The Lowest Paid Federal Employees

Department of Agriculture employees rank near the bottom for salaries.

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On Monday, President Obama proposed a two-year pay freeze for federal civilian employees as one means of cutting the federal deficit. Given the broad range of federal government jobs and salaries, the pay freeze will mean different things for different government offices. U.S. News reported on Tuesday which federal agencies and departments have the highest average employee pay. Below are the ten federal offices with the lowest average pay, along with the number of employees on their rolls. The federal agency with the lowest pay is the Valles Caldera Trust, which protects and manages the Valles Caldera National Preserve in New Mexico. The trust's 59 employees average $45,794 in annual salaries. It is followed by the two international boundary commissions, which maintain the U.S.'s borders with Canada and Mexico. [See who donates to members of Congress.]

The ten federal agencies with the lowest average annual pay per employee as of September 2010 are:

Agency Total Staff Average
Annual Pay
Valles Caldera Trust 59 $45,794
International Boundary Commission:
United States and Canada
25 48,012
International Boundary and Water Commission:
United States and Mexico
270 57,825
National Archives and Records Administration 3,529 58,455
Armed Forces Retirement Home 268 59,070
Department of Agriculture 108,291 61,730
Department of the Interior 79,048 63,273
Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation 63 64,156
Department of Homeland Security 188,983 67,220
Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation  9 68,903

Source: Office of Personnel Management*

*OPM data covers all Executive Branch agencies except the following: the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, Foreign Service personnel at the State Department, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Office of the Vice President, the Postal Regulatory Commission, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the U.S. Postal Service, and the White House Office. Data also excludes the Public Health Service's Commissioned Officer Corps, all non-appropriated fund employees and foreign nationals overseas, and the Judicial Branch. Legislative Branch offices covered by the data include the Government Printing Office, U.S. Tax Court, and other selected commissions.