election by following the instructions for starting, changing, and stopping your contributions. Learn more about this retirement savings and investment plan at Thrift Savings Plan and how your contributions can be matched by the Federal Government at Thrift Savings Plan. 
Transferring Benefits from Another Federal Agency1. FEHB, FEGLI, and TSP elections normally transfer automatically. Be sure to verify proper deductions on your earnings and leave statement (ELS). Transferring is not a qualifying life event to change health enrollment unless you relocate, and your HMO benefits are not available in the new area.  

2. If you are enrolled in any of the following, you must contact the provider to transfer these benefits to the Fish and Wildlife Service :

3. As a transfer employee that has dental or vision under the FEDVIP program, you will need to contact BENEFEDS at 1-877-888-FEDS (1-877-888-3337) to transfer in your coverage to the Department of the Interior. The payroll office identification number to provide to BENEFEDS is DOIIN15. You may also go online to BENEFEDS website to make these changes. BENEFED's website is

4. As a transfer employee that has an account with Flexible Spending Account through FSAFEDS, you will need to contact FSAFEDS at 1-877-FSAFEDS (1-877-327-3337) to transfer in your coverage. The payroll office identification number to provide to FSAFEDS is DOIIN15. The website is

5. As a transfer employee that has an account with the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Plan (LTCFEDS), you will need to contact LTCFEDS at 1-877-888-FEDS (1-877-888-3337) to transfer in your coverage. The payroll office identification number to provide to FSAFEDS is DOIIN15. The website is

6. If you have an existing TSP loan, you will need to contact TSP to have that transferred over.

7. If you have any additional questions regarding the programs, please contact FWS HR Benefits.
Credit for Civilian ServiceUnder FERS, you can make a payment for the following types of service, in order to credit it toward your retirement: Any period of creditable civilian service performed before 1989 during which no retirement deductions were withheld from your pay. Any period of civilian service during which retirement deductions were withheld from your pay and refunded to you. Any period of Peace Corps or VISTA volunteer service (excluding training time) regardless of when the service was performed.
Credit for Military ServiceAs a general rule, military service in the Armed Forces of the United States is creditable for retirement purposes if it was active service terminated under honorable conditions, and performed prior to your separation from civilian service for retirement.
LeaveFederal employees earn paid annual/personal and sick leave. Visit these links to learn more about the leave you will earn and how it can be used:

OPM Annual Leave Fact Sheet

OPM Sick Leave Fact Sheet

Family Leave Fact Sheet
Disabled Veterans LeaveUnder the Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act of 2015 (Public Law 114-75, November 5, 2015), an employee hired on or after November 5, 2016, who is a veteran with a service-connected disability rating of 30 percent or more from the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) of the Department of Veterans Affairs is entitled to up to 104 hours of disabled veteran leave for the purposes of undergoing medical treatment for such disability. See OPM site for additional information.
Paid Holidays for Federal EmployeesThe Office of Personnel Management Federal Holidays Fact Sheet provides more information on the 11 paid holidays. 
Flexible Work Schedules and LocationsSome positions are eligible for flexible work schedules. Your position may also accommodate a flexible place of work, telework, or remote work. Visit with your supervisor to determine whether your position allows for flexibility to the set schedule or to a set office location.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a voluntary, work-based program that offers free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services to employees who have personal and/or work-related problems. DOI has contracted with Espyr, Inc. to provide you with comprehensive EAP services. Each year, one out of five employees faces a significant problem that disrupts life at home and reduces productivity at work. Service employees can receive free help from the EAP, which provides a confidential and comprehensive program that can assist employees with resolving their personal concerns, including:

-Emotional Issues

-Relationship Issues

-Family Issues

-Alcohol Issues

-Job Concerns

-Financial Issues and Financial Planning

-Legal Issues

-Employees can contact the EAP by calling 1-800-869-0276.
Work-Life BenefitsWork-life is the business practice of creating a flexible, supportive environment to engage employees & maximize organizational performance. Work-life programs are critical management tools for the Federal community as we strive to maintain an excellent, engaged workforce. Key work-life programs offered to federal employees include worksite health and wellness, Employee Assistance Programs, workplace flexibilities, telework, and reimbursement programs (e.g. Fitness/Financial Planning). 
Commuting and Transit SubsidiesA subsidy for mass transit costs associated with your commute to work are available at some duty locations. Find out if a transit subsidy is authorized for your location and how to apply for a subsidy. 
Permanent Change of StationIf your Official Job Offer includes a Permanent Change of Station (PCS), you will be contacted by a PCS counselor after you receive your Official Confirmation Letter. Coordinate closely with your PCS counselor to ensure you are authorized to incur costs and understand how to track your expenses, if applicable. The FWS PCS Handbook can be found at this link.
Government Quarters (Housing)You will be notified if Service Housing, often referred to as government quarters, is available for you at your station. If government quarters are available and accepted, your supervisor will submit a request to human resources to initiate payroll deductions and explain your housing contract responsibilities for occupancy.
Uniform and Safety Boot AllowancesCheck with your supervisor to determine if your position qualifies you for a uniform allowance or a safety boot allowance. If you qualify for a boot allowance, you must submit your reimbursement request within 45 days of the purchase of your safety boots.