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Federal Wage System

The Department of Defense (DOD) conducts Federal Wage Surveys (FWS) and establishes pay rates for all regular FWS wage schedules and most special FWS wage schedules. One of the key statutory principles underlying the FWS is that employee pay rates are maintained in line with prevailing levels of pay for comparable levels of work in the private sector within a local wage area.

To carry out this statutory principle, DCPAS conducts annual wage surveys to collect wage data from private sector establishments to establish FWS schedules , Special Pay schedules, and Payband schedules. DCPAS works with both management and labor to conduct local prevailing rate wage surveys to develop and adjust pay schedules under the FWS. Separate wage schedules are developed for appropriated fund hourly employees and nonappropriated craft, trade, labor, administrative, and patron services occupations. DCPAS also conducts occupational/industry surveys to establish pay for DOD educators, civilian mariners, power generation employees, and health care professionals.