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Old 09-19-2008, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Metro Seattle
40 posts, read 133,947 times
Reputation: 24

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How easy is it to get a government job in DC? Let's say for a college student with a 4 year degree? And, salary wise do the gov't jobs account for the fact that NoVa is very expensive and pay more? Thanks
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Old 09-19-2008, 09:39 PM
 
148 posts, read 569,297 times
Reputation: 73
Civil Service GS Scales
Salary Table 2008-DCB
Getting a a job varies based on the agency, your educational background, whether or not you have taken interships etc. Many students also come in as contractors and then switch over.

Foreign Service (FS) Scales. You have to qualify 2-exams, oral assesment interview etc, prestigious, and better benefits than civil service. Postings outside US. Selection is completely merit based.

http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/99067.pdf
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Old 09-20-2008, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
755 posts, read 1,516,115 times
Reputation: 589
Although there are is an abundance of government jobs in the D.C. area it is not easy to get into civil service if you have no prior military experience or are not already a federal employee. Your best bet is to seek out some kind of internship program in what ever agency you are trying to work for. As Sara stated there are agencies that have high demand fields like FBI Special Agents or CIA Special Agents you can apply for these positions directly through the agencies website. Also keep in mind that the hiring process with the federal government is EXTREMELY long. You will not walk in for an interview and leave with a job. So you will want to plan accordingly. Since you are not a current government employee from start to finish (including security checks) it could took up to a year.

Below is a link to the GS salary table. There are locality adjustments made to your pay based on where you live. So if you are a GS-11 in Boston you will make more than a GS-11 in Kansas. BTW GS means general schedule which is the salary table most federal employees are under.
2008 Salary Tables and Related Information (From OPM's website)

Goodluck!
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Old 09-20-2008, 02:33 PM
 
1,261 posts, read 5,607,075 times
Reputation: 553
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW2NOVA View Post
How easy is it to get a government job in DC? Let's say for a college student with a 4 year degree? And, salary wise do the gov't jobs account for the fact that NoVa is very expensive and pay more? Thanks
While you will find an abundancy of federal job vacancies in the DC metro area, the process is not easy. The hiring process takes a long time and even if you are offered a job, you still are likely to have to wait for a clearance (or waiver). If you have no job-related experience and a 4 year degree, you qualify for GS-5 (or its equivalent) unless you graduated with a high GPA and qualify as an outstanding scholar (GS-7 or its equivalent). Of course, even if you are hired at that grade, you can apply for jobs with a career ladder and with good performance, be promoted non-competitively up the GS-12 or GS-13. If you look at the GS pay scale, you'll notice how the DC-Baltimore locality pay for those grades compares to other metro areas and the "Rest of the U.S."
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Old 09-21-2008, 05:54 PM
 
Location: Chesterfield, VA
1,218 posts, read 4,554,437 times
Reputation: 535
I agree with Sara... your best bet may be to get in with a contractor. If the section you are staffed with really likes you and your work, they may write a position specifically for you.
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:16 AM
 
Location: DC
3,286 posts, read 10,567,747 times
Reputation: 1301
What field are you in? It also depends on the agency you're interested in. Many have special programs for recent grads where you are in a "temporary" position for a few years and can then leave or segue into a permanent position.

As for salary, most come in as a GS-5 or 7. I did the GS-7 and it wasn't too hard to live on it. You also tend to jump 1 or 2 grades with each year of experience, so you won't be making that salary for long. As for clearance, it's mostly an issue with security or defense-related positions. For non-secure positions it's much easier. They do a background check, but mine was started after I was already working.
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Old 09-22-2008, 09:57 AM
 
148 posts, read 569,297 times
Reputation: 73
Language Skills are in great demand (someone had posted earlier about hiring of minorities - I think that post was removed but that statement is true). There is a published list of Critical Language Skill that State, FBI, CIA, Secret Service and others are seeking (and will even pay cash award) and if you know any of those languages besides your functional expertise, the hiring process seems to be expedited.
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Old 09-22-2008, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Orange, California
1,573 posts, read 5,637,992 times
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There is some good advice in these posts about the challenges of getting a fed govt job in DC. The other thing I would add is that given the economic troubles that are gripping the nation, I imagine that demand for fed govt jobs will increase given the fact that the private sector is hurting and laying off people. Government jobs are more stabile during economic downturns and I would think a lot of people are going to be seeking that stability, just like you.
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Old 09-22-2008, 09:38 PM
 
3,164 posts, read 6,118,809 times
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It helps if you can speak and/or write Arabic. It also helps if you Black, Hispanic, and/or female. Most federal agencies make a real effort to hire those minorities and women.
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