2013 Salary Data: Federal Salaries Increase Despite Pay Freeze

By on May 12, 2014 in News, Pay & Benefits

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has issued a report on salary information for fiscal year 2013.

The average federal employee salary for the 2013 fiscal year was $79,374 and the median salary was $73,736. According to the Washington Post, in fiscal 2012, the median federal salary was $72,714—a difference of $1022 or an increase in one year of about 1.4%. While there was a pay freeze in 2012, the pay freeze did not impact promotions, within-grade increases or other types of pay freezes which accounts for much of the median pay increase.

As noted in the article Average Federal Salary Goes Up Despite Pay Freeze, the average federal salary also went up the previous year despite a pay freeze for the same or similar reasons.

The report notes that the agency with the highest average salary was the Securities and Exchange Commission with an average salary of $157,014.  This table reflects those federal agencies with more than 3,000 non-seasonal full-time permanent employees for Fiscal Year 2013.

The table also includes “all other agencies” which contains all agencies not listed or agencies with less than 3,000 non-seasonal full-time permanent employees.

According to OPM, the 25th percentile in the table below reflects data for 25% of the Federal workforce with salaries less than the number listed while 75% are greater than that number. For the median, which is the 50th percentile, 50% of the Federal workforce salaries are less than the number listed while 50% are also greater than that number. The 75th percentile means 75% of the Federal workforce salaries are less than the number listed while 25% are greater than that number.

AGENCY AVERAGE SALARY 25TH PERCENTILE MEDIAN 75TH PERCENTILE
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION $ 157,014 $ 127,086 $164,039 $ 186,867
FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION $ 132,276 $ 90,661 $130,108 $ 168,104
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION $ 120,038 $ 103,872 $122,744 $ 144,385
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION $ 114,642 $ 94,969 $116,027 $ 137,945
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY $ 109,416 $ 92,653 $109,782 $ 126,251
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION $ 109,064 $ 81,823 $108,805 $ 134,096
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY $ 107,322 $ 85,525 $105,377 $ 129,758
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION $ 106,116 $ 84,855 $105,211 $ 127,145
DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT $ 100,270 $ 82,570 $ 98,187 $ 116,027
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE $ 99,540 $ 75,232 $ 97,333 $ 123,911
GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION $ 94,288 $ 77,040 $ 92,653 $ 112,224
DEPARTMENT OF STATE $ 93,785 $ 69,033 $ 92,001 $ 115,731
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES $ 92,518 $ 63,695 $ 92,001 $ 115,742
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR $ 88,825 $ 71,102 $ 87,278 $ 106,369
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE $ 84,725 $ 58,707 $ 77,368 $ 106,358
OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT $ 81,627 $ 61,234 $ 80,276 $ 97,307
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY $ 80,358 $ 52,192 $ 72,493 $ 104,551
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE $ 78,871 $ 51,757 $ 75,222 $ 97,913
DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY $ 78,675 $ 54,492 $ 74,854 $ 97,920
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR $ 76,137 $ 54,875 $ 72,493 $ 92,732
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION $ 75,343 $ 56,566 $ 69,545 $ 88,349
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY $ 74,805 $ 50,117 $ 75,689 $ 91,972
SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION $ 74,291 $ 46,843 $ 64,548 $ 94,837
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY $ 72,273 $ 50,117 $ 65,979 $ 89,450
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE $ 71,860 $ 50,431 $ 65,196 $ 87,804
DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE $ 71,031 $ 53,082 $ 66,054 $ 84,550
DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS $ 70,785 $ 42,671 $ 60,189 $ 84,146
ALL OTHER AGENCIES $ 101,541 $ 73,439 $ 97,936 $ 130,656

The report also shows salary differences based on ethnicity and race in the federal government as displayed in this table. The explanation for the several columns are the same as for the previous table.

And, before readers question why the categories for this table are listed in this way, please direct your queries to the Office of Personnel Management. Trying to count race or ethnic background in a multi-racial society is a difficult task. Presumably, until we stop paying so much attention to race and those involved in that industry, we will end up with increasingly complex charts that will become increasingly less meaningful.

ETHNICITY AND RACE AVERAGE SALARY 25TH PERCENTILE MEDIAN 75TH PERCENTILE
NOT HISPANIC/LATINO & ASIAN $ 89,377 $ 60,890 $84,175 $ 109,782
UNSPECIFIED $ 89,035 $ 68,809 $92,001 $ 106,358
NOT HISPANIC/LATINO & WHITE $ 82,519 $ 55,412 $75,737 $ 102,879
HISPANIC/LATINO & ASIAN $ 76,009 $ 53,532 $73,396 $ 92,001
HISPANIC/LATINO & WHITE $ 73,992 $ 52,192 $73,396 $ 87,278
NOT HISPANIC/LATINO & OF MORE THAN ONE RACE $ 72,909 $ 50,117 $68,809 $ 89,450
HISPANIC/LATINO $ 72,600 $ 50,431 $68,702 $ 87,278
HISPANIC/LATINO & OF MORE THAN ONE RACE $ 70,656 $ 46,420 $68,352 $ 87,157
NOT HISPANIC/LATINO & BLACK/AFRICAN AMERICAN $ 70,184 $ 46,551 $63,148 $ 89,033
HISPANIC/LATINO & BLACK/AFRICAN AMERICAN $ 68,121 $ 46,386 $63,507 $ 82,359
NOT HISPANIC/LATINO & NATIVE HAWAIIAN/PACIFIC ISLANDER $ 66,448 $ 46,310 $61,853 $ 80,069
HISPANIC/LATINO & NATIVE HAWAIIAN/PACIFIC ISLANDER $ 65,971 $ 46,189 $59,459 $ 77,720
HISPANIC/LATINO & AMERICAN INDIAN/ALASKA NATIVE $ 65,971 $ 46,728 $63,148 $ 79,780
NOT HISPANIC/LATINO & AMERICAN INDIAN/ALASKA NATIVE $ 64,591 $ 41,886 $56,688 $ 78,314

Finally, which occupational categories in government have the highest and lowest salaries? Here is a listing based from the OPM data:

OCCUPATIONAL CATEGORY AVERAGE SALARY 25TH PERCENTILE MEDIAN  75TH PERCENTILE
PROFESSIONAL $ 101,521 $ 74,958 $94,583 $ 119,238
ADMINISTRATIVE $ 90,181 $ 69,409 $85,343 $ 106,369
TECHNICAL $ 50,369 $ 41,188 $47,254 $ 55,187
CLERICAL $ 39,848 $ 34,445 $37,724 $ 43,158
OTHER WHITE COLLAR $ 59,256 $ 45,376 $55,844 $ 73,396
BLUE COLLAR $ 53,448 $ 44,779 $52,624 $ 60,878
UNSPECIFIED $ 72,377 $ 48,334 $65,393 $ 82,624

Opm Salary Info for Fiscal Year 2013

© 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.

165 Replies

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  1. not exactly says:

    The wage that is reported is about double what most at the VA where I work make. I know of young people who are paid more and have better benefits than I do after 35 years of service. I am not complaining about my wage just stating a fact that there are a lot of people who DO NOT make the big bucks or get raises or bonuses. The grunts if you will, the folks on the front line, I believe the report is mostly administrative staff.

  2. hoodaddy2 says:

    The study actually reflects the new employees that were brought “onboard”
    to Federal service that were compensated at a higher grade level, possibly higher
    SES or above average level pay grades. It does not reflect the currently
    employed folks are receiving more due to COLA unless “advancement” or a “promotion”
    had occurred. So, the bottom line, this study is flawed, skewed and not objective.

    • mandinka says:

      Suggest you READ the article

      • cotapper says:

        SUGGEST YOU READ THE ARTICLE MANDINKA.. The article is flawed, skewed and more… It is a proven FACT when you use too many variables, the statistics lose their value and don’t make sense. Come on’ what is “NOT HISPANIC/LATINO & WHITE” ?? If it’s NOT, then what is it? What kind of data is that? There are 6 categories of NOT, not to mention the “Unspecified” salary. Then the “Average” … what good is Average Median? Really!! When you compare Average Median of many variables, it’s like comparing red apples to cows. I have not had a salary increase, step increase, COLA increase, etc. in over 3 yrs. and I know thousands in the same boat, so my reality is truth over these statistics that compare my salary in my office, branch, agency, bureau, department with that of a another department, bureau, agency, branch, position, etc. This is just another useless article written to promote comments and stir to pot to make the writer look good when really, they look dumb and uneducated in my book and just cause people to throw out their two cents. Now, I wonder why I’m wasting “my time” writing this. And No, Mandinka, not Govt. time!!!

        • FedSmith says:

          Since you presumably read the article, you may have noticed that the methods, racial categories identified, etc. were all selected and published by the Office of Personnel Management for whatever reasons the agency may have had for setting it up in that way. The article provided the information compiled and analyzed by OPM>

          • cotapper says:

            OPM is just reporting statistics, numbers. I don’t believe statistics because they are not true facts, just data manipulated to meet the needs of the article they want to push out. Data is everywhere and anyone can make it up and write about it, twist it and turn it around, including OPM. What is their true purpose of the article? To stir the pot. Why does everything have to be racial? Or attacking the federal employee just because it’s FedSmith? Compare Fed salary with private industry with “exact” job duties IF you want to push data out.

  3. Diana says:

    I am not sure where they are getting their information. I have not had a pay increase for at least 3 years as I am at the highest step for my grade. I also do not know where they are getting the average figure. It is not fair to lump all the professionally paid employees with the government with everyone else. I have NEVER made more than $43,000 a year and I have over 36 years working for the government. The lawyers’, doctors’, etc. pay should not be included in the average nor should the SES employees. How about looking at what every Congressman makes. They are paid a salary for supposedly working at least 45-50 weeks a year and everyone knows that they do not always work that many weeks each year but the claim to when they go back to their home states.

  4. Tired of Government says:

    I retired in October of 2013 but when I was working, I was at the top of my grade and received no pay raises during the last three years working. The only people I knew of that got raises were the step increases or promotions. The majority of feds got no raises.

    • Mentallect says:

      One of my coworkers who is now retiring at a GS13 has been on retained pay for several years.

    • Rambo1957 says:

      So the majority of Feds are at the top of their pay grade? Show where the majority received no raises.

  5. HarleyGirl795 says:

    The pay freeze didn’t stop anyone from getting their “within grade increase” (WIGI). DOD pay freeze went on for three years and no one I know of, unless they got promoted, got an increase other than their WIGI, which was excluded from the pay freeze. And what little increase we got THIS year was immediately gobbled up by taxes and FEHBP premium increases. I think my net pay actually went DOWN, not up…

  6. FrenchRun51 says:

    I’m white, in a professional series with 12+ years fed employment working for the Dept of Agric. and I fall below the 25 percentile in every table. Yeah, I’m really worried about conservative critiques of overpaid fed workers.

    • mandinka says:

      Its the taxpayers that are the ones who pegged Feds as over paid and under worked

      • ned says:

        so you weren’t included in those who pegged Feds as over paid and under worked.

      • retired worker fed says:

        Really. There are many taxpayers including feds. Did you interview every taxpayer? More hot air coming from your writings.

        • mandinka says:

          Did I no. I’m just reflecting that Polls show that 70% of taxpayers have feds pegged correctly

          • retired worker fed says:

            Cite the polls. Another error on your part. And while you are at it, cite what answers they give that show feds are overpaid. They should know the job description among other things.
            While we are at it, why do you have to endorse your own comment? You wrote it.

          • mandinka says:

            NyTimes. WashPost/NBC, ABC and LaTimes

          • cotapper says:

            All liberal… which btw, the media is over paid as well as all those in the sports industry. Let’s start going after everyone else to be fair too.

          • mandinka says:

            Yep and they all support feds and Dem’s

      • FoundingFathersGhost says:

        No, it’s the media, and people with politically driven agendas and their pundits (willing and ignorant). If the media decided to focus on GS-5 Fed Admin Assistants raising four kids who go to bed hungry and can’t buy school supplies, or GS-7 Park Rangers that can’t send their kids to college, there would be media stories of ourtrage and a general cry to raise pay. The assualt on Fedeal pay began when the private sector job market collapsed and the Feds went from have nots to not such a bad deal after all.

        • mandinka says:

          Sounds like they need either a new profession or a part time job like those in the private sector have to do to make ends meet

          • FoundingFathersGhost says:

            Maybe they do, but it doesn’t change the fact that many federal employees are low paid and struggle to make ends meet. And the media is focusing on the top end, not the bottom. The point is that the media and the pundits are focusing on the top end and acting like all Feds are overpaid but applying it to the entire workforce regardless of education, experience or job responsibility. Congress and the President can alter what Feds do for their salaries any time they want through the legislative process.

          • mandinka says:

            No they aren’t focusing on either end they are just reporting what the empirical data says. The fact that you don’t like the truth doesn’t make it non truthful

          • FoundingFathersGhost says:

            Really? How many stories about Feds struggling to make ends meet have we seen? How many stories about over paid Feds we seen? Data is data, sure, but the truth depends on the perspective of the reporter (or commenter) and what data one chooses to use. Take the empirical data, for example. Nothing says it is the same group of employees (new hires, retirements, etc.,) and nothing notes which employees got promotions and are in different positions which is not the same as a pay increase. So, yes, the average salary may go up, but for whom? And why?

          • mandinka says:

            How many? None. What we have seen is Feds living above their means or criminals. The data says the avg Fed that’s as close as anyone can get for govt work. Its also as close as Dept of labor goes for the private sector

      • cotapper says:

        Well, I’m a tax payer, and a Govt. employee and it’s the Media fueling the fire including authors like this.

        • Rambo1957 says:

          You mean OPM. Tried and true response, “I’m a taxpayer”!

          • cotapper says:

            OPM provided data.. and if they provided the statistics, they are just data. The Washington Post reported.. they could have changed the data, add the racial tone, etc. who knows, but it’s all just data and can be manipulated anyway to make the article more appealing.

        • mandinka says:

          since when is exposing the truth fueling the fire??

    • Rambo1957 says:

      What does your race have to do with this subject? Only conservatives are concerned about government spending?

      • retired worker fed says:

        He is giving a complete description. You have no clue as to whether it is relevant or not.

        • Rambo1957 says:

          White is complete? Why not eye or hair color? Sexual orientation? How do YOU know what his reason was? So white is a complete description? I have no clue whether it is relevant or not? Notice I asked what it had to do with the subject. Boy, you are bright!

      • FrenchRun51 says:

        It’s a legitimate critique. I suppose I could have added male. The point is to show that despite the demographics, the continuing harangue about federal salaries is a farce for the bulk of us.

      • cotapper says:

        Well, the article talks about Race, so what does race have to do with salary? If the author is trying to make a statement, it was done poorly. FrenchRun51 is just stating their fact. What’s the problem?

        • Rambo1957 says:

          First, the person to whom I responded to stated it was a legitimate critique. 8 days ago BTW. If you have a problem with the author, take it up with OPM, they gathered the data. It seems you are the one that didn’t bother to read the article. This was simply providing data by OPM. You needn’t complain when there is nothing to complain about. Being paranoid and feeling picked on is easily remedied. Next time, read before responding so you don’t end up looking foolish.

  7. thisismessedup says:

    At VA the registered nurse with 4 year degree or higher gets 30K more in community so they need to wake up and pay more -geez Louise-that is terrible and veterans deserve experienced nurses with degrees that are in their 30’s and trying to pay back student loans, have children and feed them and house them.

    • Mentallect says:

      Agreed. My ex-gf is paid $68/hr in Chicago as a nurse. Private Sector money yet many complain when govt nurses make $80,000. Sad, but true.

      • Rambo1957 says:

        You don’t think people complained about those nurses receiving $68 per hour? People complain. You just don’t like it when it’s turned on government employees.

        • Mentallect says:

          I don’t like invalid complaints which is by definition “whining.” Most anti-govt people never complain when they are getting govt benefits they never earned. Look at that Nevada rancher, a deadbeat welfare recipient complaining because he can’t feed and water his cattle for free on govt land. Typical anti-govt taker.

          • Fella says:

            So you feel the same way about food, section 8 housing, etc?

          • Mentallect says:

            I do if those depending on govt hates their benefactor, and then criticize others for doing the same thing they are doing.

          • Rambo1957 says:

            Oh. I see. As long as they are grateful, you don’t have a problem no matter if they are truly in need or just lazy slobs.

      • Fella says:

        Fine, I’ll complain… Healthcare wouldn’t be so expensive if we weren’t paying nurses $68/hr.

        • Mentallect says:

          Healthcare is expensive due to obesity, lack of exercise, and no single payer system.

          I’ve paid maybe $1,750 in 10 years above monthly premiums because my vegetarian diet with sugar avoidance, exercise, sleep schedule, and no drinking or smoking. Those were copays for annual check-ups, dental and vision.

          When people do all they can, their complaints about nurse salaries have validity, but the free market decides what nurses are paid. After all, we are not communists.

          • Fella says:

            In the last 5 years I’ve paid substantially less than half than you over 10 for a lot the same reasons. I agree that free-market dictates their worth (all of our worth’s). 80k is good money and enough to support a family in most areas. 68/hr is better. In most towns nurses make in the 50-60 per annum range.

          • retired worker fed says:

            Is Chicago a higher paying city like New York among other places? That could be another reason for 68/hr.

        • retired worker fed says:

          Does she work an over the week end schedule when nurses get more than the regular schedule? Is there still a program where nurses work 2 12 hour shifts during the week end evenings and nights and gets paid for 40 hours? If so, then that would be the reason for the $68/hr pay.

      • thisismessedup says:

        so it is true-she gets good pay since she does not work as nurse in VA

    • Fella says:

      That doesn’t even make sense (literally). Now, when I wade through the jibberish, why do veterans “deserve” nurses in their “30s, trying to pay back student loans, have children and feed them and house them”? Why not just stop at EXPERIENCED NURSES. I’d agree with that. The rest of that is nonsense.

  8. Weather Guy says:

    /troll on… I missed the $80,000 part time janitor that gets 100% lifetime benefits after 1 year! /troll off

    On the serious side, the DataBase fedsmith is using does have at least one issue on determining “pay raises”. Though possible, comparisons like fedsmith normally just compares names to names, and does not look to see if person got different position and there-by a higher grade. Or if the person took a lateral promotion, and their grade, position, location stayed the same, but there duties (and step) went up. Lastly, WGI awards are known to be used for outstanding contributions to an organization, I not sure if I would categorise a WGI-Award (opposed to TIG) as something violating the spirit of a “pay freeze”

    FYI: Its not the color of the jelly bean that matters, its the taste.

    I support Fedsmith in not being 100% Fed “fan-boy” nor 100% “tea bagger”, and bit of both is fine by me.

    • HRGuy71 says:

      From reading the article and the OPM report, the data in this article are from the OPM database and the analysis is from OPM as well. The article is just reporting what OPM published in a recent report (which is also in the article on FedSmith).

      On the other hand, the fedsmith database does come from OPM data according to the information the company published with its new information when it came out. In either case, the data are from OPM which, if nothing else, should eradicate the accusations or intimations of some that the information is fabricated for an ideological agenda. I doubt very seriously that OPM is publishing this data to satisfy the left or right of the political spectrum. I think they just extracted it from the data maintained by the agency to satisfy the desire of the public (as noted in their report) for more information on federal salaries by the public that pays our salaries through their taxes.

      • Weather Guy says:

        The conclusion the Washington Post implied about the average Federal Employees getting a 1.4% pay increase despite the pay freeze is not supported by the OPM report. In fact 99% of the report was about women, minority, regional,general work type pay increases, not about 1.4% though frozen. The methodology used to generate the OPM report (as per footnote #1) compares the average salary of all employee in 2012 to the average salary of all paid employee in 2013. There is no attempt to determine if the agency had contracted out lower wage (GS-7) employee and highered higher wage (GS-13) employee’s, had reclassified GS-9 office worker to GS-11 IT worker, awards given, promotion with no backfill employee hired, or any detail that may have an effect on the 1.4%. As the federal workforce has gotten older, more and more (57%) are “stepped out”, and I don’t believe the median employee got 1.4%, many (who I know) got 0%, some got 3% steps, and a small percent got a larger (6%?) promotions (hopefully deserved).

        I think the typical reader will see the words “pay freeze” see the words “increased pay by roughly the inflation rate” and knee jerk a negative opinion based on the “facts” in the WP. When the “pay freeze” was enacted it did not stop meritorious promotions or step awards, while I don’t think the general public wants to understand that. I did not make any accusations, just I believe that numbers need to be understood and not generalized.

        • mandinka says:

          Your point?? There hasn’t been any pay freeze and OPM is on record that the avg Fed received $3500 in pay raises during the so called “freeze”

          • Weather Guy says:

            Thank you for being a typical reader, 57% of employees got 0% pay increase and the rest got either TIG promotions or meritorious promotions. Those who have seen their net take home pay decrease over the last 3 years definitely know its a “pay freeze”

            FYI: The median employee makes $62,681/Year, and less generous retirement than private sector executives, and comparable to auto/steel/railroad unions used to have.

          • mandinka says:

            I make no judgment as whether jimmy or Joey got a raise. I stated the avg Fed received $3500 in raises. If your take home pay has been reduced then look in the mirror for the cause.
            Your problem is you don’t understand the concept of compensation, but trust me the taxpayers sure do. And again your wrong No one provides a pension that is adjusted for inflation

          • retired worker fed says:

            Stop endorsing your own comments.

            $3500 in raises over 3 years is nothing. The raises are in step or promotions which means more challenging work.

            The taxpayers and you are clueless about our compensation. We are definitely underpaid.

            “No one provides a pension that is adjusted for inflation”-Your comment-Is your armed forces pension adjusted for inflation?

          • retired worker fed says:

            When I worked, I had 2 out of 3 years as a pay freeze. The other year was a within grade increase. Sounds pretty frozen to me.

          • Rambo1957 says:

            My last 3 I received no raises. I noticed many states received no raises plus some got furloughed. I considered myself lucky with so many out of work. I’m grateful for what I had and now have.

          • retired worker fed says:

            You should be insulted. Mandinka endorsed your comment.
            I assume you were a law enforcement fed. Were you at the top of your pay scale? When did you retire? You should give more details as to why you did not get a raise. I was not at the top of my pay scale, so I had to get a raise in one of the 3 years.
            I was grossly underpaid for the skills I showed. My manager asked me to close a certain case because no one in the office knew how to do that type of work. yet I was not near the top of my pay scale. So, I am not happy nor lucky with my pay and retirement. However, I accept it.

          • Rambo1957 says:

            You are a whiner. That’s why you don’t feel lucky. You are also arrogant. Grossly underpaid for the skills you showed? I have a fair retirement that is generous for my needs. You complain about me saying I’m grateful? Are you kidding me? Your head is up your butt. Look around. Check to see how life is going for so many. Stop being so selfish. You’ve endorsed some of my posts before. Stop being so taken with Mandinka. You and him are really two peas in the same pod.

          • mandinka says:

            Strange I don’t see any where where they were merit based but rather attendance based. So you should thank the taxpayers for their gift

          • retired worker fed says:

            Strange. In order to get the within grade increase you must get at least all satisfactories (all 3’s) in your critical elements. That means you must be doing your job. That is called merit and not attendance.
            Since your work was not satisfactory give up your pension and save the taxpayers some money.

          • mandinka says:

            98% od all Feds get 3’s. That’s the reason why they were so opposed to NSPS where they were receiving their 1st honest appraisal in their careers

          • Dave Larochelle says:

            Did you pass math while getting your GED? Apparently not since your 3,500 increase would mean an average salary of 250,000, a figure even higher than the great mandinka can calculate.

  9. Mit Yerf says:

    It’s nice to know that I’m on the lower side of my agency. Whew I thought maybe I was one of those crazy professionals that spent 10’s of thousands to go to college and better themselves and then have to pay off student loans with a meager salary over those that didn’t and make more. Mr. Smith and his outfit are typical anti government worker and continue to beat us down. Yet they forget on this website to tell you that they are the one’s pulling in a great fed pension and never paid into SS. Grow up Mr. Smith and stop sucking at the gov. teet. You might have more credibility then.

    • FedSmith says:

      I was not aware that I was receiving a federal pension and never paid into Social Security. I need to check with OPM and the Social Security Administration.

      On the other hand, it is good to know my credibility just went up in your eyes. You have therefore brightened my day.

      This may be helpful and, with any luck, make your day brighter as well.

      Most FedSmith readers apparently find the free information that FedSmith makes available every day of the week on federal retirement, legislation that has passed or pending that impacts the federal workforce, TSP information, salary information pertaining to the federal government (as compiled by agencies), career tips,columns on topics that impact the federal community and the chance to voice their opinion to be of interest and value at some point in their federal careers. Obviously, there are some who read the site but frequently make disparaging comments about the site (which we still publish after eliminating those that engage in profanity or just hurl insults at someone).

      In fact, many readers are not used to seeing a website that caters to the federal community and actually publishes some articles that are not flattering or do not always espouse a position favored by all of our readers (that would probably be impossible as you will see from the wide variety of opinions expressed by readers on this website). We occasionally publish articles explaining our philosophy in providing a variety of articles that impact the federal workforce in some way. Some of the articles are very favorable; some are not favorable to someone or some aspect of the federal community; others are open to interpretation and people vigorously debate the content.

      The commonality is that the topics covered impact the federal community. You can find these articles using the search engine on our site. If you prefer, you can start with one of the older ones at: http://www.fedsmith.com/2007/1

      If you prefer reading only favorable articles or sites that generally espouse views that may be more to your liking, any of the unions’ website may be more to your liking. Federal employee unions are generally very successful at what they do, provide a consistent and predictable point of view and do not need or particularly want our help in any event.

      We have continued to grow significantly over the past 12 years by daring to be different and publish articles that do not always portray agencies or individuals or policies in a favorable light. We believe that having information, even if not always favorable to an individuals point of view, and being well-informed is more useful than only seeing one side of an issue.

      Although you apparently do not like the website, we are glad you keep coming back and see fit to make comments. Hopefully, you will eventually find one or more columns or topics that you do like.

      Thank you for reading our website, continuing to submit your comments, and (intentionally or otherwise) contributing to our success by being part of our growing number of readers in the federal community.

      RRS

      • Mentallect says:

        Many of us come here to get the T-Party view of federal workers, even from retired federal workers who espouse do as I say, not as I do. I prefer to get all opinions, not just those fitting my worldview. I am, after all, not a ultra-rightwing zombie.

        • konc2 says:

          Being an ultra-leftwing zombie is also not a desirable trait.

        • mandinka says:

          as compared to the union/communist take?

          • retired worker fed says:

            And where do you get the idea that unionists are communists? Do you even know what communism is? The Soviet Union communism was closer to Nazi Germany facism than anything else.

        • Hopeisnot_A_Plan says:

          You just disregard anything you do not agree with and demean those that post them.

          • retired worker fed says:

            You deserve the comments. The specific example is social security. You were dead wrong by facts on that issue, but you refuse to check it out. That is why my comments to you are so sharp. Opinions are one thing. Facts are another.

          • Hopeisnot_A_Plan says:

            Your comments about SS were just ignorant. There is no formula or table for salaries up to $500,000 so you have no idea what the benefit would be. Go ahead again and tell me what those tables say, the non-existent tables. Your comments, by the way, are not so sharp. Mostly they are just ideological. I can read them in any left wing rag.

          • retired worker fed says:

            First of all, we are discussing a situation where the lid for social security salary to be taxable was increased. No one said anything about $500000 except for you in a later discussion. Someone brought up the doubling of the amount taxable. I said that the payouts would be based at the 15% rate. You said the payouts would be doubled. I said no and advised you to check with social security to find out how the payouts were computed. My limits at the 90%, 32% and 15% rate were low, but I stated that possibility. You came back that I should fetch it for you.
            Again, go check with social security on this hypothetical situation. You were totally incorrect and refused to admit it or check it out. The rates are on the internet.
            You have no clue as to what you are writing about and I said so.

          • Hopeisnot_A_Plan says:

            So where are the tables for earning up to $500,000? That is what the discussion was about. Deflect as you might, you cannot come up with the tables and have no idea what they, or the annuity, may be if the cap was lifted. Do you really expect the cap on earnings to be lifted to $500,000 and the maximum annuity to remain what it currently is? Talk about someone having no clue.

        • Rambo1957 says:

          Which views are those of the Tea Party? I do not recall any post of anyone stating they were a member. You sure are full of yourself. You may look for all opinions but you are just as unlikely to change where you stand: as an ultra left wing zombie. Pot. Kettle. Black.

        • retired worker fed says:

          I will have to agree and disagree with you. Yes, I believe there are more writers here that are right of center than left of center. I believe that few of them are tea party people. I see no evidence that Mr. Smith approaches tea party status. I think his writings are very legitimate even though I disagree with some of them.
          I come here to read opinions that I agree with and disagree with. Of course, I show the same respect, or disrespect that the bloggers show. I do disrespect Mandink because what he writes which is dead wrong. Most of the bloggers I see agree with me on that one. Others I respond to in the appropriate way, although they may disagree.
          Mentallect, please tone down your comments towards the commentators like Mr. Smith. My opinion is that you are way out of line here. That is just my opinion and definitely not fact. More often than not, I agree with you, but not this time.

      • ned says:

        “(which we still publish after eliminating those that engage in profanity or just hurl insults at someone).”

        yet you allow a troll who insults Feds in every thread on your fine site to continue posting insults. for example:

        “The avg Fed makes $130,000 a year has a golden retirement parachute paid entirely by the taxpayers, taxpayer paid HC in retirement and O accountability”

    • Mentallect says:

      I have also noticed their anti-govt slant and spin, focusing without pause on fed worker salaries and benefits without private sector comparisons unless the comparison slant against feds. Little objectiveness can be found, so analytical readers must sift through the poison, alas, not all can.

      Never have I seen a comparison of say a private sector CEO average salary vs an SES average salary. Obviously, the comparison sheds favorable light on the SES contribution. Many of these “authors” accept govt money and benefits, but conveniently forget it based on ideology.

      • AppleFanboy78 says:

        “Many of these ‘authors’ accept govt money and benefits, but conveniently forget it based on ideology”

        No kidding?! I guess Ralph was lying in his comment here when he pointed out that he doesn’t get a pension.

        I guess that old adage about everything you read on the Internet isn’t always true is wrong – “Mentallect” said it, so it must be fact!

        • Mentallect says:

          You have assumed noted author above was my primary target rather than the general Federal Times staff.

          • AppleFanboy78 says:

            How does the Federal Times enter into this discussion?

            At any rate, I was just pointing out the entertainment value in your broad brush declaration (with no basis in fact or citations of course) that many of the authors on this site are in receipt of government money. I get great amusement from reading comments online.

      • HRGuy71 says:

        I doubt many Americans would want to see agency executives making multi-million dollar salaries. On the other hand, I own stock in companies where the CEO or other executives make millions of dollars. As long as the company prospers and the shareholders benefit, the CEO salary may be a good deal.

        Perhaps paying SES millions per year would be beneficial. How would it be measured? Not by profit margins, increase in sales, or the number of new cars, widgets, software programs, produced; and not by increasing market share.

        How many taxpayers want the IRS to be super-efficient and how would that be measured? The new commissioner may be wildly successful in the eyes of some by targeting the tea party and auditing 10% or more of all tea party members to discourage political participation or voting by those who belong. That may be very efficient and very productive from the standpoint of the administration and well worth paying the commissioner $20 million or more per year. Many others would find it inappropriate in a democracy.

        Should DoD efficiency be measured by how many drones are now available? The number of Afghans killed? The number of civilians Riffed? In effect, we don’t really know how to measure efficiency or success and, whatever the measure, very likely there would be little agreement among the public.

        I would argue that $17 trillion in national debt is a failure of the administration. Many others disagree and think it has been successful. It seems to depend on political philosophy.

        I understand wanting to compare CEO salaries with SES but probably only useful to make those who think they are underpaid feel better. I always thought a salary of $150,000 for a federal employee was extremely generous. I now have some, doing the same job I have done, and making more than $250,000 per year. Are they under paid or overpaid? Are they really worth more than others doing the same job in other agencies that are larger and with more responsibility? I really don’t know and I doubt they do either but they are willing to accept the money (as would I).

        The average salaries are interesting to people because they want to compare what they are making with the average. No doubt, that is probably why this website runs articles on this topic. 20 years ago, the information was not available. Now it is.

        Seeing the information makes some people mad to see others making more and there are always personal reasons why the person making less thinks that is unfair (same as with those getting angry because “the rich” pay less in taxes but pay many more dollars and therefore arguing it is unfair not to tax them 70%, or 110% or whatever strikes their fancy as being fair.)

        Comparing CEO’s to SES is not relevant; perhaps why it is not published anywhere that I have ever seen. People do care what we make as civil servants (probably an outmoded term; my colleagues certainly do not consider themselves beholder to anyone, especially taxpayers) because they pay our salaries and benefits. Civil servants just want to see where they stand in the financial hierarchy of the fed govt.

        • retired worker fed says:

          Feds are beholden to do our jobs and not be slaves to taxpayers. Feds are taxpayers too..

          There is no evidence that the IRS “went after the tea party for political reasons except in the eyes of the radical right. The tea party is predominantly political which violates IRC 501c4.

          • mandinka says:

            HUH?? No newspapers where you live?

          • retired worker fed says:

            So exactly what did the legitimate (not FOX) media say?

          • Hopeisnot_A_Plan says:

            They printed the apologies given by IRS for discriminating against conservative groups.

          • retired worker fed says:

            The donkeys in the IRS caved. They were printed without having the facts. It was an imported “leader” who could not stand up to the braying of the radical right in the house.

          • Hopeisnot_A_Plan says:

            Or maybe one with a conscience. It looks like you have an excuse for everything corrupt the Democrats do. Excuse mind you, not a reason. The IRS is as corrupt as Acorn.

          • mandinka says:

            That the IRS went after conservative groups and audited them just like back in the Nixon era

          • Dave Larochelle says:

            Are there no newspapers where you live? The IRS Commissioner under Nixon refused to audit his “black list.” Forget newspapers, can you read? If so, take a peak at 501(c)4. That little word “exclusively” used in conjunction with social welfare means NO POLITICAL ACTIVITY. The only issue for the American public is whether the IRS used the same criteria for liberal applications and DO NOT tell me they did not unless you were an IRS Revenue Agent assigned to the EP/EO Division reviewing applications. That information is confidential subject to criminal penalties. We all know the the IRS allowing up to 49% political activity (don’t ask me how you measure that in objective terms) was wrong. The statute, law or Internal Revenue Code allows none, zero.

          • retired worker fed says:

            Just a possible correction. Lawyers, please correct me if I am wrong. I believe the courts ruled that the term is predominantly and not exclusively. However, the tea party is clearly political in any case.

          • Dave Larochelle says:

            Actually the law states exclusively whereas the regs were modified to predominantly. The code reflects the statute which is law and the regs are the IRS interpretation of the law, although not binding on anyone except IRS employees. That is why Chris Van Hollan was suing the IRS as they were not following the law by allowing some political activity.

          • mandinka says:

            If that is what 501c3 means then why were NAACP, Operation Push, LaRaza, Rainbow coalition, Media Matters, Organizing for Action, Planned Parenthood, Green peace, ACORN all allowed to be non taxable?

          • retired worker fed says:

            Stop endorsing your own comments.
            I said legitimate media and not the fantasies of the radical right.

          • Rambo1957 says:

            What he may read probably jives what he already believes.

          • retired worker fed says:

            Nice speculation on your part. Too bad you have no clue as to what you are writing.

          • Hopeisnot_A_Plan says:

            And Acorn isn’t?

          • retired worker fed says:

            Hopeless, how many ACORN members are in Congress? It is far less than the over 100 in the House. Might even be 0.

          • Hopeisnot_A_Plan says:

            How many were financially supported by Acorn, and follow the lead of Acorn is the question. Too many. Acorn is very involved politically yet is tax exempt. Go figure.

          • retired worker fed says:

            Oh, so now financial support is the criteria for political activity? Are you for real?
            I was unaware that ACORN financially supported anyone. They demonstrate and go to court. I am trying to figure out the rationality of your comment. Sorry, it cannot be done.

          • Hopeisnot_A_Plan says:

            If no finances are involved why do they need that tax exemption? Do you try to claim that Acorn is not involved politically and that involvement was totally for Democrats? I’d bet they did not have to turn over their donor lists or meeting agendas for approval like conservative groups were required to do. You guys love them even after they were caught on tape telling people how to avoid taxes, set up houses of prostitution, and all kinds of other illegal activities. Isn’t that the same group that tried to register Mickey Mouse and Kunta Kenta to vote? Gotta laugh at you liberals for the groups you support and love.

    • mandinka says:

      The avg Fed makes $130,000 a year has a golden retirement parachute paid entirely by the taxpayers, taxpayer paid HC in retirement and O accountability. Think any taxpayer in the private sector has that kind of package??

      • The Master says:

        And the data here proves you wrong again.

        • mandinka says:

          Not hardly. Try reading it again

          • The Master says:

            The data clearly shows an average well below your claims. Maybe you can get a First Grader to explain it to you since you have no comprehension.

          • retired worker fed says:

            He will not understand the first grader’s explanation.

          • The Master says:

            It’s not like the first grader would understand his senile rantings.

          • mandinka says:

            No Jimmy my $130,000 avg fed compensation is a fact. Why get yourself a 1st grader and have them teach you long division. Total federal payroll divvied by total number of feds. The data is OPM and Dept of Labor websites

          • The Master says:

            Just another of your lies. You claimed the average fed makes $130,000 PLUS benefits. And you compare total compensation to the private sector salary only. Maybe that first grader could help you.

          • mandinka says:

            No Jimmy I never made that claim. The comparison to the private sector included their benefits. Except the private sector doesn’t have the benefits that feds have

          • The Master says:

            The part where it clearly states “The average federal employee salary for the 2013 fiscal year was $79,374” is difficult to understand for a preschooler or senile xenophobe.

          • mandinka says:

            and it doesn’t include the REST of Feds compensation

          • The Master says:

            Your previous claims have been that it was $130,000 in salary PLUS benefits. Maybe a first grader can help you understand your lies from reality.

          • mandinka says:

            No Jimmy I have never made that claim. Have a 1st grader read my posts back to you

          • The Master says:

            Another lie. How about when you posted the average fed made $170,000 and I posted the link to it. That first grader would be useful for you.

          • retired worker fed says:

            Yes it does. Stop endorsing your own comments.

      • ned says:

        That’s so strange. I wonder if i can get back the $$hundred’s of thousands of dollars i’ve contributed to my TSP account? and the $$tens of thousands i’ve payed for my sweeeet annuity????

      • retired worker fed says:

        Wait a minute. You used to say $130000./ Then you gave feds a raise to $160000. Then you gave feds another $20000 raise to $180000. Now you are taking away $50000 and allowing $130000. What are you smoking?
        Golden parachute? What parachute? Paid entirely by taxpayers? Your pension is paid for entirely by taxpayers. I contributed 7% of my pay to my retirement plan. Are you literate?
        I wrote this many times, but it did not sink into your @#$%^. Taxpayers pay part of our healthcare, just like the companies pay for part of private industry healthcare. You may get yours free, but we do not.
        Give up your pension. You did not earn it.

        • mandinka says:

          I’ve never said $160 or 200. Its unfortunate that you refuse to ever read and better yourself. Unless your CRS you don’t pay for your pension

          • ned says:

            well his LES says otherwise. i have to admit though it sure is a sweeeeeeeeeeet deal.

          • The Master says:

            Reality remembers it a bit different. http://www.fedsmith.com/2014/0

          • mandinka says:

            except that’s a wanna be not me

          • retired worker fed says:

            Stop endorsing your own comments. What is CRS? There is an error. As I wrote many times I contributed 7% of my salary to my pension plan. Even FERS people contribute to their pension plans. There is another error of yours.
            Again, tell us how much you contributed to your pension plan.

        • Dave Larochelle says:

          Don’t humor him. He is just looking for attention. The NSA will take care of him.

  10. Lipann says:

    Whatever!!! Mine didn’t.

  11. hopefuture says:

    How many of these are skewed by non-GS employees? For example, Transportation is about 80% FAA and they aren’t paid from a GS pay chart.

    • Hopeisnot_A_Plan says:

      The article was about Federal salaries, which includes agencies such as the FAA and USPS, who do not use GS pay schedules. They are still Federal employees.

  12. retireddod says:

    I keep waiting for “our village idiot” aka Mandinka, to tell us that the average is closer to 180K.

    • mandinka says:

      Nope its $130,000 K but then again no one has ever accused you of being intellectually curious

      • retired worker fed says:

        Then why did you write it at $160000 and $180000 not so long ago? Intellectually does not apply to you. Curious would apply to you as being the object of curiosity.

  13. CaptBuck says:

    Of course most agencies were in a hiring-freeze so new, lower-paid employees did not enter into the mix while current employees still saw step increases. So statiscally incomes went up because lower numbers didn’t enter into the equation.

  14. Rob Fite says:

    I guess I’m not average because my salary has gone DOWN the past 3 years.

    • mandinka says:

      The article has to do with Federal employees not the private sector

    • Rambo1957 says:

      How did you salary go down? Were you demoted or took a job at a lower salary?

      • Rob Fite says:

        We had days without pay because of the sequestration. Our insurance cost went up every year.

        • Rambo1957 says:

          Neither thing affected your salary. You took home less but your salary remained unchanged.

          • Rob Fite says:

            The days without pay definitely affect my base salary. They cost me over $2000.

          • Rambo1957 says:

            I understand. But your salary remained the same. You are paid at a certain rate based upon your salary. If furloughed, that too is based upon your salary. For those that retired after their pay was withheld, their retirement would be determined upon their salary, not minus the time missed.

  15. Mentallect says:

    The income disparity was cleverly disguised by lumping multiple racial/ethnic groups together and using their average. A more useful method is to slice out race, experience, education, gender, and job categories. This chart is designed to be indecipherable and useless for comparisons.

    • AppleFanboy78 says:

      Useless indeed. But at least it keeps the race baiters quiet.

    • retired worker fed says:

      Why race and gender? That is not relevant.
      Experience and education could be separated into very broad categories.

      • Weather Guy says:

        Exactly!! Its not relevant. YET, the Washington Post and FS chose to grab this OPM report that is about race,sex,regions,work type, and some how jump to conclusions that the report dealt with pay increases despite pay being frozen. Like any report designed to answer a certain question,the misusing of the data, often leads to errors in logic.

        • retired worker fed says:

          The Washington Post did cite gender from OPM. It did not cite race. FS cited race.
          I did not look for gender in FS.
          Gender can be explained in a number of ways. I will not go there again.
          Regions are legitimate. So are work type.

    • Hopeisnot_A_Plan says:

      Why not use height, weight, hair color or place of birth? They are as useful as race in measuring salary.

  16. enigma1083 says:

    The terminology used
    for the ethnicity race categories seem to chosen to obscure rather than enlighten.
    This, at best, amounts to very poor communication skills, at worst deliberate
    obfuscation, The Census uses far better terminology

  17. Andy2x says:

    Always some hatchet-job headline. Maybe you should focus on the salaries of SES, politcal appointees, and managers – and members of Congress.

    • AppleFanboy78 says:

      Hatchet job headline? You may not like what the data say, but according to the report it’s spot on.

    • Mentallect says:

      Political appointees are really the problem. Most of them lack the technical expertise of an SES or GS15, yet they are central in decision making. A high school graduate with political connections can be appointed over an agency because he bowed to kiss the ring of an elected Don.

      Everyone else knows Congress is overpaid, especially for 2.8 days of work a week.

  18. Keeg says:

    And the insults start flying……

    • DoDCop says:

      Not from me… I’m paid $10K below the Navy 25th %ile, and $30K below the median. Why should I take time to insult anyone? I’m too busy trying to keep my bills paid..!!

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