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
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.
About The Author
Dennis V. Damp is a retired federal manager, business owner, career counselor and veteran. Damp’s The Book of U.S. Government Jobs was awarded “Best Career” title by the Benjamin Franklin Awards Committee. Damp is the author of 28 books, a recognized employment expert, and a retired federal manager with 35 years of service. He worked for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and held numerous supervisory and management positions and was responsible for recruiting, rating and interviewing applicants, outreach and hiring. His last government position was technical operations manager at the Pittsburgh International Airport’s air traffic control tower.