Differences in wages between federal employees and similar private-sector employees in the 2005-2010 period varied widely depending on the employees’ level of education.
Federal civilian workers with no more than a high school education earned about 21 percent more, on average, than similar workers in the private sector.
Workers whose highest level of education was a bachelor’s degree earned roughly the same hourly wages, on average, in both the federal government and the private sector.
Federal workers with a professional degree or doctorate earned about 23 percent less, on average, than their private-sector counterparts.
Overall, the federal government paid 2 percent more in total wages than it would have if average wages had been comparable with those in the private sector, after accounting for certain observable characteristics of workers.