How to Understand Government Job/Career Pay Scales

Many people know that government jobs pay well, but most people don’t know much more than that. The truth is government jobs pay includes “Locational Pay.” With most government positions, there is a increase in pay for where you are geographically located. Government agencies have different pay scales i.e. GS (General Schedule) positions.

The key to selecting a government agency to apply to is to research and find out as much as possible. You must research the agency and the pay scales of the agencies. Find out about the locality pay, hazard pay, or any other positional pays that may be associated with the desired position.

We all know that pay is an important aspect of any career selection. There are benefits to earning a position with the government. It is not so different than any other position you may have applied for in the past. There are a few exceptions…the government has great benefits that no other civilian company may or may not be able to match.

Where people get confused is with the General Schedule Step grades, GS pay scales for the Office of Personnel has pay grades within the pay grade are called STEPs. Meaning, there are “STEPS” to earning promotion within the pay grade. When you review the GS Pay scale on OPM website you will see basic, locality and then there is also a pay scale that combines basic pay and locality depending on the location of the position. Among the pay scale are the STEPS of the pay. Steps are normally given to the pay grade employee depending on “time in grade” the normal promotional time period is 1 year per pay scale and STEP.

Here is a web site for the Office of Personnel Management that will give you more insight on how this agency categorizes its pay grades and locality pay. For more information click on: Government Pay Scales

Happy Government Job Hunting,
Jenice

Leave a Reply