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Old Yesterday, 07:13 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,557 posts, read 17,535,380 times
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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.
I have no clue about your field, but I'm in IT.

I was a finalist for a state of Tennessee job last year in Nashville. I live in northeast TN where the cost of living is lower, but the economy isn't nearly as good and there are far fewer jobs available.

The state job was similar to what I do for a large, private sector employer, and paid about 25% more. The agency's budget was cut and the opening was closed, but I would have taken it if I got it.

I've seen a similar situation applying in Raleigh. I was offered a job with Wake County, which is technically state employment. The role was junior level, and the pay didn't work, but that level of job with the state would pay far better than anything comparable that you'd find in the private sector within a couple hours of here.

I don't get a pension. I'm bonus eligible, but that depends on the company's performance. 401k match is deposited only annually, and takes four years to vest in company contributions. Long term, you're completely on your own.
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Old Yesterday, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Tempe, AZ
4,552 posts, read 3,635,459 times
Reputation: 3625
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
I have no clue about your field, but I'm in IT.

I was a finalist for a state of Tennessee job last year in Nashville. I live in northeast TN where the cost of living is lower, but the economy isn't nearly as good and there are far fewer jobs available.

The state job was similar to what I do for a large, private sector employer, and paid about 25% more. The agency's budget was cut and the opening was closed, but I would have taken it if I got it.

I've seen a similar situation applying in Raleigh. I was offered a job with Wake County, which is technically state employment. The role was junior level, and the pay didn't work, but that level of job with the state would pay far better than anything comparable that you'd find in the private sector within a couple hours of here.

I don't get a pension. I'm bonus eligible, but that depends on the company's performance. 401k match is deposited only annually, and takes four years to vest in company contributions. Long term, you're completely on your own.
To be fair I think the situation flips in rural area and really small cities with bad economies. Itís definitely not in big cities based on job postings I see online. But thatís because in rural areas the COL doesnít have high competition for housing and such. It takes a miracle to get wages above cola in government, and with how much rent is increasing these days... it makes you wonder.

Government pay is fairly standardized across jurisdictions. If you work for the state for example, a state job in rural Tennessee wonít pay much less than a job in Nashville, they may even pay the same. It doesnít line up with inflation and the real cost of cities.
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Old Yesterday, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Western Washington
8,931 posts, read 8,394,310 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prickly Pear View Post
To be fair I think the situation flips in rural area and really small cities with bad economies. It’s definitely not in big cities based on job postings I see online. But that’s because in rural areas the COL doesn’t have high competition for housing and such. It takes a miracle to get wages above cola in government, and with how much rent is increasing these days... it makes you wonder.
True, but also largely true in private industry as well. Overall pay rates in private industry have lagged inflation for decades now. There are exceptions of course, but for every individual who gets a raise in excess of inflation, there are a large number of people who do not get a pay raise, or get one that lags inflation. Add in the overall reduction in company match to 401k plans, and private industry is not a uniform example of success for the individual.

Plus, government workers can and do get promotions, which are accompanied by pay increases. This is no different from the private sector.

Quote:
Government pay is fairly standardized across jurisdictions. If you work for the state for example, a state job in rural Tennessee won’t pay much less than a job in Nashville, they may even pay the same. It doesn’t line up with inflation and the real cost of cities.
Emphasis added.

I agree. Depending on your point of view, this is a flaw or benefit to statewide, or nationwide, job classifications.
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Old Yesterday, 08:42 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,557 posts, read 17,535,380 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prickly Pear View Post
To be fair I think the situation flips in rural area and really small cities with bad economies. Itís definitely not in big cities based on job postings I see online. But thatís because in rural areas the COL doesnít have high competition for housing and such. It takes a miracle to get wages above cola in government, and with how much rent is increasing these days... it makes you wonder.

Government pay is fairly standardized across jurisdictions. If you work for the state for example, a state job in rural Tennessee wonít pay much less than a job in Nashville, they may even pay the same. It doesnít line up with inflation and the real cost of cities.
Agreed. When I lived in Des Moines, the economy was much healthier and the private sector paid better.

I'd take a 3% COLA. Where I am, a top-tier eval only gets 2% and there were pay freezes for years before I got here.
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Old Yesterday, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,005 posts, read 54,508,374 times
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I spent my life in the public sector (neither federal nor state, but a public transportation agency. However, I am in a state pension system.)

Now post retirement, I have had a couple of nice part-time jobs related to my career. The money is good and when my boss decides he wants to give me a raise, he gives me one. Public salaries are subject to the whims and agendas of politicians. If pols want to score points with the public during times of economic difficulty, they make a big deal out of "showing those greedy public employees" by stripping away benefits, freezing wages, etc., because they know the public will lap it up mindlessly because of their preconceived notions that public employees sit there all day and do nothing and make bank. We went for five years, 2010 to 2015, without raises. Staff who retired or left were not replaced so we all got more work and longer hours and during that time was when it became the norm to have to be available by phone and email nights and weekends, and for no other reason that we could ever determine except pure meanness, long-term employees got their vacation time slashed. I lost five days.

I also have gotten nice bonuses at the end of every year in the private sector. There are no bonuses in the public sector. There are other perks in the private sector, such as attending business dinners that are not permitted in public life, going to conferences and staying at a nice hotel near the event venue instead of the one in the ghetto that falls within the spending guidelines of the agency and from which you have to walk or spend your own money for a cab.

People I knew in the private sector had fancy holiday parties at big venues (Bloomburg traditionally took over the Museum of Natural History for their holiday bash) and didn't have to shell out a dime, while public sector employees pay for their own parties that are usually held in the back room of a city bar, lol. That's not a reason to decide where to work, of course.

On the plus side and for which I am eternally grateful, I have some of the best health benefits in the nation. They were free until 2010 when the powers that be decided we should pay. To their credit, they didn't hit us with it all at once but rather made us increase what we had to pay gradually over four years. Thankfully, I was grandfathered into the tier that receives the benefits free upon retirement. People behind me won't get that. They either pay for the cadillac benefits or accept a much lesser plan that they don't have to pay for but which has higher deductibles and co-pays.

So, if you have some area of expertise where you know you can make the big bucks in the private sector and manage your own retirement funding, you might be better off. If you aren't looking to get rich but would rather have the steadiness and reasonably-certain security of an adequate pension, the public sector could be for you.
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Old Yesterday, 10:58 AM
 
25,972 posts, read 32,970,649 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prickly Pear View Post
Except it is in A lot of places. If your public sector job was a long time ago, then itís not applicable. The difference has increased drastically over the past 10 to 15 years. Because COL is increasing way faster than politicians people who hate you vote in can increase your wages and slash your pension at the same time.

This is what Iím seeing in my field. A fairly technical job. And if I look more at OSHA in the private sector rather than EPA compliance, then Iím definitely being underpaid. Get more in environmental health and safety in the private sector than in environmental health in the public sector. Especially if you go far enough to be an industrial hygienist.
I took the cut 17.5 years ago. In IT. Technical. Maybe not as applicable...BUT...I just looked at the average salaries for my position ( and I actually wear two hats here - sort of a ď comboĒ position LOL ) and I am above the top of the range for both of them. Was definitely a good move for me.
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Old Yesterday, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Living on the Coast in Oxnard CA
15,726 posts, read 26,753,064 times
Reputation: 20351
Quote:
Originally Posted by HolyGuacomole View Post
I know this question has been asked a 1,000 times, but I am just curious. I am in my early 30 and have worked for the gov. for about 7 years. I guess I have gotten a bit spoiled with benefits pension etc. although I don't really make that much money. My question is if you were capable, would you rather have a gov. job making the above amount or a 50k job in the private sector. I am a bit scared because I have no clue how to manage 401ks etc and have not heard anything positive about them. Maybe someone else can shed some light on how they work.


Lets say that you have the chance to work for the same place for the next 30 years. Lets say that at the end of the 30 years you will retire from that job. The Government job gave you less money but also offered a retirement plan. The other job gave you more money but offered to allow you to invest that in a 401K. Many of those places also offer additional cash if you invest a certain percentage of your income. Instead of the Government taking care of it, you have to be proactive. Not that you are alone as the 401K administrator will provide someone to work you thru the program. Also with the 401K you can continue to invest in the 401K if you change jobs. You could also combine the 401K with your next employers retirement program. If you walk away from the government job and enter private practice you might walk away from your pension.

What I have seen is plenty of people get a government job in their early 20's. They work 30 years and retire. Then they get a job working for a private sector company, investing in the 401K or getting an IRA.When they hit 65 they are in great shape for retirement.
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Old Yesterday, 02:18 PM
 
5,269 posts, read 3,311,295 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HolyGuacomole View Post
I know this question has been asked a 1,000 times, but I am just curious. I am in my early 30 and have worked for the gov. for about 7 years. I guess I have gotten a bit spoiled with benefits pension etc. although I don't really make that much money. My question is if you were capable, would you rather have a gov. job making the above amount or a 50k job in the private sector. I am a bit scared because I have no clue how to manage 401ks etc and have not heard anything positive about them. Maybe someone else can shed some light on how they work.
Why settle for a 35k government jobs? There are state/federal jobs where people make 70k, 80k, 100k+ and they don't have PhD's or MD's or JD's, etc., some don't even have Master Degrees.
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Old Yesterday, 02:50 PM
 
25,972 posts, read 32,970,649 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjseliga View Post
Why settle for a 35k government jobs? There are state/federal jobs where people make 70k, 80k, 100k+ and they don't have PhD's or MD's or JD's, etc., some don't even have Master Degrees.
I believe the OP is really asking about the difference in the pay and whether it is worth the additional benefits, for public sector vs private sector.
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Old Yesterday, 03:14 PM
 
Location: Crown Point
133 posts, read 142,734 times
Reputation: 117
I think that it really mattes on what government you are working for. I work for the federal government, and get raises every 6 months at about 2-4%, plus around 2% cost of living increase per year. I started just under 3 years ago and I am will be making about $16k per year more than when I started. We also get pension, which I do have to put in 4.4% of my salary for, on top of a 401k where they match dollar for dollar up to 5%



However, I know people that work in state and county governments in Indiana, and it's quite a different story. Their pension is laughable, and they get paid a lot less. If you go over to Illinois you will make a lot more for the government.



So I would say Federal Government is be s t, and then depending on what state you are in second. If you work for Indiana you are better off in the private sector
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