June 30, 2022

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Legal With Effect

Top 10 Highest Paying Federal Government Jobs In 2021

Federal government jobs are diverse and the salaries vary widely. Which federal jobs have the highest average salary? How do other professions compare with those that have the highest average salary?

Here are several examples. The data are provided FedsDataCenter.com, which is a database of individual federal employee salaries. For guidance on how to use this database, check out How to Find Federal Employees’ Salaries by Name.

All data are from the fiscal year 2021 and are provided by federal agencies. The database is provided and maintained by FedsDataCenter.com.

Federal Government Jobs With Highest Average Salary

Which federal government jobs have the highest average salary? Here is a listing of these professions showing the “top ten” with the highest and lowest average salaries in each profession.

Profession Average Salary In $
MEDICAL OFFICER 253,314.64
SECURITIES COMPLIANCE EXAMINING 204,100.69
DENTAL OFFICER 191,277.51
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE 180,517.02
ANESTHESIA 173,884.09
PATENT ATTORNEY 173,269.86
PATENT ADMINISTRATION 171,135.6
TECHNICAL SYSTEMS PROGRAM MANAGER 165,359.39
CHIEF ENGINEER 162,032.06
PODIATRIST 160,114.04

One Highest-Paid Federal Government Job: Administrative Law Judges

The federal pay system has grown much more complex over time. The highest salaries may vary considerably from the average and many of these higher average salaries are different than the General Schedule salaries. Note, for example, the number of professions listed above in the medical field.

From the FedsDataCenter.com database, here are the highest salaries listed in the database for a couple of these professions: Administrative Law Judge.

Name Grade Pay Plan Salary Agency
CARLOS, TIERNEY MICHAEL 3 AL $183,300.00 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
SULLIVAN, J E 3 AL $183,300.00 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
NAME WITHHELD BY AGENCY 3 AL $183,300.00 DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
NAME WITHHELD BY AGENCY 3 AL $183,300.00 DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
NAME WITHHELD BY AGENCY 3 AL $183,300.00 DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
WELCH, DAVID L 2 AL $183,300.00 FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
PEARSON, RICHARD A. 3 AL $183,300.00 FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
CENTER, CHARLES R 3 AL $183,300.00 FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
STROTHER, CHANNING DELAPLANE 2 AL $183,300.00 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Highest-Paid Federal Government Jobs in Human Resources Management

While these are the professions with the highest average salary, there are some other areas that pay high salaries as well. For example, here are the highest-paid federal employees with the title of “Human Resources Management”.

These are among the highest-paid human resources professionals in the federal government. They do not appear among the top ten professions with the highest average salary as the human resources field consists of people in much lower-paying jobs who are not managers.

Here are the “top 10” highest-paid federal employees of “Human Resources Management” as assigned by their agencies.

Name Grade Pay Plan Salary Agency Location
CUFFEE-GRAVES, CASSANDRA LANELL 8 NB $279,615.00 DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON
PLITT, BRIDGET LOUISE 7 NB $279,300.00 DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON
EVANS, YVETTE H 0 CX $273,400.00 FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION WASHINGTON
CHARLES, JOY C 6 NB $273,205.00 DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON
SMITH, TRINETTE KARENA 17 SK $255,800.00 SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION WASHINGTON
FISHER, SIAN MARY 0 EM $255,000.00 FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION WASHINGTON
JONES, RHONDA W 7 NB $253,956.00 DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON
MACKLIN, ALICE Y 15 CT $251,980.00 COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION WASHINGTON
SCHMIDT, SHANNON W 15 CT $251,980.00 COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION WASHINGTON
GREEN, ADRIANNE BIANCA 7 NB $251,533.00 DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON

Highest Paid “Chief Engineer” Federal Government Jobs

The position of “Chief Engineer” qualifies as one of the “top ten” highest-paid federal government jobs. While the average salary for this position is $162,032, the individuals who are receiving the highest salaries obviously make more than average.

Here is a listing of the top ten people in the federal government with the position of “Chief Engineer” according to the FedsDataCenter.com database.

Name Grade Pay System Salary Agency Location
ANGLEBERGER, JEFFERY J 1 WM $169,249.00 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE DAVISVILLE
BATTLES, SEAN M 1 WM $169,249.00 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE WOODS HOLE
BROWN, JAMES LLOYD 1 WM $171,689.00 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE SAN DIEGO
CLEARY, THOMAS J 1 WM $165,297.00 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE NORFOLK
CURRIE, ALAN G 10 WM $177,331.00 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE NEWPORT
DARGA, LAWRENCE JAMES 0 WB $66,053.55 DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR CHEBOYGAN
DAVIS, COLIN ERIC 1 WM $169,249.00 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE WOODS HOLE
DELTORTO, JOSEPH A 1 WM $169,249.00 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE WOODS HOLE
DENNIS, ROBERT W 1 WM $171,689.00 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE SAN DIEGO
GIANELLONI, TODD S 1 WM $165,297.00 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE NORFOLK

Why Are Salaries of Federal Federal Government Jobs Public Information?

The current policy of releasing names and federal pay started in 2005. At that time, the Bush administration started withholding salary information from the public for about 900,000 federal civilian employees. The practice of refusing to release the information was “breaking a tradition of openness that began in 1816” according to a lawsuit filed by a group at Syracuse University under the Freedom of Information Act.

The group argued that “Citizens have a right to know who is working for the government” and the new policy changed that policy.

The federal government began publicly naming its employees, their job category, salary, and workplace in 1816. The first entry in the 1816 version of the Federal Register was James Madison. He was identified as president of the United States at a salary of $25,000 and that his birthplace was in Virginia. The second entry was Secretary of State James Monroe and noted his salary of $5,000.

It wasn’t just political leaders who were listed. According to an article in the Washington Post, Treasury Department messenger John Connell was from Maryland and worked in Washington for the federal government at a salary of $410 a year, and another Marylander, Richard H. Briscoe, worked for the Comptroller’s Office clerk for $1,000 a year.

© 2022 Ralph R. Smith. All rights reserved. This article
may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ralph R. Smith.