How Do You Read a Government Pay Chart?


Quick Answer

Determining pay on government pay charts requires finding the grade on the left and the step at the top, then locating the corresponding table cell, as Bookhaven Press indicates. Government pay charts are standard forms that provide annual or hourly pay based on an employee's grade and step.

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Full Answer

Federal job grades rate from 1 to 15, depending on the experience and education the job requires, explains GovCentral. Step increases, which allow pay increases within a grade, may occur if the worker meets criteria for adequate job performance and waiting time between step increases, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management states. The OPM also designates special rates for specific skills and locations. For example, police officers at grade 5 earn less than mathematical statisticians at grade 5; pharmacist jobs start at grade 9.

Job grades depend heavily on a worker's education and experience, both inside and outside of the government, according to the Code of Federal Regulations. The Code also allows consideration of special employee accomplishments in the field of work, government agency missions and goals, the overall job market for a skill, and the importance of the job's task. Desirability of location also impacts pay, and employees who transfer locations receive a pay adjustment for the new location.

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