Federal Employee Salary in 2022: How Much Federal Employees Make on Average by State According to the General Schedule

William Miller

Did you know that the salaries for federal employees vary by state? In this article, we will break down the average federal employee salaries in each state. We will also look at how much these salaries are predicted to increase by 2022.

Let’s discuss some of the factors that can affect federal employee salary levels, such as cost of living and years of experience. Whether you are thinking about becoming a federal employee or are just curious about how much they make on average, read on for more information!

Job Description

Federal employees work in a variety of fields, including law enforcement, diplomacy, and national security. They also work in other areas such as transportation, education, and healthcare. In addition to their regular duties, federal employees often have special responsibilities related to their jobs. For example, some federal employees may be responsible for investigating crimes or responding to natural disasters. Others may be responsible for providing customer service or managing finances. Federal employees typically work in offices, but they may also work in other settings, such as airports or courthouses.

Where do Federal Employees Work?

The U.S. federal government employs a wide range of workers in a variety of fields. The majority of federal employees work for one of the 15 executive departments, such as the Department of Defense or the Department of Homeland Security. Other federal employees work for independent agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency or the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. There are also employees of the judicial and legislative branches of the federal government.

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The largest group of federal employees is the civil service, which consists of workers who are not part of the military or uniformed services. The civil service includes a wide range of occupations, from clerical and administrative positions to engineers and scientists.

Becoming a Federal Employee

There are many ways to become a federal employee. The most common way is to apply for a job through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the federal government’s human resources agency. To be eligible for most federal jobs, you must:

  • be a U.S. citizen or national,
  • pass a background investigation,
  • meet any special qualifications required for the position.

You may also be eligible to participate in programs designed to give students and recent graduates hands-on experience in the federal government, like the Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP) or the Internship Program.

Average Federal Employee Salary

According to the most recent data from the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the average federal employee salary is $110,000. This figure has remained relatively stable over the past few years, with a slight increase of 0.52% between 2019 and 2020. When looking at federal employee salaries by state, it is important to note that the cost of living in each state can vary greatly. For example, the average federal employee salary in California used to be $92,362, which is 16.67% higher than the national average, but when we adjust for cost of living, it drops to just 11.45% above the national average. This means that federal employees in California actually have less purchasing power than those in other states.

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By State

When we compare salaries by state, it is clear that there are some states where federal employees make significantly more than the national average. The top five highest-paying states for federal employees are:

  • District of Columbia: $116,000,
  • Maryland: $108,000,
  • Virginia: $102,000,
  • New Jersey: $94,000,
  • Connecticut: $90,000.

These federal employee salaries are all at least 15% higher than the national average and show that there can be a significant difference in earnings depending on where you work.

What Is a Locality Pay?

In addition to the base salary, federal employees receive something called locality pay. It is a system of compensating federal employees for the higher cost-of-living in certain areas. The amount of locality pay is based on surveys of private sector wages in each locality.

There are currently 47 different locality pay areas, covering most major metropolitan areas in the United States. Federal employees in each locality receive a base salary plus a locality pay adjustment. The total of the base federal employee salary and the locality pay adjustment is the employee’s “locality-adjusted” salary. However, there are some exceptions. Employees who are paid under the Federal Wage System (FWS) do not receive it, nor do employees who are exempt from the GS pay scale, such as Senior Executive Service members or political appointees.


The pay and benefits of federal employees are regulated by the Office of Personnel Management. Federal employees are typically paid more than workers in the private sector with similar levels of education and experience. They also receive a number of benefits, such as health insurance and retirement plans.

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The 2023 Pay Raise

Under President Joe Biden, federal employees can expect a pay raise in 2023. The 2.7% pay raise is the largest proposed increase since 2010. This will help to keep government workers’ salaries competitive with the private sector and attract top talent to public service. In addition, the pay raise will help to offset the rising cost of living, which has been a challenge for many Americans in recent years.

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