Which Government Jobs Are Right For You?

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Many people do not realize that many different categories of government jobs exist. The jobs that fall under this category are characterized by the branch of the government to which they are relevant. The different branches of the government basically fall under three categories. These categories encompass several positions that relate to a specific field. These fields each necessitate different training and experience required to secure a government position; this is somewhat similar to the requirements for employment within the private sector.

The Congressional Branch

The Congressional branch is also often called the legislative branch. It is one small part of the government, although the government is the largest employer in the country, even if you take the Postal Service out of the picture. Congressional jobs include secretaries, public relations personnel, and advisors.

Below follows an example of one of the top positions under the Congressional branch of government, and the specifics that are a part of this particular job.

Congressional Liaison Specialist

This is one of the more lucrative positions within the Congressional branch, with an attendant salary that ranges from $98,000 to $149,000 per year. The greater Washington D.C. metropolitan area is the location for this job. The position is open to U.S. citizens; a pre-employment drug test is required, and a confidential financial report is a must for the person selected for this position. Knowledge of Congress is essential, which includes the handling of legislative issues; also required is knowledge concerning The Office of the Inspector General, including the management of audits, inspections, and the organizations that carry out the various acts of the Office. A congressional liaison specialist also must possess the ability to work with congressional offices, other levels of government, private organizations linked to these offices, and the broadcasting sector. Finally, superior oral and written communication skills are necessary, as the position may require the actual writing of press releases, congressional testimony, speeches, briefings, and presentations.

The Executive Branch

The Executive Branch consists of the Offices of the President and Vice President — which include the department heads that advise these men — and independent agencies, which are responsible for carrying out policy and making special services available.

This branch of the government employs about 98% of all employees who work for the government. Employees in this branch of government include 90 independent departments and 15 Cabinet departments. Included in the Cabinet are the Defense and Education departments. The independent categories include Social Security and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Positions in this massive field ultimately take their cues from the President. There are 14 Cabinet departments which are considered the executive branch of the federal government. The orders they receive not only come from the President, but congressional laws that are passed.

The salaries paid for these government jobs vary according to the position itself. The average salary for a government employee, mandated by a pay scale, is around $63,000. Clerical workers earn about $35,000 per year. Senior executives who have added more training and education to their resume can earn up to $147,000 in a year.

At the very least the requirements for government jobs of this type include:
  • A high school diploma
  • A bachelor's degree or experience that is equal to earning a bachelor's degree.
  • At least five years of successful experience as an administrator
Helpful experience includes serving as the executive director of a nonprofit organization.

The Judicial Branch

This branch of the government includes the city manager, those involved in the organization of community affairs, compliance managers for code enforcement, housing development, and customs, as well as researchers and speech writers.

Most government jobs, depending upon the position, will require background investigations. The level of security that the position requires dictates the level of security clearance that you must hold. There are thorough checks into one's background. This may include employment, criminal activity, and credit records. If the position has a high rate of security, even your friends and family may be investigated.

Due to the stability and security of these positions, these are the types of government jobs that most people seek. Some of the positions and their pay scale are as follows:

Judges, including magistrates, earn salaries averaging approximately $94,000 per year. Of this number, the bottom 10% earned $24,000 or less, and the top 10% earned $138,000 or more. Administrative judges' average yearly wage was $64,500.
Mediators' and arbitrators' average salary was $47,320.

Arbitration, mediation, and reconciliation opportunities abound. Schools often offer dispute resolution as degree programs. Most of these candidates hold legal and public policy degrees before involving themselves in this particular area of the government.

The only requirement for many types of government jobs is to have a bachelor's degree and some work experience in the particular field. Litigation, especially in mediation and arbitration services, is experiencing an increase in available jobs, so the future of this profession looks better all the time.

An example of a particularly interesting position is that of the state general trial court judge. They are usually given the task of presiding over felony cases and civil cases that supersede the jurisdiction of lower courts. These judges are called appellate court judges and can overrule decisions of the lower courts. These judges rule on previous presented testimony, arguments, and records.


The type of government job that you choose depends entirely on that in which you are interested, and on what level of education that you are willing to pursue. There are many opportunities within the government, some of which require a great deal more training and higher security levels than others. The position or field that you choose to pursue should involve work that you enjoy, in a field in which you think you will continue and have the best chance of succeeding throughout your career.
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