The Best Places to Work in the Federal Government

The Best Places to Work in the Federal Government award badge

A job in the federal government is a great place for veterans to land after re-entering the workforce. And, job opportunities abound for former military personnel who want to work for Uncle Sam. In fact, the Partnership for Public Service (PPS) reports that the Federal government needs to fill nearly 200,000 jobs in various federal agencies and departments over the next two years.

What's more, the public sector is not only brimming with job opportunities, but also offers its employees great benefits (portable health and life insurance), excellent pay, and ample career growth.

If you're not sure which agency to apply to first, the PPS and the Institute for the Study of Public Policy created a list of the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government. More than 390,000 full-time, federal employees were surveyed about employee satisfaction, effective leadership, and pay and benefits. The respondents' answers helped rank both large and small agencies. The PPS published a list of 30 of the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government on their website, here's a quick look at the top 10 large agencies:

  1. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC): This Rockville, Md.-based agency regulates the nation's civilian use of byproduct, source, and special nuclear material to ensure adequate protection of public health and safety. As of 2006, this agency had 3,200 employees.
  2. Government Accountability Office (GAO): The GAO supports the congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and ensures the accountability of the Federal government for the benefit of the American people. Last year the GAO had nearly 3,500 employees.
  3. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC): The SEC protects investors, maintains efficient markets, and facilitates capital formation. There are 3,371 employees working at the SEC.
  4. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA): This agency was created to pioneer the future of space exploration, scientific discovery, and aeronautics research. As of 2006, close to 17,059 employees were NASA employees.
  5. Department of Justice (DOJ): The DOJ leads foreign and domestic counterterrorism efforts, enforces federal laws, provides legal advice to the President and all federal agencies and investigates federal crimes and prosecutes violators. In 2006, more than 102,000 employees worked for the DOJ.
  6. Department of State (DOS): The DOS conducts foreign affairs and diplomatic initiatives for the United States. It oversees the nation's embassies and consulates, issues passports, monitors U.S. interests abroad and represents the United States before international organizations. The DOS employs 18,877 people.
  7. Social Security Administration (SSA): The SSA manages the nation's social insurance program (retirement, survivors and disability insurance programs). The agency assigns Social Security numbers to Americans, maintains earning records for workers under their Social Security numbers, and administers the Supplemental Security Income program for the elderly and disabled. This agency employs more than 60,000 people.
  8. General Services Administration (GSA): The GSA helps federal agencies serve the public by offering, at best value, superior workplace, expert solutions, acquisition services and management policies. The GSA employees 11,875 people.
  9. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): The EPA's mission is to safeguard nation's air, water and lands. This agency also develops programs to control and reduce pollution and works with other federal agencies, state and local governments, and Native American tribal nations to conduct environmental research and set environmental standards. As of 2006, the EPA employed 16, 430 people.
  10. Department of the Army (DA): The Department of the Army provides expeditionary units wherever and whenever they are needed. Working in conjunction with the DoD, the Army trains and equips Soldiers and creates leaders among them to rapidly respond when they are called upon to serve the United States. The DA is one of the largest federal agencies, employing more than 200,000 employees.

The majority of these agencies are based in the Washington D.C., but have satellite offices throughout the United States, and overseas. If you want to apply for a federal job, visit's Careers channel to learn how to write a resume and interview for a position in the public sector.

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