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What are the Different Types of Federal Government Jobs?

By T. Carrier
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Many job seekers are attracted to federal government jobs for perceived benefits and job security. Although challenging and selective, government work can be rewarding for a properly qualified individual. The types of federal employment are numerous and range from office work to medical specialization. Any potential applicant should carefully consider all options to ensure selecting a proper fit.

A federal government is a term of broad scope, but in general it encompasses the major governing body of a nation. Typically, the term refers to the government of the United States, including the President, the law-making legislature, and the law-interpreting judicial branch. Federal government jobs are created and overseen by this all-encompassing body of government.

Applicants for federal government jobs must meet qualification standards set forth in each job vacancy, as each job is assigned a qualification ranking based on pre-existing employee requirements. These requirements may include certain educational fulfillments or the obtainment of specific skills and experience. For trade jobs like maintenance and repair, a candidate often must demonstrate specific skill sets through classroom training or a proven job history. Sometimes, a federal government job position will also require completion of a specially issued test relevant to that particular job. Tests are scheduled regularly throughout the year, and once an individual has completed this requirement, the results are considered along with education and skills to assign the prospect a grade.

Following completion of the entire application process, a prospect is placed in a competitive pool of eligible candidates for consideration by hiring staff. Almost any type of employment found in the general workforce can likewise be found in the ranks of federal government jobs. For example, any service agencies funded by the federal government will need various staff members like administrative personnel and security officers. Post offices, public hospitals, employment assistance centers, veterans affairs offices, auditing firms, federal research agencies, federal law enforcement, social services agencies, and claims offices are just a few places of business that receive government backing. Most of these organizations have specialized employees who also work for the feds or work for the state in question, such as postal workers, physicians, police officers, scientists, accountants, auditors, statisticians, and social workers.

Once an individual has secured employment in one of the federal government jobs, he or she is subject to different levels of employment. A new hire may be selected for a position contingent upon grants or other sources of public funding. Other positions offer a salary and better job security provided the applicant successfully completes a trial period of employment of several months or years. Often, after this probationary period is finalized, the newly anointed career employee will be offered tenure, or a likelihood of lifetime employment.

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Discussion Comments

By Rotergirl — On Jul 13, 2014

Unfortunately, there is so much redundancy in government jobs that if the US government got really serious about cutting waste and starting with federal employees, there would be a *lot* of people out of work, which would mean a real hit on the economy, which can't stand too many hits as it is.

I wish our government had done a little more thinking 60 years ago before creating all these departments and positions for people. I don't like the thought of putting anyone out of work, but how do we deal with all the spending? It's a catch-22.

By Pippinwhite — On Jul 12, 2014

The thing is, you have to make sure you're an actual government employee and not a government contractor. A government contractor, not surprisingly, means you don't have the same kind of job security you do as an actual federal employee.

I'd love to get a federal job. The benefits are great and there's a lot more job security than in the private sector, in a lot of areas. I was always envious of my friends who got out of college, got that job on the base and now have a retirement sewed up and have been able to do a lot of cool things.

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