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What Jobs Are Available in the Federal Government?


The government employs about 1.9 million people in 15 cabinet-level agencies and 100 independent agencies, making it the largest employer in the country. Federal positions cover more than 2,000 different job categories, mostly involving analytical and technical skills—more than half of federal employees work in professional, management, business, and financial occupations.

But the federal government is facing a looming retirement wave, with more than 60% of employees over the age of 45. The Office of Personnel Management estimates that by 2012, 550,000 federal positions will be vacated, the vast majority through retirement. What does this mean for you? With so many vacancies, the environment for highly skilled job seekers will be very favorable.

Mission-Critical Fields

By the end of 2009, the government will need to hire 193,000 new workers in areas that have been deemed "mission-critical." These fields are especially important to government operations, so if you're a concentrator in a relevant department, think about applying for a federal job!

Key fields include:

  • Security, protection, compliance, and enforcement (62,863 new hires by 2010)
  • Medical and public health (35,350 new hires)
  • Accounting, budget, and finance (21,248 new hires)
  • Engineering and sciences (17,477 new hires)
  • Program management/Analysis and administration (14,305 new hires)