Each General Schedule (GS) grade has 10 steps. Within-grade increases (WGIs) or step increases are periodic increases in a GS employee's rate of basic pay from one step of the grade of his or her position to the next higher step of that grade.
Employees who occupy permanent positions earn WGIs upon meeting the following three requirements established by law:
WGIs apply only to GS employees occupying permanent positions. "Permanent position" means a position filled by an employee whose appointment is not designated as temporary and does not have a definite time limitation of 1 year or less. "Permanent position" includes a position to which an employee is promoted on a temporary or term basis for at least 1 year.
For employees with a scheduled tour of duty, the required waiting periods established by law foradvancement to the next higher step are as follows: