The Average Salary of GS 13

by Nolan Kido; Updated September 26, 2017

The Federal Government employs a standardized salary calculation named the "general schedule." This process applies a specific GS rank to any non-executive federal job. The salary for a government employee is exclusively ascertained through the GS system. The average salary for a GS 13 employee ranges from $75,000 to more than $100,000 per year.

Federal GS 13 Base Salary

There are ten individual grades, or "steps," within the federal GS 13 rank. In December 2010, the base salary for each step is: Step 1 ($71,674); Step 2 ($74,063); Step 3 ($76,452); Step 4 ($78,841); Step 5 ($81,230); Step 6 ($83,619); Step 7 ($86,008); Step 8 ($88,397); Step 9 ($90,786); and Step 10 ($93,175).

Pay Differences Within GS 13 Rank

The GS system also allows for pay raises within a specific GS rank. In instances where federal employees receive a raise for time-in-service or exceptional effort but do not receive a promotion, the GS system provides for an increase of one step. The step system is independent from GS rank and is primarily determined by the number of years an individual has worked in a particular federal job.

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Locality Impact on GS 13 Salaries

Base pay for GS 13 federal employees is less than their total salary due to additional income from locality pay. This amount, which is determined by the physical location of the federal job, is paid in addition to base salary for every GS 13 employee. Locality pay ranges from 14 percent to 35 percent in addition to GS 13 salary.

GS 13 Special Pay For High-Demand Job

Beyond base pay and locality pay, Federal GS 13 workers may also receive a salary increase through special pay. Special pay applies to jobs in high demand or for which non-federal jobs have high salaries. For these positions, a special pay table replaces the standard GS 13 base pay table. The locality pay percentage bonus is then calculated off of special pay. This results in a multiplicative effect between locality and special pay.

About the Author

Based in Boston, Nolan Kido has been writing professionally since 2006. He holds a master's degree in accounting and worked in the real estate and banking industries prior to his current career. Kido has contributed to three personal finance books and specializes in writing about taxes and investments.

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