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.
- 5 CFR 532– Prevailing Rate Systems
- Compensation Policy Memorandum - Update to FY 2021 Prevailing Rate Pay Adjustments
- DOD Instruction 5120.39, “DOD Wage Fixing Authority - Appropriated Fund and Nonappropriated Fund Compensation Programs, Incorporating Change 1, July 26, 2017”
- History of Wage and Information Fact Sheet
- OPM Pay & Leave, Pay Systems – Appropriated Fund Operating Manual
- OPM Pay & Leave, Pay Systems – Nonappropriated Fund Operating Manual
- Public Law 92-392- Prevailing Rate Systems