Federal Government Jobs vs. Private Sector Jobs

One of the factors you should consider when searching for a job is whether you would like to work in the public or private sectors. Public sector jobs can involve working for the federal government, while private sector positions are found at companies and organizations that are not government-affiliated. There are a number of key similarities and differences between jobs found in these two fields.

Salary Differences

One of the main differences between federal government and private sector jobs is their salaries. Most of the time, government jobs offer significantly higher salaries than equivalent positions outside the government. It should be noted that there are a few jobs, such as those found in the medical field, that offer higher salaries in the private sector.

Benefit Differences

Another major difference between federal government and private sector jobs is the type and amount of benefits they offer. Federal government positions offer greater benefits than most jobs in the private sector. The benefits are generally comprehensive, including health, eye, and dental insurance. Government employees also enjoy longer vacations and more time for sick leave. Most private sector jobs cannot compete with these benefit packages.

Job Security Differences

People employed by the government enjoy stronger job security, while employees in the private sector have to deal with economic fluctuations and the possibility of losing their jobs if their companies go under. Government jobs are very stable, and some positions are even considered permanent.

Performance Similarities

Both private sector and federal government jobs pay their employees a salary for completing tasks. Employees in both sectors have the potential to be fired if their conduct or performance suffers; all workers are expected to follow rules and do their jobs to the best of their abilities.

Experience Similarities

Both sectors have a wide range of individual careers to choose from. You can build a strong, lifelong career in either sector if you have a valuable set of skills. Positions with identical responsibilities in both sectors generally have similar requirements for educational and work experience.

Government jobs offer higher salaries, more benefits, and stronger job security. This doesn't necessarily mean that a job in the government is right for you. You need to consider additional factors like job satisfaction and mobility before deciding which job sector holds your dream career.

Last Updated: April 15, 2015