Federal Government Jobs in Washington, D.C. - dummies

Federal Government Jobs in Washington, D.C.

By Greg Rushford

Not all bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., are paper pushers. U.S. federal workers may be scientists, medical professionals, economists, mathematicians, negotiators, diplomats, lawyers, officers of the law, military professionals, analysts, and political scientists. Ivy League degrees and six-figure salaries are common in the upper ranks of the career federal service (and even lower-paying jobs offer attractive benefits and are much sought after).

New administrations routinely choose — in addition to some of their partisan supporters — the brightest academics from the best universities, business leaders from the most successful corporations, and financial experts from the top Wall Street firms to serve in significant policymaking agencies such as the Federal Reserve, the Council of Economic Advisers, the Treasury, and the State Department.

At least at the top, the so-called revolving door of academics, lawyers, consultants, and other professionals into an administration and back out again is alive and well, and it usually improves both worlds along the way.

Federal workers are entrusted with furthering the interests of the United States domestically and internationally. Their responsibilities include innovative research (medical, aerospace, physics and engineering, food science); intelligence gathering; and sophisticated analysis of threats and opportunities related to politics, security, public health, the economy, and finances.

Federal workers also try to safeguard consumer interests through regulations they draft as part of legislation to be passed by Congress and implemented by regulatory bodies. They draw up regulations that affect Americans’ daily lives in many ways; their efforts directly affect how safe your food, water, and medications are, for example. Federal workers also provide policy recommendations to the political leadership in the current administration.

And like the rest of us, they juggle their demanding jobs with the demands of home and family. In their spare time, they coach school sports, run bake sales for their local religious or civic center, pursue hobbies, do home repairs, help their neighbors, raise their kids, and fret about their retirement — just like the rest of America.