Next month's 4.1 percent pay raise for regular federal workers also will include about 50,000 other U.S. employees here who are paid special, higher rates because of their jobs or who come under the blue-collar (wage grade) salary system.

Locally, the biggest special- rate group is 30,000 selected clerical employees in Grades 2 through 7. Other special raters who will get the 4.1 percent raise include many engineers, scientists and others in hard-to-fill jobs, such as medical and nursing specialists.

The government can and does pay special rates -- 2 percent to 20 percent higher than the regular Civil Service scale -- when agencies have major problems recruiting and keeping people with certain skills.

Special rates can cover an occupation nationally, be limited to certain grades within an occupational group or be limited to specific jobs and grades in a particular location. The Washington area, with 360,000 federal employees, has the largest concentration of people paid special rates.

Special raters don't automatically get the regular January pay raise for other civil servants. But in the last few years, thanks to a change by Constance Horner, the former director of the Office of Personnel Management, they have usually been included.

New special-rate scales won't be released until the president signs an executive order. That is expected shortly. We will run the regular and special-rate scales in this space.

The 4.1 percent raise also will go to local blue-collar federal workers. Their jobs range from janitor to carpenter, electrician, machinist and other skilled craft employees. Pay scales for them will range from $6.60 per hour to $29.99 per hour for top-level supervisors.

Here are the 1991 minimum and maximum pay rates for wage grade personnel:

Wage Grade 1, $6.60 per hour in the first step to $7.69 per hour in the fifth step;

WG 2, $7.41 to $8.66;

WG 3, $8.01 to $9.34;

WG 4, $8.73 to $10.17; WG 5, $9.42 to $11.01; WG 6, $10.13 to $11.85; WG 7, $10.83 to $12.67; WG 8, $11.53 to $13.42; WG 9, $12.12 to $14.16; WG 10, $12.76 to $14.90; WG 11, $13.39 to $15.65; WG 12, $14.04 to $16.38; WG 13, $14.66 to $17.11; WG 14, $15.29 to $17.87; WG 15, $15.93 to $18.59.

Several thousand workers here who are on the lithographic wage scale also will get January raises of about 4.1 percent.Job Mart

The U.S. Customs Service in Arlington needs clerk-typists, Grades 2 through 4, and several secretaries (typing) GS 5/6. Call Roland Mozie at 202-634-2078.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. wants a budget analyst at the Grade 12/13 level with Civil Service status and a part-time equal employment opportunity specialist, GS 7/9 level. Call 202-898-8890.

The Federal Communications Commission needs a GM (merit pay) 14 supervisory procurement analyst. Call Mary E. Doyle at 202-632-7104.

Children's Day Party

The Government Printing Office will have its 21st Christmas-for-kids party at 10 a.m. Sunday. The employees' recreation association and the D.C. police sponsor the party for about 250 disadvantaged children. For details, call 202-275-3204.