If you want to become a diplomat, a legislator, a social worker, an ambassador, or you seek a career in another government occupation, this page is for you.
In this section, you will find out career information about different government positions at local, state, and federal levels.
Ambassadors try to smooth out the relationship between countries.
County assessors appraise real and personal property to determine its fair value.
Diplomats are representatives of their countries in other countries to which they are accredited.
Emergency dispatchers receive emergency calls by telephone, radio system, or computer-aided dispatch system.
Firefighter are to help protect the public in emergency situations.
Legislators represent the interests of people in a constituency as their elected member of a local government authority.
Politicians have to represent the wishes and preferences of the general public.
Postal worker sell stamps, money orders, postal stationery, mailing envelopes, and boxes in post offices throughout the country.
Social worker, you'll work with people to find solutions to their problems.
Tax examiner's job involves making sure that tax credits and deductions claimed by taxpayers are legitimate.
Urban planners create and implement land development strategies while accomplishing goals like cultivating communities and encouraging growth.
This section includes workers that work for federal, state, or local governments.
If you want to become a member of Congress or you’re seeking another career in politics, then you will need to campaign and be elected.
This category also includes firefighters, social workers, tax advisors, urban and regional planners, professions that require specialized training.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, firefighters held about 317,200 jobs in 2020, approximately 89 percent working for the local government.
Firefighters have one of the highest rates of injuries and illnesses of all occupations, and they must wear protective gear.
Most urban planners work for local government, but positions may also occur in architectural services, management services, or the federal government.
This section also includes legislators, consultants, and other politics-related jobs that exist at all levels of the government.
There are three branches of the federal government:
The legislative branch- is responsible for making laws and levying taxes that fund the government services.
This branch includes Congress, which consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Because legislators have many different responsibilities, regardless of the government level, they need assistants to help them fulfill the job description.
Staff members research proposed bills, write questions, and they may also be responsible for drafting new bills and tracking the progress of proposed bills throughout the enactment process.
The Capitol Police, the Government Accountability Office, and other agencies that support Congress are also part of the legislative branch.
The federal judicial branch interprets the meaning of laws and how they are applied.
It includes the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, Tax Court, and other lower courts and special courts, as well as the Federal Judiciary Center, and other support organizations.
The executive branch is responsible for enforcing laws.
It includes the President, the 15 executive departments, and related agencies within the department.
As of May 2013, the federal government employs 2 million civilian workers, according to a report published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Career Path and Education Requirements
This section includes a variety of career paths, and the education requirements vary widely depending on the position, the associated risks, and the responsibilities.
Government workers need anywhere between less than one month to more than four years of post-secondary education.
Some positions require a master’s degree that can be earned after approximately six years of post-secondary education.
Specific government professions require specialized intensive training and good physical skills.
One of the careers with the highest level of risk in this category is the firefighter profession.
Applicants for firefighter jobs typically must be over 18 years of age.
Prospective firefighters need a high school diploma and training in emergency services.
A passing score at written and physical tests is another requirement, along with fire academy training.
Fire academy recruits learn fire-prevention techniques, local building codes, and emergency medical procedures.
Firefighters are also required to pass a medical exam and drug screening to be hired, and they may be subjected to random drug tests and asked to complete routine physical fitness assessments.
Postal workers are required to pass a written exam that covers address cross-comparison, forms completion, memory and coding, and personal characteristics and experience.
You need to be at least 18 to be a postal service mail carrier or at least 16 if you have a high school diploma.
Newly hired postal service workers receive short-term on-the-job training, and they may work alongside an experienced carrier to learn the mail route.
There are also government positions that require a bachelor’s degree.
For example, if you want to become a tax examiner, you will need a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field.
Some positions may also be available for those who have a combination of education and work experience in accounting, tax compliance, and auditing.
Advancement opportunities are also available for government workers.
For example, tax examiners who review tax returns submitted by individuals may advance to a revenue agent job- a position that gives them the opportunity of working with more complex business returns.
Urban and regional planners typically need a master’s degree in architecture, economics, geography, political science, or a related field.
Those who have only a bachelor’s degree may qualify for an assistant position.
Entry-level positions may require around 1-2 years of experience in architecture, public policy, or a related field.
New Jersey is the only state that requires urban and regional planners to have a license.
Median annual salaries for government workers vary between less than $50,000 and more than $120,000 depending on experience, positions, training, and many other factors.
The median annual wage reported by those who worked for state governments, including schools and hospitals, was $65,230 in May of 2020.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics provided information about the salaries reported by federal government employees in 2013.
Administrative workers reported a median annual salary of $85,343, while clerical workers made $37,724.
Salaries for government employees, in general, vary widely depending on the occupation.
Employees in management positions were remunerated with $108,140 per year, while workers in educational institutions and library occupations were remunerated with $60,720, on average.
Health support occupations were among the government positions that reported the lowest salary levels.
The median annual wage reported by government workers in the field of health support was $36,950.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage reported by firefighters was $52,500 as of May 2020.
Wages are ranging between less than $30,000 and more than $90,000, depending on the state of employment, experience level, and many other factors.
Firefighters who worked for state governments earned slightly more than those who worked for the federal or local governments.
The median annual wage by firefighters hired by state governments was $56,340, while the median reported by those who worked by local governments was $53,360.
Salaries for government workers are influenced by the state and the level of government funding as well.
The top-paying states for firefighters were New Jersey and California where they were remunerated with $86,880 and $86,860, respectively, according to BLS.
Firefighters in Mississippi, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Kentucky, on the other hand, reportedly earned less than $35,000 per year, on average.
The median annual wage was $51,150 for postal service workers.
The lowest 10 percent of workers in the postal service field reportedly made less than $37,760 while the highest 10 percent made more than $65,040.
Tax examiners who worked for the federal government earned $59,230 per year, on average, while those who were hired by a local government made $46,980.
Higher median wages were reported by urban and regional planners- profession remunerated with $75,950 per year, on average.
Planners who worked for local governments earned $77,790 per year, on average, while those who worked for the federal executive branch made $102,960.
Job prospects for government workers vary depending on the state of employment, the local economy, and the level of government spending.
According to BLS, employment for firefighters will grow 8 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
This will translate into approximately 27,000 openings each year over the decade.
The more impressive growth is estimated for social workers, a profession that will grow 12 percent by 2030.
Job opportunities also vary depending on the social worker’s specialization.
Employment for social workers who specialize in working with children and families is projected to grow 13 percent.
Social workers who specialize in family issues will be needed to prevent child abuse and to identify alternative homes for children who are not able to live with their biological families.
As more people seek treatment for mental illnesses and substance abuse, the employment for mental health and substance abuse social workers will grow 15 percent over the decade.
The urban and regional planner profession is also projected to grow in the future.
This profession will grow 7 percent, and 3,700 new openings are projected to appear each year.
New urban planners will be needed to address issues related to resource scarcity, population growth, and similar.
Additional jobs may also stem from the need to develop and improve infrastructure in certain communities.
There are also government jobs that will decline in the future.
Overall employment for postal service workers is expected to decline 9 percent.
This situation is caused, in part, by the decline in First-Class Mail volume, which will be replaced by automated and electronic bill pay and email.
New mail sorting technology that can read a text and automatically sort, forward, and process mail will likely replace postal workers.
Another profession that is projected to decline in the future is tax examiner.
The demand for tax examiners and collectors and revenue agents is expected to decline 4 percent by 2030, mostly due to budget restrictions.
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of education do government workers need?
Education requirements vary depending on the position and its associated job responsibilities.
Some positions in the postal service field can be filled in by applicants with high school diplomas while city planners need a master’s degree.
Firefighters and other emergency services careers require intensive specialized training and continuing education classes.
How much does a government worker make?
Salaries in this field vary between less than $30,000 and more than $120,000 per year depending on the level of experience, education, and the employer.
The median annual wage for firefighters, legislators, and postal workers is usually in the $50,000-$60,000 range, while diplomats make more than $120,000 on average each year.
Will government occupations be in demand in the future?
Although the answer to the above question depends on the exact occupation, the region, the employer, and the level of government funding, many government occupations will grow in the future.
Employment for mental health social workers will grow 15 percent from 2020 to 2030, while employment for firefighters will grow 8 percent.
There are also professions, such as postal officer workers, which will decline in the future.
How do I know if a government profession is right for me?
Government professions are mostly focused on working with or for the public.
If you’re a compassionate person who’s passionate about helping people, then a career as a social worker may be the right fit for you.
If you want to make and change laws and you’re ready to spend a lot of time campaigning, then a legislative career in politics can be a good option.