Finding an Individual Federal Employee's Name and Salary

By on November 26, 2011 in Current Events, Human Resources with 46 Comments

After launching the new federal employee data site a few days ago, we have received questions about how to effectively locate information. The most common complaint: “Your site doesn’t work. I can’t find my name or the name of any individual employees I wanted to look up.”

The database appears to be working as it was designed to work without any significant problem. We have made several adjustments to the site to accommodate the heavy usage of the site and to speed up searches when there are a number of simultaneous queries.

There is a large amount of data contained in the site and that can be searched by our readers. To make the program operate quicker and more efficiently, we have programmed the site so that many items are already in categories. For those who were not sure how to look up individual names, here is a guide that may be helpful.

Search Limitations and Parameters

Please note that the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) does not release the name of every federal employee based on the agency’s conclusion that it is in the interest of national security not to include these names. Employees in the Department of Defense, intelligence agencies and the Internal Revenue Service are not included. This is a decision made by OPM and the data is not available to FedSmith so it is not included in the database.

As you search through the database, you will undoubtedly find other names that have not been included for similar reasons as determined by OPM.

How to Find a Person’s Name

To find a person’s name and salary, go to the portion of the site for searching federal pay or USPS pay.

The program requires entering the person’s last name first in order to locate the person you are seeking.

Next, enter the person’s first name. This can be tricky. For example, if you are looking for a person you know as “Steve” that may not be how the database has listed his name. It may be listed as “Steven” or as “Stephen,” for example, or it could even just list a first initial, “S” in this example. You will not be given any results if the name you enter is different from how it is contained in the database.

The search will also return partial matches on names. So, if you aren’t sure how a person’s name may be listed, you can enter part of it. Entering “Wi” for example will match names such as “Williams,” “Williamson,” or even matches it finds on the first name such as “Jones William.” (Hint: Do not enter a comma between the last and the first name.)

Image showing example search using a partial name

If the person’s last name is an uncommon one, you can just enter the person’s last name to find everyone with that name in the database.

Here is an example.

I have a friend who works for the federal government with the last name of “Hightower.” It is an easy name to remember and to spell but nowhere as common as “Smith” or “Johnson.” By entering the person’s last name, I will see every federal employee in the database with that last name.

But, to narrow down the search, I also know that my friend works in Alabama. I can therefore enter his last name only in the search engine and I can also enter the State where he works. Twenty-five names show up when I search for everyone named “Hightower.” But, by entering the State name, I am given the name of the five federal employees with that last name in the State of Alabama.

Image showing example search with full last name

Search by Title

Titles are also confusing. Agencies do not always use the same job titles. The database will help narrow your search. For example, if I type in “accountant,” I will not see any results. However, after typing in the letters “Accou,” I will see the titles with these letters that are used in the database in a search hint menu that appears underneath the title field. If I am only looking for federal employees who work in the accounting profession within the Office of Personnel Management, I can narrow my search to this universe of federal employees quickly. I just click on the title I want that comes up in the search hint menu after it appears.

Image showing example search by title

Some readers expressed frustration because their agency was not listed. Agencies may not be listed as you may think they should be. The database will often help with your search. For example, if I type in National Aeronautics and Space Administration, I will not find any responses. But typing in only “NASA,” will find find “NASA Headquarters” listed.

What if I want to find engineers at Langley Research Center, which is part of NASA? In this instance, the name of the agency is listed under “Langley Research Center.” By typing in only “Langley,” and selecting the type of engineer position I am looking for, the program will display the results.

Image showing example search by agency

So, in other words, if you type in the name of the agency in a way that is not contained in the database, you will not find any results.

We hope this explanation will make the database easier to use in your search. You should also use the “site help” feature to learn how to more efficiently locate information on

© 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 on federal human resources.

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  1. Susan See says:

    I’d like to find the name of the individuals who work for NSA who are actually developing and integrating their spying softward into our computer systems, as well as the individuals who review this information. I don’t want some doofas who’s just there to earn a paycheck being privy to my private conversations and information. It makes me sick. And now that we know they sometimes don’t do the best job vetting these people, it’s even more important.

  2. Sue Donim says:

    I’ve accessed the site, and I notice that while it shows the base pay, it doesn’t include overtime or any kind of qualification that this is before taxes.

  3. Saul says:

    Government Accounting Office (GAO)  not in there!

  4. Dbcooper156 says:

    Keep in mind that this is only the base salary, and not including bonus’s.  For brown nosing employees who are tight with their supervisors (regardless of whether they really earned it), you could add another couple thousand to the fat pig.

  5. Nothanks says:

    Wrong, simply wrong to do this……write your congressperson, senator, the white house and the OPM director. I do not recall giving up my individual right to privacy when I raised my hand!

  6. Vincent says:

    It doesn’t work.

  7. FEDUP says:

    I want to see bonus information.  Where is that?

  8. Carl FaFong says:

    Yet another nonworking government web site. I have signed on with the OPM retiree services site time and time again. If I’m lucky if they they let me on once. Then I get locked out again.

    • Susan See says:

      That site is definitely not user friendly and a red flag as to the competency of the federal programmers employed by the government. You have to remember that when you advance to the next page sometimes it comes up behind the current page. If you don’t know this you think it’s just not responding. Also, when you go to information, and are though it just logs you out instead of taking you back to the former page. Just really bad programming. I’m frustrated every time I use it.

  9. LuvMyGovJob says:

    Private money is private.
    Public money is public.
    If you want privacy, quit your Government job! You’ll be reducing the deficit!
    Free Market, Baby! You’ll be free!

  10. Lee says:

    It is EVERY TAXPAYER’S business what Federal employees make, not just other Federal employees.
    Where and how our taxes are used is EVERYBODY’S business. This is not just my opinion, it’s the LAW. It is part of an open, free society.  
    I would like to be able to look up bonuses and awards. DOD and all.
    Awards and bonuses are supposed to be for recognition, why keep them secret.

  11. HR Manager (Retired) says:

    Unbelievable!!.  Why would anyone spend time and money developing such a site.  What a waste of time and resources.  A sidebar:  in pvt industry people get fired for attempting to find out someone else’s salary. 

  12. HRguru says:

    I think disciplinary action should also be a matter of public record. Make it happen, Fedsmith! 🙂

  13. A normal Person says:

    this is a violation of people’s pricacy

    • N0TaLIB says:

      I assume you mean “privacy,” and how so?
      Also, there is a button labeled “Edit” – You should try it sometime.

      • Guest says:

        If you want to be that technical, your comma belongs outside of the closed quotation mark.

        People like you are such a joke.  Picking at simple typographical errors, and totally ignoring the actual point of the individual’s post.

  14. Guest says:

    Government efficiency….can’t find my salary for 2010.

  15. Bigbrother11 says:

    Someone elses salary is NOBODY’S business!  Just another way to sow the seeds of discontent in the workplace.  Great job!  Wwhat I get paid is my business, and no one elses!  

    • HRGuy71 says:

      The reality is that since our salary and benefits are paid for by the public, the information is public information. OPM tried to keep it private and has actually kept hundreds of thousands out of public view….whether justified or not. The case has gone to court and it is clearly information that is in the public domain…whether you get the information from this site or from somewhere else. 

    • LoginIncorrect says:

      I once worked for a company that had a strict policy that what you were paid was strictly between you and the company.  Revealing your pay rate to other employees was grounds for dismissal.

      We eventually figured out that the primary effect was to keep employees in the dark about how they were being manipulated by management.

      It was a non-union shop.  No big surprise, there.

    • Guest says:

      as a taxpayer I have a right to know

      • RepublicanAllTheWay says:

        Actually this information has been available for some time; nothing new.  So why is it lazyfed you are just now looking and needing to know?  Could it be that when you started applying for federal jobs in 2009 and weren’t picked up that you now have an axe to grind?  Perhaps once your suspension (as of October/2011) is lifted on another website, you can troll again.

      • wildcard says:

        you have no rights! just sit back and keep your mouth shut and listen and let the big boys handle it.

      • Lincpa Mba says:

        Guest: you have no idea how much work we do to get our pay. So, just shut up and work hard like we do.

  16. MaakMeeLaff says:

    Hey Look! Loaded with hundreds of thousands of federal employee millionaires……
    …..nnnnnooottttttt!! Old info, publicly available on several sites. Where can public find insider trading info on Congressmen? A

  17. Guest says:

    Of course the data comes from OPM the same agency that can’t compute retirement. Seeing as how the avg Cs makes $125K a year it looks like more garbage in garbage out. Maybe this is how they contend that CS make less then the private sector since they haven’t a clue what CS earn

    • PublicCitiZen says:

      Sorry that the actual facts don’t match your preconceived notion that CS make 125K a year.

      How inconvenient for you. 😉

      Although, I have to admire your persistence.

    • N0TaLIB says:

      As usual, your “facts” are actually your opinion, and your opinion is worthless.

      • Guest says:

        7 INDEPNDENT news outlets and think tanks all support my data who do you have Berry and OPM?? That’s a real nonpartisan source

        • Glad2BRetired says:

          Please note that the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) does not release the name of every federal employee based on the agency’s conclusion that it is in the interest of national security not to include these names. Employees in the Department of Defense, intelligence agencies and the Internal Revenue Service are not included. This is a decision made by OPM and the data is not available to FedSmith so it is not included in the database.
          Looks like you missed the memo lazyfed.  And you would believe that OPM would release such data to 7 INDEPENDENT news outlets and think tanks?  Don’t think so! 

          • Guest says:

            They provided gross numbers total CS and total pay and benefits. Even a 5th grader can do the math, guess your still working on your GED

          • PublicCitiZen says:

            Fifth grade math is exactly what they used.  That’s why they got it so wrong.

  18. PublicCitiZen says:

    Really nice job with the site.  Just a couple of glitches.  I sent you some suggestions on the feedback link, and now it won’t let me send another one. It just says thanks for your feedback and “done”.

    Louisiana is missing from the “average salary” database for feds and I couldn’t pull up any salaries from that state.

    Georgia is missing from the postal workers.

    I was able to cut and paste all of the data into an Excel spread sheet, and (excluding Louisiana) the average federal salary (excluding USPS) is $76,821 nationwide.

    Of course that figure is only as good as the data. Total federal employees add up to 1,850,823, and that number seems low. If you add in US Postal workers the number is about 2,530,338 which seems about right.

    Averaging in Postal workers at a $55,965 salary (excluding Georgia) lowers the average federal salary to $71,335.

    The above figures do not include benefits.

    The best figure I have seen for cost of benefits is 36.7% for non-USPS feds which brings total compensation to $105,244.77 for non-USPS feds.

    USPS benefits are higher. The only figure I have seen is an estimate of 42%. If that is correct USPS total compensation is $79,086.90

    And average total federal compensation (including USPS) is $98,294

    And for those of you wondering how CATO/Heritage would reach 124K a year, based on the data supplied by OPM, salaries would include an average of 57% in benefits.

  19. Teeber51 says:

    This is an old database.  The salaries are from two years ago.

    • FedSmith says:

      This is the latest data available from OPM. That is why the data is from fiscal year 2010. The newer data will not be available until 2012.

      • Deceived Federal Employee says:

        Since 2010 is the last time most Federal Employees received any type of raise, the fiscal year 2010 data would be accurate.

    • PA says:

       For some reason many of the low salary positions are missing.
      All this information should be private!  What a waste of time and money!
      Federal employees pay taxes.  It is time we go after people working under the table – showing no income – to get a fee college education — etc.