If you are searching for a fulfilling job that will give you the financial reward and job security you need in a field that is best suited for background, skills and experience, a government job may be what you need. The United States Government is the largest employer in the United States, and government jobs are available for people with all sorts of skills and qualifications.
There will continue to be an abundance of government jobs in America for jobseekers, and you don’t necessarily need to have a college degree to get a government job that pays as much as $47,000 a year plus benefits.
Furthermore, US government jobs are typically super-stable and recession-proof. For many positions, you get scheduled cost-of-living raises. This means your pay continues to increase the longer you stay in the job. You also get incredible benefits: health insurance for you and your family, retirement income, paid training, vacation time and overtime pay. If this is something that sounds appealing to you, keep reading to figure out how this could become your new reality!
According to federaljobs.net, “The federal government employs over 2,700,000 workers and hires hundreds of thousands each year to replace civil service workers that transfer to other federal government jobs, retire, or leave for other reasons.” And, everyone knows government compensation and benefits are great. In 2014 federal civilian workers had an average wage of $84,153, according the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).5
By comparison, the average wage for the nation’s 111 million private-sector workers was $56,350. All you have to do is understand where the different branches of positions are offered, and make sure that you are situated in the right place to get the position you want – or that there is a telecommuting option that you are eligible for. After all, you must go where the jobs are, so take that seriously into consideration before you apply for anything.
Not many people understand how to begin the application process to land a great government job. Searching for a government job can be more complicated than other job searches because of the regulations, but tailoring your search to the Federal Government’s rules will increase your chances of getting a job. You just need follow the standard application process:
It is however important to realize that government hiring decision makers do not provide any advice whatsoever to job applicants. If you haven’t followed the correct procedure when submitting your application, you’ll be weeded out, no matter how well qualified you are for the job.
Jobs with the government are available at all qualification and skill levels from high school students with no experience to Ph.D.’s with established careers. Education and training requirements vary with position. A few occupations such as office clerk do not require a high school diploma or any experience. Some require a high school diploma; some a 2-year degree; some a 4-year college degree; and some require more specialized education beyond a 4-year degree.
For those who are looking at a government position with only a high school education, you’d be best suited for an entry level position until you decide which way you want to move and how you can further your education to make sure you find the best place you.
If you have a Bachelor’s Degree or higher, you can look at getting into the government positions that are meant for your education level. These mean more specialized positions in a field that you are already educated in, as well as the option of being given incentives to further your education in order to get a higher position in your field.
Note that college degrees only qualify you for a particular grade level if they are related to the job. On the other hand, for occupations requiring general college-level skills, a bachelor’s degree in any subject can qualify you.
The US government has a system of classifying positions that determines your salary. It is important to understand the system so you can understand the highest level you can apply for.
With this chart handy, you should be able to make sure that you are applying for the right position so that you have the best chances of being successful in your job hunt.
The general requirements for employment vary with different government jobs, but the government gives strong priority to hiring United States citizens and nationals, although non-citizens may be hired in exceptional circumstances.
The Federal Government uses specific lingo to describe its jobs. Some of these descriptions can be confusing, and require interpretation. For example, if you are looking for a position in web design. The Government does not use that name, even though it hires people to do that type of work. So if you’re searching for a job in web design, rather than searching for “web designer”, you’d have to search under visual arts specialist, public relations specialist or information technology manager.
Recognizing the confusion its job title lingo causes, he Federal Government does provide definitions for many of its job titles at its employment website: www.usajobs.opm.gov. For more detailed information about titles, check the Office of Personnel Management’s Occupational Classification Manual, available online at www.opm.gov/fedclass/text/hdbktoc.htm.
Federal agencies advertise vacancies online at www.usajobs.gov. USAJobs is an online database that enables job seekers to search for positions by location, job category or by agency. Most, but not all, full-time, part-time and permanent Federal jobs are posted on USAJobs.
Searching this database online or by telephone is the ﬁrst step to ﬁnding a Government job. You can also contact agencies directly for assistance and for information about special hiring programs. In addition, many government agencies use ads and fairs to supplement their recruitment efforts.
Federal vacancy announcements use a common 5-tab format to provide information about the position. It is important to read each section carefully to ensure you fully understand the position, you meet the required qualifications, and you are aware of how your application will be evaluated.
Here’s a summary of the steps you will need to take in order to apply for the position you desire with the Federal government.
Make sure to keep an eye on the online database that is responsible for updating job positions and titles as they become available or are filled. This will tell you the position, the education level required, the duties of each position, and the location in which it will exist. This way, you will have a chance on finding the right combination of the job positions that will suit your lifestyle with minimal need to change your life.
If you have any friends or family that work within the government ranks, it would be best to see if they know of any job positions opening up in the near future so that you have the chance to prepare your application and apply as soon as they come online. This will give you an edge in making sure that you get your name and qualifications under the nose of the person responsible for hiring you.
If you’re looking for an internship, summer job, or co-op program, the Federal Government can provide those opportunities. Students can ﬁnd internships, co-ops, and other jobs by checking the online database at www.studentjobs.gov. The Federal Government also offers special programs for recent college graduates to help them advance their careers. You can learn about them by attending career fairs, contacting agencies that interest you, and searching the USAJOBS database.