According to the U.S. Department of Labor, as of 2010, the federal government has over 2 million employees and is the largest employer in the U.S. A wide variety of government jobs are available to fill almost every interest and skill set. U.S. government jobs are located all over the world, and 16 percent of federal employees are located in the Washington, D.C. area. According to OPM, as of June 2003, the average annual salary for a federal government employee is $58,282, which is competitive to many other jobs found in the private and nonprofit sectors.
Law and Law Enforcement
The U.S. government employs many civilians in positions that involve written law as well as law enforcement. With a legal degree, you can work for the government in such positions as an attorney, legal assistant, paralegal or judge. Government law enforcement positions include police officers, criminal investigators, correctional officers, border patrol agents and FBI agents. Popular federal government cabinet agencies in the law field include the following: Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of Justice.
Foreign Languages and International Relations
Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the demand for people with foreign language and international relations skills have increased dramatically. Examples of federal agencies hiring in the foreign relations field include the National Security Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, the Agency for International Development and the Department of Justice. Such job titles include linguists, counter terrorism analysts, foreign affairs officers and intelligence specialists.
Medicine, Social Work and Education
The U.S. government is always seeking employees in the medical field. The areas of work include clinical, public health, research and health policy positions. Such job titles include nurses, doctors, pharmacists, medical technologists and medical records technicians. As a social worker the selection of work comes from such government agencies as the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In the field of education, you can work for the government as a teacher, librarian, vocational rehabilitation specialist, public health educator or an instructional systems specialist.
Science and Engineering
In the broad field of science, you can work for the government in such areas as agriculture, forestry, physical science, environmental studies, botany, biology and astronomy. Science-related government agencies include the Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Smithsonian Institution. Engineers are very important to the missions of many government agencies. You can work as an electronic engineer for the Department of Transportation, a civil engineer for the Department of Energy, a general engineer for NASA or a mechanical engineer for the Department of the Army.
Business and Technology
Numerous types of government jobs relate to the broad field of business. These business areas include management, economics, accounting, finance, human resources and marketing. Business-related government agencies include the Department of Commerce, the Department of the Treasury, the Congressional Budget Office and the Federal Reserve System. Further, as technology advances, the U.S. government always has a demand to hire people who specialize in computer science, information technology and computer programming.
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