2022 GS Pay Scale

The 2022 GS pay scale is based on the 2022 federal pay raise which authorized an overall average raise of 2.7% for federal employees.

The 2022 GS pay scale for the General Schedule (GS) classification and pay system is based on the 2022 federal pay raise which was finalized by Executive Order from President Biden in December 2021. The Executive Order authorized an average 2.7% pay raise for federal employees in 2022 which consists of a 2.2% base pay increase and an additional 0.5% for GS locality pay.

The 2022 GS pay scale is based off of the 2022 General Schedule base pay table which lists annual salaries for each grade and step. The base pay table incorporates the 2.2% base pay increase authorized under the 2022 federal pay raise.

Each of the GS locality pay areas receives an additional locality pay percentage applied to the annual salaries listed in the base pay table.

The 2022 GS pay scale is effective as of January 2022.

2022 GS Pay Scale (Base)

Incorporating a 2.2% General Schedule (GS) base pay increase

GradeStep 1Step 2Step 3Step 4Step 5Step 6Step 7Step 8Step 9Step 10WGI

2022 GS Locality Pay Areas

  1. Alaska
  2. Albany-Schenectady, NY-MA
  3. Albuquerque-Santa Fe-Las Vegas, NM
  4. Atlanta–Athens-Clarke County–Sandy Springs, GA-AL
  5. Austin-Round Rock, TX
  6. Birmingham-Hoover-Talladega, AL
  7. Boston-Worcester-Providence, MA-RI-NH-ME
  8. Buffalo-Cheektowaga, NY
  9. Burlington-South Burlington, VT
  10. Charlotte-Concord, NC-SC
  11. Chicago-Naperville, IL-IN-WI
  12. Cincinnati-Wilmington-Maysville, OH-KY-IN
  13. Cleveland-Akron-Canton, OH
  14. Colorado Springs, CO
  15. Columbus-Marion-Zanesville, OH
  16. Corpus Christi-Kingsville-Alice, TX
  17. Dallas-Fort Worth, TX-OK
  18. Davenport-Moline, IA-IL
  19. Dayton-Springfield-Sidney, OH
  20. Denver-Aurora, CO
  21. Des Moines-Ames-West Des Moines, IA
  22. Detroit-Warren-Ann Arbor, MI
  23. Harrisburg-Lebanon, PA
  24. Hartford-West Hartford, CT-MA
  25. Hawaii
  26. Houston-The Woodlands, TX
  27. Huntsville-Decatur-Albertville, AL
  28. Indianapolis-Carmel-Muncie, IN
  29. Kansas City-Overland Park-Kansas City, MO-KS
  30. Laredo, TX
  31. Las Vegas-Henderson, NV-AZ
  32. Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA
  33. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Port St. Lucie, FL
  34. Milwaukee-Racine-Waukesha, WI
  35. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN-WI
  36. New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT-PA
  37. Omaha-Council Bluffs-Fremont, NE-IA
  38. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL
  39. Philadelphia-Reading-Camden, PA-NJ-DE-MD
  40. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ
  41. Pittsburgh-New Castle-Weirton, PA-OH-WV
  42. Portland-Vancouver-Salem, OR-WA
  43. Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC
  44. Richmond, VA
  45. Sacramento-Roseville, CA-NV
  46. San Antonio-New Braunfels-Pearsall, TX
  47. San Diego-Carlsbad, CA
  48. San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA
  49. Seattle-Tacoma, WA
  50. St. Louis-St. Charles-Farmington, MO-IL
  51. Tucson-Nogales, AZ
  52. Virginia Beach-Norfolk, VA-NC
  53. Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA
  54. Rest of U.S.

What is the General Schedule (GS)?

The General Schedule (GS) classification and pay system covers the majority of civilian white-collar Federal employees (about 1.5 million worldwide) in professional, technical, administrative, and clerical positions.

The General Schedule has 15 grades ranging from GS-1 (lowest) to GS-15 (highest). Agencies establish the grade of each job based on the level of difficulty, responsibility, and qualifications required. Individuals with a high school diploma and no additional experience typically qualify for GS-2 positions; those with a Bachelor’s degree for GS-5 positions; and those with a Master’s degree for GS-9 positions.

What Are Within-Grade Increases (WGI)?

Each GS grade has 10 step rates (steps 1-10) and employees can move to higher steps throughout their federal careers. Within-grade increases (WGI) are based on an acceptable level of performance and longevity (waiting periods of 1 year at steps 1-3, 2 years at steps 4-6, and 3 years at steps 7-9). It normally takes 18 years to advance from step 1 to step 10 within a single GS grade if an employee remains in that single grade.

Each WGI amounts to a salary increase of about 3% of an employee’s salary. In effect, a WGI is a pay raise based on the length of time in government service at a particular step and grade in the General Schedule’s pay system.

How is GS Locality Pay Calculated?

Locality pay increases are based on a comparison by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This federal agency measures non-federal compensation in a labor market and compares it to pay for federal employees under the General Schedule performing similar work in the same geographic area.

BLS will, for example, compare the average salary of an engineer at a private company or state with the average salary of a federal employee who is an engineer in the same city. The pay gap between the two is a major factor in the GS locality pay adjustment for a specific area during a given year. The cost of housing or other living expenses in an area is not the major factor.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.