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 $19,199 per year3 GS-1 $21,316 - $26,661 per year
E-2 Insignia of an Air Force Airman Airman $21,521 per year3 GS-2 $23,966 - $30,161 per year
E-3 Insignia of an Air Force Airman First Class Airman First Class $22,630 - $25,510 per year GS-3 $26,150 - $33,997 per year
E-4 Insignia of an Air Force Senior Airman Senior Airman $25,067 - $30,427 per year GS-4 $29,356 - $38,158 per year
E-5 Insignia of an Air Force Staff Sergeant Staff Sergeant $27,338 - $38,794 per year GS-5 $32,844 - $42,702 per year
E-6 Insignia of an Air Force Technical Sergeant Technical Sergeant $29,840 - $46,220 per year GS-5 $32,844 - $42,702 per year
E-7 Insignia of an Air Force Master Sergeant Master Sergeant $34,502 - $62,010 per year GS-6 $36,611 - $47,598 per year
E-8 Insignia of an Air Force Senior Master Sergeant Senior Master Sergeant $49,633 - $70,787 per year GS-6 $36,611 - $47,598 per year
E-9 Insignia of an Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Chief Master Sergeant $60,631 - $94,136 per year GS-6 $36,611 - $47,598 per year
E-9 Insignia of an Air Force Command Chief Master Sergeant Command Chief Master Sergeant $60,631 - $94,136 per year GS-6 $36,611 - $47,598 per year
E-9 Insignia of an Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Of The Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Of The Air Force $60,631 - $94,136 per year GS-6 $36,611 - $47,598 per year
O-1 Insignia of an Air Force Second Lieutenant Second Lieutenant $36,418 - $45,824 per year GS-7 $40,684 - $52,893 per year
O-2 Insignia of an Air Force First Lieutenant First Lieutenant $41,958 - $58,068 per year GS-8 $45,056 - $58,570 per year
O-2 Insignia of an Air Force First Lieutenant First Lieutenant $41,958 - $58,068 per year GS-9 $49,765 - $64,697 per year
O-3 Insignia of an Air Force Captain Captain $48,560 - $79,002 per year GS-10 $54,803 - $71,247 per year
O-3 Insignia of an Air Force Captain Captain $48,560 - $79,002 per year GS-11 $60,210 - $78,270 per year
O-4 Insignia of an Air Force Major Major $55,231 - $92,218 per year GS-12 $72,168 - $93,821 per year
O-5 Insignia of an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Lieutenant Colonel $64,012 - $108,752 per year GS-13 $85,816 - $111,560 per year
O-5 Insignia of an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Lieutenant Colonel $64,012 - $108,752 per year GS-14 $101,409 - $131,833 per year
O-6 Insignia of an Air Force Colonel Colonel $76,784 - $135,936 per year GS-15 $119,285 - $155,073 per year
O-7 Insignia of an Air Force Brigadier General Brigadier General $101,257 - $151,283 per year SES Level 5 $151,700 per year
O-8 Insignia of an Air Force Major General Major General $121,860 - $175,676 per year SES Level 4 $161,900 per year
O-9 Insignia of an Air Force Lieutenant General Lieutenant General $172,224 - $186,998 per year SES Level 3 $172,100 per year
Pay Range Notes
  1. Military pay displayed in this chart is based on the 2017 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 2017 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