Government vs Private sector employment

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joyanni
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Government vs Private sector employment

Post by joyanni »

I have always been a private sector employee, and used to believe in the free market and think that the private sector provided the best opportunities for advancement and growth as well as monetary benefits. Think I have been very wrong in that. I see government jobs offering competitive salaries plus job security plus family friendly hours plus pension plus retiree health care etc. , whereas employee salaries and benefits have been going downhill for the past many years, let alone pensions or retiree medical.
Why would anybody work in private sector if they have a choice ( except for high level executives ) is beyond me . Unless I see some genius level potential in my kids with a CEO trait, I would totally encourage them to join a federal government job right after school and stick to that for a lifetime.

Am I being overly negative and are there any redeeming factors left in the private sector ?
navyasw02
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Re: Government vs Private sector employment

Post by navyasw02 »

The answer depends pretty heavily on what government agency you're in and what your job title is and is almost impossible to provide a comparison. The advantages are you get TSP matching and a small retirement annuity, compensation for overtime, and job security like you mentioned, but you also have to deal with neverending frustration of dealing with shutdowns, sequestration, hiring freezes, pay freezes, and that sort of thing when dealing with entities dependent on Congress for funding.

The caliber of people working for the government ranges from superstar to envelope licker across the spectrum of ranks and positions. The work can range from challenging to mind numbingly monotonous. I suppose that's the same in the private sector as well. I guess in lieu of a better answer, I'd recommend someone try the private sector first to get a sense for what its like, otherwise you'll be dreaming if the grass is really greener on the other side and you get stuck due to life events.
the_poet
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Re: Government vs Private sector employment

Post by the_poet »

I've usually worked for the best of both worlds: defense contractor!

I'm actually transitioning to a totally private-sector job next month. You're not inspiring confidence that I made the right call... :|
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TimeRunner
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Re: Government vs Private sector employment

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mwm158
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Re: Government vs Private sector employment

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joyanni
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Re: Government vs Private sector employment

Post by joyanni »

Sure, rub it in to all the corporate workerbee dummies here ;-)
asif408
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Re: Government vs Private sector employment

Post by asif408 »

I worked for private companies for 7 years and have been working for state government and academia for the last 6 years. Here is my experience:

Private sector
Advantages:
- More flexibility, less bureaucracy (for instance, it can take weeks or months to approve a 1 page document at my government job)
- Better pay
- Easier to advance quickly and into different roles if desired

Disadvantages:
- Less family friendly (my boss used to make me feel guilty about time off and if I wasn't working weekends)
- Less time off (my government job provides 2 1/2 weeks of sick leave and 2 1/2 weeks of annual leave; every private sector job I've had gave me less than 2 weeks time off total per year, and that was usually after working there for a year)

Government
Advantages:
- Better benefits (my health insurance is way better than any I've had at private companies, cheaper and more complete, and we have a pension, though I don't think it will be as lucrative as it was for the old timers)
- More family friendly (time off, flexibility, FMLA, etc.; I recently took several weeks off of FMLA and my co-workers and division were very supportive; I can't imagine that would have been the case in my private sector jobs, particularly being a male)

Disadvantages:
- Pay less (though benefits offset this some)
- Advancement is more difficult and less flexible
- Bureaucracy (things don't get done quickly)

The federal government jobs are even better because the pay is much better and you typically still get all the benefits like job flexibility, time off, etc. The biggest problem is those jobs are very difficult to get into because the people in those jobs are in no rush to leave.

Overall, I prefer government, but I also am not married to my job and prefer work/life balance over maximizing my income and time spent at work. I think it depends most on your attitude towards your work and what you value in life.
Swansea
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Re: Government vs Private sector employment

Post by Swansea »

This issue is very dependent upon your occupation and skills. For instance, physicians are compensated much better in the private sector, or academia for that matter. I recall offering a Senior Executive Service (SES) position to a doc at a mid-west medical school. When I informed him of the salary range, he declined saying he was making twice as much as that. Engineers and senior scientific researchers were also tough to attract to the federal sector.
However, except in times of strong economic growth, the federal sector could compete very effectively in attracting administrative talent.
B0bL0blawsLawBl0g
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Re: Government vs Private sector employment

Post by B0bL0blawsLawBl0g »

At least in my field (law), the compensation is much, much higher in the private sector.

I took about a 40% paycut to join the federal government from a large law firm. The very top of the GS-scale (even with locality pay) is about the same as a first-year associate salary (even ignoring the bonus) at a large law firm.

I want to be clear, I made this decision willingly and with eyes wide open. And I'm happy with the tradeoff that I made. But it definitely IS a tradeoff -- far less monetary compensation in exchange for other tangible and intangible benefits.
flyingbison
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Re: Government vs Private sector employment

Post by flyingbison »

navyasw02 wrote:The answer depends pretty heavily on what government agency you're in and what your job title is and is almost impossible to provide a comparison.
^This. "Government" is not a single entity - there are federal agencies, state agencies, county and municipality, school districts, etc. And the jobs in "government" include everything from garbage collector to surgeon, and everything in between.

Pay and benefits vary widely form one setting to another, and from one job to another. Very generally speaking, though, there is a smaller range of pay (from bottom to top) across most government agencies, which means that those at lower education/skill levels often get paid more than they would in the private sector, and professionals at higher education/skill levels make less.

Benefits should be considered part of overall compensation, and aren't free or extra. As for security, I our pay/benefits have been cut for at least 10 years in a row now. Positions have been eliminated, and layoff threats and rumors are constantly looming.
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Taylor Larimore
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Re: Government vs Private sector employment

Post by Taylor Larimore »

Why would anybody work in private sector if they have a choice?
Joyanni:

I had been a life-insurance salesman for five years when I realized it was not what I enjoyed doing.

I had a lawyer-friend who worked in the IRS. I asked him if I should accept a job in government. This is what he said (paraphrased).

"If your goal is to make a lot of money, you will probably be frustrated and unhappy working for the government. However, if you enjoy interacting with people, and are looking for a 9-5 job with good benefits and a decent salary, a government job may be for you."

After 28 years as a government employee, including 3 years in the military, I know he was right.

Best wishes.
Taylor
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Afty
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Re: Government vs Private sector employment

Post by Afty »

I wanted to pick a few nits with respect to private companies. I work for a megacorp in tech.
asif408 wrote: Disadvantages:
- Less family friendly (my boss used to make me feel guilty about time off and if I wasn't working weekends)
- Less time off (my government job provides 2 1/2 weeks of sick leave and 2 1/2 weeks of annual leave; every private sector job I've had gave me less than 2 weeks time off total per year, and that was usually after working there for a year)
These are going to depend on the specific job. My manager certainly doesn't make us feel guilty for taking time off or not working weekends. I make it a point to set a good example for my reports on these topics as well -- I take time off, I generally don't send emails outside work hours, etc. And our employees start with 3 weeks PTO and unlimited sick leave.
Government
Advantages:
- Better benefits (my health insurance is way better than any I've had at private companies, cheaper and more complete, and we have a pension, though I don't think it will be as lucrative as it was for the old timers)
- More family friendly (time off, flexibility, FMLA, etc.; I recently took several weeks off of FMLA and my co-workers and division were very supportive; I can't imagine that would have been the case in my private sector jobs, particularly being a male)
I have taken two FMLA leaves since I've been at my current job, one for the birth of my child and another to care for a sick relative. In both cases everyone was super supportive. My director actually took me aside and strongly encouraged me to take my full 7-week paternity leave.
rgs92
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Re: Government vs Private sector employment

Post by rgs92 »

Agree fully with the OP.
Summary:
Gov't = employment.
Private sector = unemployment.

The problem is that the word is out and for many years now gov't jobs have been virtually impossible to get unless you know someone on the inside who can get you in. Try telling someone in the private sector in, say, engineering, IT, or management that it's "almost impossible to get fired" and they will laugh at you.

Job security is a thing of the past in the private sector. That's great for profits I suppose but basically a nightmare for workers, but that's the way the world is an there's no going back.

Steve Case has a new book out and keeps saying that his father's 40-year job is a thing of the past and now you may be in a situation where you get multiple jobs in one day as your iPhone alerts you for quick assignments. Basically we are all Uber drivers now.
However, it seems like in the gov't, it's still the 1950s.

The new model is something like the 18th century where you do piecework like baking a pie or building a barn for someone, and if nobody wants what you are selling, well, ask your relatives for help. This is Silicon Valley's Utopian world view.

So the actionable advice here is, when you are fresh out of school and young and vigorous and employable, go anywhere in the country and try like heck to find a gov't job.
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MikeWillRetire
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Re: Government vs Private sector employment

Post by MikeWillRetire »

I spent my first 11 years as an engineer in the private sector, and the last 21 years in the federal government. As a young man, I was go-go-go, and so I appreciated the private sector. As I got older, I no longer wanted the pace, and was not interested in climbing the ladder anymore. So I joined the federal government. To say which is better really depends on your personality and goals.
ChesaPeAke27
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Re: Government vs Private sector employment

Post by ChesaPeAke27 »

It really depends on what you seek out of employment. Also varies by which field you're in. I had tech friends who left federal employment and quickly went to contractors for 100-150% raises. I have other friends who are stuck in government due to not having skills and experience that do not transfer to private.
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ponyboy
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Re: Government vs Private sector employment

Post by ponyboy »

ChesaPeAke27 wrote: It really depends on what you seek out of employment. Also varies by which field you're in. I had tech friends who left federal employment and quickly went to contractors for 100-150% raises.
Like others said...there is a reason private pays a lot more. There are a LOT more demands, easier to get fired, higher stress, longer hours, etc etc. People do not magically double their salary without throwing a wrench in the gears...thats not the world we live in.

Government has great benefits...especially those who have been in for 20 years (health care.) My wife works for the feds...its one of the reasons we will be able to retire so early...we will be able to keep health covereage.
jharkin
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Re: Government vs Private sector employment

Post by jharkin »

Afty wrote: These are going to depend on the specific job. My manager certainly doesn't make us feel guilty for taking time off or not working weekends. I make it a point to set a good example for my reports on these topics as well -- I take time off, I generally don't send emails outside work hours, etc. And our employees start with 3 weeks PTO and unlimited sick leave.


I have taken two FMLA leaves since I've been at my current job, one for the birth of my child and another to care for a sick relative. In both cases everyone was super supportive. My director actually took me aside and strongly encouraged me to take my full 7-week paternity leave.
I have similar experiences in high tech. I get 30 days vacation, 5 days sick (Mass state law) and 10 paid holidays. New hires start at 20/5/10. Company is very flexible about letting us use it and really good about flex hours, tellocommuting when needed.

When my kids where born I took a month off and had no issues. I had to use sick time as they dont do paid paternity (they DO paid maternity) but I was not given any grief at all about using the time.

And my company is not industry leading benefits wise. Software is very competitive and companies like Google, Microsoft, etc offer VERY lucrative perks.
bonfire
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Re: Government vs Private sector employment

Post by bonfire »

as a local gov't employee (city), my 20 year experience is a bit different than the fed guys. There is a LOT of personal interaction with the general public which can be frustrating. The negativity associated with elected officials in Washington trickles down to the local level i.e. to the general population, we're all 1 government and we're all lazy and crooked.

That being said, my organization, which , is about 1000 employees in a city over just over 100,000 population has provided a good living for me and my family. Work is more stable than the private sector. But, contrary to popular belief, Gov't employees can and do get layed off and fired for poor performance. I often answer emails, texts, and phone calls outside of normal work hours. I have frequent night and weekend meetings with appointed 'commission's and 'boards' and elected officials all made up of lay people. I haven't had an uninterrupted family vacation in 15 years. Pay is scaled down compared to the private sector, at least in my region

On the plus side, I'm part of a retirement system that is portable to most cities in my state and the employer match is superior to the private sector. I qualify for retirement at 25 yrs of service though I likely wont be able to afford it at that time. Our health insurance seems equivalent to private sector from what I've seen. Its more for the people in it for the long haul and I do think civil service is somewhat of a calling (see the first 3 sentences) as its structure and bureaucracy does not suit many
mattshwink
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Re: Government vs Private sector employment

Post by mattshwink »

I will give my 2 cents here as I have worked as a federal contractor (in IT) for the past 12.5 years. I was offered a federal position a few years in, but turned it down, and have been happy with the decision. I also know people who are perfectly happy working for the government.

Pros of being private:
1. As noted above, salary tends to be higher and more "flexible" (spot raises, bonuses). Federal employees tend to be tied to the GS scale (which is COLAed).

2. Job flexibility: It is very easy for me to switch jobs/roles. On the federal side this is much harder. Twice (in my 18 year career) I have had four jobs (W-2s) in one year! Job hoping early on in a career can be a good way to avoid being pigeon-holed and quickly increase salary as skills increase. Government works tend not to have this option (they have to switch agencies, which can be done but is not as easy)

3. Coworkers: While I work alongside many federal employees, I basically can choose my employer and coworkers. This was one of the reasons I took my current job. You sometimes have to job hop to do this, but it has worked well for me. On the Federal side we have what is called RIP (Retired In-Place). This happens less in the private sector. Dead weight can really drag an organization down.

4. Way less bureaucracy: I still am bound by the same rules as they are, but generally have more flexibility to accomplish things. I know some counterparts that spend 6+ hours a day in meetings. I spend less than half that. I can have a quick meeting with my boss and have a change in direction or a document approved in a day. On the fed side this can take months (or longer).

Cons of being private:
1. As noted: Job Security. This can be mitigated in having a relevant skill set. I have not been unemployed in 12 years (and that was only for two weeks)

2. Benefits are less: No pension, 401k match less (though my wife's is more), but Health Care roughly the same (I cheat on this one - use my spouse's - she works for a big company). Leave in the federal government is very good (up to 5 weeks - plus holidays and sick) but not flexible. In the private sector you typically can be paid out for leave, and leave can be fungible (for instance, I can make-up leave).

3. Training: While some companies have good training programs, the government typically mandates employees get two weeks of training for the year. In the private sector your training might be paid for, but you have to take the class on your on time.
flyingbison
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Re: Government vs Private sector employment

Post by flyingbison »

rgs92 wrote:.

The problem is that the word is out and for many years now gov't jobs have been virtually impossible to get unless you know someone on the inside who can get you in.
That's certainly not the case everywhere. In my state, state workers have been leaving in record numbers and there are very few applicants for most of the job openings. Pay, benefits, and working conditions have been declining for 10-20 years now, and nobody wants the jobs.
Rodc
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Re: Government vs Private sector employment

Post by Rodc »

No one answer as others have noted.

There is no one government job and no one private sector job, plus what one values changes person to person.

Neither is perfect or terrible, you have to judge the pros and cons of specific jobs vs what you are looking for.

And, the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence. :)
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.
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Re: Government vs Private sector employment

Post by itstoomuch »

We paid and continue to pay mightly for individual deferred annuities that tries to mimic a PER plan. :oops:
YMMV :greedy
Rev012718; 4 Incm stream buckets: SS+pension; dfr'd GLWB VA & FI anntys, by time & $$ laddered; Discretionary; Rentals. LTCi. Own, not asset. Tax TBT%. Early SS. FundRatio (FR) >1.1 67/70yo
CWhea1775
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Re: Government vs Private sector employment

Post by CWhea1775 »

Retired state employee who was an executive in a large agency. One point that you may want to consider; In a government job your bosses are ultimately elected officials. Regardless of your personal politics that is often difficult. Particularly in this day and age agency leadership is always being jerked back and forth by the conflicting opinions of whoever is in charge. In many cases - like environmental regulation - a substantial portion of officials are against the regulations or rules you are developing, even though they are an attempt to enforce the laws that are already on the books.

Elected officials also are frequently imposing new rules and regulations on employees, generally without much concern for how they might impact them doing their jobs. Many times these are done to please a portion of the public and the electoral base that believes government employees are overpaid and underworked. The frustration and day to day politics can get to you and I have seen many good people leave or never want to move up in organizations because of it. I think if you remain at the worker level you are insulated from much of this, but if you are ambitious you should think about it.
Novine
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Re: Government vs Private sector employment

Post by Novine »

As others have stated, there's no monolithic "government" experience and pay and benefits can vary widely depending on where you work. For those who are in government jobs or think the perks of government employment exceed those in the private sector, there are some trends that you need to be aware of:

Pensions: In many places, the days of going to work for the government for 20 - 25 years and earning a nice life-long pension are over. Many of those currently employed still will get their pension when they retire. But many units of government have closed their pension plans and new people coming in are being given the functional equivalent of a 401k plan. The exception to this trend is in the Public Safety field where you can often still get into an open pension plan. Underfunding of pension plans is a big issues in some states and local units. Detroit also showed that in financially bad times, even guaranteed pensions can be put at risk.

Health Insurance: It used to be that government employees enjoyed some of the best health insurance coverage with super low/no dollar deductibles/co-pays and prescription drug costs. The trend has been moving away from that. You are seeing a lot more high deductible plans and in some places, caps on the amount of dollars that can be spent on health insurance for employees.

Retiree Health Care: Again, the trend is away from lifelong retiree health care benefits to a prefunded retiree health care fund that you take with you when you retire. It will be on you to use those dollars to cover health care costs not covered by Medicare.

Pay: Public sector pay has typically trailed private sector pay in most areas with the offset of more time off, better benefits, etc. With the reduction in benefits, you're not generally seeing a boost in pay. Outside of some select fields, taking a public sector job means accepting a lower rate of pay than your peers in the private sector.

There's always exceptions to these trends but this is what's going on generally in the public sector.
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joyanni
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Re: Government vs Private sector employment

Post by joyanni »

Thanks all, I guess the consensus is federal jobs are better than state level in terms of benefits, pay etc. I also agree that working as a contractor in the federal sector makes a lot of sense as well, higher pay and long term contracts offset any benefits you get in a full time job...
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N1CKV
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Re: Government vs Private sector employment

Post by N1CKV »

I work for local government. I won't go in to details, but I can assure you that at least the last two times pay rates were examined there was a Total Compensation Study commissioned by the governing body to guide any changes. This means they included the value of all of the benefits received in addition to salary. I can also tell you that the results were delayed for two years this past time, which means there is two years of inflation that are not accounted for. I'm still not leaving because I value certain benefits more than higher pay.
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Re: Government vs Private sector employment

Post by joe8d »

joyanni wrote:I have always been a private sector employee, and used to believe in the free market and think that the private sector provided the best opportunities for advancement and growth as well as monetary benefits. Think I have been very wrong in that. I see government jobs offering competitive salaries plus job security plus family friendly hours plus pension plus retiree health care etc. , whereas employee salaries and benefits have been going downhill for the past many years, let alone pensions or retiree medical.
Why would anybody work in private sector if they have a choice ( except for high level executives ) is beyond me . Unless I see some genius level potential in my kids with a CEO trait, I would totally encourage them to join a federal government job right after school and stick to that for a lifetime.

Am I being overly negative and are there any redeeming factors left in the private sector ?
I agree.I also encourage anyone to go into the public sector if possible.
All the Best, | Joe
Ron Ronnerson
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Re: Government vs Private sector employment

Post by Ron Ronnerson »

Some people may not think of teaching right away when they think of government jobs but since as a public school teacher I am part of that group, I thought I'd chime in. In my case, the pay is decent (low six-figure salary) but the benefits and perks are great. Some of these benefits include:
  • -a pension that's expected to pay 80% of highest year's salary around age 60
    -180 days off a year including 10 weeks in the summer, 2 weeks in the winter, a week for spring break, and a week for Thanksgiving
    -sick days that roll onto the next year if unused
    -tenure
    -a job that is so fun and fulfilling that I'd do it even if I didn't need to work
I used to work in the private sector and enjoyed my work for the most part. However, in comparison, the time off was far less as was job security and it provided no where near as much satisfaction as helping a class of ten-year-old kids learn.

By the way, in my neck of the woods, there have been some changes to the pension benefits that those hired recently can expect but the salary and other benefits are the same for everyone.
OutInThirteen
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Re: Government vs Private sector employment

Post by OutInThirteen »

I found that working for the Federal government was both enjoyable and technically challenging. I was a Fed for the last five years of my 35-year career, most of which was for various Federal contractors. That made the transition easy - I basically went from a worker/producer to a reviewer/overseer, most often in areas in which I had been a worker previously. I actually started at a higher salary as a Fed (plus a hefty signing bonus), and my first several raises far outpaced anything I had received as a contractor (and then came the 3-year pay freeze). And for the first time in my career I was eligible for bonuses - some of them fairly substantial. However, I believe you have to have a unique, hard-to-find skill set in a professional field, with years of relevant experience, for this to happen. I feel very fortunate I had that opportunity as I finished out my career. I'm not sure I'd recommend starting a career with the Federal government.
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Re: Government vs Private sector employment

Post by flyingbison »

Ron Ronnerson wrote:Some people may not think of teaching right away when they think of government jobs but since as a public school teacher I am part of that group, I thought I'd chime in. In my case, the pay is decent (low six-figure salary) but the benefits and perks are great.
Low six figure salary as a public school teacher puts you above the 90th percentile. Very few teachers make that much salary.

"The median annual wage for high school teachers was $57,200 in May 2015. ... The lowest 10 percent earned less than $37,800, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $91,190."
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-traini ... .htm#tab-5
Ron Ronnerson
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Re: Government vs Private sector employment

Post by Ron Ronnerson »

flyingbison wrote:
Ron Ronnerson wrote:Some people may not think of teaching right away when they think of government jobs but since as a public school teacher I am part of that group, I thought I'd chime in. In my case, the pay is decent (low six-figure salary) but the benefits and perks are great.
Low six figure salary as a public school teacher puts you above the 90th percentile. Very few teachers make that much salary.

"The median annual wage for high school teachers was $57,200 in May 2015. ... The lowest 10 percent earned less than $37,800, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $91,190."
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-traini ... .htm#tab-5
I teach in Silicon Valley where the cost of living is very high. I can't afford to live in the area where I teach due to the housing costs and have a 45 minute commute. Six figures is relative, I suppose.
Susan Sto Helit
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Re: Government vs Private sector employment

Post by Susan Sto Helit »

Coming out of lurker-dom to comment...

The private sector has gotten a hell of a lot more volatile, and those costs (financial and mental) should be built into the comparison. There are plenty of good people stuck in long term unemployment.

Me and my DH are IT people. DH works for DoD, loves his work, believes in the mission, and has great people to work with who we socialize with at other times. The work/life balance there is very good, he makes decent money; he could make more money in the private sector but again, volatility. (Also, what you're working on and with whom matters a lot. But sometimes, Wall St. or Silicon Valley makes an offer you can't refuse).

I currently work for a government contractor (and at different agency). When they hired me they had a few months left on their contract. Re-negotiating it came at sequester time, and contractor salaries got cut significantly (drastically, for some of the veteran techies). 3 review cycles later, I've gotten some raises but I am still not at the salary I originally signed on with. I've interviewed for a Federal job and an offer is likely in the works (knock on wood).

I look forward to a more flexible schedule and better PTO policies. But also, in 3-4 years I'll have MUCH better pay than I would staying with the contractors, and likely some telecommuting options. Also, there isn't much age discrimination here, and a lot less sexism. If you do your job, do it well, and maintain a good attitude, people LOVE YOU. And being in IT, I get to play with, er, maintain some truly massive systems.

There are a fair few who are just warming a seat and not doing much, though. 20% of the people here do 80% of the work. I've gotten a bit resentful in my current position since my Federal counterpart gets paid almost twice what I do and is proudly lazy, and jokes about it all the time. I don't find it very funny. :annoyed But once in as a regular employee, if you have a good reputation, you can easily go to other teams or other projects.

You won't get rich working for the government; it'll be the LBYM and stuff your TSP as much as you can sort of routine. But if you want a life outside of work, you'll have it. That said, things have come to a pretty pass economically when I'm GLAD to have a chance at a government job. :oops:
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Re: Government vs Private sector employment

Post by frugalecon »

I work for a Federal agency in a group that is largely STEM-type folks. Overall, it is a high quality workplace, with good flexibility, interesting work, collegial work environment, and a fairly good benefit package. (I have been here > 15 years, so my package is better than new hires, owing to the changes in the employee contribution for the FERS defined benefit annuity.) But there are a couple of issues. One is that our pay is getting less and less competitive, especially at the top of the salary scale, where there is significant salary compression because of the cap on the GS scale. This is an issue in all of the HCOL locality areas. I am losing around 1% in real purchasing power every year, and I really don't see that changing. I am about 10 years from retirement, and I just accept that my real pay will probably drop around 10 - 12% from where I am now. Second, in my group people tend to cap out in their careers fairly early. Because there are no carrots and no sticks, it is hard to manage the low performers. There aren't a huge number of them, but there are some.

It is true that one will not become a 1%-er working for the government, but it is certainly possible to build a 7 digit account in the TSP. Overall I have never been tempted to shift to the private sector, though several colleagues have. That is one factor to consider. Depending on the field, having worked for the government can make you more valuable in the private sector later.
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