Understanding The Federal Process

by carlos 13. August 2007


When you're looking for a job with the Federal Government, half of the battle is getting the terminology.

I"m going to clear up one bit of nomenclature right here, right now. This is something I am asked about quite often. 

It is the the term "GS".  What does GS stand for?

No, it doesn't mean Government Servant! It simply means General Schedule. It is a pay-scale. Yes, that is it nice and easy...nice and neat.

You can go to...Federal-Resume.org... for an exact and detailed breakdown of the GS levels and the pay rate.

Here is a (General) breakdown of GS levels by level of education.

* GS-1: No high-school diploma.

* GS-2 (GS-3 for clerk stenographer positions): HS Diploma

* GS-3: A year of study after high school

* GS-4: AA or AS degree or 2 years of F.T. study after high school

* GS-5 or GS-6: depending on agency policy BS degree or 4 yrs full-time    study after HS

* GS-7: BA or BS degree plus 1 year of full-time graduate study

* GS-8(GS-11 for some research positions): Master's or 2 yrs full-time grad study

* GS-9: Law degree (J.D.or LL.B.)

* GS-11 (GS-12 for some research positions): Ph.D. or equivalent or advanced law degree

You can gain an increase in your GS level with Job Experience and by furthering your education.

It's a generally accepted rule that 1 year of work related experience can bump you one GS level. (in some positions)  In some positions the bump is two levels until you reach the GS-12 level.

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