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Competitive Salaries

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Why Choose VA


Competitive Salaries

VA is proud to offer our employees salaries that are competitive with the private sector. For most health care occupations, starting salaries and pay increases are recommended by a professional standards board and are based on education, training, and experience.

For high-demand health care occupations, VA facilities maintain market competitiveness by utilizing a number of pay systems that augment salary rates. Our administrative staff, professional employees, and other trade and labor employees are paid under the Federal Government's General Schedule and Wage Grade pay systems, which offer strong starting salaries and periodic pay increases to address inflation and local market changes.

VA Nurse Locality Pay System

Our nurses are compensated according to a Locality Pay System (LPS) that ensures they are paid competitive rates within each local labor market. Salary ranges vary according to facility location. Pay is reviewed periodically to ensure competitiveness with salary rates in effect in the local community.

VA Special Rates

Special rates are in effect at many VA locations to ensure competitive salaries for a wide variety of professional and technical health care positions. Our health care professionals are awarded regular increases and may receive accelerated increases for outstanding performance.

Market and Performance Pay for Physicians and Dentists

  • Market Pay: Commensurate with specialty and experience, and is designed to be competitive with the local physician/dentist labor market
  • Performance Pay: Dependent on one's performance and roles at VA

Competitive Pay Rates

As a VA employee, you may be eligible for competitive starting rates based on:
  • Education and training
  • Experience
  • Duties required by the position
  • Guidelines from professional boards
  • Adjustments for specific locations to keep pay competitive

Recruitment Incentives

As a new hire, you may be eligible for special recruitment incentives:
  • Recruitment bonus: New hires may receive up to 25 percent of the rate of basic pay
  • Relocation bonus: Our employees who temporarily or permanently relocate to a different commuting area, without a break in service, may receive up to 25 percent of the rate of basic pay
  • Retention allowance: We value our employees. You may receive up to 25 percent of the rate of basic pay to remain with the Government.

Pay Increases

Federal employees may receive:
  • Regular performance-based increases
  • Accelerated increases for outstanding performance
  • Pay comparability increases approved by the President

Premium Pay

Premium pay is available to employees whose work schedule includes:
  • Overtime work
  • Sunday work
  • Saturday work (for certain health care personnel)
  • Holiday work
  • Time spent on-call (for certain health care occupations)
  • Evening and night work

Incentive Awards

We also offer many forms of incentive awards, including:
  • Superior Performance Awards
  • Special Contribution Awards
  • Quality Step Increases
  • VA Honor Awards
  • Non-Monetary Recognition
  • Title 38 Awards
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VA has over 1,400 medical facilities in urban and rural areas throughout 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.