Working in our federal government - Go Government

Working in our federal government

There is no better place to make a difference to our country than in our government, which touches all aspects of our lives, from the air we breathe, to the food we eat, to the roads we travel. Government employees are on the front lines of solving challenging and complex issues such as global warming, health care, and our economic health. As a civil servant, your work can have a positive impact on both our county and our world.

In our federal government, there are jobs for every type of person with every type of background, but the people most likely to succeed are those who want to have a significant impact on people’s lives and care deeply about good governance. They are “change agents” — optimistic, skilled people with a can-do attitude that is complimented by a sense of realism and practicality, recognizing that government changes come in small measures.

What do we mean by government jobs?

Between the legislative, judicial and executive branches of the federal government, the opportunities for employment are vast. Politicians and legislative staff, civil servants and members of the armed forces are all considered federal employees. Although there are many ways to work in the federal government, however this website will largely focus on full-time career civil-service employment within the executive branch. These positions exist in the fifteen executive departments which make up the cabinet, as well as numerous independent agencies and government corporations.

There are roughly 2 million of these civilian government jobs at more than 120 federal departments and agencies (and that doesn't include the U.S. Postal Service). These jobs are also available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and all U.S. territories and in more than 140 foreign countries.

The basics about working in government

Now is a particularly exciting time to pursue a federal job. Government is changing the way it does business and is promoting more dynamic work environments. The comprehensive benefits package offered by the federal government includes retirement, extensive health care, competitive salaries and more. In order to attract new talent, some agencies may offer student loan repayments, signing bonuses and flexible work schedules in addition to these first-class benefits.

Of all the reasons to work for the federal government, none outweigh the chance to address pressing national issues and impact the lives of all Americans. Simply put, a federal job allows you to contribute to a cause greater than yourself, making it a uniquely rewarding professional experience.

Tara Palmore
Deputy Hospital Epidemiologist

Julie Segre
Senior Investigator

National Institutes of Health

Stopped the spread of a deadly hospital-acquired infection through the first-ever use of genome sequencing to identify the source and trace the transmission of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, creating a groundbreaking model for the health care industry.See the complete story