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What kinds of federal jobs are available?

Career Exploration The Hiring Process The Local Job Market

Question: I’d like to get a job with the federal government. I hear they have great benefits, good work-life balance, and best of all, great job security. Do you know what sorts of jobs are available? Answer: Good for you! Everything you said is (for the most part) true about the federal government. In addition, the federal government includes almost any type of job you can think of; there’s tremendous variety. And when you have a federal job, you can make a difference in the world, in a way you just can’t anywhere else. Even better news: the government is hiring! Over 200,000 mission-critical hires must be made in the next fiscal year, which starts on October 1. And you don’t need to move away; federal jobs are everywhere in the US, and even overseas. Locally we have Fort Detrick, with hundreds of federal jobs. A new report is just out, called “Where the Jobs Are 2009.” You can find it for free online at http://wherethejobsare.org/WTJA/about/WTJA09.pdf.  The top areas, according to this report, include: Medical and Public Health (54,000 + jobs); Security and Protection (52,000 jobs); Compliance and Enforcement (31,000 jobs); Legal (more than 23,000 jobs); and Administration/Program Management (over 17,000 jobs.) Hopefully one of them has your name on it. You can see actual job openings for most agencies at www.usajobs.gov. There is a ton of information for each vacancy announcement (Fedspeak for “job opening”), everything you could possibly want to know. The vacancy announcement tells you, in great detail, exactly what the requirements are for each job, and what information they want from you. There is one downside to all this. Getting a federal job can take a great deal of time and effort. You’ll want to read everything, and follow the directions to the letter. But you can do it!