Senior Executive Service:

Answers to Selected Salary-Related Questions

GGD-87-36FS: Published: Jan 9, 1987. Publicly Released: Jan 9, 1987.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

In response to a congressional request, GAO provided information on Senior Executive Service (SES) salaries, specifically: (1) the importance of salary to SES members; (2) the importance of salary in decisions to leave SES; (3) the new employment areas of individuals who left SES; and (4) the amount of salary increase or decrease that former SES members received.

GAO found that: (1) as of December 31, 1985, of 380 SES members it questioned, 61 percent were dissatisfied with their present salary levels, 21 percent were satisfied, and 18 percent were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied; and (2) of 458 former SES members who indicated that salary was important in their decision to leave SES, 48 percent indicated that inadequate salary was of little or no importance, 14 percent said it was of moderate importance, 22 percent said it was of great importance, and 16 percent said it was not applicable in their decision to leave SES. GAO also found that, of the 316 former SES members who took new positions: (1) 49 percent indicated increased salaries, 27 percent reported that their salaries remained about the same, and 25 percent reported decreased salaries; (2) the salary increases varied between $1,000 and $3,000 to $50,000 or more; (3) the salary decreases varied from $1,000 to $50,000 or more; (4) self-employed individuals took greater salary decreases than did other former SES members; and (5) 33 percent took positions in business or industry, 26 percent in consulting, 17 percent in the federal government, 7 percent in nonprofit organizations, 6 percent in academia, 2 percent in state or local government, 1 percent in lobby organization, and 9 percent in other organizations.

Jan 12, 2021

Sep 16, 2020

Feb 25, 2020

Dec 30, 2019

Oct 10, 2019

Oct 2, 2019

Sep 25, 2019

Sep 11, 2019

Aug 15, 2019

Jul 30, 2019

Looking for more? Browse all our products here