Ranking Federal Employee Salary Levels by Race and Gender: Which Groups Make More?

By on December 6, 2011 in Current Events, Human Resources with 60 Comments

OPM recently released updated demographic data for the federal workforce. A subsection of the data released show average salaries across various ethnic groups in the federal government.

The data are as of September 2010 and cover Executive Branch, non-Postal employees.

So what group comes out ahead? The Asian or Pacific Islander group had the highest average salary across all white collar/professional and blue collar job categories with one exception: Whites edged out a higher average annual salary for women in blue collar jobs ($45,011 vs $44,269).

The complete breakout of average salaries across each of the ethnic groups is as follows:

Average Salaries – All White Collar Occupations

  Men and Women Men Only Women Only
Blacks $67,744 $70,564 $66,197
Hispanics $68,418 $71,892 $64,181
Asian or Pacific Islander $83,595 $89,162 $77,888
American Indian or Alaskan Native $62,651 $71,118 $56,998
Whites $80,025 $85,488 $72,808
Total Minorities $70,429 $74,912 $67,046
Total $76,837 $82,598 $70,521

Average Salaries – Professional Occupations

  Men and Women Men Only Women Only
Blacks $89,380 $95,499 $86,198
Hispanics $93,875 $100,258 $86,900
Asian or Pacific Islander $105,980 $111,460 $99,836
American Indian or Alaskan Native $84,332 $94,446 $77,699
Whites $99,792 $106,678 $90,408
Total Minorities $95,960 $103,350 $89,987
Total $98,789 $105,961 $90,275

Average Salaries – Blue Collar Occupations

  Men and Women Men Only Women Only
Blacks $44,546 $45,685 $39,117
Hispanics $49,772 $50,730 $41,106
Asian or Pacific Islander $55,223 $56,598 $44,269
American Indian or Alaskan Native $45,830 $47,578 $37,797
Whites $52,939 $53,637 $45,011
Total Minorities $47,550 $48,872 $39,904
Total $51,101 $52,092 $42,532

As to the job classification categories, OPM defines them as listed below.

Blue collar
Blue collar occupations are defined as “Occupations comprising the trades, crafts, and manual labor (unskilled, semi-skilled, and skilled), including foreman and supervisory positions entailing trade, craft, or laboring experience and knowledge as the paramount requirement.”

White collar occupations are defined as belonging to one of the five major occupational categories referred to as PATCO (Professional, Administrative, Technical, Clerical, and Other). According to OPM, “The definitions of these categories are based on the subject matter of work, the level of difficulty or responsibility involved, and the educational requirements of each occupation.”

The five PATCO categories are defined as follows:

Professional
Professional occupations are defined as “Occupations that require knowledge in a field of science or learning typically acquired through education or training pertinent to the specialized field, as distinguished from general education. The work in a professional occupation requires the exercise of discretion, judgment, and personal responsibility for the application of an organized body of knowledge that is constantly studied to make discoveries and interpretations, and to improve the data, materials, and methods.”

Administrative
Administrative occupations are defined as “Occupations that involve the exercise of analytical ability, judgment, discretion, personal responsibility, and the application of a strong body of knowledge of principles, concepts, and practices applicable to one or more fields of administration or management. While these positions do not require specialized educational majors, they do involve the type of skills (analytical, research, writing, judgment) typically gained through a college level general education, or through progressively responsible experience.”

Technical
Technical occupations are defined as “Occupations involving work which is non-routine in nature and is typically associated with, and supportive of, a professional or administrative field. Such occupations involve extensive practical knowledge gained through on-the-job experience, or specific training less than that represented by college graduation. Work in these occupations may involve substantial elements of the work in a professional or administrative field, but requires less than full competence in the field involved.”

Clerical
Clerical occupations are defined as “Occupations that involve structured work in support of office, business, field, or fiscal operations. Duties are performed in accordance with established policies and require training, experience, or working knowledge related to the tasks to be performed.”

Other
“Other” occupations are defined as “Miscellaneous white-collar occupations that do not fall into the above Professional, Administrative, Technical, or Clerical categories.”

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

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce. Ian also has a background in web development and does the technical work for the FedSmith.com web site and its sibling sites.

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