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Grade Controlling Duties

    The Classification Point System

    • Position classifiers use a point factor system to determine the pay grade of the employee's position based on the duties performed by the employee. These points are usually pre-determined by OPM and are listed in the position classification standard for each job. For example, a patent examiner position with 20 to 25 points is graded at a GS-9, whereas a GS-15 requires 75 to 80 points.

    Factors Considered

    • The position classifier evaluates a position based upon several factors to determine the grade of the position. These include the level of supervision the incumbent employee requires to perform the job and the complexity of the work assigned to the employee. Other factors for consideration include whether the position requires a college degree or a professional license, whether the position requires specialized skill sets such translators or whether the position poses increased danger to the employee. One benchmark that classifiers look to is the degree of authority delegated to the employee. For example, employees that have authority to expend funds or direct programs are at a much higher pay grade than employees who do not exercise fiduciary or managerial responsibility.

    Factors Not Considered

    • The position classifier does not take into consideration several factors that are not considered relevant to the complexity of the work when setting the grade of a position. Classifiers are required to exclude the financial needs of the employee encumbering the position, the volume of work the employee processes, the pay of other employees in the office, the years of service of the employee or the rarity of the job skills needed to perform the position.

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