General Schedule (GS) Pay Scale For 2024

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In 2024, the pay scale for federal employees changed. This includes a 4.7% base pay increase and adjustments to locality pay rates. These changes aim to ensure that federal salaries remain competitive and reflect the varying cost of living across different regions of the country. The 2024 General Schedule (GS) pay scale is important for federal employees. Federal workers can expect a 4.7% increase in their salaries starting January 2024. This change affects the annual and hourly rates for all GS pay grades. Employees in different geographic areas might see different increases based on where they work, to account for cost-of-living differences across the country. For further information and specific locality pay tables, readers are encouraged to consult the official resources provided by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

2024 General Schedule (GS) Pay Scale Changes

2024 GS Base Pay Increase

Federal employees under the General Schedule (GS) pay system received a 4.7% base pay increase in 2024. This raise was implemented across all GS grades and steps, impacting the base salary for every federal employee in this category.

Locality Pay Adjustments

In addition to the base pay increase, locality pay adjustments also came into effect in 2024. These adjustments vary depending on the specific geographic location of the employee’s duty station. Locality pay aims to ensure that federal salaries remain competitive with the private sector in different regions of the country.

Combined Impact on GS Salaries

The combined effect of the base pay increase and locality pay adjustments resulted in varying total pay raises for GS employees. Some employees experienced raises as high as 15.5%, while others saw increases closer to the 4.7% base pay raise. The exact percentage increase depends on the specific locality pay area.

2024 GS Pay Scale Table (Rest of US Locality)

The table below shows the 2024 annual rates for GS employees in the “Rest of US” locality pay area, which covers most of the United States outside of major metropolitan areas.

GS GradeStep 1Step 2Step 3Step 4Step 5Step 6Step 7Step 8Step 9Step 10

Resources for Further Information

For detailed information on the 2024 GS pay scales, including locality pay tables for specific regions, please refer to the official resources provided by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM):

These resources provide comprehensive information on the 2024 GS pay scale, including base pay tables, locality pay tables, and details on how the pay adjustments were calculated.

Key Takeaways

  • Federal workers are receiving a 4.7% salary increase.
  • Grades and steps determine pay rates.
  • Locality pay adjustments vary by geographic area.

Understanding the General Schedule Pay System

The General Schedule (GS) pay system is a significant aspect of federal employment, directly influencing the pay of about 1.5 million civilian workers. It comprises a structured pay scale with specific grade levels and steps to determine salaries.

Components of the GS Pay Scale

The GS pay scale is made up of grades and steps. Grades range from GS-1 to GS-15, with each grade representing a different level of job responsibility and pay. Higher grades typically mean higher pay and more responsibilities.

Steps within each grade allow for salary increases based on tenure and performance. There are 10 steps in each grade. For example, an employee at GS-5, Step 1 would earn less than an employee at GS-5, Step 10. Regular step increases occur every 1-3 years, depending on the step level.

This pay scale is crucial due to its predictable structure and progression. Employees and employers can easily understand progression, ensuring fair compensation across different positions and locations.

Grade Levels and Steps

Grade Levels represent the complexity and responsibility of the position. Grades start at GS-1 for the simplest jobs and go up to GS-15 for roles that require expert knowledge. Each grade has different entry criteria, often requiring varying levels of education and experience. For example, a GS-7 position may need a bachelor’s degree, while a GS-12 might require a master’s degree or several years of specialized experience.

Steps within each grade provide a way to reward performance and longevity. New hires usually start at Step 1. Good performance can lead to advancements through the steps, providing pay raises. A Step increase is typically granted after a certain period, such as one year for the early steps, two years for the middle steps, and three years for the final steps.

There are periodic pay increases linked to each step within a grade. Federal employees often look forward to these step increases as a recognition of their work and commitment.

2024 Locality Pay Adjustments

In 2024, General Schedule (GS) employees will see adjustments to their locality pay. These changes are based on the geographical boundaries and apply first thing in the year.

Determining Locality Pay

Locality pay depends on the cost of living and wage levels in different areas. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) reviews these factors each year. Then, they adjust pay rates.

Some areas get a higher locality rate due to higher living costs. This helps ensure federal employees in those areas receive fair compensation. Each area has its own rate. These rates are set based on surveys and data from different regions.

Locality pay is added to the base pay. It varies widely across different parts of the country. For specific pay rates, employees can check the 2024 locality pay tables.

Notable Locality Pay Areas

Certain areas have significant locality pay adjustments in 2024. For example, the Albany-Schenectady, NY area has a locality rate of 20.25% ( Larger metropolitan areas usually see higher adjustments. This includes San Francisco and Washington D.C.

Federal employees can check their specific locality adjustments on the OPM website.

The “Rest of U.S.” category covers areas not included in specific locality lists. This category typically has a lower adjustment rate compared to high-cost metro areas.

2024 will bring noticeable changes, helping to balance pay across different regions.

Special Pay Rates and Pay Tables

Special pay rates and pay tables are crucial for federal employees. They define how much workers are paid based on their job and location.

Special Rate Tables

Special rate tables list the annual rates for various occupations. These tables help ensure that employees are paid fairly. For example, specific tables apply to scientific positions.

Workers in high-demand occupations receive higher rates of pay to attract and retain talent. These tables also consider locality pay adjustments, which account for the cost of living in different areas.

Employees can find the special rate tables indexed by occupation, agency, and location on the Special Rates page. It is important to check these tables regularly for updates as rates can change.

Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) Pay Tables

The LEO pay tables provide specific pay rates for law enforcement officers. These tables can be found on various federal websites such as

Law enforcement officers have unique pay tables due to the nature and risk of their jobs. The LEO pay scale incorporates additional pay for the complexities and challenges of law enforcement work.

These pay tables also include locality adjustments, ensuring LEOs receive fair compensation based on their posting locations. Employees should review the pay tables to understand how their pay is structured and what local adjustments may apply.

Annual and Performance-Based Pay Increases

Federal pay raises include both automatic increases and those based on an employee’s performance. Understanding these raises helps federal employees anticipate their future earnings.

General Schedule Increase

The General Schedule (GS) pay raise impacts all federal employees. For 2024, the average pay raise is 4.7%. This annual rate increase aims to help federal workers keep pace with the private sector. Pay raises vary by location, which means some areas get higher percentages to match local cost of living.

The GS pay scale includes several steps within each grade. Each step represents an incremental pay increase. Moving up these steps typically occurs over time, reflecting the employee’s experience and tenure. Annual raises do not change the grade but increase the dollar amount each employee earns within their current grade and step.

Quality Step Increases

Quality Step Increases (QSI) reward federal employees who perform exceptionally well. Unlike annual raises, QSIs reward top performers faster than the standard step increases. To get a QSI, an employee must have outstanding performance appraisals. They move up a step within their current grade, resulting in a higher pay rate.

QSIs are not automatic. Managers must recommend employees for these increases based on their job performance. An employee can receive a QSI even if they are not yet eligible for a standard step increase. This makes QSIs a valuable incentive for federal employees to aim for excellence in their roles.

Senior Executive Service and Executive Schedule

The Senior Executive Service (SES) and Executive Schedule (EX) set the pay for top U.S. government officials. They differ from the General Schedule (GS) in various ways, including their structure and pay rates.

Differences Between SES and GS Pay Scales

The Senior Executive Service (SES) includes high-level officials above the GS-15 level. These positions are often found in federal agencies and involve significant policy-making roles. In comparison, the General Schedule (GS) covers most federal employees, with levels ranging from GS-1 to GS-15.

SES has three pay tiers: SES Level 1, SES Level 2, and SES Level 3. This format helps ensure competitive pay for senior leaders. Meanwhile, GS has 15 grades with 10 steps within each grade. These steps determine salary based on tenure and performance.

Executive Schedule (EX) pay rates are used for positions such as Cabinet secretaries and agency heads. For 2024, the pay rates have specific levels, like EX Level I at $246,400. Some senior political appointees may face a pay freeze until new legislation is enacted.

Administrative Law Judges Compensation

Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) are part of the federal judicial system. ALJs resolve disputes involving administrative law. These judges have a different pay structure compared to the SES and GS.

The salaries for ALJs are set by law to ensure they remain independent and fair. For 2024, the pay is divided into three levels: ALJ Level I, ALJ Level II, and ALJ Level III. These pay levels are based on experience and role complexity.

ALJs typically have a higher starting salary than SES officials, reflecting their specialized expertise. Unlike the SES, ALJs do not have performance-based step increases. Instead, their pay is adjusted periodically to remain competitive.

For more detailed information, you can view the Executive Schedule pay rates for 2024.

Federal Pay Policy Changes and Projections

Federal pay policy in 2024 is shaped by actions from Congress and the White House. Cost of living changes also play a significant role, affecting pay raises for federal employees.

Congressional Actions and Impacts

Congress plays a key role in setting federal pay policies. Each year, Congress reviews employee pay and decides on adjustments. For 2024, federal employees saw a rise due to congressional approval. This includes a 4.7% General Schedule increase and locality-based raises.

These changes aim to ensure federal pay stays competitive. They also help with recruitment and retention. Congress considers various factors like inflation and federal budget constraints.

The Role of the White House

The White House also influences federal pay policies. The President can propose pay adjustments. In 2024, President Biden’s plan included a 5.29% total pay raise. This increase combines the General Schedule rise with locality pay adjustments.

The President’s proposals reflect economic conditions and fiscal priorities. The White House aims to balance fair pay for federal employees with budgetary constraints.

Cost of Living Considerations

Cost of living adjustments are an important part of federal pay. These adjustments help employees keep pace with inflation. For 2024, locality pay was increased to reflect higher living costs in some areas. For example, employees in places like the Bay Area and Denver received higher pay to offset local expenses.

Cost of living changes are based on data and economic indicators. This ensures pay adjustments are fair and accurate. Federal pay policies must adapt to changing economic conditions to support employees effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

In 2024, the GS pay scale has a few key updates and adjustments, including locality adjustments and an increase in the base pay rate. This section addresses these aspects and provides guidance on calculating salaries for GS positions.

How is the GS pay scale adjusted for locality in 2024?

The GS pay scale in 2024 includes locality adjustments to account for living cost variations in different areas. For example, the locality rate in Washington, D.C. is higher than in smaller cities. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management offers tables showing these rates.

What is the expected average increase in the GS pay scale for 2024?

The GS pay scale for 2024 has an average increase of 4.7%. This increase is part of the general adjustment to federal salaries. More information on these annual adjustments can be found on

How can one calculate the hourly rate for a GS position in 2024?

To calculate the hourly rate for a GS position, take the annual salary and divide it by 2,087 hours. This method is outlined in the January 2024 Pay Examples provided by OPM.

Are there any changes to the COLA adjustments for GS employees in 2024?

Yes, cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) for GS employees in 2024 have seen specific updates. These changes reflect the cost variations in different regions, separate from locality adjustments. Detailed information can be found on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

How does the GS pay scale for 2024 compare across different U.S. cities?

In 2024, the GS pay scale varies widely across U.S. cities due to locality pay. High-cost areas like San Francisco and New York have higher rates compared to other regions. Specific rates for different cities are detailed on FedSmith.

What steps are involved in determining a specific GS grade’s salary for 2024?

To determine a specific GS grade’s salary, first identify the base rate from the salary tables. Then, apply the locality adjustment for the employee’s geographic area. The salary table from OPM shows the salary breakdown for each grade and step.