Grade and Step

Within the administrative framework of the European Union (EU) institutions, “grade” and “step” are terms used to define the classification and remuneration levels of EU staff members, including officials, temporary agents, and contract staff.


A grade indicates the rank of an EU staff member and corresponds to a specific function group and level of responsibility within the EU’s hierarchical structure. Grades are categorized into different function groups, such as Administrators (AD 5AD 16), Assistants (AST 1 – AST 11) and Contract Agents (CA FG I – FG IV), and are numbered to reflect varying levels of seniority and job complexity. Lower numbers represent entry-level positions, while higher numbers are associated with senior, managerial, or specialist roles.


A step represents an incremental level within each grade, reflecting the length of service and experience of the EU staff member. Each grade consists of several steps, and staff members progress from one step to the next through a system of automatic advancement at predetermined time intervals, usually on an annual basis. Advancement in steps results in a gradual increase in salary within the same grade, providing a structured pathway for salary growth over time.

The combination of grade and step determines the basic salary and the career progression of an individual working for the EU institutions. The Staff Regulations of Officials of the European Union outline the rules and conditions for grades and steps, including the criteria for promotion to higher grades and advancement to higher steps.

For example, if a person is placed in grade AD5, in normal circumstances he/she advances one step every two years, bringing along a 150-200EUR salary increase

Article about salaries of employees of EU institutions.





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