The 3 Worst Federal Government Jobs

Perhaps the idea of working for the federal government appeals to you because of the long-term job security and benefits. You should, however, be aware that there are certain federal agencies notorious for low levels of employee satisfaction. There are also several federal government positions that require long hours and offer low compensation in return. Knowing which positions receive low ratings for employee satisfaction and compensation can help save you from making a serious mistake with your career.

Worst Agencies to Work for

People applying for positions in the federal government should realize that certain agencies offer very low salaries for employees. These agencies may also leave little room for growth or promotions. In a recent article published by US News, some of the government agencies with the lowest average pay included the following:

  • International Boundary and Water Commission ($48,012)
  • National Archives and Records Administration ($58,455)
  • Department of Agriculture ($61,730)

Worst Employee Positions

  • Employee with the Department of Homeland Security
    The Department of Homeland Security ranked last for job satisfaction in a 2011 survey of federal employees. Employees who worked for the DHS were not satisfied with the leadership of the organization. They also were not satisfied with the diversity within the field. After the September 11 attacks, thousands of employees were also given many additional responsibilities. People who work for the DHS can find themselves putting in additional hours to meet deadlines and work on projects.
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Official
    The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency is considered one of the worst places to work in the federal government. People who work for ICE cite the low morale in the agency as one of the reasons for job dissatisfaction. Some employees may have to work with individuals seeking asylum in the U.S. only to see these them deported without the right to a trial before a judge. Employees often have to answer to very strict superiors who do not always support notions of international law and the legal rights of refugees in the U.S. These factors all make working for ICE difficult.
  • Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Health Advisor
    Those who work for the DHHS often suffer from job dissatisfaction. They may work in impoverished areas with the fear that their belongings or car will be vandalized. Some employees who work for the DHHS are also uncomfortable working with clients who have serious drug addictions or personality disorders. People who work for the U.S. Public Health Service and similar organizations may also be assigned to complete disturbing tasks, such as researching whether areas of a city are infested with rats or other animals.

These jobs all rank as some of the worst jobs in the federal government. If you want to make sure that you are happy as a federal government employee, you may want to think twice if there is an opening at one of these departments.

Last Updated: April 15, 2015