Moving from Contractor to Feds:

Good day all! I am an investigator with one of our contractor companies. I am looking to possibly move to the federal side with DCSA however may encounter a $20,000 pay cut in doing so as I would be offered GS-7. Knowing I could still contribute to a 401K and PTO seems about equal, the one consideration is having the ability to retire with a federal pension and move up the ranks over the years. It may take 5 years to get back that $20,000 but I feel like it may be worth it. Thoughts?

Make sure you learn as much as possible about the promotion system. Is it a “ladder” program where you can get automatic promotions without having to compete? Or will you have to potentially have to move to another location to get promoted?

Other than that I think you will be much better off in the long run and have a better quality of life not having to deal with the penny-pinching companies trying to make a profit in this business.

It took me about 2 years to reach my old pay and another 2 years to fully recapture the lost wages. I just reduced my contributions to my TSP/401K account the first three years.

The work/home balance exists in the fed side.

@backgdinvestigator, thanks for that. I suspect it will take a few years however the earning potential is there. As contract FI’s, we get a nice bonus however bonus isn’t everything. I’d rather have the stability and upward mobility than just working as an FI all the time shooting for bonus.

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@sbusquirrel, thanks for that. I know it’s a ladder program and imagine based on performance if/when promotion potential comes up. I also agree that quality of life may be better so that’s why I’m looking to make the jump. I appreciate it!