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SEC Compensation Program

How the SEC Sets Salaries

The SEC’s pay-setting practices are structured to ensure consistency and objectivity by using tools termed “pay matrices.”  Specifically, use of the pay matrices ensures that a new employee’s pay is set commensurate with the experience – both “relevant” and ”specialized” -- that he or she brings to the position:

  • Relevant experience includes experience not directly related to the duties of the position but which nonetheless prepares the candidate for success in the position.
  • Specialized experience includes technical experience directly related to the duties of the position to be filled.

Information Used by Office of Human Resources Staff to Set Pay :

The resume a job candidate submits when applying for an SEC position is used by Office of Human Resources (OHR) Compensation Team to identify creditable relevant and/or specialized experience. The SEC encourages job candidates to provide the following information to ensure that compensation is set accurately:

  • Complete work history (e.g., not just the most recent 10 or 15 years)
  • Job titles
  • Duties for each job (be specific in describing the duties)
  • Start and end dates for each job, including month and year
  • Full-time or part-time status (include hours worked per week)

Base Pay Ranges

The base pay ranges for the different levels of SK series employees are as follows: 

SK Series Pay Chart
January 8, 2017
Level Minimum Maximum
SK-1 $21,103 $29,999
SK-2 $23,729 $33,732
SK-3 $25,889 $36,802
SK-4 $29,060 $41,305
SK-5 $32,517 $48,286
SK-6 $36,245 $53,821
SK-7 $40,279 $60,689
SK-8 $44,604 $67,209
SK-9 $49,267 $75,322
SK-10 $54,257 $82,950
SK-11 $59,612 $98,032
SK-12 $71,444 $117,500
SK-13 $84,961 $139,720
SK-14 $97,556 $160,431
SK-15 $103,413 $173,267
SK-16 $111,410 $183,661
SK-17 $118,096 $198,354

The salary cap, including locality pay, is $240,100 for all SK staff.

The base pay ranges for the different levels of Senior Officer positions are as follows:

New SO Pay Chart

Effective Date: January 8, 2017

New Pay Structure (No Locality)
SO Level New Minimum Maximum/Cap*
Level 1 $185,454 $245,830
Level 2 $185,454 $250,775
Level 3 $185,454 $250,775
SO 2017 Pay Caps (No Locality)
Level 1 $245,830
Level 2 & 3 $250,775

Locality Pay

The locality rates presented below are applied to an employee’s base pay based on his/her duty location.

2017 SEC Locality Rates

Locality Current Rate
Atlanta 20.70%
Boston 29.27%
Chicago 26.85%
Denver 24.65%
Forth Worth 22.61%
Los Angeles 29.65%
Miami 22.13%
New York 31.22%
Philadelphia 23.87%
Salt Lake City 15.06%
San Francisco 38.17%
Washington D.C. 27.10%

 Updated January 2017

All locations use minimum and maximum/cap.


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