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Department of Veterans Affairs - Federal Departments

Year Founded:
$98B / year
Employee Expense:
$29.1B in 2016

The Federal Government is broken down into fifteen departments, each of which consists of a number of sub-departments and organizational groups tasked with accomplishing the Department's overall goals.

The Department of Veterans Affairs serves to honor the men and women who have served in our nations armed forces and to assist veterans and their families. At its core, the VA is a military veterans benefits program. The VA was formally established in 1989, however the roll that the Department of Veterans Affairs serves has been around for much longer. After the American Revolutionary War pensions were provided to soldiers who were wounded. In 1834, the first federally owned and operated hospital for veterans was formed. Today the benefits program has been expanded to assist not just veterans but also their families.

Who does the Department of Veterans Affairs hire?

The VA primarily hires nurses, physicians, pharmacists and mental health professionals. These care givers fulfill the Veterans Affairs primary goal of offering superior medical care to our veterans. Because the VA handles sensitive electronic medical records for all their patients there are a large number of computer experts hired by the VA as well.

In 2016, the most common occupation employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs was Nurse at 66,699 employees. The second largest occupation was Medical Officer with 26,320 employees.

VA is based in Washington, D.C. but most employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs work in hospitals around the country providing life changing medical care to wounded and disabled veterans.

History of the Department of Veterans Affairs

The Department of Veterans Affairs was first established on July 21, 1930 but did not become a cabinet-level department until March 15, 1989. Support for veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces had been provided by independent agencies and on an ad-hoc basis before the VA was established. In fact, the first Continental Congress of the United States guaranteed pension for any disabled soldier. Before the VA, medical care was provided to veterans by ordinary state and local hospitals.

After the First World War, Congress created the Veterans Bureau, the Bureau of Pensions for Interior Departments and the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers. These agencies were consolidated to create the VA in 1930.

The WWII G.I. Bill of 1944 has had a profound effect on the landscape of American life today. The bill has shaped American way of life more than perhaps any other single legislation in American History. The benefits created by the G.I. Bill included low-cost mortgages, affordable loans, free tuition to universities and trade schools, and increased unemployment compensation. The bill applies to all soldiers who have been in active duty regardless of whether they saw combat. The G.I. bill also spurred the creation of federal hospitals to provide care to wounded veterans.

The VA has been an enormous success providing essential services to Americans who have served our nation. However, since before WWII the VA has struggled to provide timely and appropriate service to all veterans. The growing numbers of disabled veterans, longer lifespans and limited budget have all contributed to the bottleneck within the VA.

The Department of Veterans Affairs was formerly an independent agency as the Veterans Administration

Average Pay of an Employee in the Department of Veterans Affairs

Year Average Pay
2004 $81655.28
2005 $83968.12
2006 $86041.10
2007 $88196.07
2008 $92267.89
2009 $97813.04
2010 $98006.59
2011 $97324.72
2012 $98343.10
2013 $101017.21
2014 $102807.06
2015 $104373.20
2016 $106665.40

Agencies in the Department of Veterans Affairs (2016)

Agency Employee Count Total Salary Expense Average Pay
Veterans Health Administration 334,637 $26.14B $78,218
Veterans Benefits Administration 22,152 $1.55B $69,959
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology 7,837 $706.9M $90,350
National Cemetery Administration 1,869 $108.61M $58,144
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Acquisition and Logistics 1,076 $101.87M $95,657
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Finance 865 $62.16M $72,192
General Counsel (Department of Veterans Affairs) 728 $78.1M $108,025
Inspector General (Department of Veterans Affairs) 717 $77.54M $108,152
Board of Veterans Appeals 688 $66.08M $103,409
Office of the Secretary (Department of Veterans Affairs) 532 $59.59M $112,442
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Office of Resolution Management 286 $24.78M $86,651
Assistant Secretary for Human Resources Management 184 $19.17M $106,477
Immediate Office of Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology 130 $15.96M $122,737
Deputy Assistant Secretary Security & Law Enforcement 129 $9.89M $76,644
Immediate Office of Assistant Secretary for Policy & Planning 97 $11.74M $121,063
Immediate Office of the Assistant Secretary for Management 79 $9.27M $117,340
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration 68 $5.9M $88,018
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Emergency Management 64 $6.42M $100,237
Dean for VA Learning University 62 $6.73M $110,371
Veteran Employment Services Office 50 $5.32M $106,375
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional Affairs 38 $3.99M $104,923
Office of Assistant Secretary Public & Intergovernmental Affairs 33 $3.66M $110,820
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs 28 $3.12M $111,586
Assistant Secretary for Diversity & Inclusion 27 $2.68M $111,675
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Corporation Senior Executive Management 24 $2.79M $116,336
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Budget 24 $3.05M $126,961
My VA Initiative 20 $2.45M $128,722
Office of Enterprise Operations 20 $2.15M $113,406
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Labor Management Relations 18 $2.11M $116,948
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Program & Data Analysis 17 $2.24M $131,706
Veterans Customer Exper (Vce) 14 $1.65M $118,092
Immigration Office Assistant Secretary Operations, Security, and Preparedness 12 $1.47M $122,774
Immediate Office of Assistant Secretary for Human Resolution & Administration 12 $1.36M $113,349
Deputy Assistant Secretary Intergovernmental Affairs 10 $895,914 $99,546
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning & Evaluation 7 $981,210 $140,173
Immediate Office Assistant Secretary Congress & Legislation Affairs 6 $655,298 $109,216
National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics 1 $137,926 $137,926

Data Sources

The information provided on these pages is sourced from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Enterprise Human Resources Integration (EHRI) dataset. Postal Service data is managed exclusively by the USPS . All information is displayed unmodified and as provided by the source agency.

Federal employee salaries are public information under open government laws (5 U.S.C. § 552). FederalPay provides this data in the interest of government transparency — employee data may not be used for commercial soliciting or vending of any kind. Learn more about the FederalPay Employees Dataset here.

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