2013 Salary Data: Federal Salaries Increase Despite Pay Freeze

By • May 12, 2014 Comments

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 play 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

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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 newsletter and a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters concerning federal human resources.

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