Negotiating Salary (GS)


Active Member
As I wait for Apr-May Prior Bid & OTS Bid to start moving along over the course of the next year I've applied to several jobs. I may have just landed one, but we will see for sure in the next couple of days.

It is a GS-5 Dispatch position in my town.
The requirements were: (shortend version)

- Must live in the local area.
- Appointment subject to background investigation and favorable adjudication.

You will be evaluated on the following competencies:

  • Applies Technology to Tasks
  • Decision Making
  • Manages and Organizes Information
  • Stress Tolerance
(Which is already a requirement even more rigourously evaluated for the ATC Career field.)

The salary for this position is 32,000 - 42,000

I was not a DoD employee so I didn't work off the GS pay/grade scale before because I was AD, but all the "blue jeans" I worked with were GS-11. With that said the very nature of ATC is also already harder than Dispatch work. Will I be able to negotiate this salary and ask for close to the full amount if not the full amount? Or am I going to fall under a GS-5 Step 1 with no chances to negotiate based off of government hiring "fine print"?

Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
You can negotiate which step you're placed in. I don't know how you go about doing it though.
I started at a GS-10 and I had zero luck of negotiating. Not saying it can't be done but it's not easy. You have to justify why you should get more.
A man answers an ad stating "Hiring welders $18-$24 an hour." When he arrived he was told he'd have to take a welding test. He turned in 2 sets of welds. One was a great weld, the other was a mess. When the boss asked him why he did this he replied "One is $18/hr, the other is $24/hr".

If you were a controller being offered a dispatch position, I would take this approach.
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