Information About The OPM Pay Scale 2021
People who work for the federal government are paid according to a pay scale that is regulated by the Office of Personnel Management, or OPM. This scale is public knowledge. There are different types of pay scales, but the most common one is called the General Schedule, or GS. Around 70 percent of civilian federal employees are paid under the GS scale. Also, check the WG Pay Scale
The GS pay scale applies to jobs that are traditionally considered “white collar” jobs. These include office and clerical positions, jobs in administration, technology jobs, and professional jobs. There are 15 grades to each job classification on the GS scale starting from GS-1, which represents the lowest, or entry-level. The grades go up to GS-15, which is the highest level in that job classification. within each grade level, there are 10 steps. So the salary of the job in a classification depends on the grade level.
OPM PayScale Tables 2021
|GS Grade||Step 1||Step 2||Step 3||Step 4||Step 5||Step 6||Step 7||Step 8||Step 9||Step 10|
Typically, the grade levels in the OPM pay scale relate to how much education and/or experience is required for that particular level. In general, GS-1 level jobs require no high school diploma. GS-2 requires a high school diploma or something equivalent, like passing a GED exam. GS-3 and GS-4 are jobs for students and interns. GS-5, 6, and 7 are entry-level positions for career employees. GS-8 to GS-12 are for positions that require mid-level experience. GS-13 to GS-15 are supervisory or management positions that oversee other employees. There can be positions that are higher than GS-15. These are usually considered positions for senior executives.
Getting a job in the government does not require the applicant to apply at the entry-level, then move up. The hiring department can design the job at any grade level that is appropriate for the experience that they expect from the applicant. Applicants who have more education or experience can qualify for a job at a higher grade level, even though they did not get their experience in a government job. When a person gets hired, his salary is subject to the steps in the pay scale. Usually, the employee moves up a step with every year of service. The employee gets a raise according to the pay scale. If a position at a higher grade opens up, the employee can apply for it. If he gets a promotion to a higher grade, he gets a raise according to the pay scale. If the position is considered a “career ladder,” then the employee can get promoted to a higher grade without having to apply for a higher graded job. Each job description will have details on the grade scales and the potential to be promoted.
OPM Pay Scale 2021
The salary of a GS position also has a part that reflects the local geographic area. If the job is located in an area that has a high cost of living, the base pay on the GS scale is adjusted to take the higher cost of living into account. That means if two federal employees have the same job classification at the same GS level, but one works in a city with a higher cost of living, that employee’s net salary will be higher.
There are other positions that are on different OPM pay scales that are not part of the General Services group. There is a pay scale for the Federal Wage System, or FWS. These jobs are traditionally “blue-collar” jobs. There is also the Foreign Service pay scale. These federal employees work in the Dept. of Commerce, the States Department, and the Dept. of Agriculture. This pay scale has nine grades instead of 15. The scale actually goes in reverse, with FS-09 as the entry-level to FS-01 at the highest level. OPM has a pay scale for Senior Executive Service. This scale does not utilize grades, and the salary strictly depends on the performance of the executive. These are considered higher than the GS-15 grade.
For people who are interested in working for the federal government, the OPM pay scale can tell them how much they can expect to earn for specific job titles and how much they can expect to get as they move up on the scale. It is worthwhile to look this up on the government website to do a comparison between the government pay rate to the salary of a similar job in the private sector.