Orange Icon, reads "Public Service & Government"

Government employees make an impact on the lives of others across the nation and the globe. If you are interested in a career where you can tackle challenging problems and make a difference in your community, then you may want to consider one of the many career paths in government work. 

Job Types

Federal, State, and Local Government (often referred to as the public sector) offer a wide variety of opportunities. Many job titles in government also exist in the nonprofit and private sectors. What differentiates the public sector is that some positions within government are elected or appointed by someone in a leadership role. Below is a small sample of roles you might find: 

  • Auditor 
  • City Manager 
  • Human Resources Assistant 
  • Volunteer Administrator 
  • Economist 

Roles and Work Environment

Just as there is a variety of roles, there are a multitude of departments and agencies at each level of government, including:

Federal Departments & Agencies
State Departments & Agencies in Virginia
Local Departments & Agencies


Industry Timeline

There are jobs in the federal government that require a security clearance/background check and will recruit in the fall or even a full year in advance. Timelines vary for state and local government opportunities, but many hire based on immediate needs.  The average length of time from application to offer for federal positions that do not require a security clearance is between 90-100 days.  

Applying to jobs

Because of the diversity of roles that exist in government, it is important to think not only about why you wish to work in government but also what you hope your function or role to be in government as it will help you to identify what kinds of training to pursue or skills to develop.  Employees in government represent a wide variety of disciplines from an even broader mix of academic backgrounds and experience. 

The Federal Resume

The federal resume is often required in this industry. Some government agencies utilize which has a resume-building tool to help applicants create a federal resume. Other agencies, such as the CIA or FBI, do not post on USAJobs and often ask for different information. For specific tips on how to write federal resumes:

Federal Resumes