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Pay

 My Pay System is ... General Schedule

The general schedule (GS) is the Federal Government’s main pay system. It sets pay rates for employees in most white-collar positions that are not at senior executive or other senior levels.

The general schedule consists of 15 grades, or salary levels. Each grade includes 10 steps through which you advance, based on satisfactory job performance and length of service.

There are two parts to the pay received under the GS:
1) The base schedule is the base rate for all positions covered by the GS (by grade and step), and
2) The locality schedule which provides additional pay for all positions based on geographic location. If your position is not located within one of the established locality pay areas, then your position is covered by the locality pay schedule for “Rest of U.S."

 

 My Pay System is ... Federal Wage System

The Federal Wage System (FWS) is a uniform pay-setting system covering federal employees paid by the hour.

The FWS consists of 15 grades. In each pay grade, there are five step rates, with the second step based on the going rate in private industry.

To learn more, see:

My Pay System is...

​Please contact the HR Representative in your offer letter to learn about your pay system.

 Federal Pay Systems

Introduction

Federal pay systems are established to ensure fairness and uniform compensation for federal employees at comparable levels of skill, experience, and responsibility within a defined geographic area.

General Schedule

The general schedule (GS) is the Federal Government's main pay system. It sets pay rates for employees in most white-collar positions that are not at senior executive or other senior levels.

The general schedule consists of 15 grades, or salary levels. Each grade includes 10 steps through which you advance, based on satisfactory job performance and length of service.

There are two parts to the pay received under the GS:

  1. The base schedule is the base rate for all positions covered by the GS (by grade and step), and
  2. The locality schedule which provides additional pay for all positions based on geographic location. If your position is not located within one of the established locality pay areas, then your position is covered by the locality pay schedule for "Rest of U.S."

To learn more, see Salaries & Wages

Federal Wage System

The Federal Wage System (FWS) is a uniform pay-setting system covering federal employees paid by the hour.

The FWS consists of 15 grades. In each pay grade, there are five step rates, with the second step based on the going rate in private industry.

To learn more, see:

  1. Facts About the Federal Wage System on OPM.gov
  2. Federal Wages Schedules on the Department of Defense's Civilian Personnel Management Service's site. (The Department of Defense is the lead agency for conducting FWS wage surveys and issuing federal wage schedules.)

 Overtime and Comp Time

Overtime refers to payments made to federal employees who work in excess of their standard schedule. Be aware that:

  • The overtime must have been officially approved in advance by your supervisor or other management official.
  • There are rules that apply to overtime - see your manager to determine which rules apply to you.

Compensatory time, or "comp time," is time off with pay for irregular or occasional overtime work.

  • Comp time is awarded in place of overtime pay.
  • One hour of comp time is granted for each hour of overtime worked.
  • Comp time must be approved in advance by your supervisor or other management official.

 Questions About Pay?

Contact the HR Representative identified in your offer letter.