Finding A Federal Employee’s Salary

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By on July 7, 2019 in Pay & Benefits with 0 Comments
Pink piggy bank sitting on top of a pile of cash

The database of individual federal employee salaries has recently been updated with the latest available data. Here is how to use this database to find the salary of an individual federal employee.

Filters are used to narrow a search for information in a database. Available filters are the fiscal year of the salary data, along with the employee’s name, location, agency and occupation. Here are the filters that now appear at the top of the page when searching for the salary of a federal employee:

Screenshot showing the available filters for searching salary data on the FedsDataCenter.com federal employee salary search database
Screenshot showing the available filters on the federal employee salary search database at FedsDataCenter.com

Search by Name

The most frequent searches on the federal employee salary database are for information pertaining to a specific federal employee. To do this, just type in a person’s name into the “name” search block in this format: last name,first name.

So, for example, if you are searching for a specific federal employee, just type in a name such as: Smith (you can use just the last name if you choose to). If you want to find a specific person, be sure to enter the last name first for a full name. For example, Smith,Agnes. After typing in the name, click on the “Filter” button and you will see the results as illustrated in the graphic below. Note that this search was done on the 2018 database. We also listed the name of an employee in a specific agency for this purpose:

Screenshot showing the filter options for the federal employee salary search at FedsDataCenter.com with filters for name and agency filled out on the form
Screenshot showing the filter options for the federal employee salary search at FedsDataCenter.com with filters for name and agency filled out on the form

Sort by Salary Level

With the FedSmith search engine, a reader can search by a person’s name as well as by an agency name to narrow down the search.

First, search for the name of the person. In this case, the search was for a person named “Johnson,F”  in the 2018 database. When you see names as a result of your initial search, you can further narrow your search results.

Second, if you are looking for a person named “Johnson,F” who works for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, type the name of the agency into the filter as well. Click on the “Filter” button, and the results of your search will appear.

Ten names are initially displayed as a default (if there are at least 10 names to be found) but it is possible to select up to 100 names to be displayed at a time using the pull down menu at the top left of the results.

Third, after you have narrowed down your list, it is also possible to sort by individual salaries in a specific agency. Just click on the salary column (arrow in the example screenshot below) after your initial search.

With the first click, the names are displayed from the lowest salary to the highest (ascending order). With the second click on the salary column, the names are displayed from the highest salary to the lowest with the first several names (descending order).  In this graphic, the initial search was for a person named “Johnson, F”.

Screenshot showing the results of a search on the federal employee salary database at FedsDataCenter.com on the name 'Johnson' and for the NASA agency
Screenshot showing the results of a search on the federal employee salary database at FedsDataCenter.com on the name ‘Johnson, F’ and for the NASA agency

It is possible to do a salary sort for an entire agency or by any other criteria that have been entered and results have been returned.

One caveat: the data provided vary from year to year and vary between agencies. In some agencies, for example, the name that one would expect to use does not exist. Also, in some agencies, the information provided is sorted by a sub-division of the agency and not be the name of the primary agency organization.

Search by Occupation, Location and Salary

Another common search in the federal salary database is searching for people by their occupation.

For example, if you want to see a list of federal employees with the occupation of “human resources management,” your search results will provide about 30,000 federal employees with this occupation in the fiscal year (FY) 2018 database.

Here is an example of how to narrow down this type of search. In this example, you can locate federal employees with the “human resources management” occupation located in Denver and simultaneously sort the list from their highest to the lowest salaries. To do this:

  1. Enter the title “human resources management” in the “Occupation” search block and “Denver” in the “Location” block. As you type the job title and location into their respective fields, menus of matching results will appear underneath the field and will be narrowed down further as you type. Simply click on a matching result to populate the field. A word of warning: The matching results will not always provide a result in the salary search. Agencies have changed the names used during different years so consequently, the titles that appear are not available for every fiscal year. We used “human resources management” for this example as this is a common title used in the fiscal year 2018 data.
  2. Click on the “Filter” button to see the results of your search.
  3. Click twice on the “Salary” column to sort the individual salaries of those in the list from the highest salary to the lowest (descending order).
  4. Many of the search options that show up in the pulldown menu will not contain data for the year of your search. In this instance, just using the location of “Denver” will show 84 people in the human resources management occupation. But, if the location of “Denver, Colorado” is used, no results will be displayed as no records are included using that location name.

Here is how the results of the search will look after these filters have been applied.

Screenshot showing search results of a search performed on the FedsDataCenter.com federal employee salary search for human resources management employees in Denver
Screenshot showing the search results for a search performed on the federal employee salary database at FedsDataCenter.com for human resources management employees in Denver

Miscellaneous Tips for Searching

Here are several other tips for successfully narrowing down your search of the federal employee salary database:

  • Agencies are often not listed as being under the broad umbrella of the main organization such as the “Department of Agriculture” or the “Department of Veterans Affairs” or the “Veterans Administration.” The agencies providing the information have generally opted not to do that. Type in “veterans” under the name of the agency and you will see various agencies with this in their name.
  • With smaller agencies, all employees will usually be found under the main heading. For example, typing in “Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation” into the box for the agency name will yield results of about 5,910 employees for the agency in the 2018 database.
  • Also, for the main database of federal employees, results are usually organized by city but not by the state. For example, typing in Tampa will result in finding 6,415 federal employees working in Tampa, Florida for FY 2018. Typing in “Florida” to find all employees in the state rather than the name of a city will generally not provide any results.
  • In some limited cases, agencies chose to release salary data under just a state name rather than a city name.

We hope that this explanation will be helpful in finding the specific salary information you are seeking.

© 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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