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Old 07-06-2019, 07:54 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,748 posts, read 54,373,866 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huckleberry3911948 View Post
The same nasty games that are played in private sectors are now played in public sectors the difference being unions have migrated from private to public employees so management gets away with less
Not all public agencies are union. Where I work, for example there are unions for our trades people, electricians, carpenters and plumbers. The rest in our various locations (400+ in my office) are not union.
The benefits are better than most unions and without the dues.
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Old 07-06-2019, 09:17 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
8,929 posts, read 8,390,690 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Boring View Post
50K no question, the $15K invested annually at 7% would never compensate for the difference in any government benefits, early retirement, etc.
That is assuming a person making $50k has the discipline to save 30% ($15k) of their salary. It is really difficult to live on a $35k salary. The strong temptation will be to use a portion of the $50k to purchase a home, which will build equity and security in a different way, drive a car that is not a complete junker, or go on a vacation every few years.

A more realistic career plan is to develop skills, education and experience so that one is not earning an inflation adjusted $35-$50k until retirement. Itís much easier to put aside $15k if you are grossing $80k, and it will appreciate just the same.

The OPís question is far too simplistic.
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Old Yesterday, 06:08 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,541 posts, read 17,525,434 times
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That's a substantial pay differential. $35k is a low wage except for fairly low skilled people in low to moderate COL areas. $50K is much better. It's likely the difference between struggling badly and getting by
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Old Yesterday, 06:22 AM
 
332 posts, read 141,406 times
Reputation: 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by r03ix9A View Post
I have worked in both the private sector (over 30 years) and in a government job (8 years), and the "which is better" question is a very individual, subjective one. You really have to examine all the factors of each, and decide where your own personal sweet spot is.


In my experience, a private-sector job has the following positives:
  • Generally higher wages
  • Often better advancement opportunities that are not subject to civil-service regulations, i.e. the boss can just decide to promote someone instead of going through a 3-month process to post and hire a position.
  • Some industries offer perks and benefits that are not available in government jobs (e.g. tuition assistance, onsite fitness center, game room, bonuses, gifts and the like)
  • In some industries, there is greater flexibility for scheduling and working from home
  • In some industries, you are more likely to have travel opportunities (of course, for some of us, more travel could be a negative, too)
  • Private-sector employees frequently have cutting-edge technology

Private-sector jobs have downsides as well. These include:
  • No civil service protections, making it easier to fire people
  • Business downturns necessitating reductions in force
  • Pensions are very rare in the private sector in this day and age
  • Insurance (health, life, disability, income continuation) is generally more expensive and less comprehensive than is available with a government job
  • In some industries and with some employers, there is an expectation that employees will be available by computer or cell phone 24/7, and some industries and employers expect staff to be willing to work much more than 40 hours per week, including on holidays

Government jobs often have the following advantages:
  • Job security
  • Civil service protections (except for appointed positions)
  • Pensions
  • Generally good to excellent insurance options
  • Often generous PTO allowances
  • In some cases, with some government agencies, there can be a measure of satisfaction in doing work that helps one's fellow citizens.

Negatives to government jobs:
  • Pay raises are decided legislatively and can be few and far between
  • Legislative decisions can eliminate an entire agency and all jobs within it
  • Advancement opportunities are not as common, and they are not just handed out to whoever the boss wants to promote; even if you already work for an agency and are essentially doing the job that has been posted, you still have to go through the full application/interview process to be considered
  • Some people (including some legislators) have a persistent belief that all government workers are lazy and incompetent, which can be demoralizing
  • Most government entities use technology (hardware and software both) that is at least years and often decades out of date because they can't afford to upgrade

And there are certain things in common across both private and public sector jobs. Bureaucracy is endemic. Mediocrity that doesn't rock the boat is often rewarded far more than brilliance that makes people uncomfortable. Idiots get hired, and keep their jobs because it's too much trouble/effort to get rid of them. Miscommunication creates kerfuffles. There's no escaping certain realities regardless of where you work.

So to the OP, in your shoes, I'd assign a numeric importance factor - YOUR importance factor, not anyone else's - to each of the pros and cons for private and public sector work. Say, on a scale of 1 to 10, how important is good health insurance to you? On a scale of 1 to 10, how important are regular raises to you? Do that for each item in the list, and then total the numbers. The result may give you some insight into where to pursue your further career.
Perfect review! Now I don't have to type this.
Government is starting to have age discrimination recently, just like the private sector. The office politics is very bad, maybe worse then private.
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Old Yesterday, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,541 posts, read 17,525,434 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torontobase View Post
Perfect review! Now I don't have to type this.
Government is starting to have age discrimination recently, just like the private sector. The office politics is very bad, maybe worse then private.
One thing to keep in mind is that, in areas with unhealthy economies, the private sector wage will go low, perhaps much lower than government wages for the same job.
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Old Yesterday, 10:17 AM
 
332 posts, read 141,406 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
One thing to keep in mind is that, in areas with unhealthy economies, the private sector wage will go low, perhaps much lower than government wages for the same job.
Thank you and I agree with you.

I worked in both private and public. The fist half of my adult life was a real struggle for employment and mostly I worked between the two. Now I am public and must work to retirement because I wasn't able to earn income steadily to save for retirement. Now, I earn less, need medical coverage, get very low pension that you cannot live off of, but today, I am just getting by.
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Old Yesterday, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Tempe, AZ
4,552 posts, read 3,633,260 times
Reputation: 3625
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
That's a substantial pay differential. $35k is a low wage except for fairly low skilled people in low to moderate COL areas. $50K is much better. It's likely the difference between struggling badly and getting by
Except that is pretty close to actual differences these days. Private sector is better at matching COL than public sector these days. In my agency one of our directors got chopped (pretty sure) because he gave all of us raises that we needed since there wasnít really a raise above COLA since 2005 or so (this raise was in 2018). Before then we were making $18.75/hr, after taxes and 12% contribution for pension and benefits, put me around $2000/month take home. With a bachelorís degree and a $400/year professional license. This in Phoenix where rents for 1 bedrooms are $1000/month on average before utilities which are another couple hundred, and the job required we have a car for our job duties.

I like working in the public sector, but I get why people are leaving. Providing a service especially when people think youíre lazy and donít want to pay you properly for your services even though they benefit from you, it breaks someone for thankless work on top of lower pay.

I was looking at jobs in Seattle doing what I do (maybe fishbrains can comment) paying 68k. It seems good but I doubt it pays Seattle COL. Another job I saw in Portland, Oregon was 51k. I make about 48k in Phoenix now. Unless you are in the Midwest you wonít really have good pay anywhere working in the public sector, unless you are with the feds, they tend to pay a little better.
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Old Yesterday, 01:57 PM
 
6,837 posts, read 3,708,603 times
Reputation: 18073
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prickly Pear View Post
...

I like working in the public sector, but I get why people are leaving. Providing a service especially when people think you’re lazy and don’t want to pay you properly for your services even though they benefit from you, it breaks someone for thankless work on top of lower pay.

...
Frame that. Sad what people will say about public service, esp politicians pandering for a vote.
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Old Yesterday, 02:36 PM
Status: "Disagreeing is not the same thing as trolling." (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: Texas
9,438 posts, read 3,628,914 times
Reputation: 19454
The government job.
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Old Yesterday, 03:25 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,748 posts, read 54,373,866 times
Reputation: 31030
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prickly Pear View Post
Except that is pretty close to actual differences these days. Private sector is better at matching COL than public sector these days. In my agency one of our directors got chopped (pretty sure) because he gave all of us raises that we needed since there wasnít really a raise above COLA since 2005 or so (this raise was in 2018). Before then we were making $18.75/hr, after taxes and 12% contribution for pension and benefits, put me around $2000/month take home. With a bachelorís degree and a $400/year professional license. This in Phoenix where rents for 1 bedrooms are $1000/month on average before utilities which are another couple hundred, and the job required we have a car for our job duties.

I like working in the public sector, but I get why people are leaving. Providing a service especially when people think youíre lazy and donít want to pay you properly for your services even though they benefit from you, it breaks someone for thankless work on top of lower pay.

I was looking at jobs in Seattle doing what I do (maybe fishbrains can comment) paying 68k. It seems good but I doubt it pays Seattle COL. Another job I saw in Portland, Oregon was 51k. I make about 48k in Phoenix now. Unless you are in the Midwest you wonít really have good pay anywhere working in the public sector, unless you are with the feds, they tend to pay a little better.
Based on several online cost of living calculators, you would need to make $86,000 to maintain your current lifestyle if you move to Seattle. I would have guessed double the cost of Phoenix but I guess itís not quite that bad.

On the other hand, I have an employee making a salary in the $60s, and she is doing fine with a studio apartment in the nice Greenlake area, has a paid off car, but no student loan debt.
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