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How to Get a Well-Paid Government Job


Being a Government employee comes with many benefits one of which is the high level of job security the job offers. Generally though the pay is low !

Getting a government job can be quite bureaucratically involved though, some positions require specific tests, licenses and certifications to practice, other need certain security clearances. On top of navigating through these obstacles to work for the Government, its generally assumed that civil servants aren’t compensated very well, or at least not as well as their private sector counterparts. This article will not only will instruct you how to get a government job, it will point out which government jobs carry the best financial benefits, or pay the best.

This list is compiled by using data sourced from, and which is an online financial publication that has been featured in Forbes, Business Insider, Usanews and MSN Money.

The first step that you should take when searching for a government job is checking its availability, which you can do using the US Government’s job portal Some of the jobs on this list will require previous experience, or multiple degrees but that will be specified in each section.

Public University/College President – $261,795

Unlike becoming the Dean of a College or University, which requires a lifetime dedicated to academia, a University/College President can be hired from a variety of fields. In fact, the minimum education requirement is only a bachelors degree, although an advanced degree, especially specific to institutional management and administration will be advantageous. But, to become the President of a public educational institution you will need to have many years of experience in charge of a similar institution or company - a minimum of 15 years according to - and a diverse set of skills which reflect the wide range of responsibilities that a University President has.

A University President’s responsibilities are not dissimilar to their private sector President counterparts; they must implement and direct policy, enact both financial and academic initiatives and use strategic planning to achieve the institution’s financial, academic and enrollment goals. Unlike some of the other jobs on this list, available positions for University Presidents will usually be posted on the University’s website opposed to the U.S. government’s job portal. Some of the unforeseen benefits of being a University President include being amongst the most brilliant individuals in their respective field of study, the opportunity to network with industry leaders that often fund research programs at public Universities and the moral satisfaction of building a legacy that will proliferate into the future.

NCAA Football Coach - $950.000

Head Coach Larry Legault Shutterstock
A position also associated with public institutions of higher education, NCAA Football Coaches, or College Football Coaches are highly compensated for their services. The primary reason these individuals are so well paid is that athletic programs are an important source of income for Public Universities. Colleges that have a particular emphasis on their Football programs such as Notre Dame, Texas and Alabama, make hundreds of millions of dollars every year from football alone. The educational requirements recommended, but not mandated, for a college level Football Coach is a Bachelor’s degree in a sports related field, or a degree specific to coaching.

A factor that is more important than formal education when trying to become a College Football Coach is experience and a winning record. It is recommended that anyone seeking to start a coaching career spend a certain amount of time as position or assistant coaches and try to make their way up to head coach. Due to the high salaries and few positions, this type of position is highly sought after and inherently a competitive field to penetrate.

Astronomer - $116,072

Although astronomer isn’t the first profession that comes to mind when talking about well-paid government jobs, it is a valid and very lucrative career-path. Astronomy is largely academic, concentrating on researching the universe, its origin and the celestial bodies. Thus the academic requirements to become an astronomer can be quite demanding. Most coursework is math, physics and astronomy based and to become a University or government employee the minimum level of education you must possess is a PhD.

A unique aspect of the profession is that unlike other scientists, astronomers seldom do lab work, but usually concentrate on observing the universe and making calculations using complex mathematics.

Certified Government Financial Manager - $101,022

financial manager shutterstock

Financial Managers’ responsibilities primarily revolve around sustaining and monitoring the fiscal health of an organization or institution. They can be employed in a multitude of sectors, both in the public and private sphere, including government, non-profit, universities and governmental departments.

The minimum educational requirement is a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and to become certified the aforementioned degree must be rewarded from an accredited school. A financial manager may also be charged with assessing an organization’s or institution’s credit rating, risk for financial loss or purchase insurance to off-set the potential for losses.

Economist - $94,098

In the age of global economics, someone that can create comprehensive financial projections and reports is immeasurably valuable even for government agencies. Unlike many other entries on this list, there is no need for an advanced degree to get a government job; a Bachelor’s degree in Economics should suffice for employment, but at least two years of experience is recommended.

An Economist may also be tasked with conducting research to extrapolate financial trends and organize their results into graphic interpretations so they can be presented to senior administration or the general public. They also may take on an advisory role, recommending safety measures or policies that will help governments and government offices avoid being adversely effected by negative economic trends or help develop tax and welfare policies to reflect the onset of financial trends.

Computer Scientist - $90,929

Computer scientists are ubiquitous; they can deal with hardware, software, database creation and maintenance, research and even invention. These are items which the government has great use for both in civilian and military applications. To be hired as a governmental computer scientist you will need at least a Bachelor’s degree in a related field, but two to three years of experience in the private sector will definitely facilitate your employability.

Depending on the department that the candidate applies for they may need to also go through a security clearance process. Computer Science as a profession also has an astounding 37% projected growth rate, compared to the 7% growth rate projected for Financial Managers.

Chemist - $89,954

Unfortunately, due to the move away from chemical applications, positions for chemists have been on a steady decline. This means that vying for a governmental position can be competitive, so an advanced degree in Chemistry and experience in the private sector will be infinitely beneficial.

The minimal educational requirement is Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Depending on the governmental department you choose to work for, a process of getting security clearance might be necessary. In many cases chemist will do interdisciplinary work with other scientists within government labs.

Are there any other government jobs that you know of that pay relatively well? Let us know in the comment section below.

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