WG Pay Scale 2022 – The Federal Wage System (FWS) was created to ensure that Federal blue-collar workers’ payment and payroll schedules were up to par with the prevailing rates offered by the private sector in each local wage area.

Before the introduction of FWS, no central authority existed for establishing wage equity for Federal craft, trade, and laboring employees. President Johnson then ordered the former Civil Service Commission in 1965 to work with labor organizations and Federal agencies to study the various agency systems and combine them into a single, just, and sensible wage system.

The President asked for common wage policies and practices and job-grading standards for ensuring interagency equity regarding waging rates. He established two basic principles for those practices and procedures:

  • The local prevailing rates would determine how wages are set
  • Equal pay would be offered for similar work and pay distinctions according to work distinctions.

Congress established the FWS in 1972, which created the Federal Prevailing Rate Advisory Committee (FPRAC) with an independent Chairman. Members of the Committee are labor unions and agencies. FPRAC is responsible for studying all matters relating to determining prevailing rates and advising the Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) on suitable pay policies for the FWS employees. Need W-9 Form 2022 Printable?


WG Pay ScaleĀ  2022 Tables

GS Grade Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Step 6 Step 7 Step 8 Step 9 Step 10
GS-1 $20,051 $20,723 $21,390 $22,053 $22,720 $23,110 $23,768 $24,433 $24,460 $25,084
GS-2 $22,545 $23,082 $23,829 $24,460 $24,735 $25,462 $26,190 $26,917 $27,645 $28,372
GS-3 $24,599 $25,419 $26,239 $27,059 $27,878 $28,698 $29,518 $30,338 $31,158 $31,977
GS-4 $27,615 $28,535 $29,455 $30,376 $31,296 $32,216 $33,137 $34,057 $34,977 $35,898
GS-5 $30,896 $31,926 $32,956 $33,986 $35,016 $36,046 $37,077 $38,107 $39,137 $40,167
GS-6 $34,440 $35,588 $36,736 $37,884 $39,032 $40,180 $41,328 $42,476 $43,624 $44,773
GS-7 $38,271 $39,546 $40,821 $42,097 $43,372 $44,647 $45,923 $47,198 $48,473 $49,749
GS-8 $42,384 $43,797 $45,210 $46,622 $48,035 $49,448 $50,861 $52,274 $53,686 $55,099
GS-9 $46,813 $48,374 $49,934 $51,495 $53,055 $54,616 $56,177 $57,737 $59,298 $60,858
GS-10 $51,552 $53,271 $54,989 $56,708 $58,427 $60,145 $61,864 $63,582 $65,301 $67,019
GS-11 $56,639 $58,527 $60,415 $62,303 $64,191 $66,079 $67,966 $69,854 $71,742 $73,630
GS-12 $67,887 $70,151 $72,414 $74,677 $76,941 $79,204 $81,467 $83,731 $85,994 $88,258
GS-13 $80,727 $83,418 $86,109 $88,800 $91,491 $94,183 $96,874 $99,565 $102,256 $104,947
GS-14 $95,394 $98,574 $101,754 $104,933 $108,113 $111,292 $114,472 $117,651 $120,831 $124,011
GS-15 $112,210 $115,950 $119,691 $123,432 $127,173 $130,913 $134,654 $138,395 $142,136 $145,877


Who is WG Pay Scale for?

The system aims to pay federal employees according to the current local rates. The regular payroll plan covers most laboring, craft, and trade employees in the executive branch. The FWS, however, doesn’t protect legislative branch employees, Postal Service employees, or private sector contracting firms’ employees.

Unique pay plans cover certain employees in particular circumstances. OPM authorizes unique pay plans if unusual labor conditions hinder agencies in recruiting and retaining qualified employees.

How does the WG Pay Scale Calculate?

The FWS is a partnership that’s worked out between OPM, labor organizations, and other Federal agencies.

OPM provides basic procedures and policies aimed at ensuring a uniform pay setting. It also specifies the procedures agencies should use when designing and conducting wage surveys, constructing wage schedules, grading levels of work, and administering basic and premium pay for employees. For example, the USAA Payroll Schedule.

OPM occupational specialists follow specific steps when issuing common job-grading standards for major occupations to update and develop new standards. They make complete occupational studies that include onsite visits to interview employees, union representatives, and supervisors.

Specialists develop standards, ask unions and agents for carefully considered comments, and incorporate them into the final job-grading measures, where appropriate. Federal agencies are required to adhere to the standards.

OPM is responsible for defining the geographical boundaries of individual local wage areas and reviewing survey job descriptions to ensure they are both current and accurate. OPM also works with unions and agencies to schedule annual wage surveys in every wage area.

Adjustments to wages become effective in accordance with what’s known as the 45-day las. According to the law, the Government has 45 working days to operationalize the FWS pay adjustments after the commencement of each wage survey. Wage schedules become effective with the first pay period following the expiry of the 45 days. The lead agency responsible for issuing the FWS wage schedule is the Department of Defense (DOD).

Setting Wages in Your Area

OPM identifies a “lead” agency for each wage area. That agency will be responsible for analyzing data, conducting wage surveys, and issuing wage schedules under the procedures and policies, the OPM prescribes. All the agencies in a particular wage area pay hourly wage workers in accordance with the wage schedules as developed by the lead agency.

The OPM has identified the DOD as the lead agency for every local wage area. OPM is not responsible for conducting regional wage surveys.

Labor organizations play a key role in determining wages since they provide representatives at all levels of the wage determination process. The employee unions with the most wage employees under exclusive recognition then designate 2 of the five members of the lead agency’s wage committee at the national level.

Locally, the union with the highest number of employees under exclusive recognition in a wage area designates one of the three members of each Local Wage Survey Committee. Labor organizations also nominate half of the Federal employees responsible for collecting wage data from private enterprise employees. A team comprising one labor and one management data collector visits every surveyed employer.

Comparability: Wage System & General Schedule

Your employer, under the FWS, bases your pay on what is being offered in the private sector for comparable levels of work in the local wage area. Employees are paid the total current rate at step 2 of every grade level. The highest step in the FWS is step 5, which is 12 percent above the current pay rate.

The General Schedule (GS) is a separate pay system that covers most white-collar civilian Federal employees. The pay for GS employees is determined by surveys of non-Federal employees (including local and state governments). There are several differences between FWS and GS regarding geographical coverage, occupational coverage, pay adjustment cycles, and pay ranges.