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Department of Defense


The Department of Defense (DoD) is charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government relating directly to national security and the United States armed forces. The mission of the Department of Defense is to provide the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of our country.

The Department of Defense is America's oldest and largest government agency -tracing its roots back to pre-Revolutionary times. Today, the Department is not only in charge of the military, but it also employs a civilian force of thousands. With over 1.4 million men and women on active duty, and 718,000 civilian personnel, DoD is the nation's largest employer. Another 1.1 million serve in the National Guard and Reserve forces. More than 2 million military retirees and their family members receive benefits.

Perhaps you are working for the DoD or interested in working for the DoD. Here is a forum to share your experience with the DoD.
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RWB_1893  
#1 Posted : Friday, July 13, 2018 2:17:55 PM(UTC)
RWB_1893

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I was hired as an engineer at a GS-5 Step 10. Where I am it's not even $50k a year which is terrible given this is one of the most expensive areas of the country. My next step is a GS-7 Step 4. That's not even $50k either! You can get hired as a GS-7 Step 10 if you had a 3.0 gpa. When I went to college, I was an older, nontraditional student. My goal didn't reflect me accurately. I have many years of military experience. There's kids out of college making more than me and they know nothing about this branch of military. I really like the job so far but I have a friend who was just hired, entry level at a car manufacturing plant and they are starting at $74k. They said I should apply, gpa doesn't matter. Just crazy how ripped off I feel. The pay is way below the starting salary of my degree. I had other offers but I enjoy working for and serving my country. Do I have any options, legal options or anyone else been in this situation? Thanks!

Edited by user Friday, July 13, 2018 4:43:33 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Endless Summer  
#2 Posted : Friday, July 13, 2018 2:50:57 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: RWB_1893 Go to Quoted Post
So I was goes as an engineer. GS-5 Step 10. Where I am it's not even $50k a year which is terrible given this is one of the most expensive areas of the country. Next step is GS-7 Step 4. That's not even $50k either!!! You can get hired in at a GS-7 Step 10 if you had a 3.0 but I have Monday experience. There's kids out of college making me than me and they know nothing about this branch of military. I really like the job so far but my friend was just hired, entry level at a car manufacturing plant and they are starting at $74k. They said I should apply, gpa doesn't matter. Just crazy how ripped off I feel. The pay is wayyy below the starting salary of my degree. I had other offers but I enjoy working for and serving my country. Do I have any options, legal options or anyone else been in this situation? Thanks!


Not meaning to sound overly harsh but if this is an example of your sober language skills you're lucky to have any job at all.

I've never heard of any connection between GPA and Grade/step.
** does "Monday Experience" mean?
How did you not know how much you'd be making before you were hired?
Your legal options are that you can quit and get a job at the car plant.
FatHappyCat  
#3 Posted : Friday, July 13, 2018 11:37:21 PM(UTC)

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Really don't know what to say. I have to assume you made this decision with informed consent knowing full well that starting at a lower grade would limit the various future positions you can apply for.

If you're in it for the money, you're definitely in the wrong place especially if you're a PE. You trade stability and good working hours for generally a below market income. Ultimately you need to decide what's more important to you; the money or the benefits of working for the government.
HR Bubba  
#4 Posted : Monday, July 16, 2018 2:54:09 AM(UTC)

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With regard to "My next step is a GS-7 Step 4." Using the 2 step promotion rule you should get step 5, not step 4.
birdonamission  
#5 Posted : Monday, July 16, 2018 12:08:42 PM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: RWB_1893 Go to Quoted Post
I had other offers but I enjoy working for and serving my country.


I like that -- but do realize even if you serve outside of DoD, you definitely would still be working for and serving our country. Think of the many Americans who rely on their social security benefits (SSA), veterans who need healthcare (VA), families who travel around to see the beautiful and historic sites around the country (the U.S. Park Service), etc. People also like to get their tax refunds (IRS)... LOL

SD Analyst  
#6 Posted : Monday, July 16, 2018 2:32:46 PM(UTC)
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You can quit, take that job at the car plant, then after some time, reapply to the USG as a GS-11 or 12. That's a reasonable grade for an Engineer. I have never heard of hiring one as a GS-5!! Once you are out of the USG, then you can come back and negotiate your pay. Like if they offer you a 9 or 11, request a higher step, even up to Step 10, based on your current salary (at the car plant or wherever). I would def not stay in your current situation.

In my opinion, you should never have accepted the GS-5. You should have held out for at least a 9!
someoldguy  
#7 Posted : Monday, July 16, 2018 3:00:17 PM(UTC)
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I knew a guy who also got hired as a GS-5 with an engineering degree with a GPA under 3.0; in his case, he was able to get promoted after six months.

However, when you go to apply to new jobs now outside the government, the salary offers will largely be pegged to your current salary.
DISCLAIMER: You read it on an open internet forum :)
Tic3  
#8 Posted : Wednesday, July 18, 2018 8:47:20 AM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: RWB_1893 Go to Quoted Post
I was hired as an engineer at a GS-5 Step 10. Where I am it's not even $50k a year which is terrible given this is one of the most expensive areas of the country. My next step is a GS-7 Step 4. That's not even $50k either! You can get hired as a GS-7 Step 10 if you had a 3.0 gpa. When I went to college, I was an older, nontraditional student. My goal didn't reflect me accurately. I have many years of military experience. There's kids out of college making more than me and they know nothing about this branch of military. I really like the job so far but I have a friend who was just hired, entry level at a car manufacturing plant and they are starting at $74k. They said I should apply, gpa doesn't matter. Just crazy how ripped off I feel. The pay is way below the starting salary of my degree. I had other offers but I enjoy working for and serving my country. Do I have any options, legal options or anyone else been in this situation? Thanks!


You're kidding right? I'm serious. You've got to be kidding, right?

You applied for and accepted a job that offered you a GS-05 salary and you want "legal options" for ... what, exactly? I'm genuinely curious what you think you have a legal claim for.

I'm not sure if you're aware of this or not (apparently not), but Federal government jobs do not pay based on what you think you're worth. For all Federal jobs, it's the duties of the position that determine the pay rate. Your education and experience have nothing to do with job classification.

Edited by user Wednesday, July 18, 2018 8:51:07 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

thanks 1 user thanked for this useful post.
TrumpsterFire on 8/9/2018(UTC)
FedCivServ  
#9 Posted : Wednesday, July 18, 2018 9:55:08 AM(UTC)

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All that's true. However, the OP should definitely start looking for other jobs because even though he/she willingly took a GS-5 job, engineers can (and do) make a lot more in the government. Get on USAJOBs and start applying. Take special note of the "open to the public" jobs so you can be considered for a higher grade.
j2huggies  
#10 Posted : Saturday, July 21, 2018 10:24:40 AM(UTC)
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Um, you accepted the position knowing what you were getting...
-J Hughes
USAF Veteran 2004-2012
DA Civilian Police Officer
Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD
JustFedUp  
#11 Posted : Saturday, July 21, 2018 8:03:48 PM(UTC)
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The OP can take solice knowing that the average salary for a barista in Los Angeles is $24,000.

I've chatted with many with master's degrees.
TrumpsterFire  
#12 Posted : Sunday, August 12, 2018 12:56:20 PM(UTC)
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Why do you think you deserve a higher pay-grade? Military experience has nothing to do with engineering, you sound like an entitled veteran. After all, your military experience did not help you achieve a better GPA (>3.0). What was your "goal" and how did it not reflect you accurately?
FrankSR  
#13 Posted : Monday, August 13, 2018 4:49:11 AM(UTC)
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A degree isn’t too special these days. Just take it for what it is and go look elsewhere at something that interests you in a part of the country that isn’t expensive.
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