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Advanced in Hire (AIH)?


Nicolas Lingenfelter Temecula, CA

Hello all, I received an offer from an agency for a role at GS-14 Step 1, and an offer from a private company which amounts to $70,000/per year higher. At Step 10, the private offer would only be $40,000 higher, so I submitted a request for an AIH. They came back at Step 2, and stated that it was the final offer. I'm at a loss here. Is there any way to renegotiate?

24 January 2019 5 replies General



Nicolas Lingenfelter Temecula, CA

Thanks all!


Kent Meyer Ellicott City, MD

As many have mentioned before, this may be their final and best offer. The Agency could be cost constrained at what they could offer you and not all Agencies will negotiate the Step. The ultimate question(s) is: which job would you want to do more. As mentioned the $70k and even $40k are sizable differences. The private sector job likely will require more time commitment than the GS job (don’t read that you will only do 40 hours. Many civilian jobs require more work then that.). Also look at which job will support your long term goals and ultimate which will support you and your family better. There are trade offs between Public and Private Sector and the public sector benefits can often end up providing $20-30k worth of additional benefits not seen in the private sector. I have also worked on both sides and it ultimately comes down to which will make you happier.


Robert Jurasek Hollywood, FL

Dear Nicholas,

Unless a candidate has prior Federal service (not including military), or a position is hard to fill, it is unusual that an agency would offer anything higher than Step 1.

One thing to keep in mind is that it normally takes 17 years to progress from Step 1 to Step 10.

Steps 1-4 are annual increases; Steps 4-7 are separated by two years each; and once you get to Step 7, each increase to Steps 8-9-10 are 3 years apart.

The extra $70,000 is no small sum. In only 10 years, you may be talking about more than a half-million dollars, after taxes, and not including any compounding interest.

One approach might be to work the civilian job, for xx number of years, then switch to a Federal position, to retire with benefits. You only need five years of Federal service to retire at age 62, or ten years of service to retire at the minimum retirement age of 56 or 57 (depending on your year of birth.)

Good luck with your new position, and thank you for your Service!

Bob Jurasek


Sarah Bass Blanco Annapolis, MD

Hi Nicolas,

Thank you for your question!

Just to make sure I'm on the right page, I believe you're saying you were offered a GS-14 Step 1 but negotiated for a Step 10 so it wouldn't be so much less than the private sector job, but they came back with only Step 2 saying that's the final offer?

If so, I believe that unfortunately, you may not be able to negotiate a higher Step. However, I found a couple articles on how to negotiate for more benefits to at least make the salary worthwhile:

I hope these provide some alternative avenues for you to leverage and best of luck in your decision!

All the best,

Sarah Bass
ACP AdvisorNet Staff


Megan Heaning New York, NY

Hi Nicolas,

Thanks for your service and for utilizing ACP AdvisorNet! While I can't speak to this question personally, I did want to point you in the direction of a few other ACP AdvisorNet questions that you might be able to use:

In terms of a final offer though, there may be no room for further negotiation. I hope this helps! Please feel free to message me directly.


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