How much does a GS-15 employee get paid?
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GS-15 Federal Employee Base Salary
GS-15 government employees will receive a base salary of between $117,518.00 and $152,771.00, depending on their General Schedule Step.
The educational and experience requirements for most GS-15 government jobs are:
- At least 1 year experience at GS-13 or equivalent
The General Schedule pay raise this year was 4.1%. This translates to a base pay raise of approximately $4,818.24 for a GS-15 Step 1 employee.
Remember that final General Schedule salaries will be higher, depending on the locality in which you work. Visit our locality pages or use our pay calculator to determine adjusted pay for a GS-15 employee.
GS-15 Step 1 Employee
$117,518.00 / year
$56.31 per hour
About Grade GS-15
GS-15 is the highest rank of the General Pay Schedule. Once reaching GS-15, the only way to continue increasing your pay is through step increases and yearly across-the-board pay increases that all federal employees receive. Also, moving to a region with a higher locality adjustment could increase your pay.
After you have reached the highest GS Grade, the only way to continue moving up is to change to a different pay scale. The Senior Executive Schedule (SES) is the most common pay schedule used above the General Schedule.
GS Pay is capped at Level IV of the SES Schedule. At the time of writing, SES Level IV pay is just above $160,000 per year. This is the hard limit of the maximum anyone can earn in the General Schedule pay system. The limit only applies to GS-15 employees with a high pay step in a high paying localities like Washington D.C. and San Fransisco.
GS-15 is typically requires a PhD. level education and years of experience.Step Increases within GS-15
As employees gain more experience, they can receive in-grade step promotions. While step promotions generally do not correspond with an increase in authority or responsibility, they do provide a pay raise. Within the GS-15 paygrade, a single step increase will raise yearly base pay by a total of $3,917.00.
When you receive a paygrade promotion, you will maintain your previously attained step. Read more about how step increases work.