What positions does the General Schedule cover?
The General Schedule is the federal government’s main pay system that sets the pay rates for employees in most white-collar positions not at the senior executive or other senior levels. The General Schedule is composed of 15 grades, or salary levels. Each grade includes 10 steps, roughly 3 percent apart, through which employees advance based on satisfactory job performance and length of service.

General Schedule jobs commonly fall into one five occupational categories professional, administrative, technical, clerical, and other—the so-called PATCO system. Pay scales are locality-based, meaning that rates for the same grade and step vary from one place to another.

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