Air Force Ranks to Civilian GS Paygrades


In many situations, when military personnel interact with civilian government employees, it's important to understand how the military rank hierarchy compares to the seniority structure among their civilian counterparts. Military Rank to Civilian equivalency tables are created by each branch of the military. These tables help civilian and military personnel determine proper conduct for social and diplomatic purposes when interacting with each other.

The comparison table below shows how Air Force ranks compare to civilian General Schedule paygrades in terms of respect and seniority. We have also provided comparitive pay ranges for civilian and military paygrades (based on Military Basic Pay and the civilian General Schedule pay table). Generally, civilian employees are paid more compared to someone they are equal to socially - but military personnel also get additional benefits, which are explained in the footnotes.

Please note that these rank-to-gs mappings can vary. Age, position, and experience level are a huge factor, and are often more significant than grade alone. If you have any feedback concerning this table, please contact us with your suggestions.


Seal of the Air Force Chart of Air Force Ranks vs. Civilian General Schedule Equivalents

See military paygrade and the associated Air Force rank on the left, and equivalent General Schedule paygrade on the right.

Pay Grade Insignia Air Force Rank Basic Pay Range 1 GS Grade Civilian Pay Range 2
E-1 No Insignia Airman Basic $20,797 per year3 GS-1 $22,660 - $28,347 per year
E-2 Insignia of an Air Force Airman Airman $23,310 per year3 GS-2 $25,479 - $32,064 per year
E-3 Insignia of an Air Force Airman First Class Airman First Class $24,512 - $27,634 per year GS-3 $27,800 - $36,138 per year
E-4 Insignia of an Air Force Senior Airman Senior Airman $27,151 - $32,958 per year GS-4 $31,208 - $40,569 per year
E-5 Insignia of an Air Force Staff Sergeant Staff Sergeant $29,610 - $42,023 per year GS-5 $34,916 - $45,393 per year
E-6 Insignia of an Air Force Technical Sergeant Technical Sergeant $32,324 - $50,065 per year GS-5 $34,916 - $45,393 per year
E-7 Insignia of an Air Force Master Sergeant Master Sergeant $37,372 - $67,169 per year GS-6 $38,921 - $50,598 per year
E-8 Insignia of an Air Force Senior Master Sergeant Senior Master Sergeant $53,762 - $76,676 per year GS-6 $38,921 - $50,598 per year
E-9 Insignia of an Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Chief Master Sergeant $65,675 - $101,970 per year GS-6 $38,921 - $50,598 per year
E-9 Insignia of an Air Force Command Chief Master Sergeant Command Chief Master Sergeant $65,675 - $101,970 per year GS-6 $38,921 - $50,598 per year
E-9 Insignia of an Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Of The Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Of The Air Force $65,675 - $101,970 per year GS-6 $38,921 - $50,598 per year
O-1 Insignia of an Air Force Second Lieutenant Second Lieutenant $39,445 - $49,637 per year GS-7 $43,251 - $56,222 per year
O-2 Insignia of an Air Force First Lieutenant First Lieutenant $45,450 - $62,896 per year GS-8 $47,899 - $62,269 per year
O-2 Insignia of an Air Force First Lieutenant First Lieutenant $45,450 - $62,896 per year GS-9 $52,905 - $68,777 per year
O-3 Insignia of an Air Force Captain Captain $52,600 - $85,576 per year GS-10 $58,260 - $75,740 per year
O-3 Insignia of an Air Force Captain Captain $52,600 - $85,576 per year GS-11 $64,009 - $83,210 per year
O-4 Insignia of an Air Force Major Major $59,825 - $99,889 per year GS-12 $76,721 - $99,741 per year
O-5 Insignia of an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Lieutenant Colonel $69,336 - $117,799 per year GS-13 $91,231 - $118,603 per year
O-5 Insignia of an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Lieutenant Colonel $69,336 - $117,799 per year GS-14 $107,807 - $140,146 per year
O-6 Insignia of an Air Force Colonel Colonel $83,174 - $147,244 per year GS-15 $126,810 - $164,858 per year
O-7 Insignia of an Air Force Brigadier General Brigadier General $109,681 - $163,872 per year SES Level 5 $160,100 per year
O-8 Insignia of an Air Force Major General Major General $131,994 - $190,289 per year SES Level 4 $170,800 per year
O-9 Insignia of an Air Force Lieutenant General Lieutenant General $186,552 - $197,302 per year SES Level 3 $181,500 per year
Pay Range Notes
  1. Military pay displayed in this chart is based on the 2020 military basic pay table. Note that military servicemembers also receive housing and food allowances and/or incentive pay, which are both considerable portions of their overall compensation package.
  2. Civilian pay ranges are based on the current-year 2020 General Schedule pay table, adjusted for the Rest of U.S. pay locality. Civilians who work in an area with a high cost of living, like the San Francisco bay area, earn higher base pay.
  3. E-1 and E-2 are ranks that are generally held for a short amount of time, so there are no pay raises based on years of experience like those available to higher ranks.


** This Document Provided By www.FederalPay.org - The Civil Employee's Resource **
Source: www.federalpay.org/military/air-force-ranks-to-gs-grade