Government Jobs

How to Get a Good Government Job


Interested in getting a government job? With some of the best benefits, job security and opportunity for advancement in the workforce today it’s no surprise that many people would like to be employed by the U.S. government.

Fortunately for job seekers, there are many government job opportunities. Government jobs can be at the city, county, state or federal level and are located across the country. They run from entry level positions to highly specialized jobs that require years of training and expertise.

Benefits of Government Jobs

One of the most appealing things about government jobs is the benefits. Pay is usually on par with averages in an industry, however when it comes to the extras like health insurance and paid time off government jobs are likely to out-do the private sector alternatives.

Government job benefits to take into account include:

  • Insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Sick leave
  • Job security
  • Retirement benefits

Even if pay isn’t quite as competitive as working for-profit companies, the benefits are a part of the overall compensation package that you should be taking into consideration.

Where to Find Government Jobs

Despite the recent economic turmoil there are thousands of government job openings waiting to be filled.  You just need to know where to find them.

There are a number of government websites where you can find government job postings and apply for them online. USAJOBS.gov is the official website for finding jobs in the federal government.  If you’re interested in government jobs within your own state the Department of Labor sponsor’s the website CareerOneStop.org which provides links to state-specific job sites. These sites will list both state-wide and local positions.

Applying for a Government Job

In many ways applying for a government job is just like applying for any other job. However, there are specific requirements to take into consideration.

Citizenship – Most all government jobs are available only to U.S. citizens. There are exceptions, and at the federal level there are agencies that will consider non-citizens. There’s a special hiring process for non-residents and employability requirements that must be met.

Background checks – You can expect to have a background check done when applying for government jobs. It’s not unusual for people in government positions to have access to sensitive information which is why background and drug tests are typically a part of the hiring process.

Qualifications – Pay careful attention to the qualifications section of a job posting. Government jobs can be competitive and the government is only looking for highly qualified individuals. There is what’s known as KSAs which are given during the hiring process for many government jobs. KSA stands for knowledge, skills and abilities.

Age limit – Most government jobs are restricted to people 18 years or older.