Did you know that nearly one sixth of all U.S. employees work for the government? That’s right. Twenty two million people are employed by the federal, state, county and city governments. This includes powerful senators, eminent college professors, lawyers, judges, school teachers, postal clerks, librarians, trash collectors and city bus drivers. The government is BIG. And it hires people from all walks of life and every profession.
Imagine 22 million people who rent, buy homes and date, just like you. But with one itty bitty difference. Unlike the private sector, their salaries are totally public! In fact, for millions of people, you can find their exact salaries along with where they’ve worked and for how long. It’s all online!
Why Do I Care How Much They Make? Isn’t That Just Snooping?
Of course it’s snooping. But there are many good reasons to snoop. If government workers are all around you (and they are), it means you’re bound to have some personal and professional contact with them. So why wouldn’t you snoop?
If you’re going to date them, hire them, rent to them, invest with them, or even go bowling with them, you might as well know who it is you’re hanging out with.
Plus, if you ever apply for a government job, you can lookup up the exact salary of your boss and your peers. In other words, you’ll know exactly what to negotiate for and the salary you should reasonably expect.
How To Lookup Federal Salaries and Employment Histories
Excluding the military, there are almost 3 million people who work for the federal government. And there are millions more who once worked for them and have moved on to other things. The good news is that you can find their the salaries, job titles and length of service at just two websites!
The salaries of six hundred thousand postal workers can be found at the Feds Data Center where you can Search USPS Pay. This site also shows six years of their employment history. So even if they don’t work there now, you can see a snapshot of their work history from when they did. Knowing their work history is important. It can help you determine if they’re stable, dependable and trustworthy. Pretty important stuff if they’re dating your daughter!
For the 2.1 million other federal employees, check out their salaries, job titles and seven years of their job history at Feds Data Center Search Federal Pay.
Note: Some federal employees are exempt from disclosure such as those involved in national security. Names in these cases will display as “Name unknown” or “Name withheld by agency.”
Searching The Database For Federal Non-Postal Workers
Since both federal databases are similar, let’s take a look at the larger one for non-postal workers.
Here you can search by last name only or last name and location or by last name and agency, etc. I recommend you search by last name only: Leave all the other fields blank. The only reason to add more in other fields is if your name is an extremely common one. You can also choose various years of their employment history or all years. Selecting ALL YEARS shows the last seven.
Whenever you search be sure not to add too much information. If you do, you may miss records due to someone else’s data entry error. (i.e. you can’t find them because your subject was listed at the wrong agency or the wrong location or with a different job title).
Checking Out Their Job History
Obviously, if they’re in years 2014 and 2015 but no earlier, it’s safe to assume they’re fairly new with the government. You may also find the same person has changed jobs. (The earlier years show the exact same first, middle and last name with a different position.)
If you get lots of hits, you can change SHOW ENTRIES from 10 to 100 entries. This allows you to see them all at once rather than scroll page by page.
Now let’s test the database by searching for ABRAMS, RUTH, a name which was already here when we arrived. Notice an exact salary is shown along with her job title, agency, and the city and state she worked in. Click all years to see how long she worked there.
In many cases, you can learn their middle name, something which will help immensely in your Google searches. For more on how to Google someone see the Sleuth For The Truth Video Google Like A Pro (7 Tips & Tricks).
Search By Both Name and Occupation (When in Doubt)
Government sites are known for sloppy search engines that don’t work well. So if you can’t find the person by name, try a separate search leaving every field blank but their occupation. Also check if they are of the class excluded from being in the database.
By way of example: a name search for MATHUR, RASHMI finds nobody. But don’t be so quick to presume he’s lying. A search in the occupation box for “General Physical Scientist” shows he does in fact work for the feds. So when in doubt search twice. For a demonstration of how to search for federal salaries, see the Sleuth ForThe Truth video Verify Salaries & Work Histories On Federal Employees.
Salaries and Job Histories at the State, County and Local Level
According to the US Census, there are over 19 million people on the state and local payrolls. Most of these people have ordinary jobs and lead ordinary lives. About 7 million are in education. That means about 35% are teachers, professors, college administrators, and the like. The rest include policeman, fireman, driving instructors, nurses, prison guards, scientists and clerks.
Like everyone else, these people apply for other jobs. They rent apartments, they buy homes, they ask for loans, and they put up online dating profiles. And like everyone else, they make claims about themselves which you’ll want to verify.
So as we did on the federal level, I’m going to show you how to verify their job title, the years they’ve been in public service, and even find the exact salaries they were paid.
Most of the links are for state and county workers. But in some instances you can find the salaries and job titles of city workers as well.
NOTE: Often, county teachers and even public college professors will have their salaries and work history listed in the state databases and not in the county databases. For a good website on public payrolls, check out my website at Consumer-SOS.com (Government Salaries).
Our next stop is the State Employees & Their Salaries section, which has the one stop State Employee Salary Database. This is a wonderful website which covers 26 states all at once. And it allows you to search by name, state and year. Or just by name.
The State Employee Database is far from perfect. In some instances it’s missing people or missing their full work history. But it’s still a great tool for a quick salary and employment check.
Here I’ve entered the name Alice Mitchell, and we’ll search in the state of Georgia. You can see that for 2010, the total compensation for Alice S Mitchell was 89,630 dollars. It also shows that at this time she worked for the Georgia Department of Labor in Legal Services.
Using the back button, you can also see various other years where she held the same position with the same title. Here, it lists years 2010-2014 but not 2015.
Missing records are not uncommon. But if you can’t find your person or the records are sketchy, use the back button to return to the Consumer-SOS salary section. From there, scroll from A to Z for your state’s salary records. Often you’ll see state sponsored links with more in-depth coverage.
Keep in mind that there’s no central state database like the feds have. The states do what they want to do. Some states have lots of links. Others have almost none. And every website works differently too!
Now let’s go to the state of Georgia and their state salary database, to see if we can find the missing 2015 data for Alice Mitchell. Here, I can select the year I want her salary for. Notice it gives 6 years worth of history.
Clicking on person, it now shows which employees you can find the salary of. There are State Agencies, anyone in the GA Public University System, Technical Colleges and Local School Teachers
in the Local Board of Education.
To find Alice Mitchell in the Department of Labor, I’ll click on State Agencies, enter her name and click on the search button. And there she is still working at the DOL in 2015. She’s in the same position and now making over 90 thousand dollars.
Our last stop is PI BUZZ.com. Here you can find a tremendous wealth of information on federal, state, county and city salaries. They also have links to numerous state employee directories. For a demonstration of how to search for State and Local Salaries, see the Sleuth ForThe Truth video Verify Salary & Job Histories of Teachers & Other Public Employees.