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Understanding compensation and benefits

Government Pay Grades

TTS team members are hired for specific position descriptions at a specific grade level from the federal General Schedule (GS) (excluding Senior Executive Service positions). The GS system is a pay system for civilian employees in the federal government; evaluation and compensation varies by grade level. The qualification requirements for each position at a specific GS level are based on education, background, accomplishments, and experience. The specific requirements will always be listed in the job posting. Salaries of federal employees are public information, and your salary may become publicly available on sites such as FederalPay.org. Find out more about the GS system from the Office of Personnel Management.

Understanding Grade Levels

Federal employees on the general schedule range from GS-1 to GS-15. GS grade levels specify a fixed compensation range for a particular position, in particular geographic localities, within the federal government. Understanding the relationship between GS grade level, location, and compensation is important to understanding how salaries work at TTS.

Each GS grade level contains a series of 10 steps. New employees are usually hired at Step 1 of a GS grade. However, in special circumstances, agencies may authorize a higher step rate for a newly-appointed federal employee based on a special need of the agency or superior qualifications of the prospective employee.

Use this OPM General Schedule (GS) Salary Calculator to help you understand how GS level, step and locality affect compensation. The annual salary cap for all GS employees is $164,200 per year. You cannot be offered more than this under any circumstance.

Raises and Bonuses

A step increase is the most common kind of raise for GS employees, and the amount of time between step increases is dependent on the step. As a GS employee, you have to wait one year to increase to a step 2, 3, or 4. You must wait two years before increasing to step 5, 6, or 7. Lastly, you must wait three years before increasing to step 8, 9, or 10. This means that if you join TTS at step 1, you’ll proceed to step 2 the following year. If you join TTS at step 6, it will take two years to progress to step 7.

Bonuses are generally assessed after the year-end review process in late September and are awarded based on your performance review results. You must be a TTS employee for at least three months to get a performance review. Bonuses are awarded as either a small percentage of your annual salary or through allotment of additional paid leave.

Benefits and Leave

The benefits package for federal employees includes medical, vision, and dental insurance, FSA accounts, life insurance, paid leave, and the Thrift Savings Plan (the government version of a 401K) with up to five percent matching. Our telework policy affords increased flexibility, and employees who use public transit to commute may claim commuter benefits.

TTS also supports employees’ ongoing professional development by providing training opportunities and encouraging employees to participate in conferences, consortia, and other industry events.

The TTS Handbook has more information about working at TTS, including: