Are you thinking of working for the federal government? If so, opportunities and benefits lie ahead. Check out these ten reasons to pursue a career in the field.
- Make a difference
The work of government employees impacts the lives of every American and the lives of people around the world. Federal employees can play a vital role in addressing pressing issues, from homelessness to homeland security. Students interested in working in government can engage in high-impact work, such as helping disrupt the laundering of billions of dollars derived from illicit U.S. drug deals.
- Great benefits/competitive pay
Average government salaries are competitive with the private and nonprofit sectors. Recent graduates can expect a starting salary from $32,415 to $42,631 a year. Pay can also increase fairly quickly for top candidates with experience and a strong education. Federal benefits, including health insurance, retirement and vacation, are extremely competitive with, if not superior to, other sectors.
- The government is hiring
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projected an employment increase of ten percent through 2018 in federal employment.
- Location, location, location
Federal opportunities are not only found in the D.C area. Eighty-four percent of federal government jobs are outside of Washington, D.C. If students are interested in international job opportunities, more than 50,000 federal employees work abroad.
- Jobs for every major
Working in the federal government is not just for political science majors. In fact, 28.4 percent of federal employees work in STEM fields. There are federal jobs for every interest and skill, from art history to zoology.
- Opportunities for advancement and professional development
Federal employees have many opportunities for career advancement in government. An internal Merit Promotion Program helps ensure that new employees succeeding in their job have easy access to information about job openings within government. The government also offers excellent training and development opportunities and has human resources personnel to help connect current employees with these opportunities.
- Interesting and challenging work
Today’s government workers are leading and innovating on issues, such as developing vaccines for deadly diseases, fighting sexual and racial discrimination, and keeping our massive systems of transportation safe.
- Work-life balance
Flexible work schedules, including telework, are a major plus for those with busy schedules or long commute. Competitive benefits also include generous vacation time combined with federal holidays and sick leave. All of these packaged together make government an attractive employer for students looking to successfully balance their work and personal lives.
- Job security
Government work is steady and secure, an attractive selling point, especially during difficult economic times.
- The federal government can help pay for school loans
Some federal agencies can help pay back up to $10,000 per year in student loans, up to a total of $60,000.
The Top 25 Highest Paid Federal Jobs
Did you know that the 25 highest paying government jobs all pay over $50,000 per year?
Below is a list of 25 of the most sought after federal jobs, ranked by the Office of Personnel Management as the highest paid jobs currently offered by the U.S. Government.
1) Astronomer – $116,072
2) Attorney – $114,240
3) Financial Manager – $101,022
4) General Engineer – $100,051
5) Economist – $94,098
6) Computer Scientist – $90,929
7) Chemist – $89,954
8) Criminal Investigator – $88,174
9) Microbiologist – $87,206
10) Architect – $85,690
11) Statistician – $81,524
12) Librarian – $78,665
13) Accountant – $78,030
14) Chaplain – $76,511
15) Ecologist – $76,511
16) Human Resources Manager – $76,503
17) Health and Safety Specialist – $73,003
18) Air Traffic Controller – $72,049
19) Budget Analyst – $71,267
20) Correctional Officer – $67,140
21) Nurse – $65,345
22) Technical Engineer – $63,951
23) Border Patrol Agent – $63,550
24) Medical Technician- $59,840
25) Customs Inspector – $59,248
Source: Office of Personnel Management