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The US government hires engineers

While many other employers lay off employees, the federal government—the nation’s largest employer—will fill more than 200,000 dynamic, well-paying jobs annually during the coming years. The federal hiring wave, which will continue no matter how bad the economy may get, is being generated by record numbers of retiring baby boomers.

The federal government hires all types of professionals at all levels of their careers—from students to seasoned executives. And federal jobs are based all over the United States and overseas. (Only about 15 percent of federal jobs are based in Washington, D.C.)

Federal jobs are desirable because they provide:

1. Opportunities to serve your country: No matter what job you choose as a federal employee, you will impact large numbers of people and vast resources. And the ultimate aim of most federal jobs is to, in one way or another, better the world.
2. Excellent salaries: Contrary to popular belief, federal salaries are not low. In fact, the salaries of most feds meet or beat those of their private sector counterparts. Plus, some federal jobs pay up to $60,000 in student loan repayments.
3. Terrific benefits: excellent health insurance, dental insurance long-term care, and life insurance programs.
4. Unbeatable job security: Federal employees are rarely laid off.
5. Quick advancement: Federal employees receive annual cost-of-living increases, regularly scheduled promotions, and merit-based promotions. In addition, the ongoing retirement wave is creating unprecedented opportunities for professionals to quickly climb the federal career ladder.
6. Safe pensions: As corporate scandals and cutbacks erode private sector pensions, feds remain covered by secure pensions.

If you want to start a federal career, here’s how to find federal openings:

• Regularly check http://www.USAJOBS.gov: Every day, tens of thousands of openings are advertised on this web site—the main web site for federal jobs. There’s a handy link to this site on the HOME page of your ECS JOB SEARCH ACCOUNT.
• Check the career sections of agency web sites: Every federal agency has its own web site, and every agency web site has an employment section. These employment sections frequently advertise job openings, internships, and special recruitment programs that are never advertised on http://www.USAJOBS.gov. A link to an A-to-Z directory of agency web sites appears under “Government Agencies” at http://www.firstgov.gov.
• Apply for temporary jobs and contract jobs: Temporary jobs in federal agencies and federal contracting jobs often segue almost seamlessly into permanent federal jobs and generate experience and contacts that may lead to permanent jobs.

Because temp agencies and contractors frequently hire faster than federal agencies do, working for federal contactors or temp agencies are particularly good options for unemployed job hunters who need to start working quickly and for job seekers who want to work part time during their job searches.

You may find federal contract jobs by surfing through the web sites of federal contractors; a list of the nation’s top 100 contractors is posted at http://www.usaspending.gov. You may find temporary agencies that help federal agencies staff up by surfing through the list of temp agencies posted at

• Land a federal internship: Federal employers have recently rolled out dozens and dozens of new, well-paying internship programs for students and special fast-track management training programs for recent grads. Some of these programs are recruiting young professionals of all backgrounds and some of these programs are specially recruiting minorities, women, and people with disabilities.

*Resource: JobWeb.com—Career development and job-search advice for new college graduates.

"Where there is an open mind, there will always be a frontier.”
-Charles F. Kettering
 

Authored by Rachel Kaschner.