Salary Schedules: Overview

Europe Educators and Administrators

The pay for DoDEA Europe educators and administrators in the Teaching Position (TP) pay plan is based on the pay for similar positions in urban school districts in the United States of 100,000 or more population. An educator's pay is based upon the educational level of the employee and the number of years of creditable experience.


The pay for Americas employees who are in the Administratively Determined (AD) pay plan is set in accordance with the applicable Bargaining Unit Agreement and may vary by location. However, administrators and certain support positions are not covered by a Bargaining Unit Agreement.

General Schedule (GS)

The GS is the Federal government's most common pay system and is composed of 15 grades (GS-1 to GS-15). Each grade includes ten steps through which employees advance based on satisfactory job performance and length of service. GS salaries are based on the principle that within each local pay area 1) there be equal pay for substantially equal work; 2) pay distinction based on work and performance; and 3) federal pay rates be comparable to non-federal pay rates for the same level of work.

National Security Personnel System (NSPS)

NSPS is the Department of Defense's (DoD) flexible and responsive civilian management system that values performance and contribution, encourages communication, supports broader skill development and promotes excellence in the workplace. Some DoDEA employees have been converted to NSPS based on their permanent position of record under the General Schedule (GS). When employees convert into NSPS, they experience no loss in pay. Employees in NSPS are placed into a Career Group, Pay Schedule and Pay Band based on their occupations and levels of duties and responsibilities.

Special Salary Rates (SSR)

Some employees under the GS pay plan have SSR that govern their pay. Such employees get the higher of their special pay rate or the GS locality pay rate. If their special pay rate exceeds their locality rate, any locality rate adjustment has no effect on their pay. Note: Special salary rate are authorized whenever the Office of the Personnel Management (OPM) finds that the Government's recruitment or retention efforts are or are likely to be adversely affected by a variety of factors, including significantly higher rates of pay offered by non-federal employers, the remoteness of the job's area or location, undersirable working conditions or duties, or other circumstances that OPM considers appropriate. Once established, each special rate is reviewed at least annually and adjustments made as warranted by existing labor market conditions and agency staffing needs.
Federal Wage System (FWS)

The pay for employees covered under the Federal Wage System or prevailing rate, commonly referred to as "blue collar" or "wage grade" (WG) workers is based on the prevailing rates for such work in a given geographical area. This special pay system covers trade, craft, labor, and other blue collar jobs. These employees are hourly rate workers who receive annual wage adjustments based on a review of comparability pay by wage area. Each wage area pay scale is divided into three classes: WG (worker), WL (leader), and WS (supervisor). The WG and WL classes of pay rates each have 15 grades with five steps in each, and the WS has 19 grades with 5 steps.

Senior Executive Service (SES)

The SES covers most of the managerial, supervisory, and policy positions in the executive branch that are classified above the GS-15 except those that require Senate confirmation. The National Defense Authorization Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-136, November 24, 2003) abolished the six level SES pay system, including locality pay for SES Members, and established a new performance-based pay system effective January 11, 2004.