In-Demand Jobs With the Federal Government

By Carol Tice

State and local governments may be trimming their staffs, but the federal government has out its "now hiring" sign. Washington needs to hire 270,000 workers in the next two years, the Partnership for Public Service reports. One reason for the hiring boom: The government is confronting a "retirement tsunami" as longtime civil-service workers near age 65, says Janet Ruck, co-author of 'Guide to America's Federal Jobs.'

In the past, applying for a federal job meant taking tests and writing lengthy essays, but a directive from President Barack Obama in May has eliminated most of these barriers. If you think you have to live in Washington, D.C. to work for Uncle Sam, think again – there are federal job sites around the country, and in many fields.

Data from online salary database reveals what federal workers earn in a wide variety of jobs. Here's a look at six of the top areas for federal hiring:

1. Medical and public health

With veterans returning from wars overseas, military hospitals and clinics are bustling. They need 19,000 nurses (RNs: $61,150) in a variety of specialties, dieticians ($51,870), occupational therapists ($69,040), and radiologic technologists ($45,000), to name just a few of the in-demand jobs, says Ruck.

2. Security and protection

If you've been to an airport lately, you know security screening is a growing field. The Transportation Safety Administration needs to hire 30,000 security screeners ($37,320) for airports and other transportation hubs across the country, says Heather Krasna, author of 'Jobs That Matter: Find a Stable, Fulfilling Career in Public Service.' Also needed: corrections officers for federal prisons ($42,140), and federal police officers ($49,500).

3. Compliance and enforcement

Roles here include criminal investigators – the Department of Justice is looking for more than 3,700 of them ($69,220). To aid our growing efforts to protect our borders from both illegal substances and illegal immigrants, nearly 5,000 customs agents and 9,800 border-patrol agents ($56,350) are needed by the Department of Homeland Security.

4. Information technology (IT)

"This is a huge one," says Krasna, "with hiring across many agencies." As our society increasingly relies on technology, the federal government has to keep up. The many military applications for IT are a big reason why the federal government is seeking more than 11,000 IT workers. Departments hiring heavily for information technology managers ($72,980) include the Department of Defense, Department of the Treasury, Departments of Army and Navy, and Department of Homeland Security.

5. Legal

Needs here aren't all for attorneys. Federal legal jobs that require less education include serving as a paralegal ($45,760), passport/visa examiner, and claims assistance representative (claims processor, $36,690).

6. Administration/program management

Yes, the government hires secretaries, too. They anticipate needing 600 support clerks at the Department of Housing and Urban Development alone ($29,430). Program managers are in huge demand at many federal agencies, says Krasna, and median salary is $75,497. If you have previously done project or program management elsewhere, especially in the military, you may make an easy transition.

One factor that can be a challenge in landing a federal job – preference goes to workers who've previously held federal jobs. How can you break this cycle? Serve with a federal program such as the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps. There's also constant demand for inner-city teachers in the Teach for America program. Secondary-school teachers average $45,761. You'll be considered a federal worker for a year after your service ends.

Learn more about federal job opportunities at the nation's Where The Jobs Are site or at USAJobs.

Business reporter Carol Tice contributes to several national and regional business publications.

Source: All salary data is from The salaries listed are median, annual salaries for full-time federal government workers with 5-8 years of experience and include any bonuses, commissions or profit sharing.

Next: Getting Government Jobs Easier with Idiot's Guide >>

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FEDEX Ground is a nazi company. If a driver gets sick, the driver needs to find someone to drive or else they get fired. There is 0 sick days, 2 weeks non paid vacation. There is no medical benefits of any kind. Drivers get abused everyday on the job. If get into accident, then its your problem to rent a truck and continue. If you arrive late to a customer because of traffic, they fine you $25 each time. If you misdeliver a package, fedex makes you pay even if its worth $5000 dollars.

November 09 2010 at 9:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
L.A. is Best

How about President, you get to spend TRILLIONS & there is NO accountability!! You can be friends with Keith & Rachel....where do I sign up?

November 06 2010 at 12:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

By the way, for those interested, if you sometimes post comments on Pop Eater (and their related popsugar) and AOL sites, they will censor what you say, and not just for vulgarities. If the comment is not PC enough and disagrees with what they think, they will not post it. I found it ironic in that the place I tested this idea with popeater was on the article on Muslim censorship, via threats of violence (surprise, surprise), of South Park. So just be aware that Pop Eater is into censorship big time. Two of their favorite protectorates are Muslims and illegal aliens. Politics daily will also follow suit and censor an absolutely true, non-vulgar comment simply because they disagree with it and it is not PC enough. I have been repeatedly testing the popeater and Politics Daily comments section and they also censor any negative comments about themselves, such as this. Apparently they are ashamed of what they are doing and trying to hide it. In some, popeater was censoring comments while allowing others to use profane vulgarities. How inconsistent and hypocritical. The latest confirmatory test was 11/5/10.

November 06 2010 at 12:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to exoticdoc2's comment
David Podesta

Exoticdoc2, I hear what you're saying and I do agree government is too big and too intrusive, but you must understand that a person who is desperate for a job really doesn't give a damn about political philosophy; he wants a job -
not government benefits. Which is worse; a contributor or a sponge?

November 09 2010 at 5:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We shouldn't be looking at GROWING the miserable government, we should be working diligently to SHRINK it. The last thing we need is more government worker leeches sucking our tax dollars. What the government does it generally does poorly, so get them out of as many areas of our lives as possible. Get them to stick to the basics and eliminate the worthless cubicle workers who produce nothing and take everything in the form of overblown salaries (courtesy of the criminal unions), and gold plated pensions and benefits (again, thanks to the skanky unions).

November 06 2010 at 12:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to exoticdoc2's comment

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