General Schedule (GS)
The majority of professional and administrative federal workers are paid under the General Schedule (GS). The General Schedule has 15 grades of pay for civilian white-collar and service workers, and 10 smaller within-grade step increases that occur within each pay grade based on length of service and quality of performance. New employees generally start at the first step of a grade. However, you may be able to negoiate a higher salary if your previous employer's pay was higher. In an effort to make federal pay more responsive to local labor market conditions, federal employees working in the U.S. receive locality pay. The specific amount of locality pay is determined by survey comparisons of private sector wage rates and federal wage rates in the relevant geographic area.