Administrative and professional jobs are called “General Schedule.” Although there are several different pay scales, depending on location and type of job, the basic qualifications are similar.

In general, if you are just starting out, you can qualify for jobs at the GS-2 level with just a high school diploma or as little as 3 months of general work experience. At GS-3 and GS-4 levels, you can qualify with additional months of general experience.

Starting at the GS-5, jobs generally require 1 year of specialized experience to qualify. When you have a degree but no specialized experience in a career field, you are eligible for appointment at the GS-5 pay level.

If you maintained a B average, or met other academic credentials in college, you can start out at the GS-7 pay level. To qualify for jobs at the GS-7 and higher grades, your background must have included experience closely related to the work to be performed in the job for which you are applying.

You can qualify for GS-9 positions on the basis of a master’s degree, and for GS-11 positions on the basis of a doctorate.


WAPA’s skilled craft (blue collar) jobs are in the Wage Board system. There are three levels used by WAPA: journeyman, apprentice, and craftsman-in-training. To qualify at the journeyman level, at a minimum, you need to have experience equivalent to the completion of a 4- or 5-year apprenticeship in that craft.

An apprentice is a trainee position. WAPA normally hires apprentices at the mid-level, which requires some specialized knowledge of the craft but not at the journeyman level. A craftsman-in-training position is designed to transition a journeyman from one craft into another related craft. Typically, it should take no more than two years of training to reach the journeyman level.

Pay for WAPA’s craft positions is negotiated with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the union representing these employees, based on a salary survey of similar positions in other utilities.


WAPA’s Power Dispatchers and Energy Management and Marketing Specialists are in their own pay system. These are Administratively Determined positions, with pay set by management based on salary surveys of similar positions in other utilities. These positions generally require at least a few years of experience in similar positions. When AD positions are filled at the trainee level and employees are placed into the intern training program, the specific skills and abilities required are listed in the vacancy announcement.

See the qualification requirements for WAPA jobs for the job’s specific qualifications.

Last modified on April 30th, 2024