Most bang for your federal buck

Want to make more money without changing your occupation or leaving the government?

Consider moving!

If you work in the Washington, D.C. metro area (home to roughly 14 of every 100 feds) put in for a transfer to San Francisco-Oakland. A brand new GS 15, step one gets $134,789 whereas that same person relocation to the bay area would move up to $146,415 thanks to locality pay. The only drawback to the bay area is finding a place where you could afford the rent AND eat.

If you live in Austin and want more but refuse to leave Texas, seek a transfer to Dallas-Fort Worth. Or Houston.

Thanks to locality pay differentials feds in the metro DC area are not at the top of the salary pyramid. Workers in Houston, Los Angeles-Long Beach, metro New York and other metro areas make more than their DC counterparts.

Last week FederalNewsRadio ran a story about the average salary in 2017 of federal workers on a state-by-state basis. According to FedSmith, DC ranked at the top with an average federal salary of $115,594 in 2017. Maryland, with many high-tech, highly-skilled federal jobs (like the NIH and NSA), came in second with $108,490 and Virginia, with many military installations (and the CIA and the Pentagon), came in at $102,311.

The difference in federal pay averages state-by-state was determined in large part by partisan politics in the 1950s and 1960s. Many Southern states (then solidly Democratic) appreciated the value of seniority. Long-time House members gained seniority by constantly being reelected. Once chairman of a committee they were in a position to trade favors and put pressure on federal agencies to locate or relocate to their home states or districts. The average federal salary (2017) was $81,849 in North Carolina and $77,134 in South Carolina and $88,158 in Georgia. By contrast it was $80,122 in Michigan, $80,669 in Minnesota and $74,453 for feds in Indiana.

So where does your city and state stand in the pay parade? How are you doing? Check pay scales on a city-by-city basis here.

If you are interested in finding out the average salary (2017) on a state-by-state basis, click here.

Nearly Useless Factoid

By David Thornton

In the story “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” the Grinch laments that he has had to put up with the Whos’ celebration of Christmas for 53 years. Dr. Seuss was 53 when he wrote and published the book.

Source: Wikipedia

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May 07, 2021 Close Change YTD*
L Income 22.8920 0.0535 2.39%
L 2025 11.7696 0.0557 4.76%
L 2030 41.4554 0.2531 6.01%
L 2035 12.4413 0.0833 6.56%
L 2040 47.0488 0.3431 7.12%
L 2045 12.8823 0.1007 7.60%
L 2050 28.2076 0.2349 8.10%
L 2055 13.8383 0.1393 10.05%
L 2060 13.8382 0.1392 10.05%
L 2065 13.8381 0.1393 10.05%
G Fund 16.5792 0.0006 0.40%
F Fund 20.7154 -0.0008 -2.55%
C Fund 63.3169 0.4739 11.83%
S Fund 82.1564 1.0665 12.34%
I Fund 38.7555 0.4941 6.73%
Closing price updated at approx 6pm ET each business day. More at
* YTD data is updated on the last day of the month.