An Explanation Of The OPM Pay Scale And Its Implementation

The OPM pays most of the salaries of government employees. The General Schedule employs the bulk of white-collar civil service professionals. In September 2021, 70 percent of all federal civilian workers were paid according to the GS.

The GSA Schedule displays the pay ranges for the positions in which employees are employed. In general, the top-paying positions belong to the region or the local area in which the employee works. The following are the major four pay grades for federal employees. The GG or the equivalent grade is what is used to calculate the annual locality pay rate for federal workers located in the same region, district, or local area as the employee.

An Explanation Of The OPM Pay Scale And Its Implementation

The next grade down in the pay scale is the GS-9, the highest grade in the General Schedule. Just like the GG, the grade of the GS-9 is used to calculate the annual locality pay rate for federal employees working in the same region, district, or local area as the employee. The other grades in the General Schedule are the GS-3, the next highest grade, and the lowest grade in the General Schedule. There are also grades above the highest grade of the General Schedule called the GS-6, the grade of the GS-9, and the grade of the GS-10.

The next thing to see in the diagram of a federal OPM PayScale is that there are three bands of salaries that are part of the General Schedule pay system. These bands are the base salary, the locality pay, and the annual capitation. The base salary is the amount of money that federal employees will be paid without regard to their performance. The locality pay is what local residents will receive for the same job and the annual capitation is what they will receive for the full range of performance that they are expected to display. Once all these salaries have been determined, the number in parenthesis will determine the rank of the employee in the pay system.

The next step in the process of setting the OPM pay grades is the establishment of a federal employee pay matrix. The matrix will assign pay grades to every employee based on the pay grades that have been determined for each region of the country. This process will also include other factors such as the rank of the employee, the locality he is located in, his performance level, appraisals of his past performance, and other factors. Since the number of employees to be assigned will depend on these pay grades, it is important to go through the matrix very carefully before the new rankings are applied. This is because there could be problems if some employees who will receive a pay grade lower than what they deserve are assigned to the same region or district as another employee who is better performing.

There are also some special rates that may be included in the federal government’s OPM pay scale. Special rates are normally implemented when there are specific promotions that are meant to benefit employees. For example, the Special Rates for Scientists and Technologists (SRSTS) program was introduced with the hope of developing high performing employees. The program provides special rates for those who are engaged in research and development, those involved in aeronautical and astronautical engineering, chemical engineering, and computer science. The government will set the eligibility criteria and the rate for eligible workers based on the percent difference between the annual average of the hourly wage of the workers and the median income of the local area. All employees will be notified about the new rates and special rates when they reach their pay grade or the promotion, whichever comes first.

OPM Pay Scale 2020 Tables

GS Grade Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Step 6 Step 7 Step 8 Step 9 Step 10
GS-1 $19,543 $20,198 $20,848 $21,494 $22,144 $22,524 $23,166 $23,814 $23,840 $24,448
GS-2 $21,974 $22,497 $23,225 $23,840 $24,108 $24,817 $25,526 $26,235 $26,944 $27,653
GS-3 $23,976 $24,775 $25,574 $26,373 $27,172 $27,971 $28,770 $29,569 $30,368 $31,167
GS-4 $26,915 $27,812 $28,709 $29,606 $30,503 $31,400 $32,297 $33,194 $34,091 $34,988
GS-5 $30,113 $31,117 $32,121 $33,125 $34,129 $35,133 $36,137 $37,141 $38,145 $39,149
GS-6 $33,567 $34,686 $35,805 $36,924 $38,043 $39,162 $40,281 $41,400 $42,519 $43,638
GS-7 $37,301 $38,544 $39,787 $41,030 $42,273 $43,516 $44,759 $46,002 $47,245 $48,488
GS-8 $41,310 $42,687 $44,064 $45,441 $46,818 $48,195 $49,572 $50,949 $52,326 $53,703
GS-9 $45,627 $47,148 $48,669 $50,190 $51,711 $53,232 $54,753 $56,274 $57,795 $59,316
GS-10 $50,246 $51,921 $53,596 $55,271 $56,946 $58,621 $60,296 $61,971 $63,646 $65,321
GS-11 $55,204 $57,044 $58,884 $60,724 $62,564 $64,404 $66,244 $68,084 $69,924 $71,764
GS-12 $66,167 $68,373 $70,579 $72,785 $74,991 $77,197 $79,403 $81,609 $83,815 $86,021
GS-13 $78,681 $81,304 $83,927 $86,550 $89,173 $91,796 $94,419 $97,042 $99,665 $102,288
GS-14 $92,977 $96,076 $99,175 $102,274 $105,373 $108,472 $111,571 $114,670 $117,769 $120,868
GS-15 $109,366 $113,012 $116,658 $120,304 $123,950 $127,596 $131,242 $134,888 $138,534 $142,180

OPM Pay Scale 2021 Tables

GS Grade Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Step 6 Step 7 Step 8 Step 9 Step 10
GS-1 $20,051 $20,723 $21,390 $22,053 $22,720 $23,110 $23,768 $24,433 $24,460 $25,084
GS-2 $22,545 $23,082 $23,829 $24,460 $24,735 $25,462 $26,190 $26,917 $27,645 $28,372
GS-3 $24,599 $25,419 $26,239 $27,059 $27,878 $28,698 $29,518 $30,338 $31,158 $31,977
GS-4 $27,615 $28,535 $29,455 $30,376 $31,296 $32,216 $33,137 $34,057 $34,977 $35,898
GS-5 $30,896 $31,926 $32,956 $33,986 $35,016 $36,046 $37,077 $38,107 $39,137 $40,167
GS-6 $34,440 $35,588 $36,736 $37,884 $39,032 $40,180 $41,328 $42,476 $43,624 $44,773
GS-7 $38,271 $39,546 $40,821 $42,097 $43,372 $44,647 $45,923 $47,198 $48,473 $49,749
GS-8 $42,384 $43,797 $45,210 $46,622 $48,035 $49,448 $50,861 $52,274 $53,686 $55,099
GS-9 $46,813 $48,374 $49,934 $51,495 $53,055 $54,616 $56,177 $57,737 $59,298 $60,858
GS-10 $51,552 $53,271 $54,989 $56,708 $58,427 $60,145 $61,864 $63,582 $65,301 $67,019
GS-11 $56,639 $58,527 $60,415 $62,303 $64,191 $66,079 $67,966 $69,854 $71,742 $73,630
GS-12 $67,887 $70,151 $72,414 $74,677 $76,941 $79,204 $81,467 $83,731 $85,994 $88,258
GS-13 $80,727 $83,418 $86,109 $88,800 $91,491 $94,183 $96,874 $99,565 $102,256 $104,947
GS-14 $95,394 $98,574 $101,754 $104,933 $108,113 $111,292 $114,472 $117,651 $120,831 $124,011
GS-15 $112,210 $115,950 $119,691 $123,432 $127,173 $130,913 $134,654 $138,395 $142,136 $145,877

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