10 Of The Best Careers In Government [2024]

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Table Of Contents

Looking into government jobs? You're in for a treat. These roles aren't just about stability and benefits; they're about making a real difference—whether that's in public policy, national security, or somewhere in between.

In this article, we're going to walk you through some of the top government careers out there. Ready to see how your career can make an impact? Let's get into it.

Quickstart Guide To Landing A Career In Government

  1. Polish your resume. Give your resume a makeover by using a professional resume writing service. This step ensures your skills and experiences shine in the best possible light, making a strong first impression on potential employers.
  2. Connect with a like-minded community. Dive into The UnBREAKable Community, where you'll find people who share your career aspirations and values. With the UnBREAKable Community, you get the resources, guidance, and confidence you need to pursue your passions, overcome obstacles, and create a fulfilling career on your terms.
  3. Search for jobs on ZipRecruiter. Head over to a job posting site like ZipRecruiter to explore a wide array of government job listings. Their user-friendly platform makes it easy to find roles that match your skills and career goals.

Discover Your Dream Job

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10 Of The Best Careers In Government

1. Data Analyst

Median National Salary: $82,640/year

Education Required: Bachelor's degree

Job Duties: A data analyst is responsible for collecting, processing, and analyzing data to provide insights and support decision-making within an organization. They use their expertise in data manipulation, statistical analysis, and data visualization to identify trends, patterns, and correlations, helping organizations make informed decisions and optimize their operations.

If you want to become a data analyst, check out our guide to crafting a data analyst resume.

2. Environmental Scientist

Median National Salary: $84,123/year

Education Required: Bachelor's degree

Job Duties: An environmental scientist is responsible for studying the natural environment and identifying solutions to environmental problems. They use their expertise in research, data analysis, and environmental regulations to assess the impact of human activity on the environment, develop strategies for conservation and sustainability, and provide guidance on environmental policy and management.

3. Public Health Administrator

Median National Salary: $96,205/year

Education Required: Bachelor's degree, though a master's degree in public health or healthcare administration is often preferred

Job Duties: A public health administrator is responsible for overseeing and managing public health programs and initiatives to improve the health and well-being of communities. They use their expertise in public health policy, program management, and community outreach to develop and implement strategies that address public health challenges, allocate resources, and collaborate with stakeholders to promote health equity and disease prevention.

4. Urban Planner

Median National Salary: $75,033/year

Education Required: Master's degree in urban or regional planning

Job Duties: An urban planner is responsible for developing land use plans and programs that help create sustainable and thriving communities. They use their expertise in urban design, zoning regulations, and community engagement to address issues such as transportation, housing, and environmental sustainability, contributing to the development of livable and vibrant urban environments.

5. Intelligence Analyst

Median National Salary: $82,454/year

Education Required: Bachelor's degree

Job Duties: An intelligence analyst is responsible for gathering and analyzing information to provide insights and support decision-making related to national security and law enforcement. They use their expertise in data analysis, critical thinking, and risk assessment to assess threats, identify trends, and produce intelligence reports that inform strategic and operational activities aimed at protecting public safety and national interests.

6. Cybersecurity Analyst

Median National Salary: $99,400/year

Education Required: Bachelor's degree

Job Duties: A cybersecurity analyst is responsible for monitoring and analyzing security threats, identifying vulnerabilities, and implementing measures to protect an organization's digital assets. They use their expertise in threat detection, incident response, and security best practices to safeguard networks, systems, and data from cyberattacks and ensure the integrity and confidentiality of information.

7. Civil Engineer

Median National Salary: $82,674/year

Education Required: Bachelor's degree

Job Duties: A civil engineer is responsible for designing, constructing, and maintaining infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and buildings. They use their expertise in structural design, project management, and environmental considerations to ensure the safety, efficiency, and sustainability of infrastructure projects.

8. Policy Analyst

Median National Salary: $100,949/year

Education Required: Bachelor's degree, though a master's degree may be preferred for higher-level positions

Job Duties: A policy analyst is responsible for researching and analyzing public policies, providing recommendations to address societal issues, and evaluating the potential impact of policy proposals. They use their expertise in data analysis, public administration, and policy research to inform decision-makers, influence policy development, and contribute to the formulation of effective and evidence-based public policies.

9. Foreign Service Officer

Median National Salary: $56,584/year

Education Required: Bachelor's degree, with additional qualifications such as language skills and experience abroad being highly beneficial

Job Duties: A foreign service officer is responsible for representing their country's interests abroad, promoting diplomatic relations, and addressing international issues. They use their expertise in international relations, negotiation, and cultural understanding to engage with foreign governments, facilitate cooperation, and advance their country's foreign policy objectives.

10. Legislative Assistant

Median National Salary: $64,183/year

Education Required: Bachelor's degree

Job Duties: A legislative assistant is responsible for providing support to legislators by conducting research, drafting legislation, and coordinating legislative activities. They use their expertise in policy analysis, communication, and legislative processes to assist in the development and implementation of legislative initiatives, help constituents, and support the legislative agenda of the office.

Requirements And Skills To Find A Good-Paying Job In Government

Education and Certifications

  • Formal Education: Most government jobs require at least a bachelor's degree in a relevant field. Higher-level positions may require a master's degree or specialized certifications.
  • Certifications: Depending on the job, certifications can enhance your qualifications, especially in areas like cybersecurity, project management, or public administration.

Essential Skills

  • Analytical Abilities: Many government roles require the ability to analyze data, interpret regulations, and make informed decisions based on complex information.
  • Communication Skills: Effective written and verbal communication is crucial for drafting reports, presenting findings, and collaborating with team members and the public.
  • Technical Proficiency: For roles in IT, engineering, or science, strong technical skills and familiarity with industry-specific software are essential.
  • Problem-Solving Skills: The ability to address challenges creatively and efficiently is highly valued in the government sector.

Personal Qualities

  • Adaptability: Government jobs can involve shifting priorities and adapting to new policies or regulations.
  • Integrity: A high level of ethical standards and integrity is crucial due to the public service aspect of government roles.
  • Initiative: Being proactive and showing initiative can set you apart in a field where innovation and efficiency are increasingly important.
  • Understanding the System: Familiarize yourself with the government's hiring process, which can be different from the private sector. This includes navigating job portals specific to government roles and understanding the significance of the federal grade or GS level.
  • Security Clearance: For certain positions, especially those related to national security or law enforcement, obtaining a security clearance is a prerequisite. This involves a thorough background check.
  • Networking: Building a network of contacts within government agencies can provide valuable insights and alert you to job openings.

Best Places To Find A Career In Government

Finding a government job can seem daunting due to the vast number of agencies and positions available. However, several key resources can simplify your search and help you find the right fit. Here are the best places to start looking for government jobs.

Government Career Portals

Government career portals are the primary source for federal and state job listings. These official sites provide comprehensive databases of current openings, application procedures, and eligibility requirements. They are essential for anyone looking to enter the public sector.

Job Posting Sites

While general job posting sites aggregate listings from various sectors, they also feature government jobs. Among these platforms, ZipRecruiter stands out as a top choice for its user-friendly interface and the breadth of listings, including a wide range of government positions. It's an excellent tool for broadening your job search beyond government-specific portals.

Discover Your Dream Job

Find jobs near you and apply with 1 click! New jobs posted daily.

Get started with ZipRecruiter
ZipRecruiter logo

Professional Associations

Many professional associations have job boards that list opportunities in specific fields, including public sector roles. These can be particularly useful for finding specialized positions that may not be widely advertised on larger job platforms.

College Career Centers

For students and recent graduates, college career centers offer valuable resources for finding government internships and entry-level jobs. They often have connections with government agencies looking to recruit new talent and can provide guidance on navigating the government hiring process.

Networking Events

Networking events, such as career fairs and professional conferences, can be goldmines for government job seekers. These events offer the chance to meet hiring managers face-to-face and learn about openings before they're advertised to the general public.

Social Media and Professional Networking Sites

Social media platforms and professional networking sites are increasingly used by government agencies to post job openings and connect with potential candidates. Following the pages of agencies you're interested in can keep you informed about new opportunities.

The Bottom Line

Landing a government job offers stability, a chance to make a real difference, and a solid paycheck. We hope this article provided some insight on the top career options in government.

A great place to kick off your job hunt is on ZipRecruiter. It's user-friendly and packed with government jobs that could be just what you're looking for. ZipRecruiter makes it easy to find jobs that match your skills and interests, so you can apply quickly and get closer to landing that dream role.