Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

October 30, 2006

Inside DHS: average salaries by agency

Filed under: Budgets and Spending,DHS News — by Christian Beckner on October 30, 2006

In a post last week, I linked to a document on the Government Printing Office website that contained the full congressional justifications for the FY 2007 DHS budget request. In that post, I mentioned that it contained a wealth of information for DHS-watchers about the Department. On that note, I went through the document to research one topic that I haven’t seen analyzed previously: the average salaries within each of the constituent parts of DHS, which can be estimated by analyzing the “Permanent Positions by Grade” charts that are found throughout the document. You can see the full results of that analysis in this Excel spreadsheet, which computes average salaries for FY 2006. Some key findings:

  1. The average salary of the 177,844 DHS employees included on the spreadsheet was $56,334 in FY 2006.
  2. The average salary of a civilian (i.e. non-military Coast Guard) General Service (GS) or GS-equivalent civilian employee (e.g. TSA, which has a different pay-band system) was $56,319. And the average salary of a civilian Executive Service (ES) or ES-equivalent employee at DHS was $151,376 in FY 2006.
  3. Within both categories (ES and GS) there is a lot of variation among agencies and sub-agencies in terms of average pay. Part of this is due to natural variations in the years of experience and skill requirements of employees, and/or is abnormal due to a small sample size, but it’s difficult to tell if it’s all attributable to these differences. The highest paying-components of DHS in the analysis (ES+GS) are as follows:
    • US-VISIT, $151,197 average salary (115 employees).
    • Office of the Undersecretary for Preparedness, $131,360 (85 employees).
    • Infrastructure Protection and Information Security, $118,425 (445 employees)
    • FEMA, Disaster Relief Account, $115,781 (25 employees).
    • DHS Chief Information Officer, $112,590 (78 employees).
    • US Coast Guard, Acquisition Account (Civilian), $112,311 (345 employees).

    And the lowest-paying accounts are as follows:

    • TSA, Aviation Security, $36,387 (51,275 employees).
    • ICE, Immigration User Fee Account, $39,050 (275 employees).
    • ICE, Breached Bond Detention Fund, $41,084 (63 employees).
    • CBP, Puerto Rico Account, $51,098 (654 employees).
    • US Coast Guard Military, $54,715 (39,764 employees).
    • Customs and Border Protection, $59,852 (34,319 employees).

You can see the full analysis by downloading the spreadsheet which contains the complete analysis. Note that the Federal Air Marshal Service is not included within the scope of this analysis, because statistics on its workforce are classified.

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2 Comments »

Comment by William R. Cumming

October 31, 2006 @ 6:37 am

No salaries of full-time permanent career civil servants are paid out of the Disaster Relief Fund. The 25 listed must be temporary positions including overtime pay and benefits, not just direct salary. Incidentally, two career SES positions were just filled not by up from the ranks career civil servants but former non-career appointees. This of course tends to discourage and undermine the career civil service system even if not technically illegal assuming the individuals were fully qualified. And by the way FEMA lost over 20 CAREER SES positions when it entered DHS. I assume the positons ended up elsewhere in DHS probably mostly as political appointees.

Comment by Sidney Lidge

August 6, 2010 @ 1:44 am

Great detailed information, I ll be visiting you more frequently, here is very interesting information. If you can file jointly you’ll save a bundle on your taxes, up to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the amount you earn.

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