Salary & Benefits

Salary and Compensation

Base Annual Salary Range for Year 2016:

$34,865 (GS grade 5, Step 1) to $57,093 (GS grade 9, Step 10)  Note: This salary range does not include the 25% law enforcement availability pay (LEAP) or the locality pay.

Base salary will depend upon grade qualifications. Application materials will be reviewed by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to determine the grade for which an applicant may qualify. A second review is done once the applicant has cleared all parts of the process and is ready for selection. All applicants must meet basic qualifications at the General Schedule (GS) grade 5 to be eligible to take the ATF special agent exam (see the basic GS grade qualifications section in the announcement).

Locality Pay:

All ATF duty stations qualify for locality pay. Special agents receive an additional percentage of their base salary, depending upon their locations. The current range of locality pay is 14.3516% to 35.175%.

Law Enforcement Availability Pay (LEAP):

Because of the type of work and additional work hours, special agents receive 25% law enforcement availability pay, which is added to locality pay.

Foreign Language Award Program:

The Foreign Language Award Program authorizes cash awards for ATF employees who possess and make substantial use of one or more foreign language(s) in the performance of their official duties. The award is based upon proficiency and substantial usage.

Promotion Potential:

The full performance level for this position is GS grade 13. ($73,846 - $96,004 - excludes locality pay).  Note: Promotions are based upon performance and must receive supervisory approval.


  • Annual leave (vacation time) is earned at the rate of 13-26 days per year, with a maximum accumulation of 240 hours per year.
  • Sick leave is earned at the rate of 13 days per year and may be accumulated without limit.
  • Paid holidays.
  • Low cost health insurance with the option to choose from a variety of plans.
  • Low cost life insurance.
  • Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) benefits. Special agents may retire at age 50 with 20 years of service. Age 57 is the mandatory retirement age, with 20 years of service.
  • Tax-deferred Thrift Savings Plan (TSP).
  • Health improvement (physical fitness) program.

Federal benefits and additional related information are available on the following websites:

Last Reviewed March 29, 2017