5 U.S. Code § 5104 - Basis for grading positions

The General Schedule, the symbol for which is “GS”, is the basic pay schedule for positions to which this chapter applies. The General Schedule is divided into grades of difficulty and responsibility of work, as follows:
(1) Grade GS–1 includes those classes of positions the duties of which are to perform, under immediate supervision, with little or no latitude for the exercise of independent judgment—
(A) the simplest routine work in office, business, or fiscal operations; or
(B) elementary work of a subordinate technical character in a professional, scientific, or technical field.
(2) Grade GS–2 includes those classes of positions the duties of which are—
(A) to perform, under immediate supervision, with limited latitude for the exercise of independent judgment, routine work in office, business, or fiscal operations, or comparable subordinate technical work of limited scope in a professional, scientific, or technical field, requiring some training or experience; or
(B) to perform other work of equal importance, difficulty, and responsibility, and requiring comparable qualifications.
(3) Grade GS–3 includes those classes of positions the duties of which are—
(A) to perform, under immediate or general supervision, somewhat difficult and responsible work in office, business, or fiscal operations, or comparable subordinate technical work of limited scope in a professional, scientific, or technical field, requiring in either case—
(i) some training or experience;
(ii) working knowledge of a special subject matter; or
(iii) to some extent the exercise of independent judgment in accordance with well-established policies, procedures, and techniques; or
(B) to perform other work of equal importance, difficulty, and responsibility, and requiring comparable qualifications.
(4) Grade GS–4 includes those classes of positions the duties of which are—
(A) to perform, under immediate or general supervision, moderately difficult and responsible work in office, business, or fiscal operations, or comparable subordinate technical work in a professional, scientific, or technical field, requiring in either case—
(i) a moderate amount of training and minor supervisory or other experience;
(ii) good working knowledge of a special subject matter or a limited field of office, laboratory, engineering, scientific, or other procedure and practice; and
(iii) the exercise of independent judgment in accordance with well-established policies, procedures, and techniques; or
(B) to perform other work of equal importance, difficulty, and responsibility, and requiring comparable qualifications.
(5) Grade GS–5 includes those classes of positions the duties of which are—
(A) to perform, under general supervision, difficult and responsible work in office, business, or fiscal administration, or comparable subordinate technical work in a professional, scientific, or technical field, requiring in either case—
(i) considerable training and supervisory or other experience;
(ii) broad working knowledge of a special subject matter or of office, laboratory, engineering, scientific, or other procedure and practice; and
(iii) the exercise of independent judgment in a limited field;
(B) to perform, under immediate supervision, and with little opportunity for the exercise of independent judgment, simple and elementary work requiring professional, scientific, or technical training; or
(C) to perform other work of equal importance, difficulty, and responsibility, and requiring comparable qualifications.
(6) Grade GS–6 includes those classes of positions the duties of which are—
(A) to perform, under general supervision, difficult and responsible work in office, business, or fiscal administration, or comparable subordinate technical work in a professional, scientific, or technical field, requiring in either case—
(i) considerable training and supervisory or other experience;
(ii) broad working knowledge of a special and complex subject matter, procedure, or practice, or of the principles of the profession, art, or science involved; and
(iii) to a considerable extent the exercise of independent judgment; or
(B) to perform other work of equal importance, difficulty, and responsibility, and requiring comparable qualifications.
(7) Grade GS–7 includes those classes of positions the duties of which are—
(A) to perform, under general supervision, work of considerable difficulty and responsibility along special technical or supervisory lines in office, business, or fiscal administration, or comparable subordinate technical work in a professional, scientific, or technical field, requiring in either case—
(i) considerable specialized or supervisory training and experience;
(ii) comprehensive working knowledge of a special and complex subject matter; procedure, or practice, or of the principles of the profession, art, or science involved; and
(iii) to a considerable extent the exercise of independent judgment;
(B) under immediate or general supervision, to perform somewhat difficult work requiring—
(i) professional, scientific, or technical training; and
(ii) to a limited extent, the exercise of independent technical judgment; or
(C) to perform other work of equal importance, difficulty, and responsibility, and requiring comparable qualifications.
(8) Grade GS–8 includes those classes of positions the duties of which are—
(A) to perform, under general supervision, very difficult and responsible work along special technical or supervisory lines in office, business, or fiscal administration, requiring—
(i) considerable specialized or supervisory training and experience;
(ii) comprehensive and thorough working knowledge of a specialized and complex subject matter, procedure, or practice, or of the principles of the profession, art, or science involved; and
(iii) to a considerable extent the exercise of independent judgment; or
(B) to perform other work of equal importance, difficulty, and responsibility, and requiring comparable qualifications.
(9) Grade GS–9 includes those classes of positions the duties of which are—
(A) to perform, under general supervision, very difficult and responsible work along special technical, supervisory, or administrative lines in office, business, or fiscal administration, requiring—
(i) somewhat extended specialized training and considerable specialized, supervisory, or administrative experience which has demonstrated capacity for sound independent work;
(ii) thorough and fundamental knowledge of a special and complex subject matter, or of the profession, art, or science involved; and
(iii) considerable latitude for the exercise of independent judgment;
(B) with considerable latitude for the exercise of independent judgment, to perform moderately difficult and responsible work, requiring—
(i) professional, scientific, or technical training equivalent to that represented by graduation from a college or university of recognized standing; and
(ii) considerable additional professional, scientific, or technical training or experience which has demonstrated capacity for sound independent work; or
(C) to perform other work of equal importance, difficulty, and responsibility, and requiring comparable qualifications.
(10) Grade GS–10 includes those classes of positions the duties of which are—
(A) to perform, under general supervision, highly difficult and responsible work along special technical, supervisory, or administrative lines in office, business, or fiscal administration, requiring—
(i) somewhat extended specialized, supervisory, or administrative training and experience which has demonstrated capacity for sound independent work;
(ii) thorough and fundamental knowledge of a specialized and complex subject matter, or of the profession, art, or science involved; and
(iii) considerable latitude for the exercise of independent judgment; or
(B) to perform other work of equal importance, difficulty, and responsibility, and requiring comparable qualifications.
(11) Grade GS–11 includes those classes of positions the duties of which are—
(A) to perform, under general administrative supervision and with wide latitude for the exercise of independent judgment, work of marked difficulty and responsibility along special technical, supervisory, or administrative lines in office, business, or fiscal administration, requiring—
(i) extended specialized, supervisory, or administrative training and experience which has demonstrated important attainments and marked capacity for sound independent action or decision; and
(ii) intimate grasp of a specialized and complex subject matter, or of the profession, art, or science involved, or of administrative work of marked difficulty;
(B) with wide latitude for the exercise of independent judgment, to perform responsible work of considerable difficulty requiring somewhat extended professional, scientific, or technical training and experience which has demonstrated important attainments and marked capacity for independent work; or
(C) to perform other work of equal importance, difficulty, and responsibility, and requiring comparable qualifications.
(12) Grade GS–12 includes those classes of positions the duties of which are—
(A) to perform, under general administrative supervision, with wide latitude for the exercise of independent judgment, work of a very high order of difficulty and responsibility along special technical, supervisory, or administrative lines in office, business, or fiscal administration, requiring—
(i) extended specialized, supervisory, or administrative training and experience which has demonstrated leadership and attainments of a high order in specialized or administrative work; and
(ii) intimate grasp of a specialized and complex subject matter or of the profession, art, or science involved;
(B) under general administrative supervision, and with wide latitude for the exercise of independent judgment, to perform professional, scientific, or technical work of marked difficulty and responsibility requiring extended professional, scientific, or technical training and experience which has demonstrated leadership and attainments of a high order in professional, scientific, or technical research, practice, or administration; or
(C) to perform other work of equal importance, difficulty, and responsibility, and requiring comparable qualifications.
(13) Grade GS–13 includes those classes of positions the duties of which are—
(A) to perform, under administrative direction, with wide latitude for the exercise of independent judgment, work of unusual difficulty and responsibility along special technical, supervisory, or administrative lines, requiring extended specialized, supervisory, or administrative training and experience which has demonstrated leadership and marked attainments;
(B) to serve as assistant head of a major organization involving work of comparable level within a bureau;
(C) to perform, under administrative direction, with wide latitude for the exercise of independent judgment, work of unusual difficulty and responsibility requiring extended professional, scientific, or technical training and experience which has demonstrated leadership and marked attainments in professional, scientific, or technical research, practice, or administration; or
(D) to perform other work of equal importance, difficulty, and responsibility, and requiring comparable qualifications.
(14) Grade GS–14 includes those classes of positions the duties of which are—
(A) to perform, under general administrative direction, with wide latitude for the exercise of independent judgment, work of exceptional difficulty and responsibility along special technical, supervisory, or administrative lines which has demonstrated leadership and unusual attainments;
(B) to serve as head of a major organization within a bureau involving work of comparable level;
(C) to plan and direct or to plan and execute major professional, scientific, technical, administrative, fiscal, or other specialized programs, requiring extended training and experience which has demonstrated leadership and unusual attainments in professional, scientific, or technical research, practice, or administration, or in administrative, fiscal, or other specialized activities; or
(D) to perform consulting or other professional, scientific, technical, administrative, fiscal, or other specialized work of equal importance, difficulty, and responsibility, and requiring comparable qualifications.
(15) Grade GS–15 includes those classes of positions the duties of which are—
(A) to perform, under general administrative direction, with very wide latitude for the exercise of independent judgment, work of outstanding difficulty and responsibility along special technical, supervisory, or administrative lines which has demonstrated leadership and exceptional attainments;
(B) to serve as head of a major organization within a bureau involving work of comparable level;
(C) to plan and direct or to plan and execute specialized programs of marked difficulty, responsibility, and national significance, along professional, scientific, technical, administrative, fiscal, or other lines, requiring extended training and experience which has demonstrated leadership and unusual attainments in professional, scientific, or technical research, practice, or administration, or in administrative, fiscal, or other specialized activities; or
(D) to perform consulting or other professional, scientific, technical, administrative, fiscal, or other specialized work of equal importance, difficulty, and responsibility, and requiring comparable qualifications.

Source

(Pub. L. 89–554, Sept. 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 446; Pub. L. 101–509, title V, § 529 [title I, § 102(b)(1)], Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1427, 1443.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Derivation U.S. Code Revised Statutes and Statutes at Large
5 U.S.C. 1111. Oct. 28, 1949, ch. 782, § 601, 63 Stat. 959.
Sept. 1, 1954, ch. 1208, § 107, 68 Stat. 1108.
5 U.S.C. 1112. Oct. 28, 1949, ch. 782, § 602, 63 Stat. 959.
Sept. 1, 1954, ch. 1208, § 108, 68 Stat. 1108.
June 20, 1958, Pub. L. 85–462, § 13(a), 72 Stat. 214.

Former sections 1111 and 1112 are combined and restated.
Standard changes are made to conform with the definitions applicable and the style of this title as outlined in the preface to the report.
References in Text

The General Schedule, referred to in text, is set out under section 5332 of this title.
Amendments

1990—Pub. L. 101–509struck out “18” before “grades” in introductory provisions and struck out pars. (16) to (18) which described grades GS–16 to GS–18.
Effective Date of 1990 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 101–509effective on such date as the President shall determine, but not earlier than 90 days, and not later than 180 days, after Nov. 5, 1990, see section 529 [title III, § 305] of Pub. L. 101–509, set out as a note under section 5301 of this title.
Job Evaluation Policy Act of 1970

Pub. L. 91–216, May 17, 1970, 84 Stat. 72, provided: “That this Act may be cited as the ‘Job Evaluation Policy Act of 1970’.
“Title I—Congressional Findings With Respect to Job Evaluation and Ranking in the Executive Branch

“Sec. 101. The Congress hereby finds that—
“(1) the tremendous growth required in the activities of the Federal Government in order to meet the country’s needs during the past several decades has led to the need for employees in an ever-increasing and changing variety of occupations and professions, many of which did not exist when the basic principles of job evaluation and ranking were established by the Classification Act of 1923 [Act Mar. 4, 1923, ch. 265, 42 Stat. 1488]. The diverse and constantly changing nature of these occupations and professions requires that the Federal Government reassess its approach to job evaluation and ranking better to fulfill its role as an employer and assure efficient economical administration;
“(2) the large number and variety of job evaluation and ranking systems in the executive branch have resulted in significant inequities in selection, promotion, and pay of employees in comparable positions among these systems;
“(3) little effort has been made by Congress or the executive branch to consolidate or coordinate the various job evaluation and ranking systems, and there has been no progress toward the establishment of a coordinated system in which job evaluation and ranking, regardless of the methods used, is related to a unified set of principles providing coherence and equity throughout the executive branch;
“(4) within the executive branch, there has been no significant study of, or experimentation with the several recognized methods of job evaluation and ranking to determine which of those methods are most appropriate for use and application to meet the present and future needs of the Federal Government; and
“(5) notwithstanding the recommendations resulting from the various studies conducted during the last twenty years, the Federal Government has not taken the initiative to implement those recommendations with respect to the job evaluation and ranking systems within the executive branch, with the result that such systems have not, in many cases, been adapted or administered to meet the rapidly changing needs of the Federal Government.
“Title II—Statement of Policy

“Sec. 201. It is the sense of Congress that—
“(1) the executive branch shall, in the interest of equity, efficiency, and good administration, operate under a coordinated job evaluation and ranking system for all civilian positions, to the greatest extent practicable;
“(2) the system shall be designed so as to utilize such methods of job evaluation and ranking as are appropriate for use in the executive branch, taking into account the various occupational categories of positions therein; and
“(3) the United States Civil Service Commission shall be authorized to exercise general supervision and control over such a system.
“Title III—Preparation of a Job Evaluation and Ranking Plan By the Civil Service Commission and Reports and Recommendations to Congress

“Sec. 301. The Civil Service Commission, through such organizational unit which it shall establish within the Commission and which shall report directly to the Commission, shall prepare a comprehensive plan for the establishment of a coordinated system of job evaluation and ranking for civilian positions, in the executive branch. The plan shall include, among other things—
“(1) provision for the establishment of a method or methods for evaluating jobs and alining them by level;
“(2) a time schedule for the conversion of existing job evaluation and ranking systems into the coordinated system;
“(3) provision that the Civil Service Commission shall have general supervision of and control over the coordinated job evaluation and ranking system, including, if the Commission deems it appropriate, the authority to approve or disapprove the adoption, use and administration in the executive branch of the method or methods established under that system;
“(4) provision for the establishment of procedures for the periodic review by the Civil Service Commission of the effectiveness of the method or methods adopted for use under the system; and
“(5) provision for maintenance of the system to meet the changing needs of the executive branch in the future.
“Sec. 302. In carrying out its functions under section 301 of this Act, the Commission shall consider all recognized methods of job evaluation and ranking.
“Sec. 303. The Civil Service Commission is authorized to secure directly from any executive agency, as defined by section 105 of title 5, United States Code, or any bureau, office, or part thereof, information, suggestions, estimates, statistics, and technical assistance for the purposes of this Act; and each such executive agency or bureau, office, or part thereof is authorized and directed to furnish such information, suggestions, estimates, statistics, and technical assistance directly to the Civil Service Commission upon request by the Commission.
“Sec. 304. (a) Within one year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Commission shall submit to the President and the Congress an interim progress report on the current status and results of its activities under this Act, together with its current findings.
“(b) Within two years after the date of enactment of this Act [Mar. 17, 1970]—
“(1) the Civil Service Commission shall complete its functions under this Act and shall transmit to the President a comprehensive report of the result of its activities, together with its recommendations (including its draft of proposed legislation to carry out such recommendations), and
“(2) the President shall transmit that report (including the recommendations and draft of proposed legislation of the Commission) to the Congress, together with such recommendations as the President deems appropriate.
“(c) The Commission shall submit to the Committees on Post Office and Civil Service of the Senate and House of Representatives once each calendar month, or at such other intervals as may be directed by those committees, or either of them, an interim progress report on the then current status and results of the activities of the Commission under this Act, together with the then current findings of the Commission.
“(d) The Commission shall periodically consult with, and solicit the views of, appropriate employee and professional organizations.
“(e) The organizational unit established under section 301 of this Act shall cease to exist upon the submission of the report to the Congress under subsection (b) of this section.”

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