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The Best Places to Work in Federal Government

The Harry S. Truman Building, Washington, D.C., headerquarters of the U.S. Department of State. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons by AgnosticPreachersKid)
The Harry S. Truman Building, Washington, D.C., headerquarters of the U.S. Department of State. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons by AgnosticPreachersKid)

What are the chances that you're going to stay in a job that doesn't pay well or put your military skills to good use? Slim — even in this economy, right? Employee satisfaction is one of the key components to having a successful civilian career for transitioning servicemembers. And the public sector is not only a military-friendly employer, but also reports high employee contentment, according to the Partnership for Public Service (PPS).

In fact, the Office of Personnel Management surveyed 212,000 federal employees to gauge their level of job satisfaction, as well as which agencies promoted a good work/life balance, had good pay and benefits, and exhibited high-quality leadership. The PPS — in partnership with American University's Institute for the Study of Public Policy Implementation — compiled the survey results to rank the Best Places to Work in Federal Government.

Among the 278 federal agencies evaluated, the survey participants ranked the following 10 large agencies as the Best Places to Work:

  1. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  2. Government Accountability Office
  3. National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  4. Intelligence Community
  5. Department of State
  6. Environmental Protection Agency
  7. Department of Justice
  8. General Services Administration
  9. Social Security Administration
  10. Department of Commerce

And, the top honors for small agencies include:

  1. Surface Transportation Board
  2. Overseas Private Investment Corporation
  3. Congressional Budget Office and the Office of Management and Budget (both tied for third)
  4. National Science Foundation

"The Best Places to Work rankings are an important tool for federal managers who understand that employee satisfaction drives agency performance," says PPS President and CEO Max Stier, in a PPS-issued press release.

"These rankings provide an incentive for agencies to focus on their employees, they give a roadmap for improvement, and they help Congress fulfill their oversight responsibilities," adds Robert Tobias, the director of the American University's Institute for the Study of Public Policy Implementation, in the press release.

If you're transitioning out of the service and want to connect with a veteran who currently works in the public sector, use's Veteran Career Network to ask a veteran what it's really like to work in the federal government.

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