What Is Your Annual Salary? Your Neighbor Can Probably Find Out If You Are A Federal Employee

By on May 24, 2010 in Current Events with 1 Comment

How much do your friends and colleagues who work for Uncle Sam make each year? It isn’t hard to find out unless they work for agencies such as the FBI, CIA, Defense Department, IRS, and jobs essential to national security.

In fact, a curious person can search by name, title, agency or location to see how much various people make work for for the federal government. Here are a few examples of how one can use this database to find out the salary information for individual federal employees. But here is a word of warning: You may not be able to access this database on the day we publish this article. This is a massive database and readers are curious to find out how much their friends and colleagues make each year. The site that provides the information cannot handle a large number of simultaneous queries and the site may go offline after this is published. Try again later today or later this week and you should not have any trouble though.

Last year, we ran an article on the highest paid human resources person in the federal government. The answer, for 2008 at least, was $213,005.

New data is now out. And, for 2009, recognition as the highest paid human resources person in the federal government goes to the Employment Policy and Services Director for the Comptroller of the Currency in Washington, DC. Her salary is $219,446. In fact, the second highest paid person in the HR field in government works for the same agency. That person is the Compensation and Benefits Director and has a salary of $218,267.

In something of a surprise, both of them also reportedly received an award of $69.

In the top ten highest salaries for the HR field in Uncle Sam’s civilian army, there are three HR people from the same agency. Somewhere down in that agency’s pecking order, a third person makes a little over $182,000.

Two other federal HR people also make over $200,000. One works for the Securities and Exchange Commission and brings in $212,835 and also received an award of $9000. He works in Alexandria, Virginia.

The remaining HR person with this rare salary works for the Office of Thrift Supervision and brings in $201,000 and also works in Washington, DC.

As you may have guessed, none of these people work under the traditional federal general schedule. They work for agencies that operate under a different pay scale as the pay system for federal employees has become fragmented over time.

And, out of curiosity, I checked to see the highest award given to a federal human resources person in 2009. That distinction belongs to the Chief People Officer for GSA who was awarded $61,950 in addition to a scheduled salary of $177,000. And, in anticipation of questions from readers, the term "Chief People Officer" is not one that I made up. It may be unique to the General Services Administration and certainly sounds like a title that may have been devised by a committee.

To test the database a little more, here is an interesting statistic: the highest paid general attorney in government in 2009 is the General Counsel for the National Credit Union Administration in Washington and makes $265,559. He also received an award of $4000. But the Comptroller of the Currency lawyers did not fare badly in the overall rankings even they were denied the top spot.

Seven of the top 10 highest paid federal lawyers worked for the Comptroller of the Currency with the highest salary being $254,500 and the lowest in the top ten at $242,500.

In fact, this agency had about 3200 employees in 2009 and approximately 170 made over $200,000.

The database can be tricky though. There is also a category called "Office of General Counsel." And, when searching through this category, you will receive a different list. In this case, the highest paid person is the Deputy General Counsel, Office of the Deputy General Counsel for Housing Programs, Office of General Counsel, Department of Housing and Urban Development. This person has a scheduled salary of $177,000 and received an award of $3500. The pay is obviously much better for some lawyers at the agencies mentioned earlier although this person has a much longer title which, perhaps, carries more prestige as a result.

You can also search the database by agency and by title. For example, the Federal Labor Relations Authority is a relatively small agency. In searching on the agency name and then checking out the title "general attorney" for that agency, you will see that the highest paid general attorney there makes $162,900 and, no surprise, works in Washington, DC.

Have fun searching for your friends and and colleagues who work for Uncle Sam and finding out the amount of their scheduled salary (and you may want to check on your name as well).

© 2016 Ralph R. Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ralph R. Smith.

About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters onĀ federal human resources.

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