Join Digital Nomads and Remote Workers to Ask Questions, Share Experiences, Find Remote Jobs and Seek Recommendations.

# How to Calculate Your Locality Pay as a Remote Worker

Last Updated on 26 May 2023

As a remote worker, you have the flexibility to work from anywhere in the world. However, this flexibility can sometimes make it difficult to determine your locality pay. Locality pay is an additional payment that is made to employees to compensate for the higher cost of living in certain areas. This pay is calculated based on the location of the employee’s job and is meant to help offset the higher costs associated with living in certain areas.

Calculating your locality pay as a remote worker can be a bit more complicated than it is for traditional employees. However, with a little bit of research and some basic math skills, you can easily determine your locality pay and ensure that you are being compensated fairly for your work.

In this article, we will guide you through the steps to calculate your locality pay as a remote worker. We will cover the following topics:

1. What is locality pay?
2. Why is locality pay important for remote workers?
3. How to calculate your locality pay as a remote worker?
4. Tips for negotiating your locality pay as a remote worker

## What is Locality Pay?

Locality pay is an additional payment that is made to employees to compensate for the higher cost of living in certain areas. This pay is calculated based on the location of the employee’s job and is meant to help offset the higher costs associated with living in certain areas.

The locality pay system was established by the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act of 1990 (FEPCA). The FEPCA was enacted to ensure that federal employees were paid fairly and competitively compared to their private sector counterparts. The act established a system of locality pay to help address the cost of living differences between different areas of the country.

Under the locality pay system, each area of the country is assigned a locality pay rate. This rate is based on the cost of living in that area and is used to determine the additional pay that federal employees receive. The locality pay rates are updated annually and are based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

## Why is Locality Pay Important for Remote Workers?

Locality pay is important for remote workers because it helps to ensure that they are being compensated fairly for their work. As a remote worker, you may be working from a location that has a higher or lower cost of living than your employer’s location.

Without locality pay, remote workers may be at a disadvantage when it comes to compensation. For example, if you are living in an area with a high cost of living but your employer is located in an area with a lower cost of living, you may be paid less than you would be if you were working in the same job from your employer’s location.

By calculating your locality pay as a remote worker, you can ensure that you are being compensated fairly for your work, regardless of where you are located.

## How to Calculate Your Locality Pay as a Remote Worker?

Calculating your locality pay as a remote worker can be a bit more complicated than it is for traditional employees. However, with a little bit of research and some basic math skills, you can easily determine your locality pay and ensure that you are being compensated fairly for your work.

Here are the steps to calculate your locality pay as a remote worker:

### Step 1: Determine Your Job Location

The first step in calculating your locality pay as a remote worker is to determine your job location. This can be a bit tricky, as you may be working from home or from a co-working space that is located in a different area than your employer.

To determine your job location, you should start by looking at your employment contract or agreement. This document should specify where your employer is located and where you are expected to work from. If there is no mention of a specific location, you may need to reach out to your employer to clarify where your job is based.

Once you have determined your job location, you can move on to the next step.

### Step 2: Find Your Locality Pay Area

The next step in calculating your locality pay is to find your locality pay area. This is the area that your job is located in and is used to determine your locality pay rate.

To find your locality pay area, you can use the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) locality pay map. This map shows the different locality pay areas across the United States and provides information on the pay rates for each area.

To use the map, simply find your job location on the map and click on the corresponding locality pay area. This will provide you with information on the pay rates for that area.

If you are working from outside the United States, you may need to do some additional research to determine your locality pay area. You can start by looking at the cost of living in your area and comparing it to the cost of living in other areas that are similar in terms of amenities and services.

### Step 3: Determine Your Locality Pay Rate

Once you have found your locality pay area, you can determine your locality pay rate. This rate is based on the pay rates for the area that your job is located in and is used to determine your additional pay.

To determine your locality pay rate, you can use the OPM’s locality pay tables. These tables provide information on the pay rates for each locality pay area and are updated annually.

To use the tables, simply find your locality pay area and locate the corresponding pay rate. This will give you an idea of how much additional pay you should be receiving based on your job location.

### Step 4: Calculate Your Locality Pay

The final step in calculating your locality pay as a remote worker is to actually calculate the amount that you should be receiving. This can be done by multiplying your base salary by your locality pay rate.

For example, if your base salary is \$50,000 and your locality pay rate is 10%, your locality pay would be \$5,000. This would bring your total salary to \$55,000.

It is important to note that your locality pay rate may vary depending on your job location and the specific pay rates for that area. Additionally, some employers may offer different types of locality pay, such as a percentage of your base salary or a flat rate.

## Tips for Negotiating Your Locality Pay as a Remote Worker

If you are a remote worker and you are not satisfied with your locality pay, there are a few things that you can do to negotiate for a higher rate. Here are some tips:

1. Do your research: Before you negotiate for a higher locality pay rate, make sure that you have done your research. Look at the cost of living in your area and compare it to the cost of living in other areas that are similar in terms of amenities and services. This will give you a better idea of what you should be earning.
2. Be prepared to explain your situation: When you are negotiating for a higher locality pay rate, be prepared to explain your situation. Explain why you believe that you should be earning more based on the cost of living in your area.
3. Be flexible: When negotiating for a higher locality pay rate, be flexible. Consider other options, such as a percentage of your base salary or a flat rate. Be open to compromise and be willing to work with your employer to find a solution that works for both of you.
4. Consider your leverage: When negotiating for a higher locality pay rate, consider your leverage. If you are a valuable employee and your employer values your work, you may have more leverage to negotiate for a higher rate.
5. Be professional: When negotiating for a higher locality pay rate, be professional. Keep the conversation focused on your work and your compensation. Avoid getting emotional or making demands.

## Conclusion

Calculating your locality pay as a remote worker can be a bit more complicated than it is for traditional employees. However, with a little bit of research and some basic math skills, you can easily determine your locality pay and ensure that you are being compensated fairly for your work.

Remember to determine your job location, find your locality pay area, determine your locality pay rate, and calculate your locality pay. By following these steps, you can ensure that you are receiving the additional pay that you deserve as a remote worker.

If you are not satisfied with your locality pay, consider negotiating for a higher rate. Do your research, be prepared to explain your situation, be flexible, consider your leverage, and be professional. With the right approach, you can negotiate for a higher locality pay rate and ensure that you are being compensated fairly for your work.

## We Work From Anywhere ?

Find Remote Jobs, Ask Questions, Connect With Digital Nomads, and Live Your Best Location-Independent Life.