Federal Government Jobs

Helping job hunters find, apply for, and land government jobs

Exploring Federal Jobs – The First Step

Have you ever wondered why some who land jobs with Uncle Sam have half the experience, education, and special qualifications that you do — and you’re still looking? Many who approach the federal sector don’t take the time to understand the federal hiring process. Others get frustrated by the required paperwork and give up prematurely.


The hiring process today is streamlined compared to when I applied for my first federal job. Federal recruiters are hard pressed to find the talent they need for critical vacancies and are trying everything possible to attract the limited talent available.

This includes incentives such as the ability to negotiate salary, student loan payments, the potential for remote or telework options, and multiple duty locations.

Their USAJOBS recruiting site centralized recruiting for agencies that in the past had to do this on their own. You apply online, submit your application for jobs of interest and posted resumes are searched by recruiters, even if you don’t apply for a specific job.  


Their centralized job search site, www.usajobs.gov offers everything an applicant needs to explore jobs in related fields, find active job announcements, and apply online.  

The first step is to create a profile which allows you to save job searches and specific job vacancies for further review. Before uploading your resume and related documents, locate jobs of interest and apply online. Upload your tailored resume, and you can elect to make it searchable so all federal recruiters can review it and contact you for positions you qualify for in their organization.

Job Announcements

When applying for any federal job print out a copy and read the job announcement front to back. Highlight key qualifications, skills, and other requirements. The job announcement explains everything you need to know to apply for that specific job.

Every job announcement is unique, so don’t assume because you read one for the exact same job series and grade that the requirements are the same for this new job. This is especially true for the required key Duties, Responsibilities and Specialized Experience. Each advertised job has specific requirements such as proficiency and experience with computer software, equipment, programs, reporting systems, skills, and other factors.

Job applicants shouldn’t submit the same resume for every job they apply for.  Your resume must be tailored to the announcement’s qualifications. Applicants can save multiple resumes on their account and tailor them as needed when applying for other jobs.

Apply Early and Often

Start your employment search early, applications take several weeks or longer to process and evaluate. Plus, the top-rated applicants must be interviewed.

Contact the recruiting specialist that issued the announcement if you haven’t heard anything within a reasonable period of time. The recruiting specialist contact information is located towards the end of each job announcement. They can also answer any questions you may have about the vacancy.

Many submit one application and wait to hear back from the agency. Be proactive, and apply for any vacancies that you meet the qualifications for and are interested in.  


Competition for federal positions increases during times of economic uncertainty, when workers seek the stability of federal employment. In general, employment in the federal government is relatively stable because it is less susceptible than private industries to economic fluctuations.

If you take the time to understand the differences between the private and public sectors, thoroughly complete your application package, and seek out all available job vacancies, your chances for employment increases substantially.  

Hiring Federal Air Marshals Nationwide – Apply Now

The TSA announced that it is hiring Federal Air Marshals to work in more than a dozen regions across the country including Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, Newark, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Seattle, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Applications will be accepted from March 1-29, 2023.

Applicants don’t need previous experience working in security, the military or law enforcement fields. New hires will receive extensive training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center and they are paid while undergoing training.


Federal Air Marshals detect, deter and defeat criminal, terrorist and hostile activities that target our nation’s transportation systems. They perform a critical role in securing the nation’s transportation in a variety of federal law enforcement capacities on board aircraft and on the ground in transportation sectors such as mass transit, rail and ports.

They are involved with a range of law enforcement responsibilities including:

  • Serving a variety of civil writs and criminal warrants issued by Federal courts
  • Tracing and arresting people wanted under court warrants
  • Seizing and disposing of property under court orders
  • Safeguarding and transporting prisoners
  • Providing for the physical security of court facilities and personnel
  • Providing for the physical security of jurors and key Government witnesses and their families
  • Preventing civil disturbances or restoring order in riot and mob violence situations; and
  • Performing other special law enforcement duties as directed by a court order or by the Department of Justice.

Applicant requirements

Applicants must be U.S. citizens or nationals between the ages of 21 and 36 (veterans may receive a waiver allowing for employment prior to their 40th birthday) with a valid driver’s license with a minimum of either three years of work experience or a bachelor’s degree or higher, or combination of education and experience. Applicants must pass a pre-employment background check, including a polygraph and pass a medical evaluation and a physical fitness assessment.

Salary Range

The salary range for entry-level Federal Air Marshals is $46,428 to $71,932 plus locality pay based on the region where an individual is stationed. Locality pay for the New York City/Northern New Jersey region is currently an additional 36.16%.


Marshals receive paid annual and sick leave, life insurance, comprehensive health care plans (including dental and vision), a three-tiered retirement system including a generous fixed annuity, a Thrift Savings Plan with a 5% salary match, and Social Security with early retirement possibilities. contributions to the


Don’t hesitate, they are accepting application now through March 31, 2023. There are many opportunities for those who want to make a difference and be a part of the federal law enforcement community.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Virtual Career Fair 2022

The FAA offers a cross section of high paying jobs to support Air Traffic nationwide including air traffic controllers, system specialists, engineers, administrative staff, trainers, and so much more.

There are many lucrative high paying job opportunities in the FAA for those who seek them out. I worked 30 plus years with the FAA starting as an electronics system specialist, transferred to a training instructor position, project engineer, and training program manager. My last government position was technical operations manager at the Greater Pittsburgh International Airport’s air traffic control tower.

You will discover that federal government offers attractive benefits, a comprehensive three-tiered retirement plan with generous vacation and sick leave. Plus, they offer student loan payoff assistance for hard to fill positions.

If you are interested in a career in aviation join their virtual career fair on September 15 at 12 PM ET to 5:00 PM EDT. You will have the chance to speak 1-on-1 with experts from a variety of different fields, view current openings, and more.

Register at https://bit.ly/3B0yMSA

Why should you attend?

  1. Break through conventional barriers and actually engage with an employer!
  2. Gain unparalleled access to a live person on our team.
  3. Get tailored answers to your specific questions.
  4. Discover if this is the job and company for you.
  5. Take charge of your career and put yourself in the driver’s seat!

Sign up now to find out what opportunities are available in your area; you will be pleasantly surprised.

Is A Federal Job Right for You?

Typically, over 10,000 job announcements are open to the public on a recurring basis and tens of thousands more for federal employees, the armed forces, students, individuals with disabilities, the Peace Corp and more. There are plenty of jobs to explore if you take the time to seek them out.

The federal government is essentially a central clearing house for jobs in a vast majority of occupations stateside and overseas. A one-stop resource where you can explore opportunities and apply for jobs of interest online.

Where They Are

The majority of jobs are in major metropolitan areas. However, you will find opportunities in most communities if you look for them. After leaving the military, I was accepted for a field specialist position with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) at the Phillipsburg Airport in central Pennsylvania, a small town of about 5,000 at the time.  

I wasn’t the only federal employee in this area, there was a dozen or more FAA personnel in the flight service station plus a half dozen other specialists. The United States Postal Service (USPS) is an independent agency of the executive branch of the United States federal government that has offices and employees in most communities. Add to postal employee population, Social Security offices in the district, VA facilities, and others, the number of jobs ads up fast.

Start Your Search

To find a federal job after I was discharged from active duty in the 1970s, I had to visit the local federal building and review job announcements posted on the personnel office’s walls! There was no one to talk to, if you found a job of interest, you wrote your name, address, phone number, and the job announcement number on a request form and put it into a mail slot in the wall.

It often took weeks to receive the information packet and often times I received the job announcement after it closed. It took two years to find my first competitive service federal job through this archaic and frustrating process.

Today, with the internet, job hunting is much easier and streamlined. There are a number of ways to navigate through government job vacancy announcements. I prefer using the following service first.

Search by occupational title on www.federalpay.org. The advantage of using this site is its ease of use and the added information provided. Searched Job titles allow you to click on the Job Category description providing you with the following information: (This is the most comprehensive information available in one concise location.)

  • Pay rates for the occupation
  • Job description
  • Agencies that hire this occupation
  • Occupation pay distribution
  • Occupational pay trends

Apply Online

When you find a position of interest, click on APPLY NOW, it will take you to the job announcement and application process on OPM’s USAJOBS.GOV site. Follow the instructions to submit your application and resume.

Take These Steps When Applying

  • Print out the job announcement, many don’t do this. It has all of the information you need to apply including the HR specialist contact information. If you have questions, they can answer them for you.  
  • Read the announcement top to bottom, if you neglect to submit all required forms or required information your application could be rejected.
  • Review the federal application process to understand the differences between private and federal sector applications.
  • Prepare your federal resume using our detailed guidance offline first; spell, grammar check and take your time to show how you gained the required skills and meet the qualifications for the position.


Tens of thousands of high paying, secure, and benefit loaded federal jobs are available. After leaving the military, I applied for two jobs. One with the airlines and the other with the FAA. I was 25 at the time and my wife and I discussed the options. I decided to go with federal service because of their exceptional benefits and early retirement plan. It was a wise choice; the airline went bankrupt ten years later and I retired from federal service at age 55 with 35 years of service including my military time. Everyone has their unique reasons for accepting a job, I was looking for job security and retirement at an early age. Whatever your motivation, federal jobs are some of the most lucrative sought-after jobs in the world.

Job-Hunting Help NOW!

There are many options for job seekers to explore in both the government and private sectors. Sound job seeking principles and guidance are universal and not confined to any one sector. This book will help anyone explore their options and find viable employment.



Editors of the American Library Association, Brenda Bernstein, and John Henry Weiss recently published The BIG BOOK of JOB-HUNTING HACKS. This exceptional guide covers how to build a resume, conquer the interview, and land your dream job. This 388-page reference should be on every library shelf and those seeking employment in these difficult times will find this an invaluable tool to help them get back on their feet or find a more rewarding job — even in this environment.

The book is rationally divided into three parts: how to get a great job, how to write a stellar executive resume, and moving forward in mid-career. All tied together, you have everything you need at your fingertips for your personal job search. John Weiss is the president of Weiss and Associates recruiting and author of many books including Operation Jobs Search: A Guide for Military Veterans Transitioning to Civilian Careers, and Welcome to the Real World: A complete Guide to Job Hunting for the Recent College Grad.

According to the authors, “the purpose of this book is twofold —to help laid-off workers deal with the trauma of having their paychecks and benefits suddenly disappear, and to guide them through the job-hunting process. The tips in this book provide job seekers with practical advice for finding a new job no matter the state of the economy.”

I found the book right on target providing the foundation job seekers need in these difficult times. Readers will not be disappointed and job seekers can use it as a workbook, adding notes to the margins, highlighting key points and actions needed to land their desired position.

All-in-all a great book for a very reasonable price and a valuable addition to your job seeking efforts.

Helpul Job Hunting Information:

Disclaimer: The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Federal Recruitment Initiatives

The Federal Government is seeking new and creative ways to recruit and retain technical employees, many resources are being used for this effort. Government faces stiff competition when recruiting for areas such as cyber security, information assurance, engineering, information technology, science and math.

With the variety of critical jobs needing to be filled, highly qualified applicants must be properly assessed. The most important selection factor is the ability to perform the duties of the position without undue influence for favoritism or political beliefs and/or values. A process that is fair, systematic and consistent must be used to perform data collection; applicant qualifications can then be compared to job performance ability. A fair and open process fosters the hiring of the most qualified candidates that are capable of performing the task(s) at hand.

Recently, the Federal Government has bolstered its hiring process, focusing on common sense and efficiency. Time to hire has been reduced, resumes and cover letters can now be forwarded in lieu of large application packets, and information on websites is current and user friendly. Furthermore, they improved candidate status and /or selection notifications.

Hiring goals are being achieved through the use of a more favorable and simplified hiring process. Further, current employee retention efforts are being targeted to ensure career opportunities, growth, professional development, training and more are offered in the form of programs, coursework, and mentoring.

Finally, feedback mechanisms and opportunities are being provided on a continuous basis to ensure a vehicle for critical information and communication is established between the agency and the applicant. To date, data obtained from potential and/or new hires help shape and define future hiring strategies, assessments, analysis, processes and procedures. With the Federal Government taking both hiring and retention more seriously, much improvement has been made; disconnects are being addressed, gaps are being closed, and processes are being refined resulting in a more sound, holistic approach to hiring and retention of the most highly skilled, desirable applicants and employees.


The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

An Interview with John Guenther (Aerospace Engineer & Blacksmith)

I would like to introduce John Guenther whom I have known for several years. He sings in our church choir and is an avid amateur blacksmith. While in the federal government he was an aerospace engineer (GS-0861) and upon retiring was a program manager (GS-0301). Here is John’s story:

  1. Why did you choose to work for the federal government?

When searching for a job after graduation in 1970, I had applied with the Department of the Army, Aviation Systems Command in St. Louis, MO near where I lived.  Three years later after working elsewhere, I was interviewed and offered a position with the Army Aviation Systems Command that had offered higher pay and benefits than I had at the time (50% higher). It also allowed me to use more of my education.

  1. What was your degree in Engineering, and what school did you attend? 

During high school, being good in math and science I became interested in aircraft, rockets, and the space program. I chose to go to Parks College/St. Louis University because it offered a degree in aerospace engineering, was close to home saving living expense costs, and offered a trimester program that allowed graduation in less than four years. I graduated in December of 1970 with a BS in aerospace engineering.

  1. What was your very first job as a federal employee and where did you work?

I was hired as an aerospace engineer in the Maintenance Engineering Directorate, in an office that examined spare parts and supporting data to determine if the parts could be manufactured by more than one source. The intent was to increase competition and thus reduce cost of spare parts. I later moved to a systems office providing engineering support of fielded systems, including oversight of modifications to improve the aircraft operations and capabilities.

  1. What year did you start in the federal government? 

After working for an IL county highway department for several years, I was contacted by the Department of the Army, Aviation Systems Command, and interviewed for several positions. I was hired and started in November 1973 (got married in May 1973) and started in the Aviation Maintenance Engineering Directorate supporting the armies rotary wing aircraft fleets.

Over the years, I supported a foreign military sales program, development of the Black hawk, and later the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior. I moved into program management in 1980 working in several programs. I eventually became the technical and business chief of the SAcout Attack Project Office. During the next several years, I served as acting project/program manager. In the late 1990’s I completed a MS in Engineering Management (Univ MO). During this time frame, Program offices were placed under a new management structure – Program Executive Office (PEO).

In 1997, as result of base realignment, the Aviation programs and supporting organizations in St Louis were relocated to Redstone Arsenal, AL, and were merged with the Missile organization to form a new Aviation Missile Command in 1997.  Not long after I was named the deputy project manager for Scout Attack programs (AH-1/OH-58 and eventually the UH-1 as well). This position included management of a variety of personnel including budget, contracting, logistics, and engineering. Over the next ten years, I again served as acting PM on several occasions.

  1. What was your last job in the federal government?

I ended my career as the deputy program manager for Scout Attack Aircraft, managing the AH-1 Cobra which we retired from service, UH-1 Hueys which were being retired as well, and the OH-58 Kiowa and Kiowa Warrior fleet which was deployed to support operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Additionally, I supported several foreign military sales cases. The position required overseeing the entire program, engineering, logistics, financial, and personnel, along with providing briefings to higher level organizations justifying budget requests and plans.

  1. What year did you retire from the federal government?

After 34 years of service, I retired in 2007. My decision to retire was based upon being eligible both in age, years of service, and feeling that the job was no longer rewarding.  This happens to everyone at some point and the causes are unique to everyone. When that time comes or is on the horizon, it’s time to plan to retire.

  1. What was the most rewarding part of being a federal employee?

As result of my organizations efforts, part of the Kiowa Warrior fleet was deployed in desert storm and maintained 100% readiness and availability while operating in combat in Iraq. No other fleet came close.

  1. As a retiree has it been what you expected?

Retirement has been much busier than I expected. Generally, I have been busy every day.

  1. Do you wish you were still working?

I do not miss going to work everyday, but I do miss my co-workers, some of whom I still stay in contact with.

  1. What do you like best about being retired?

Being retired, I enjoy the freedom to choose what I will be involved in. Since I was already an amateur Blacksmith, I have been in the shop doing projects that keep my mind active. Additionally, I’ve enjoyed singing and playing music, essentially, I am engaged with the artistic side of my capabilities which is relaxing.

  1. Regarding being an amateur black smith, please elaborate more your hobby, how and why you got started, how long you have been involved, and what are you currently working on. 

I became involved in Blacksmithing as a hobby not long after moving to Alabama. My youngest son, and I attended an event at the Burritt Museum on Monte Sano Mountain in Huntsville where a co-worker and older gentleman were demonstrating blacksmithing. This was on Saturday and they invited us to a meeting in Athens, AL where we lived. At that meeting, we joined the Alabama Forge Council. Since then I have taken classes and workshops learning blacksmithing. Having an artistic side, I’ve dabbled in many different artistic crafts as well as music, but none of the crafts has been as challenging and rewarding as blacksmithing. Since I have learned a lot, I’m now “passing along” to others, the blacksmiths craft. It’s always rewarding to take a piece of steel (Sometimes copper) and create useful and pleasing things.

  1. What advice would you give to someone that is ready to retire or is already retired?

If someone is considering retiring, they should look at several things. First, are you enjoying your job? Or does it look like the job is becoming un-enjoyable? Second, are you eligible to retire? Third, will your retirement income allow you to live without the need to go back to work? Bottom Line, If the job isn’t enjoyable, or is headed that way, and you are eligible to retire, and can afford it, Retire!  Consider a job after retiring if you need something to do or need added income. There are many activities including volunteering that can keep you busy after retirement!

Career Planning Tools

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher nor author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Translator GS-1040-Working for the Federal Government

This series includes positions the primary duties of which are to administer, supervise, or perform work in rendering from a foreign language into English or from English into a foreign language the spoken or written word where the objective is accurate translations and/or interpretations.

Government Requirements

You must be a U.S. citizen to apply

The yearly salary for a GS-11 is $68,036 to $88,450 per year.


Interpreters and translators typically do the following:

  • Convert concepts in the source language to equivalent concepts in the target language
  • Compile information and technical terms into glossaries and terminology databases to be used in their oral renditions and translations
  • Speak, read, and write fluently in at least two languages, one of which is usually English
  • Relay the style and tone of the original language
  • Render spoken messages accurately, quickly, and clearly
  • Apply their cultural knowledge to render an accurate and meaningful interpretation or translation of the original message

Interpreters and translators aid communication by converting messages or text from one language into another language. Although some people do both, interpreting and translating are different professions: interpreters work with spoken communication, and translators work with written communication.

Interpreters convert information from one spoken language into another—or, in the case of sign language interpreters, between spoken language and sign language. The goal of an interpreter is to have people hear the interpretation as if it were the original language. Interpreters usually must be fluent speakers or signers of both languages, because they communicate back and forth among people who do not share a common language.

Translators convert written materials from one language into another language. The goal of a translator is to have people read the translation as if it were the original written material. To do that, the translator must be able to write in a way that maintains or duplicates the structure and style of the original text while keeping the ideas and facts of the original material accurate. Translators must properly transmit any cultural references, including slang, and other expressions that do not translate literally.

Translators must read the original language fluently. They usually translate into their native language.

Nearly all translation work is done on a computer, and translators receive and submit most assignments electronically. Translations often go through several revisions before becoming final.


A bachelor’s degree is typically needed to become an interpreter or translator along with proficiency in at least two languages, one of which is usually English.

High school students interested in becoming an interpreter or translator should take a broad range of courses that focus on foreign languages and English writing and comprehension.

Beyond high school, people interested in becoming interpreters or translators have numerous educational options. Those in college typically choose a specific language as their major, such as Spanish or French. Although many jobs require a bachelor’s degree, majoring in a language is not always necessary.


Interpreters and translators generally do not need any formal training, as they are expected to be able to interpret and translate before they are hired. However, those working in the community as court or medical interpreters or translators are more likely to complete job-specific training programs or certificates.

Continuing education is a requirement for most state court and medical interpreting certification programs. It is offered by professional interpreter and translator associations such as the American Translators Association and the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters on a regular basis.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

There is currently no universal certification required of interpreters and translators beyond passing the required court interpreting exams offered by most states. However, workers can take a variety of tests that show proficiency. For example, the American Translators Association provides certification in 29 language combinations.

The federal courts offer court interpreter certification for Spanish language interpreters. At the state level, the courts offer certification in at least 20 languages.

The National Association of the Deaf and the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf jointly offer certification for general sign language interpreters. In addition, the registry offers specialty tests in legal interpreting, speech reading, and deaf-to-deaf interpreting—which includes interpreting among deaf speakers of different native languages and from ASL to tactile signing.

The U.S. Department of State has a three-test series for prospective interpreters—one test in simple consecutive interpreting (for escort work), another in simultaneous interpreting (for court work), and a third in conference-level interpreting (for international conferences)—as well as a test for prospective translators. These tests are not considered a credential, but their completion indicates that a person has significant skill in the occupation. The National Virtual Translation Center and many other organizations also have testing programs.

The Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters offers two types of certifications for healthcare interpreters: Associate Healthcare Interpreter, for interpreters of languages other than Spanish, Arabic, and Mandarin; and Certified Healthcare Interpreter, for interpreters of Spanish, Arabic, and Mandarin.

The National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters offers certification for medical interpreters of Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Russian, Korean, and Vietnamese languages.

GS-1040 Translator

General qualifications excerpted from Job Announcement SV10193957


  • Translates a wide variety of technical, legal, medical, and any other documents such as: medical records; legal briefs discussing issues of fact and law; etc.
  • Based on a thorough knowledge of titles II, VIII, and XVI of the Social Security Act, as amended, reviews and carefully selects documents that require translation based on the issues presented in the case.
  • Recommends alternative wording to resolve differences relative to the meaning of illegible entries.
  • Provides a full summarized or partial translation or abstracts of photocopies of articles from foreign language publications.


  • Applicants must have had at least fifty-two (52) weeks of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-9 grade level or higher in the Federal service that has equipped them with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of this position, and that is typically in or related to the work of this position
  • To be creditable, experience in translating, interpreting, or other work requiring the use of English and Spanish; or a combination of work (that required English and Spanish) and training at the Defense Language Institute, Foreign Service Institute, or comparable training.

Job Prospects

Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Employment of interpreters and translators is projected to grow 18 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth reflects increasing globalization and a more diverse U.S. population, which is expected to require more interpreters and translators.

Demand will likely remain strong for translators of frequently translated languages, such as French, German, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. Demand also should be strong for translators of Arabic and other Middle Eastern languages; for the principal Asian languages including Chinese, Japanese, Hindi, and Korean; and for the indigenous languages from Mexico and Central America such as Mixtec, Zapotec, and Mayan languages.

Demand for American Sign Language interpreters is expected to grow due to the increasing use of video relay services, which allow people to conduct online video calls and use a sign language interpreter.


Helpful Career Planning Tools

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Postal Inspectors – Working For the Federal Government

The Postal Inspection Service defends us from criminals who attack our nation’s postal system and/or misuse it to endanger, defraud, or otherwise threaten the American public. As the primary law enforcement arm of the Postal Service, the Postal Inspection Service is a highly specialized, professional organization performing investigative and security functions essential to a stable and sound postal system.

Congress empowered the Postal Service “to investigate postal offenses and civil matters relating to the Postal Service.” Through its security and enforcement functions, the Postal Inspection Service provides assurance to American businesses for the safe exchange of funds and securities through the U.S. mail; to postal customers in the transmission of correspondence and messages; and to provide postal employees with a safe work environment.

Postal inspectors are federal law enforcement officers who carry firearms, make arrests, and serve federal search warrants and subpoenas. Inspectors work closely with U.S. Attorneys, other law enforcement agencies and local prosecutors to investigate postal cases and prepare them for court. There are approximately 1,750 postal inspectors stationed through-out the United States, covering investigations of crimes that adversely affect or fraudulently use the postal system.

General Information

U.S. Postal Inspectors are federal law enforcement agents with investigative jurisdiction in all criminal matters involving the integrity and security of the U.S. Postal Service.

Postal Inspectors investigate criminal, civil, and administrative violations of postal-related laws, often using forensics and cutting-edge technologies. It is essential that Postal Inspectors be in sound physical condition and be capable of performing rigorous physical activities on a sustained basis. They are required to:

  • Carry firearms
  • Make arrests
  • Provide testimony
  • Serve subpoenas
  • Execute search warrants
  • Prepare comprehensive reports
  • Pursue and restrain suspects
  • Protect themselves and others from imminent danger

Postal Inspectors work long and irregular hours, and must be willing to relocate. Competition is intense for the relatively few positions. Candidates must successfully complete all phases of the recruitment process and begin their first duty assignment prior to their 37th birthday.

You may be eligible to become a Postal Inspector if you:

  • Are an American citizen between the ages of 21 and 36½. * and are interested in an exciting and rewarding career in federal law enforcement. (Male citizens born after December 31, 1959, must have registered with the Selective Service before applying to become a Postal Inspector.)
  • Possess a conferred, four-year degree from an accredited college or university
  • Have no felony or domestic violence convictions
  • Are in good physical condition
  • Write and speak English
  • Are willing to relocate

Special Knowledge

There are four special knowledge tracks that make applicants more competitive for the position of Postal Inspector: language skills, postal experience, specialized non-postal skills, and academic achievement. Candidates without special knowledge will be only minimally qualified.

Determine your eligibility

There are several ways to qualify for Postal Inspector positions. Applicants must meet the general eligibility requirements or qualify under specific academic achievement criteria with or without work experience.

  • Academic Achievement with work experience. Candidates with at least one year of full-time work experience with the same company, within two years of the date of their application, are eligible under this skill track.
  • Candidates with a Bachelor’s degree (B.A. or B.S. in any field) must have two years of full-time work experience.
  • Candidates with an Advanced degree (M.A., M.S., or Ph.D. in any field) must have one year of full-time work experience.
  • Academic Achievement without work experience. Candidates with a Bachelor’s degree (a B.A. or B.S. in any field) and a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) or its equivalent, or an advanced degree (J.D., M.A., M.S., or Ph.D. in any field) are eligible under this skill track.

Inspector Training

Basic Inspector Training is mandatory and provided at their Career Development Unit (CDU). All new hires must complete course work in four areas:

  • Academics
  • Firearms
  • Physical fitness and defensive tactics
  • Practical exercises

Candidates must successfully complete all program areas and achieve specific minimum academic and performance levels to graduate. Graduation from basic training is a condition of employment. Failure to meet the minimum academic and performance levels will result in the termination of the appointment.

How to Apply

The Postal Inspection Service advertises vacancies during open hiring periods announced on the U.S Postal Inspection website. You can only apply during an open period and at that time you may complete an application online.  Check their site frequently to find job announcements. If you miss an open period you will have to wait until new job announcements are posted to submit an application.

If positions aren’t currently available for postal inspectors explore related law enforcement occupations. The federal government employs 192,929 in the Inspection, Investigation, Enforcement and Compliance GS-1800 Group including 3,800 employed overseas.  Review all of your options in law enforcement to improve your chances of landing a high paying, secure, and rewarding law enforcement career.

Review our list of law enforcement hiring agencies that includes the total number employed in each job series and the number employed by each of the hiring agencies. Click on the job title for comprehensive job descriptions that include current federal job vacancies for each occupation.

Forensic Laboratory Services

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service also maintains a National Forensic Laboratory in Dulles, VA. The facility employs technical specialists and forensic scientists that support the postal inspectors in the identification, apprehension, prosecution, and conviction of criminals that commit postal-related offenses. The lab provides scientific and technical expertise to the criminal and security investigations of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Laboratory services are divided into the four units listed below:

  • Questioned Document
  • Fingerprint
  • Physical Sciences
  • Digital Evidence

Employment opportunities exist at the forensic laboratory services facility in a number of related occupations.  Positions such as forensic chemists, information technologist,  physical evidence analysts, fingerprint identification and others are needed to provide these essential services.


Career Planning Tools

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher nor author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Memo To New College Grads


It’s that time of year when college seniors are looking forward to receiving their diplomas after four or more years of time consuming and costly schooling. Parents, college professors and the media have told them that a college degree is the way to a job that will bring satisfaction, fulfillment and a fat paycheck. Get the diploma, send out a few “dynamite” resumes, and a job will follow. Believe that and you might as well look under your pillow for a check to pay off your student loan, compliments of the tooth fairy. Job hunting in the adult world of work is more than sending resumes to job boards. It is a multi-step process, one step of which is writing a resume.

To understand this thing called “work” I believe one needs to take a step back and ask what life itself is all about. Short circuit the philosophy and PC talk and it comes down to this. You are born. You die. And, in between you work in order to survive. Job satisfaction, fulfillment and life/work balance are secondary. We work. We get a paycheck. We buy the big three …food, shelter, clothing…in order to make it to the next day. We spend “left-over money” on technology gadgets, killer apps, insurance, transportation and recreation.  Our money-for-work model has served humankind well for several thousand years…or at least better than the previous model which had people spearing antelope and rabbits for food and clothing, and living in caves to avoid freezing to death.  So how does a newly minted college grad find work, socially meaningful work, that will pay money in order to survive and also bring some sort of job satisfaction and fulfillment?  Let’s explore some of the challenges, and solutions, that new college grads will encounter making their first giant step into the world of work.


  1. The “What’s Next” Challenge. Many college grads have no idea what they will do after receiving their diplomas. There are three choices: proceed to graduate school; join the military, or find a job with a company. Most will elect option three, finding a job in the corporate or government world, which is divided into various industries, companies within those industries and jobs in those companies.  For example, there is the Food industry with Kroger being a company within; in fact Kroger is the largest company in the Food Industry. It sells guns and ammo, too, in a subsidiary division. There are thousands of jobs at Kroger one of which is a corporate level sales representative. A new college grad could pursue that sales job and make good money. The same applies for sales jobs with beer producer, Miller Brewing Company. There will always be plenty of sales jobs with Miller. Also, there are sales jobs with Walmart in its gun and ammo department. And remember companies in the fast growing recreational marijuana business, one of which is The Farm located in Boulder Colorado.

However, will any job in any industry do it?  There are plenty of job with guns, pot and alcohol companies but is that the way you want to spend your working days?

The Solution. Alternatively, how about industries producing products that have social value, like educational publishing companies such as McGraw-Hill, or food distributors like Whole Foods, or home builders like Ryan Homes, or technology companies like Salesforce.com which has been ranked recently as one of the best places to work? With choices like this, why work in toss away industries like firearms, alcohol or pot? A better choice is working for a socially conscious company like Salesforce.com, the cloud computing company serving a useful function in business and education.

  1. The What Do I Want to Do” Challenge.” So many budding college grads ask what they can do to bring in a paycheck and some sort of job satisfaction. You do not need six weeks with a counselor to figure it out.

The Solution. Record three things for which you have an aptitude. Beside them record three things you like to do. Then match them with industries, and jobs in those industries, that meet your aptitude and interests. For a listing of hundreds of industries and thousands of jobs in them, consult the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the U.S. Department of Labor. It’s available in print or eBook from Amazon or other resellers.

  1. The “Right Company” Challenge. Knowing what kind of job you would like is one thing. Finding the right employer is quite another.

The Solution. Assuming you have found a job that you would like, the next step is to find companies that offer such jobs in socially conscious industries. Go online and google companies in those industries. For example, enter “Food Producers” and you will come up with many hits, all potential employers. Begin exploring job opportunities on their digital career pages.

Another fool proof way to find a job is to attend job fairs and trade shows that take place each day at major convention centers throughout the country. Some of them are: the Mascone Center in San Francisco; McCormick Place in Chicago; The Washington DC Convention Center in Washington; the Philadelphia Convention Center in Philly; and the Javits Center in New York City. Each large and medium size city has a convention center. Google the one closest to you to find a listing of trade shows and job fairs and attend those you find interesting. Visit the exhibit booths armed with your resume and ask to see the hiring manager for your area of interest, sales, marketing, finance, technology, human resources, etc. Develop a personal relationship with that person and a job interview will follow.

Government jobs are often overlooked. Jobs in the “government industry” are comparable to jobs in the private sector.  They pay well and are socially conscious jobs. Federal government jobs are located in all fifty states, not just Washington DC. For a listing of interesting jobs and how to apply for them go to the leading government job website: www.federaljobs.net.

  1. The “Writing a Resume” Challenge. In most colleges where students pay upwards of $25,000 for tuition per year, training for job hunting consists of a few weeks instruction about writing a “dynamite” resume. The instruction is primarily academic as most professors have never had a job outside of academia. And, there is more to job hunting than writing and submitting a resume.

The Solution. Craft a resume that highlights your education, your part time jobs and internships throughout your college years. Include a major heading, “Technology Skills” and bullet point your areas of expertise. Also include a major heading titled, “Community Outreach” and bullet point your community initiatives dating back to high school.

       Make sure that grammar and spelling are correct. One mistake will disqualify you. No second chances. Do not trust your spelling and grammar checker.  Proofread your resume aloud and have a trusted friend do the same. This advice might sound rudimentary for a college grad but trust me when I tell you that I have witnessed Vice President candidates disqualified because of one spelling error. AND, do not refer to your resume as a curriculum vitae (CV). That is academic talk. Outside of academia it is called a resume.

  1. The “Interview” Challenge. Interviewing is one of the most intimidating challenges in the job hunting process.

The Solution.  Prepare for the interview with a friend by playing question-answer. Practice until you can answer all questions using business vocabulary. Avoid words like “awesome” and “cool.” When a hiring manage asks” Why do want to work for us?” respond, “Because your company produces products and provides services that are socially worthwhile and because your company is profitable.”

Remember to dress appropriately because first impressions are lasting impressions. Do not dress ultra-casually as you see workers dressed in TV advertisements for Google or Microsoft. Dress on the job is one thing; dress for an interview is entirely different. Wear upscale business attire which you will find on websites for national clothing stores.


Google “Socially Responsible Employers.” I did just that and found numerous leads to companies of this kind. One site listed the five most socially responsible employers as: Microsoft (technology), Merck (Pharmaceuticals), The World Bank Group (finance and economic development), The Acumen Fund (global impact investing), and Yingli Green Energy (a solar energy producer).

For additional help finding socially conscious employers, explore companies held in the portfolio of mutual funds listed as “socially aware.” One such is the Vanguard Social Index Fund, whose symbol is VFTSX. Companies held in this fund by Vanguard are screened using social, human rights and environmental criteria. Some of these companies are: Home Depot, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, United Healthcare, Facebook, Apple and J.P Morgan Chase.

Using social media for job hunting has its limitations. Use these media for networking and information but do not believe they alone will lead you to the promised land of employment. The one exception is LinkedIn, a site designed exclusively for job hunting. Jobs offers will come only after you develop a personal relationship with the hiring manager or human resources director.   You will find them at trade shows and conferences at convention centers, and by making cold calls, that is, knocking on the doors of employers and asking to see the human resources director.


Frequently, new college grads have no role model to follow while embarking on a career straight out of college. However, they are out there. In fact, we’re surrounded by them. Let’s break them down into specific categories and take a look.  You may not recognize some of the names; others are well known throughout the world of work

Public Sector Workers. These are workers who chose careers in government. They serve in both elected and appointed positions.

  1. Joni Ernst,S. Senator for Iowa who served in the Military for 20 years before becoming the first female Senator from Iowa. Concurrently she serves as head of the Iowa National Guard.
  2. Nikki Haley, Ambassador to the United Nations and former Governor of South Carolina. She is a Business major from Clemson University. She served as Treasurer of the National Association of Women Business Owners.
  3. Tulsi Gabbard, U.S. Representative from Hawaii and Army veteran who went on several deployments to the Mideast.
  4. Patricia, “Pat” Schroeder, a lawyer and former U.S. Representative from Colorado who authored the Family Leave Program. She was the first woman to run for President of the United States. Many of the work benefits we enjoy resulted from her personal work in Congress.
  5. Condoleezza Rice, former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State. She now serves on the faculty of Stanford University. She is a talented classical pianist and one of the world’s foremost Russian History experts.
  6. The 2,500,000 (read, two million, five hundred thousand) female K-12 school teachers. Guiding the academic, social and moral development of K-12 students is one the most powerful jobs in America. Teachers make a reasonable wage and their careers bring job satisfaction every day.

 Private Sector Workers. These are workers in companies both large and small.

  1. Becky Quick, anchor for Squawk Box, the popular CNBC TV morning finance program. Follow her each morning at 8 AM. Learn about the world of finance from Becky.
  2. Erin Burnett, host of OutFront, a popular CNN evening program. Follow Erin each night at 7 PM. Erin broke into TV as a financial analyst on a CNN evening program.
  3. Marillyn Hewson, CEO and President of defense contractor, Lockheed Martin. Over the past five years Marillyn has created thousands of new jobs, brought wealth to shareholders, and incredible technology innovation to a company dedicated to preserving our national security.
  4. Irene Rosenfeld, Chairwoman and CEO of the second largest publically traded food producer, Kraft Foods.
  5. Angela Braly, Chairwoman, CEO and President of WellPoint, a leader in the healthcare industry. The company is commonly known as Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance. She is the mother of three children and works hard to balance work and family.
  6. Kate Richard, Founder and CEO, Warwick Energy Group, an oil and gas producer located in Oklahoma City.


All of our STARS began their path to success in entry level jobs after graduating from college.   By applying their intelligence, energy and passion, they rose through the ranks to attain leadership positions in the socially responsible world of work. If they did it…so can you!

For more information about how to find your way after graduation, read my book titled, WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD. A Complete Guide to Job Hunting for the Recent College Grad. It is available in paperback and eBook from Skyhorse Publishing, Amazon and B&N.

Send comments to [email protected]

John Henry Weiss


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The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.