ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Government Jobs - Advantages and Disadvantages

Updated on October 25, 2015

Government jobs are often very heavily sought after due to their secure nature, solid pay and good employee benefits. While this is all generally true, there are also some downsides. Although a government job can seem like the perfect position, especially during times of economic downturn, it is important to weigh both the pros and the cons.



The number one advantage of a government position is that it provides arguably the highest level of security and stability for their employees than any other type of work. Quite simply, this means that you won’t lose your job once you get it, whereas employees in the private sector are largely at the whim of both the economy and their bosses.

Even when federal employees are accused of of not doing their job correctly, they are able to appeal any negative penalty, ranging from being fired to a reduction in pay, through a specifically-designed board.

Great Benefits

Without a doubt, the second universally hailed advantage of being a federal worker is the benefits. Government employees gain access to special dental care, extended healthcare benefits, maternity leave, paid vacations, and of course retirement benefits.

While benefits are also offered at many private sector positions, they generally never reach the level and scope of ones provides in the civil service.

Solid Pay

Contrary to popular belief, pay for government employees is quite solid. While it doesn’t reach the level of the higher echelon of public sector workers (like a director of finance, for example), it does continue to remain competitive as the costs of living go up, and has room for gradual pay raises.

Furthermore, due to the secure nature of government jobs, pay is likely to continue being steady. Pay in the public sector, on the other hand, can fluctuate heavily depending on both the state of the economy and the company, but you can also be subject to faster promotions and faster increases in pay if you do well. In this sense, the private sector has higher risks with higher rewards.

Good Work Hours

One of the less-known benefits of federal jobs is that the hours are good. Whereas the private sector is often subject to the needs of the company and specific events (such as a sale or a specific deadline), and as such may require frequent overtime and weekend work, civil service jobs tend to remain solid in their 8 hours, 5 days a week model.


Climbing the Ladder

One of the strongest criticisms of civil service jobs is that they do not allow exceptional employees to progress as fast as they would somewhere else. While this statement may have been overblown, it is still true to an extent; going up the ladder in the government is slower than in the private sector.

The best way to consider this as a potential government employee is to decide whether you are the type of person who is ambitious enough to rise fast, while being content with higher risk, or if you are okay with slower progression, but much higher job stability.

Playing Hard to Get

Another significant downside of government jobs is that they have fewer open positions and generally have a tougher hiring process and requirements. Together, this means that civil service jobs are much more difficult to land than jobs in the private sector.

Many positions require not only a bachelor’s, but often a master’s degree in a specific field or fields, along with an average of 5+ years of related work experience. Some job openings go even further and require a candidate to be registered with a specific association.

The hiring process itself can also be grueling. For example, as a Canadian government website states, “We may ask candidates to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, competencies and other position-related requirements by using additional selection methods such as tests, presentations, role-plays and so on”.

This further goes on to say: “As part of the selection process, you may be asked to come in for an initial interview, which may happen in person or over the phone. We often use a team of interviewers, called a panel”.

Comparing this to the good old one on one interview in the private sector, we can definitely see how landing a job in the government can be a tough thing.

So What do I do?

First and foremost, decide which kind of person you are. In general, work in the private sector reaps higher rewards with much higher risks, whereas jobs in government have lower rewards but much lower risks.

In this sense, people who are ambitious and like taking risks may find a better place in the private sector, where as people who enjoy stability and security may find the civil service more fitting.

Second, consider the overall advantages and disadvantages of both. So there you have it. Feel free to leave any comments or suggestions as usual, and I wish you the best of luck in your career path!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • prashant17july profile image


      2 years ago from lucknow

      This is nice article and great advice.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      not so nice point as the A- LEVEL student deserves or wants

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      One thing worth mentioning is that federal agencies seldom address poor performance problems and/or equal work for equal pay issues effectively. If you are a good worker expect to be "overused" on a consistent basis. I base these comments on 15+ years of federal employment. As private employment options continue to decrease, public employment exploitation and/or discrimination will likely increase because your options are limited and they (management) know it.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)