Highest Paying Fed Jobs are Often in Smaller Agencies

By on March 16, 2016 in Pay & Benefits with 12 Comments

Image of employee touching screen with salary lightbulb icon

The average federal employee in 2014 earned $84,153 in salary based on data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Also, in 2014, federal workers had average annual benefits of $35,781.

We also know that in some federal agencies, the average salary is quite a bit higher. In some agencies, this is due to the technical nature of the agency. Jobs requiring more knowledge and specialization often pay more both in the federal sector or private sector.

In other cases, the agency is outside of the usual General Schedule pay schedule used by most agencies. In those instances, the same job will pay considerably more than in other agencies. For example, a human resources specialist in some smaller agencies that do not use the General Schedule pay system often makes considerably more than in more traditional federal agencies. (See, for example, Highest Paying Administrative Jobs: Where Are They and What Are Their Salaries? and Comparing Average Salary to Highest Paid Salaries in Federal Jobs).

FedSmith has just added another agency, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), into our list of individual federal employee salaries. To see a listing of all salaries in this agency, just type “Postal Regulatory Commission” into the field for the name of the agency as illustrated by this graphic:


While the average federal salary in 2014 was a little over $84,000, the average at the PRC is about $112,249.

There are several probable reasons for this. All employees are located in Washington, DC and there are only about 75 employees. And, as noted on their website, “The Commission’s compensation system is separate from the GS pay system administered throughout most of the Federal government. Our pay-for-performance process provides a system for employees to advance through their pay scale.”

As with all federal salaries in the database, salaries for a specific organization can be sorted from the highest to the lowest salary (or lowest to highest). In this instance, the most highly compensated employee at $173,720 is the agency’s General Counsel and the lowest is a Customer Service Assistant at $38,251.

Of course, compared to the highest salary in our database of 2014 federal employee salaries, the highest is for a Department of Veterans Medical Officer at $402,462 so the PRC is hardly among the highest federal salaries.

For those who may be wondering why we have not posted the latest salary figures (fiscal year 2015) for individual federal employee salaries, we are still waiting to receive the information. Once we have received it, it will be posted as quickly as possible.

© 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.