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Nh-03 Pay Scale Guide With Locality Information For 2023

The NH pay scale is used to determine the salaries of white-collar government employees in professional, administrative, technical, and clerical positions.

If you’re looking for the latest NH-03 pay scale information including locality pay adjustments, you’ve come to the right place.

Here’s a quick answer:

The current base pay range for NH-03 goes from $52,000 to $96,000 annually. With locality pay factored in, salaries range from $86,000 in the lowest locality area to $143,000 in the highest locality area.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about the NH-03 pay grade, including an overview of the General Schedule pay system, a detailed NH-03 salary range breakdown with and without locality pay, an explanation of how locality pay is calculated, and examples of high, moderate, and low locality pay areas.

What Is the General Schedule Pay System?

The General Schedule (GS) pay system is a widely used pay scale system for federal employees in the United States.

It is administered by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and is used to determine the salaries of employees working in various government agencies and departments.

Definition of the General Schedule system

The General Schedule system consists of a series of pay grades, ranging from GS-1 to GS-15, with each grade having multiple steps.

The pay grades are based on the level of responsibility and the complexity of the work performed by the employees.

Higher grades indicate higher levels of responsibility and higher salaries.

History and purpose of the General Schedule

The General Schedule pay system was established in 1949 as part of the Classification Act.

Its purpose was to create a standardized system for determining salaries based on job responsibilities and qualifications.

This allowed for fair and equitable compensation across different federal agencies and departments.

Prior to the General Schedule system, federal employees were paid under various different pay scales, which led to inconsistencies and disparities in salaries.

The introduction of the General Schedule system brought uniformity and transparency to the federal pay structure.

Key characteristics of the General Schedule pay grades

The General Schedule pay grades are characterized by several key factors:

  1. Pay grades: The General Schedule pay grades range from GS-1 to GS-15, with GS-15 being the highest.
  2. Steps: Each pay grade has multiple steps, typically 10 steps, with each step representing a salary increase. Employees can progress through the steps based on their performance and time in service.
  3. Salary determination: Salaries within each pay grade and step are determined by the OPM, taking into account factors such as locality pay and cost of living adjustments.
  4. Locality pay: Locality pay is an additional adjustment to the base salary based on the cost of living in a particular area. It helps to ensure that federal employees are paid competitively in different regions of the country.

The General Schedule pay system provides a structured and standardized framework for determining salaries for federal employees.

It ensures fairness and consistency in compensation across various government agencies and departments.

NH Pay Scale Overview

The NH pay scale is a system used by the US government to determine the salaries of employees in non-homogeneous (NH) job positions.

Unlike the General Schedule (GS) pay scale, which is used for most federal employees, the NH pay scale is specific to certain job categories that require specialized skills or qualifications.

Definition of NH pay scale

The NH pay scale is designed to attract and retain highly skilled professionals in fields such as information technology, engineering, healthcare, and scientific research.

These positions often require advanced degrees, certifications, or specialized training beyond what is typically required for entry-level federal jobs.

The NH pay scale is divided into different levels, each corresponding to a specific range of salaries.

These levels are determined based on factors such as job complexity, responsibilities, and the level of expertise required.

Employees are typically hired at a specific level based on their qualifications and experience, and can progress to higher levels over time.

Levels within the NH pay scale

There are several levels within the NH pay scale, ranging from NH-1 to NH-10. Each level is associated with a specific salary range, with higher levels corresponding to higher salaries.

The exact salary range for each level may vary depending on factors such as geographic location and cost of living.

For example, an employee at the NH-1 level may earn a starting salary of $50,000 per year, while an employee at the NH-10 level may earn a salary of $150,000 or more.

These salary ranges are adjusted annually to account for inflation and other economic factors.

Types of jobs in the NH category

There are a wide variety of job positions that fall under the NH category, including roles in fields such as information technology, engineering, healthcare, research, and management.

Some examples of NH job titles include:

  • Software Engineer
  • Data Scientist
  • Pharmacist
  • Research Scientist
  • Project Manager

These are just a few examples, and there are many other job titles that fall under the NH category.

The specific qualifications and requirements for each job will vary, but they generally require a high level of expertise and specialized knowledge.

NH-03 Pay Grade Salary Range

The NH-03 pay grade is an important factor to consider when looking at career opportunities within the federal government.

This pay grade is typically assigned to positions that require a high level of skill and expertise.

If you are considering a job in this pay grade, it’s important to understand the salary range and how it may be affected by locality adjustments.

NH-03 base pay range

The base pay range for NH-03 positions can vary depending on several factors such as years of experience, education level, and job responsibilities.

The starting salary for NH-03 positions is typically around $60,000 per year, but it can increase significantly with additional experience and qualifications.

On the higher end, NH-03 positions can pay upwards of $100,000 per year.

Locality pay adjustments

Locality pay adjustments are an important consideration when looking at NH-03 salaries.

These adjustments take into account the cost of living in different areas of the country and can significantly impact your overall pay.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) determines locality pay rates based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other sources.

For example, if you are working in a high-cost area like San Francisco, you may receive a higher locality pay adjustment compared to someone working in a lower-cost area like Des Moines.

This adjustment is designed to help federal employees maintain a comparable standard of living regardless of where they are located.

NH-03 pay including locality

When you factor in locality pay adjustments, the salary range for NH-03 positions can vary even further.

It’s important to note that locality pay adjustments are based on the employee’s duty station, not their residence.

This means that if you live in a lower-cost area but work in a higher-cost area, you will still receive the higher locality pay adjustment.

To get an accurate estimate of your potential salary in an NH-03 position, you can use the OPM’s Pay Calculator. This tool allows you to input your location and grade to calculate your base pay and locality adjustment.

How Locality Pay Is Calculated

When it comes to determining pay scales, one important factor to consider is locality pay.

Locality pay is an additional compensation given to federal employees to account for the cost of living differences across different geographic locations.

This ensures that federal employees are paid a fair and competitive wage regardless of where they work.

What is locality pay?

Locality pay is a supplemental payment that is added to the base salary of federal employees. It is calculated based on the employee’s assigned geographic location.

The purpose of locality pay is to account for the variations in the cost of living, such as housing, transportation, and other expenses, in different parts of the country.

This helps to ensure that federal employees are able to maintain a reasonable standard of living no matter where they are located.

How geographic locations are assigned locality pay percentages

The assignment of locality pay percentages is determined by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) based on data collected from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other relevant sources.

The OPM evaluates factors such as the cost of living, availability of goods and services, and other economic indicators to determine the appropriate locality pay for each geographic area.

Geographic locations are divided into separate pay areas, each with its own locality pay percentage. These pay areas can vary widely, ranging from major cities to rural areas.

The locality pay percentage for each pay area is designed to reflect the difference in the cost of living compared to the rest of the country.

It is important to note that locality pay percentages can change from year to year based on the evaluation of economic factors.

2022 and 2023 locality pay tables

The OPM releases annual locality pay tables that outline the specific locality pay percentages for each pay area.

These tables provide federal employees with the information they need to determine their total compensation based on their assigned geographic location.

By referring to the appropriate locality pay table, employees can calculate their locality pay and add it to their base salary to determine their total income.

NH-03 Salary Examples Based on Locality

Low locality example (Crawfordville, FL)

For employees working in Crawfordville, FL, a low locality area, the NH-03 pay scale offers competitive salaries.

The average salary for NH-03 employees in this area is $65,000 per year. This is slightly lower than the national average for NH-03 positions, which is $70,000 per year.

However, it is important to consider the lower cost of living in Crawfordville, which can offset the slightly lower salary.

Moderate locality example (Eau Claire, WI)

In Eau Claire, WI, a moderate locality area, NH-03 employees can expect to earn higher salaries compared to Crawfordville, FL.

The average salary for NH-03 positions in Eau Claire is around $75,000 per year. This is above the national average and reflects the higher cost of living in this area.

Employees in Eau Claire enjoy a range of benefits and a higher quality of life.

High locality example (San Jose, CA)

San Jose, CA, a high locality area, offers the highest salaries for NH-03 employees. The average salary in this area is around $90,000 per year.

This is significantly higher than the national average and reflects the high cost of living in San Jose.

Employees in this area benefit from a thriving job market and numerous opportunities for career growth.

It is important to note that these salary examples are based on the NH-03 pay scale and may vary depending on factors such as experience, qualifications, and performance.

The locality adjustment accounts for the differences in the cost of living in different areas.


We’ve covered the key details around NH-03 pay scale, including a overview of the General Schedule system, current NH-03 base salary range and locality adjusted salary range, how locality pay percentages are determined, and examples of how geographic location impacts total NH-03 salary.

The NH-03 pay scale provides moderate compensation for a variety of white-collar government jobs.

With automatic annual pay adjustments for inflation plus locality pay based on geographic location, NH-03 salaries remain competitive in today’s employment market.

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