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What are the Different Types of Government Contractor Jobs?

By K. Kinsella
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Government contractor jobs involve individuals working for private firms that have been contracted to work for the government. In order to reduce costs associated with hiring large numbers of long-term employees, governments often hire private firms to complete short-term projects. Most government contractor jobs are short-term positions. In some industries, governments agree to multi-year contracts with firms, which mean that some of these jobs have a longer duration.

Government owned utility companies often hire contractors to perform maintenance work and complete major projects and upgrades at electrical and sewage plants. Private firms contracted to complete this work employ engineers, electricians, and other skilled professionals to complete the specific tasks. Government contractor jobs are numerous for professionals, including engineers in the aftermath of natural disasters. Medical professionals, including doctors and nurses, are also contracted to work for the government after natural disasters occur, and very often these professionals oversee volunteers from charities and other non-governmental organizations.

The military often hires private contractors to provide security at military installations and government buildings overseas. It costs a government less to hire locally based private security contractors rather than to transport large numbers of military personnel to guard embassies and other government properties located in other nations. During military conflicts there are often lucrative government contractor jobs for truck drivers and other individuals with experience in the transportation industry, as these workers are hired to carry supplies to military installations. Despite the lucrative nature of the work, jobs located in war zones expose workers to elevated levels of danger, and consequently governments usually hire firms that specialize in working in conflict situations to handle such contracts.

When a government needs to conduct a census, large numbers of people are needed to gather data on the population, and governments often pay private companies to find workers who can go door-to-door and collect census information. Census workers usually work on a part-time basis, and these positions do not require any specialist skills. Workers are paid based on wages determined by the private company hiring them rather than the government, although the government has an indirect influence on wages by approving the contractor's bid for the work.

People who take on government contractor jobs are not entitled to the same benefits as salaried government employees. Firms that bid on government contracts do not typically provide these benefits to workers either, since most employees are signed to short-term contracts and are not permanent employees. People who work on government contracts often work on the same project for several years, but during that time they work for several different firms because the firm contracted to complete the project often changes on an annual basis.

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