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Entry Level Jobs in Government

Government JobsWorking for the federal government is highly tempting for people, mainly because of its job security. Most of the federal jobs are considered to be essential and funded; they’ll always be around until there is a radical shift in our culture. Working in the government also gives you other perks such as extra security if you lose one job (it’ll be easier to get another one) and of course, you can draw a steady paycheck! But everyone who works in government has to start somewhere and that means finding entry level positions. What sorts of positions are there out there if you’re just getting started?

What are Your Qualifications Right Now?

The good thing about many government jobs is that if you’re willing to start at the bottom, you don’t even need to graduate high school, let alone have a college degree, though obviously the more educated you are, the more money you can make and the greater your chances of advancement are. Government jobs are divided up thusly by a General Schedule Pay Service (white collar jobs) and Wage System (blue collar). The higher the ‘grade’ of the job, the more qualifications and work experience you need. Thus, entry level jobs are also tagged as WG1 or GS1. Starting wages are usually between $18,000 and $24,000, depending on where you get started. Obviously you’ll want to work on your education!

So, if you don’t have your high school diploma (or you’re recently graduated), you’ll be looking for WG1 or GS1 jobs. These include:

  • Post office work
  • Clerical work (office clerk)
  • Internships
  • High school diploma holders are often bumped up to GS2, depending on the job requirements and your ‘grade’ increases with improved education and experience. Generally speaking, one year of experience bumps you up about one grade.

    Getting an Entry Level Government Job

    Generally speaking, landing a job at the entry level won’t be hard, although the requirements will vary depending on whether you’ll be working directly for the federal or state government or working in tandem with one of the things run by the government (such as the post office or road construction). Getting a job directly with the federal government means you’ll require a much longer resume with more information about what you can offer while getting a job at say your post office will require a much smaller resume. It’s very important to look at the necessary requirements found in the job postings before you apply so that you can be certain you have a good chance at landing the job!

    It’s not hard to get an entry level position at all, but there are a few things which you should have, even if you don’t hold your high school diploma just yet. These can include:

  • Good computer skills
  • Good people skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Possibly multilingual (French and Spanish are the most popular choices)
  • As you improve your education and experience, you’ll deepen these skills and add others such as management skills, leadership, organization, time management and more specialized skills depending on your education.

    If you get called in for an interview, it’s of course important to dress your best, prepare yourself by studying you potential position and the wider organization to see how you’d fit in and of course by making sure you have the answers to the most common questions such as why you want this job and what you have to offer! In this way, landing a government job is no different than landing any other job.

    Government jobs may seem boring at times, but it’s hard to beat job security, advancement, and a steady pay. If this sounds good to you and you need to start at the bottom; take heart because there is a demand for workers and you can always move up. Good luck!