High-Paying Government Jobs


When you think of a job in government, what do you think of? A stuffy, conservative, monotonous portion of our working world, filled with indolent and mindless workers, right?

On On the contrary, working for the government has a number of benefits, No. 1 being salary. Many government jobs pay $50,000 and more annually. And that's just the beginning.

The reality is that only about 15 percent of federal employees work in Washington, D.C. -- the other 85 percent is in other U.S. territories and foreign countries. In 2006, there were 2.7 million civilian employees and 1.4 million in military uniform in the federal government. There are numerous opportunities for job candidates interested in the public sector with key federal agencies such as the CIA, U.S. Navy, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Veteran Affairs and Department of Energy

Not convinced why you should work for the government? See if these choice government jobs change your mind:

1. Criminalist

What you'll do: Search for, collect and preserve physical evidence in the investigation of crime and suspected criminals; examine evidence; prepare findings; and give expert testimony in court. You might even work under unpleasant and adverse conditions, including high places, dangerous locations, and in proximity to dead bodies and biological and chemical hazards, in order to investigate crime scenes.

What you'll earn: $54,700 annually

2. Medical Examiner/Coroner

What you'll do: Investigate causes of death, assign a cause and manner of death and list them on the death certificate. The cause of death refers to the disease, injury or poison that caused the death. You'll also decide if a death occurred under natural circumstances or was due to accident, homicide, suicide or undetermined means or circumstances.

What you'll earn: $134,016 annually

3. Accident Investigation (Aviation/Airline)

What you'll do: Examining the causes of accidents and work to prevent them from happening again; determine the cost of an accident; fill out legal documents; determine compliance with applicable safety regulations; process workers' compensation claims.

What you'll earn: $59,258 annually

4. Prison Warden

What you'll do: Keep your eye on the approximately 1.4 million offenders who are incarcerated in prison at any given time; maintain security and inmate accountability to prevent disturbances, assaults, and escapes.

What you'll earn: $33,600 annually

5. Comptroller

What you'll do: Supervise cash flows in organizations, audit government accounts and sometimes certify expenditures. Some comptrollers examine the way the state government does just about everything in search of ways to do it better.

What you'll earn: $55,800 annually

6. Engineering Manager

What you'll do: Plan, direct or coordinate activities in such fields as architecture and engineering or research and development in these fields.

What you'll earn: $104,210

7. Computer and Information Systems Managers

What you'll do: Write computer programs, analyze problems related to data processing, and keep computer systems running smoothly. Plan, direct or coordinate activities in such fields as electronic data processing, information systems, systems analysis and computer programming.

What you'll earn: $100,110

8. Biological Scientist

What you'll do: Study living organisms and their relationship to their environment, research problems dealing with life processes and living organisms.

What you'll earn: $68,950

9. General Attorney

What you'll do: Perform consultation, advisory, and/or trial work, and carry out the legal processes necessary to affect the rights, privileges and obligations of the organization. Gather evidence and information for management decision making. Prepare and review various legal instruments and documents, such as contracts, leases, licenses, purchases, sales, real estate, etc.,/p>

What you'll earn: $105,577

Still need a reason to work for the U.S. government? How about four?

Reason No. 1: Flexible Qualifications

Years of experience can frequently replace college education in a government position. Senior level government positions may not require a college degree at all, while similar corporate positions do. Plus, the government hires people at all levels of experience and education: inexperienced high school graduates, college students, retiring veterans, GEDs and Ph.D.s. The government is also more likely to hire older qualified workers.

Reason No. 2: Pay and Benefits

Government salaries are comparable to corporate counterparts. The government offers locality pay, so your salary reflects your area's cost of living. Plus, the government is known for strong employee benefits, which are the same for every employee. They receive, among other benefits:

  • - Thirteen sick days per year that roll over;

  • - Ten paid holidays and vacation time that increases over the years;

  • - Flexible work schedules and teleworking options;

  • - Options for extending health care coverage to parents, adult children and other family questions.

Some agencies offer public transit subsidies, recruitment bonuses, student loan repayment and relocation assistance. The government's retirement benefits are secure, unlike the private sector. Government pensions are based on salary and years of service, and health insurance continues into retirement.

Reason No. 3: Job Security

While today's corporate jobs are more subject to downsizing, job security is one of the most noteworthy advantages of government employment. Though the government is known for its strict hierarchal structure and strict guidelines/procedures, these protocols protect your job from elimination. Thus, government jobs offer the luxury of planning for the future.

Reason No. 4: Hiring Outlook

The government is always hiring. In fact, there may be up to 18,000 job vacancies at any given time. Employees are always retiring, being promoted or moving to the private sector. So despite national trends toward downsizing and budget cuts, the government always has job openings due to turnover.

Next:Recession-Proof Jobs >>

Salary data provided by BLS and CBsalary.com.

Copyright 2007 CareerBuilder.com.

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