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Your First Paycheck

Normally you will receive your first pay check three weeks after you enter on duty.

You will be paid bi-weekly (every two weeks) according to the

.  The official payday falls on Mondays.  However, electronic funds are sent to your financial institution the weekend before. Please check with your financial institution to determine when your funds will be made available. 

Your paycheck will include your net salary after deductions are made for taxes, social security, health benefits premiums, life insurance, retirement, and other elections.  You will receive a leave and earnings statement reflecting your earnings and leave status for the previous pay period.  Also, you may access your leave and earnings statement online through the Employee Personnel Page (EPP).

Your Salary:

The General Schedule (GS) has 15 grades and 10 steps in each grade.  Pay varies by location.  The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) governs pay for all Federal employees.  For more information on your pay including the pay tables, visit OPM’s Web site.

Within-grade increases (WGIs) or step increases are periodic increases in a GS employee's rate of basic pay from one step of the grade of his or her position to the next higher step of that grade.  Employees who occupy permanent positions (appointments lasting longer than one year with a scheduled tour of duty) earn WGIs if the following criteria are met:

  • Your performance must be at an acceptable level of competence.  To meet this requirement, your most recent performance rating of record must be successful or higher.
  • You must have completed the required waiting period for advancement to the next higher step.
  • You must not have received an "equivalent increase" in pay during the waiting period (e.g. promotion).

Waiting Periods:

Steps 1-4

1 Year (52 Weeks)

Steps 5-7

2 Years (104 Weeks)

Steps 8-10

3 Years (156 Weeks)

Promotions: A promotion is a change of an employee’s grade from one GS grade to a higher GS grade.  Promotions are not guaranteed.


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Updated January 17, 2020