59% Increase in $200,000+ Federal Jobs Since 2010: Where Are They?

As noted in an article published earlier based on salary data from FedsDataCenter.com, the number of federal employees making over $100,000 per year has increased in the past five years, but the trend in the last two years has been down instead of up.

Looking more closely at the data, the number of federal employees making more than $200,000 per year has gone up steadily over the past five years. In 2010, the total number was 10,538.

According to the most recent OPM data, in 2014, there were 16,805 federal employees making more than $200,000 per year. Note that the FedsDataCenter.com federal salary database does not include employees of the Department of Defense or agencies involved in national security as determined by OPM and other agencies.

Here are the statistics:

Total Employees Fiscal Year Percentage Change
10,538 2010  N/A
11,507 2011 9.2%
13,023 2012 13.7%
14,803 2013 13.67%
16,805 2014 13.52%
 Percentage Change 2010-2014 59.47%

Where are these high paying jobs? Most are in the Department of Veterans Affairs. Here are the top 20 agencies employing federal jobs paying more than $200,000 per year:

VETERANS HEALTH ADMINISTRATION 13,185
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION 832
FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION 744
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH 627
FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION 391
OFC OF COMPTROLLER OF CURRENCY 382
INDIAN HEALTH SERVICE 213
CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTN 105
FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY 101
COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION 70
NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION 35
OFC SEC HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES 17
FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION 17
INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE 13
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 8
HEADQUARTERS, NASA 7
FARM CREDIT SYSTEM INSURANCE CORPORATION 4
AGY FOR HEALTHCARE RESEARCH AND QUALITY 4

 

One question asked by readers is this:  “How can federal employees make more than the salary cap on a General Schedule employee?” Good question, and many employees in agencies that pay less than those in the list above may be wondering the same thing.

A number of agencies now pay much more than the salaries reflected in the General Schedule (GS) pay system, usually due to special implementing legislation for those agencies. Of course, the higher salaries may also impact an individual for many years after leaving federal service as their future retirement annuity is based on their pay as a federal employee.  Getting a job in one of these higher paying federal agencies can provide a payoff that will benefit these fortunate individuals for decades. (Also see, Highly Paid Federal Administrative Positions: Where Are They and How Much Do They Make?)

© 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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