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Pay and leave

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) maintains pay tables for General Schedule employees, manages the Federal Wage System, and provides government-wide regulations and policies leave and other pay systems.


Typically there is a minimum and maximum salary for every job – federal agencies determine a salary based on their pay setting rules (the pay grade or other pay schedule) and your qualifications.

Hourly wage

Some federal jobs offer hourly wages. These jobs follow the Federal Wage System (FWS).

Pay scale

A General Schedule (GS) pay scale is one of many pay systems in the Federal Government. A GS pay grade is a rate of basic pay based on the specific level of work or range of difficulty, responsibility, and qualifications.

The GS pay schedule has 15 pay grades and 10 steps in each grade. A salary can vary within a pay grade depending if you’re at step 1 (the starting salary) or step 10 (the maximum salary). If you’re new to the government, your pay will likely be set at the starting salary for the pay grade for which you are selected.

Learn more about federal salaries and pay scales.

Additional resources

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