As of 2015, the General Schedule base pay scale of federal government employees ranges from $18,161 to $132,122. The federal government uses the GS base pay scale to calculate the salaries for more than 70% of its employees.
Base salary depends on a job's GS pay grade and pay grade steps. Pay grade steps depend on performance and seniority. The Locality Pay Adjustment percentage determines the actual salaries of government employees. This percentage increases base pay for federal employees based on the cost of living in different areas. Employees who work in areas with a higher cost of living receive a higher adjustment percentage than those who work in less expensive areas.