11 Top Government Careers With High Salary | Best Tips

Gone are the days when working for the government turns one into a robot. The job function was a routine with no challenges that could foster growth. Now, the career is an exciting one with a high salary structure.

In the US, the federal government is by far the largest employer with about 2 million employees.

Whether you’re exploring careers, evaluating jobs or considering a career change, consider a government job.

Many federal jobs offer a good salary, employee benefits, and a retirement plan, job security and there is always a vacancy.

Read more below about the benefits of working with the government and the best careers with the highest salary potential.

Why Should I Work for the Government?

There are many good aspects of working for the government. They are:

Stable Career:

The government never goes of business, unlike the private sector.

Employees will always be needed to complete the tasks only government does, and additional employees will always be needed to support them.


In the majority of job positions, the government easily provides a healthy work-life balance. Additionally, telecommuting and alternative work schedules are common in government agencies. The government even provides mobile equipment for those who conduct most of their business away from the office.


Government benefits almost always exceed private sector benefits packages. Although the salary for the private sector may exceed that of the government.

Employees often have health care plans with lower costs and favorable retirement plans. In times of prolonged recessions, the government may pay a percentage of salary to its workers.

Time off:

Working with the government offers a generous leave time. Managers tend to be more receptive to approving them for workers. Federal holidays are observed. State and local governments sometimes have their additional holidays.

Read this: 20 Most Profitable Skills to Learn in 2023 with Salary

11 Top Government Careers With High Salary

We will discuss the highest-paid government careers.

#1 Surgeons and Nurse Anesthetics

Surgeons top the list of government careers and jobs with the highest salary. The profession involves high risk and requires extensive knowledge and study.

The average salary of a surgeon is $400,224.

Anesthesia is one of the most delicate procedures in medicine. Any error on their part can kill an individual. They’re among the highest-earning nurses in the field.

They have to give patients enough dosage during procedures to knock them out but not enough to harm them.

This government career has a high salary of around $167,817 per year.

#2 Auditors and Accountants

Auditors perform detailed financial and performance audits of establishments, including government agencies. They also ensure that agencies operate complying to regulations.

BLS estimated that accountants and auditors working for the government earn an average salary of $71,550.

In addition, it projected employment growth of 4 per cent from 2019 to 2029. This is closely tied to the health of the overall economy. As the economy grows, more workers should be needed to prepare and examine financial records.

This is the second high salary government career.

#3 Computer Scientist

Computer scientists have many interesting careers with the government and high salary potential.

As IT professionals, they design, develop, and test system-level software, software engineering life cycles, frontline cybersecurity protocols, etc.

According to BLS, computer scientists who take careers with the government earn a high salary of $109,810. Again, it predicts a growth rate of 19% through 2026. This is actually faster than the national average employment rate.

This may be a worthwhile read: 7 Ways To Sell Old Computers For Big Money in 2023

#4 Judges and Lawyers

Federal judges are other well-paid government professionals. Although their salary may seem like a whole lot, lawyers in private practice actually make much more.

Interestingly, federal lawyers who build their careers in government establishments earn a high salary of around $210,900 to $270,000.

Lawyers make $122,960 on a yearly average. The growth rate of this profession is projected at 4% from 2019 to 2029.

#5 Civil Engineers

Asides from construction companies, civil engineers are primarily hired by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Basically, they perform duties relating to planning, designing, and overseeing the construction and maintenance of buildings, facilities, and infrastructures for both civil works and military installations, etc.

The BLS estimated that civil engineers working for the federal government earn an average of $95,380. Computer Engineers earn $123,030.

This is another government career that pays a high salary.

#6 Chemists

The government is in high demand for organic and inorganic chemists for this high-salary career path.

They play particular roles in public health, environmental protection, laboratory experiments, and forensic research.

USA Jobs records that their salary is between $54,757 and $128,920 per year based on the level of responsibility and location.

The BLS estimated that chemists working for the federal government earn an average of $110,260. Likewise, the occupation will grow by 7% through 2026.

#7 Astronomy and Space Scientist

These professionals work on space research, creating new planetary maps, and supporting space missions.

NOAA, NASA, and the National Science Foundation are the government agencies where these high-salary professionals start their careers.

The astronomers working for NASA earn the highest salary of over $162,000 a year.

#8 Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers

Working as a pilot is one career that involves some form of excitement. They undergo rigorous training because the safety of thousands of people is attached to them.

The technical systems experts oversee aviation safety programs for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), ensuring safety standards are met by the nation’s airports.

They actually coordinate the work of civil engineers, environmental and financial specialists, and others.

Generally, working in the aviation industry can mean a lot of time away from home, but it also leads to a nice paycheck in many cases.

The BLS lumps airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers into one category, and they have a median salary of $147,220.

Similarly, Air traffic controllers receieve a median salary of $124,570.

#9 Economists

Economics is another vast career one can take in government establishments with a high salary potential.

Economists basically perform both qualitative and quantitative analysis to evaluate economic conditions and trends. They also track market performances, develop regulatory strategies, use statistical software to manipulate complex data, and lots more.

BLS estimates that economics working for the government earn a high salary of $119,600. In addition, the career is set to grow by 6% through 2026.

#9 Human Resource Specialists

These professionals ensure the government has adequate staffing.

They handle tasks related to employee retention, satisfaction, compensation, and benefits.

The BLS estimated that HR specialists earn an average of $66,350 while working for government agencies. Its estimated growth rate is 7%.

#10 Mechanical Engineers

If you are a mechanical engineer and desire a high-salary career in the government, work for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Defense, the Departments of the Army and the Air Force, and the Department of the Interior. 

Mechanical engineers oversee the installation, operation, maintenance, and repair of equipment such as centralized heat, gas, water, energy, and steam systems

It has an employment growth rate of 9% and a salary of $87,370.

Read Also: 21 Jobs that Pay $25 an Hour in 2023| Quick Money

#11 Military

A career in the military working for the government has a high salary prospect are high-ranked officials.

For instance, a brigadier general in the Army, Air Force, or Marines or the rank of rear admiral lower half in the Navy earn as high as $151,283. 

With more stars, you can earn up to $200,000.


Working for the government is not a call for a mediocre career with peanuts as a salary. Gone are the days when government workers are seen as peasants.

Nowadays, a career with the government can earn the individual a salary and job security that cannot be matched with the private sector.

No matter what you want, chances are you can do it for the government. You need to make sure you are willing to put up with the negative aspects in exchange for the positive ones.

These job roles/careers listed here earn the highest salary working for the government.



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