2021 GS Pay Scales | General Schedule Pay Scale | WG Pay Scale | Executive Pay Scales
On this page you will find government pay scale & salary information for various pay grades & localities in 2021. All General Schedule (GS) government employees in the U.S. earn more than the base rate pay through locality adjustments. Locality pay rates for all areas are listed on this site. For those not in a specific locality area use the table titled Rest of U.S. The GS-9 step-1 pay on the Base Rate Chart is $46,083. The same grade pays $53,433 on the Rest of U.S. chart and $65,180 in the San Jose, San Francisco-Oakland areas. Look up the locality tables for your metropolitan area to determine the actual salary for your location.
Federal civilian employees will see an average 1% pay increase starting January 1, 2021; a 1% increase in basic pay, with no increase in locality pay. The President signed an Executive Order in December . The 1% pay raise 2021 charts are now available.
2021 Annual Rates by GS Pay grade and Step
New 2021 Pay Charts
Approximately 10 percent of total federal non-postal employment is classified under the Wage Grade (WG) blue-collar pay schedules. Wage Grade workers, typically those who work in the trades or general labor, are placed in a five step pay system and their pay is based on competitive rates that are established by an annual wage survey. The Department of Defense employs the largest number of Wage Grade workers. If you work in this group view the Wage Grade Rate Tables for these occupations. Just look for your GS pay grade and pay grade step to find your annual rate.
Salary Charts & Pay Information:
Check out the 2021 GS pay scale below. Annual base rates by grade and step
Note: This is a base rate chart. All federal employees receive pay adjustments above the base rate chart in the form of locality pay adjustments. To determine what your annual pay will be for your location view our Locality Pay Charts.
Note: This is a base rate chart for those not covered in one of the 47 Locality Areas. If your town is not included in a specific locality areas this chart reflects your pay.
General Schedule (GS) base pay varies from the GS-1 level at $19,738 per annum to $143,598 per annum at step 10 of the GS-15 grade, not including locality pay adjustments. The Senior Executive Service salary tops out at $219,200 per annum. The average annual salary for full-time non-postal employees has increased to just over $87,500 in 2019. Starting pay depends on the level of experience, education and complexity of the position applied for. You may also be able to negotiate your starting salary if your previous employer pay was greater than step 1 of the pay grade you are hired into.
Each GS grade has 10 pay steps. Currently, a GS-9 starts at $46,083 for step 1 and reaches $59,907 per year at step 10 (not including locality pay adjustments). At the GS-9 grade, each pay step adds $1,536 to the annual salary. Pay steps are earned based on time in service and the employee’s work performance. General Schedule employees are referred to as white-collar workers under the federal classification system. There are 53 locality pay areas.
Locality pay adjustments basically level the playing field for all federal employees across the country in different major metropolitan areas. OPM is added the following Locality Pay Areas: Birmingham-Hoover-Talladega, AL; Burlington-South Burlington, VT; San Antonio-New Braunfels-Pearsall, TX; and Virginia Beach-Norfolk, VA-NC last year. The proposed rule also added two “Rest of U.S.” locations to the geographic definitions of two existing locality pay areas and making minor, clarifying changes to the names of two locality pay areas. The 53 designated locality area salaries are adjusted by comparing GS and non-Federal pay in each locality pay area, based on salary surveys conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The lowest adjustment to the basic rate schedule listed above is for the “Rest of the US.” This group includes federal employees that do not reside in one of the 53 locality rate areas. The highest locality rate is assigned to for the San Jose, San-Francisco-Oakland California locality area. You can determine what your salary would be at any location by using OPM’s salary calculator that you will find under resources on this page.
Locality Pay Tables (Click on the locality area to view the pay table)
- STATE OF ALASKA
- ALBANY-SCHENECTADY, NY
- ALBUQUERQUE-SANTA FE-LAS VEGAS, NM
- ATLANTA-ATHANS-CLARK COUNTY–SANDY SPRINGS, GA-AL
- AUSTIN-ROUND ROCK, TX
- BIRMINGHAM-HOOVER-TALLADEGA, AL
- BOSTON-WORCHESTER-PROVIDENCE, MA-RI-NH-CT-ME
- BUFFALO-CHEEKTOWAGA, NY
- BURLINGTON-SOUTH BURLINGTON, VT
- CHARLOTTE-CONCORD, NY
- CHICAGO-NAPERVILLE, IL-IN-WI
- CINNINNATI-WILMINGTON-MAYSVILLE, OH-KY-IN
- CLEVELAND-AKRON-CANTON, OH
- COLORADO SPRINGS, CO
- COLUMBUS-MARION-ZANESVILLE, OH
- CORPUS CHRISTI-KINGSVILLE-ALLICE, TX
- DALLAS-FORT WORTH, TX-OK
- DAVENPORT-MOLINE, IA-IL
- DAYTON-SPRINGFIELD-SIDNEY, OH
- DENVER-AURORA, CO
- DETROIT-WARREN-ANN ARBOR, MI
- HARRISBURG-LEBANON, PA
- HARTFORD-WEST HARTFORD, CT-MA
- HAWAII – CONSISTING OF THE STATE OF HAWAII
- HOUSTON-THE WOODLANDS, TX
- HUNTSVILLE-DECATUR-ALBERTVIILLE, AL
- INDIANAPOLIS-CARMEL-MUNCIE, IN
- KANSAS CITY-OVERLAND PARK-KANSAS CITY, MO-KS
- LAREDO, TX
- LAS-VEGAS-HENDERSON, NV-AZ
- LOS-ANGELES-LONG BEACH, CA
- MIAMI-FORT LAUDERDALE-PORT ST. LUCIE, FL
- MILWAUKEE-RACINE-WAUKESHA, WI
- MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL, MN-WI
- NEW YORK-NEWARK, NY-NJ-CT-PA
- OMAHA-COUNCIL BLUFFS-FREMONT, NE-IA
- PALM-BAY-MELBOURNE-TITUSVILLE, FL
- PHILADELPHIA-READING-CAMDEN, PA-NJ-DE-MD
- PHOENIX-MESA-SCOTTSDALE, AZ
- PITTSBURGH-NEW CASTLE-WEIRTON, PA-OH-WV
- PORTLAND-VANCOUVER-SALEM, OR-WA
- RICHMOND, VA
- RALEIGH-DURHAM-CHAPEL HILL, NC
- SAN-DIEGO-NEW-BRAUNFELS-PEARSALL, TX*
- SAN-JOSE-SAN FRANCISCO-OAKLAND, CA
- SEATTLE-TACOMA, WA
- ST. LOUIS-ST. CHARLES-FARMINGTON, MO-IL
- TUSCON-NOGALES, AZ
- VIRGINA BEACH-NORFORK, VA-NC
- WASHINGTON-BALTIMORE-ARLINGTON, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA
- REST OF UNITED STATES (Consisting of those portions of the United States and its territories and possessions as listed in 5 CFR 591.205 not located within another locality pay area.)
- 2021 Locality pay rates (Consolidated listing for all locality areas)
UPDATE: Six additional areas will be added in 2018, one for Virginia Beach, VA and a second one for those working in and around Burlington, Vt. There were thirteen cities added to the 2016 locality rate tables. The 13 cities included Albany, N.Y.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Austin, Texas; Charlotte, N.C.; Colorado Springs, Co.; Davenport, Iowa; Harrisburg, Pa.; Kansas City, Mo.; Laredo, Texas; Las Vegas, Nev.; Palm Bay, Fla.; St. Louis, Mo.; and Tucson, Ariz.
It’s important to note that a locality rate is considered basic pay for computing the following, as applicable:
- Deductions for benefits including retirement
- Premiums for life insurance and benefits
- Premium pay and premium pay limitations
- Pay Advances
- Severance pay
- Lump-sum payments for accrued and accumulated annual leave
- Post differentials under 5 U.S.C. 5925(a) and danger pay allowances under 5 U.S.C. 5928 for an employee temporarily working in a foreign area when the employee’s official worksite is located in a locality pay area
- Post differentials under 5 U.S.C. 5941 and 5 CFR part 591, subpart B, for an employee temporarily working in a nonforeign area when the employee’s official worksite is located in a locality pay area”–with “Nonforeign area cost-of-living allowances and post differentials under 5 U.S.C. 5941 and 5 CFR part 591, subpart B
- Relocation, recruitment, and retention incentives, supervisory differentials, and extended assignment incentives
- Performance-based cash awards when the award is computed as a percentage of an employee’s rate of basic pay
- GS pay administration provisions (e.g., promotions) to the extent provided in 5 CFR part 531, subpart B
- Pay administration provisions for prevailing rate employees which consider rates of basic pay under the GS pay system in setting pay (except as otherwise provided in 5 CFR part 532), subject to the requirement that, if the employee’s actual locality rate would not apply at the official worksite for the prevailing rate position, that locality rate must be converted to a corresponding rate on the locality rate schedule for that official worksite; and
- Grade and pay retention to the extent provided in 5 CFR part 536
Reference: 5 U.S.C. 5304(c)(2) and 5 CFR 531.610.)
The government’s Personnel Classification System includes Wage Grade occupations grouped into families of like jobs. The 36 occupational families range from WG-2500 to WG-9000. Each occupational family has its own group number and title which makes it distinctive from every other family grouping. View the list of the Wage Grade Families that are concentrated in the trades and labor occupations.
The Department of Defense (DOD) issues wage schedules and they conduct Federal Wage System (FWS) surveys. The Department of Defense’s Advisory Service maintains these rates and publishes them on their website. Visit the FWS wage schedules website for updated 2021 WG pay scales & schedules for your area.
There are a number of special compensation systems that augment the general schedule pay scale. Physicians receive signing bonuses for a one-year continued-service agreement and additional bonuses for two years. The Federal Aviation Administration pays employees in safety-related careers under a “Core Compensation” multi-pay band system. Organizations such as the General Accounting Office (GAO), NASA, and the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology either are exempt from or have exceptions to the GS pay system. You can search special rate schedules for your area at the OPM website.
Federal employee special pay and benefits apply to eligible civilian employee that are assigned to duty in designated foreign areas, including Iraq and Afghanistan. Three departments, including The Department of Defense, the Department of State, and the Department of Labor administer most of the pay and benefits programs offered to such employees. Certain foreign areas may be determined to have a special status due to U.S. military operations in the area or for other reasons. Pay and benefits may vary depending on pay system of the employee, the assignment location, scope and nature of duties, and nature other assignment.
As missions in overseas locations change, certain authorities and benefits can also change. We recommend that employees contact their agency’s human resources and/or benefits officers to determine if their overseas location qualifies for the authorities listed below.
The head of each agency must determine categories of physician positions for which there is a significant recruitment and retention problem. A PCA may be paid only to physicians serving in positions in one of the categories. In determining the categories the agency must, as a minimum, establish as separate categories the following types of positions:
Clinical Positions: Positions primarily involving the practice of medicine or direct service to patients, involving the performance of diagnostic, preventive, or therapeutic services to patients in hospitals, clinics, public health programs, diagnostic centers, and similar settings.
Research Positions: Positions primarily involving the conduct of medical research and experimental work, including the conduct of medical work pertaining to food, drugs, cosmetics, and devices (or the review or evaluation of such medical research and experimental work), or the identification of causes or sources of disease or disease outbreaks.
Occupational Health: Positions primarily involving the evaluation of physical fitness, or the provision of initial treatment of on-the-job illness or injury, or the performance of preemployment examinations, preventive health screenings, or fitness-for-duty examinations.
Disability Evaluation and Administration of Health and Medical Programs: Positions involving disability evaluation and rating, the performance of medicolegal autopsies, training activities, or the administration of medical and health programs, including the administration of patient care or medical research and experimental programs.
- PCA Payments: Agencies may pay a PCA of up to $14,000 annually to a physician with 24 months or less of service as a Government physician. Agencies may pay a PCA of up to $30,000 annually to a physician with more than 24 months of service as a Government physician. PCAs are subject to the aggregate limitation on pay under 5 U.S.C. 5307 and 5 CFR part 530, subpart B.
These changes are incorporated in the National Defense Authorization Act, FY 2019
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