Agency Administration: Highest Paid Federal Jobs in HR and EEO

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Average salaries can vary widely between agencies in the federal government for a number of reasons—the most obvious one being that the skill sets required for jobs in some agencies are much different than in other agencies.

Even if that is the case, there are some jobs that exist in every agency. Human resources management (HR) is one such job. One might assume that an agency with tens of thousands of employees would necessarily pay a much higher salary than an agency with a few hundred employees. That is not the case as can be seen in the listing of highest paid human resources management jobs below.

Human Resources

Agencies often use different terms and titles for human resources employees in an agency. We queried the FedSmith database of federal employees salaries using common titles to isolate two of the most common administrative jobs.

The first listing below shows the highest paid human resources management jobs (by agency) in the federal government. The total number of agency employees and the salaries are from data provided by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) for fiscal year 2017. As the chart shows, there is not always a relationship between the number of employees in an agency and the highest paid human resources job.

For example, the National Credit Union Administration had about 1,152 employees listed when the fiscal year 2017 salary database was created and the highest HR job in the agency paid $262,000. The Department of Homeland Security had almost 191,000 employees and the highest paid HR job in that agency was $187,000.

Some, probably most, of the agencies with the highest paid administrative positions are also agencies that are not under the traditional General Schedule pay system used throughout the federal government. Many of these agencies, such as the FDIC or the SEC, pay higher salaries than other agencies on the supposition that higher salaries are necessary to attract people with the expertise necessary to perform the primary mission of the agency.

The agencies with the highest average salaries are usually the ones with the highest paid administrative personnel as well.

The salary information is from the listing of individual federal employee salaries at FedsDataCenter.com.

Agency Total Agency Employees Highest Salary
DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY 87,671 263,100.00
NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION 1,152 262,000.00
FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION 6,100 240,100.00
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION 4,591 240,100.00
FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY 733 235,380.00
FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION 289 212,119.00
COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION 704 208,616.00
PRESIDIO TRUST 327 188,987.00
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE 47,688 187,000.00
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY 190,585 187,000.00
DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR 68,253 187,000.00
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE 115,951 187,000.00
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR 15,015 187,000.00
DEPARTMENT OF STATE 12,299 187,000.00
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 54,744 187,000.00
DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 381,341 187,000.00
MERIT SYSTEMS PROTECTION BOARD 219 187,000.00
SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION 4,804 187,000.00
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION 4,059 186,974.00

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)

Another position common to all agencies is equal employment opportunity (EEO). As with HR management positions, there is sometimes little correlation between the number of agency employees and the salary paid to people in EEO positions.

Here is a listing of the highest paid positions in the federal government for positions categorized as Equal Employment Opportunity:

Agency Total Agency Employees Highest Salary
FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION 6,100 $233,935.00
DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY 87,671 $200,813.00
FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY 733 $195,472.00
U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEV 3,650 $187,000.00
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE 47,688 $187,000.00
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY 190,585 $187,000.00
DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT 7,825 $185,394.00
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 54,744 $184,663.00
COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION 704 $183,128.00
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION 1,479 $182,406.00
DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 381,341 $180,700.00
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE 115,951 $180,447.00
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 93,383 $180,436.00
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION 17,187 $179,700.00
DEPARTMENT OF STATE 12,299 $177,932.00
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION 62,292 $177,650.00
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 1,736 $172,025.00
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR 15,015 $161,900.00
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 14,730 $161,900.00

 

© 2019 Ralph R. Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ralph R. Smith.

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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 newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47

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