Government Jobs – What You Need to Know

Federal government agencies employ about 2 million civilian workers in 350 occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These jobs offer competitive compensation, good benefits and job security.

Depending on the agency, these workers help ensure food safety, investigate criminal activity and provide health care. They also do work that can be challenging, such as negotiating budgets and maintaining office equipment.



Government jobs are competitive and offer attractive benefits, including health and life insurance. Most employees also receive 13 to 26 days of paid vacation per year. In addition, some agencies provide flexible work arrangements such as telework and alternative schedules, and pay for continuing education and training opportunities.

Federal workers perform a wide variety of tasks, from ensuring food safety to investigating criminal activity to fighting climate change. Their work touches millions of people’s lives.

Unlike the private sector, where businesses can fail, government agencies continue to operate even when the president or Congress cuts funding. This can cause staff morale to suffer. In addition, the lack of control over agency funding can hinder productivity. Lastly, government jobs have limited upward mobility, as promotions are usually based on time spent at the agency rather than on performance. This can be difficult for some workers with professional licenses or specialized skills. Moreover, salaries rarely keep up with inflation and merit raises are rare for high-level officials.


The main advantage of working in the government is job security. Unlike private companies, which are constantly looking to cut costs, the government is less likely to lay off workers or close departments altogether.

A second benefit is the generous benefits package offered by the federal government. Among these are health insurance and paid vacation days, as well as low-cost life insurance and retirement pensions. Many agencies also offer flexible work arrangements, such as alternative schedules and job sharing.

The government offers a diverse range of careers in fields such as law enforcement, medicine, social work and education. However, some professionals complain about limited upward mobility. Promotions are rarely based on merit, and salaries in certain professions are capped at a fixed level. In addition, agencies are subject to funding issues, which can affect worker morale and productivity. Some people still choose to work in the government, though, because they find it rewarding and interesting.

Working Conditions

Working Conditions

Working conditions for government jobs vary based on the occupation and the agency. Many white-collar positions offer an office-based environment while others work outside in the field or in a laboratory, as with those who perform inspections or develop vaccines. Some of these positions require frequent travel for weeks or months at a time.

Federal employees are paid competitive salaries, which increase each year until the worker reaches a maximum step in his or her grade level. This system is similar to the pay scales found in the private sector.

Many jobs with the federal government are considered permanent. In contrast, private sector jobs may feel temporary depending on the economy. In addition to salary and wages, most federal agencies provide benefits that include subsidized health insurance for the employee and his or her family. Many also offer flexible work schedules, telework and alternative work locations as a part of their negotiated union contracts. These working conditions make it easy for a new employee to maintain a work/life balance and continue his or her education.


Most government jobs are found at the federal level, but there are also many positions available at state and local levels. These jobs offer a variety of career paths and opportunities.

Many government jobs require a degree and passing a civil service examination. However, some government jobs do not need a degree and can be filled by candidates with professional qualifications.

The government is looking for workers from a wide range of disciplines and specialties. There are jobs for architects, doctors, engineers, lawyers, business people and others. There are even some jobs that are a combination of two or more fields, such as social work and law enforcement.


Those interested in working in the government should visit freejobalert to find an opportunity that fits their skills and interests. Many third-party services claim to provide access to the “hidden” federal jobs market, but most of these just link you back to freejobalert. If you are a US citizen, you can apply for most federal jobs directly.