Federal Government Departments - FederalPay.org
Federal Departments have been the primary organizational unit within the Executive Branch of government since the inception of the United States. The Department of State, War and the Treasury were all created with the first years of our nation. Federal Departments within the United States are equivalent to ministries in other nations.
Today the majority of federal civilian employees are employed by one of the nation’s 15 federal departments. Positions related to the Legislative and Judicial Branches of government are not within any department and rather fall under independent agencies and organizations within the federal government.
Throughout our history, departments have been created, restructured and dissolved as the needs of the nation change. Each department works to develop regulations, implement policy and institute programs that advance its objective. Today we have departments dedicated to everything from Education, Energy and Commerce to Defense, Homeland Security and Veteran’s Affairs. The less-known Department of the Interior is often referred to as the Department of Everything Else.
Federal Department’s Pay System
Combined these departments employee over 4 million Americans who are paid on the General Schedule (GS), Senior Executive Service (SES) Schedule, Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) Schedule or the Federal Wage System (FWS). The largest is the Department of Defense (DoD) which single-handedly employs over 3 million Americans, not including active duty military personnel. The DoD is the single largest employer in the world.
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