The Best Government Jobs to Get Into Early

The Best Government Jobs to Get Into Early

GettyImages_499556971Just as in the private sector, different branches of the U.S. federal government base their job salaries on factors, such as location and experience. However, the federal government is known for being generous with benefit packages, regardless of experience or location. But, which jobs within the government offer the best combined salary and benefits for those wanting to get in early and build toward retirement? Based on an assessment of hiring trends, projected growth rates, and salaries, here are five of the top positions.

Civil Engineer

The highest paying job on this list, averaging $52 an hour, is that of a civil engineer. The responsibilities of a civil engineer can include staff management, testing soil and other materials, computing load requirements, planning and designing structures, and providing technical advice. Qualified candidates typically have to hold a Bachelor’s degree (or higher) in Engineering, and show a comprehensive knowledge of math, engineering, design and all relevant technologies.


Earning an average salary of $27 an hour, accountants who work for the federal government are responsible for such tasks as developing, implementing and maintaining accounting systems and budgets, and analyzing operational costs and trends. Accountants are typically required to hold a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, or a related field, and demonstrate proficiency in math and economics.

Computer Systems Analyst

A career as a computer systems analyst will earn you an average of $35 an hour with the federal government. The majority of positions require a minimum of a four-year degree in a computer science field. You must also demonstrate knowledge of processors, myriad electronic equipment, and computer hardware and design. Job duties might include testing and maintaining computers and computer systems, using programming language, and resolving staff computer issues.


Police Officer and Sheriff

The federal government pays an average of $24 an hour to its police officers and sheriffs. Typical duties include identifying, pursuing and arresting suspects, and investigating, recording and reporting crimes. Though not every entry level position will require a degree, a Bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as Criminal Justice, is preferable. For those wanting to join the FBI, a four-year degree is a requirement.

Administrative Assistant and Executive Secretary

Just as with police officers, these positions may not always require a four-year degree, as prior office experience and on-the-job training can make up for one. However, a minimum two-year Associate Degree is desirable, and could rank you ahead of those with less formal education. Preparing and reviewing various reports, coordinating services, ordering and distributing supplies, and analyzing and modifying internal procedures are just some of the responsibilities held by administrative assistants and executive secretaries. So, knowledge of general clerical procedures and business principles is necessary. The average wage? $21 an hour.

Federal Government Career Benefits

While the jobs listed above vary in description and duties, each position comes with myriad benefits that make working for the federal government a goal for countless people. Additionally, in the event that a federal employee is injured on the job, or becomes disabled and is otherwise unable to perform his regular duties, federal agencies have a reputation for working hard to try to accommodate the disability. Sometimes that isn’t enough though, and the employee must, unfortunately, stop working. When that happens, federal employees may qualify for a federal disability retirement, which allows them to receive anywhere between 40% and 80% of their highest salary, regardless of position or location. So, working for the federal government can pay well, and offers countless benefits, sometimes even to those who are no longer able to work.

Technology That Will Make Running a Small Business and/or Startup Easier

Technology That Will Make Running a Small Business and/or Startup Easier

537489489Running a small business or startup enterprise takes initiative, creativity, and drive. For intrepid individuals courageous enough to undertake it, time and resources are often scarce. That’s why it makes good sense to take full advantage of new available technology to enhance and streamline your business.

The Small Business section of the New York Times offers articles of interest about technology to small business owners, including topics such as:

  • Using Twitter to market small businesses: Micro blogging is the sole method of advertising for many businesses with no marketing budget.
  • Text message marketing: This article claims that text messaging can increase sales and establish customer relationships for a reasonable cost.
  • Managing your online reputation: This includes interacting with customers and monitoring web conversations.

A February 13, 2015 article on Tech Cocktail entitled New Business Technology for the New Year has several technology suggestions for small business owners. The author claims that by working smarter instead of harder with new affordable technology options, small businesses can streamline operations and maximize returns. According to the article, business owners may consider any or all of the following:

  • Social Media: Although social media is a valuable marketing tool, managing it can be time-consuming. For that reason, it is recommended that you choose one or two social platforms that suit your business audience instead of branching out to multiple platforms. The author recommends Twitter for promoting deals or specials, Instagram for visuals, and Facebook for dialogs with customers.
  • Cloud Document Storage: This makes shared documents accessible from home or mobile devices, but controls are still available as to who can edit or access them. The article recommends affordable cloud storage friendly to small business, such as Box, Google Drive, Drop Box, or One Drive.
  • Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Phone and Fax: This technology has features that can enable small businesses to present a polished image at very low cost. Switching to VoIP phone and fax could help you improve service and image while reducing costs.
  • Mobile Apps: Apps can replace certain traditional business services and can be particularly useful for hands-on business owners and employees who are seldom if ever in an office. Accounting, travel management, point-of-sale, and a number of other useful business apps are available.

In a December 2013 article on Entrepreneur, author Michael Garrity claims that technology is a vital tool that is leveling the playing field for small businesses. In terms of small business technology, the article recommends the following:

  • Move your business to the cloud.
  • Replace expensive POS solutions with an app on your tablet or smart phone.
  • Offer loyalty and rewards programs to your customers using FiveStars, Belly, or Perka at affordable prices.
  • Take advantage of inexpensive tools such as cloud apps for accounting, HR, and other backend productivity.
  • Use marketing and sales plug-in apps to track customers, active leads, sales pipelines, and more.

As covered in this article, with a tablet and a few essential apps, a small business owner can run a customer’s credit card, promote the daily specials on Twitter, manage payroll, and much more.


Types of Disabilities that Typically Receive SSD Benefits

Types of Disabilities that Typically Receive SSD Benefits

GettyImages_178135895When someone is injured at work, or is otherwise rendered unable to earn a living, the situation can seem dire. No income and an injury or illness to contend with can easily lead to feelings of helplessness. Fortunately, the United States government, through the Social Security Administration (SSA), provides a safety net for people who find themselves in that unfortunate circumstance. At the end of 2013, over 10 million people were receiving monthly social security disability (SSD) payments in the United States. The number may seem high, but not all disabilities qualify.

The Social Security Administration provides an online Listing of Impairments that they use to help determine whether or not an applicant qualifies for SSD, but each section is long, complex and cumbersome to read. So, here’s a brief look at some of the most common categories of injuries and illnesses that the SSA has historically approved for disability payments.

Cardiovascular System

Heart and artery diseases fall under this category, as does the full range of disorders that negatively affect the circulatory system. The condition can be acquired, but it can also have a congenital origin.

Digestive System

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), liver dysfunction, malnutrition, and gastrointestinal hemorrhage are some of the conditions covered under this category.

Skin Disorders

Whether congenital, acquired or hereditary, skin disorders such as certain chronic infections, genetic photosensitivity disorders, burns, and bullous diseases are considered to be valid conditions that can qualify someone for Social Security disability payments.

Musculoskeletal System

The SSA approves some people with certain musculoskeletal conditions for SSD. Such conditions can be acquired, congenital or hereditary, and can range from soft tissue damage to spine injuries, bone fractures, and limb amputations.

Respiratory System

Illnesses, such as asthma, and diseases including cystic fibrosis, are covered under this category. The SSA has even approved some people who have severe sleep-related breathing disorders.

Special Senses and Speech

Vision, hearing and speech are the cornerstones of communication. So, when one or more of your senses becomes diminished to the point that it interferes with your ability to work, you may qualify for Social Security disability payments. If balance is an issue, or you suffer from vertigo, you may qualify as well.

Common Specific Conditions and Diseases

The broad categories listed should help you assess whether or not you have a qualifying condition. However, there are some specific illnesses and diseases that are approved more often than others. The list includes certain cancers, carpal tunnel syndrome, blindness, diabetes, liver disease, traumatic brain injuries, and back injuries, among others. However, even if your condition isn’t commonly approved, it’s still worth applying for SSD if it falls under one of the Social Security Administration’s general categories.

Does SSD Impact Other Benefits?

Don’t be concerned about SSD payments impacting other benefits you may already be receiving, such as pension or workers compensation. It is possible to collect benefits simultaneously. After all, you’ve been paying into Social Security for your entire working life so the benefits could be there for you when you needed them. Even if there ends up being an adjustment in benefits, it is still in your best interest financially to apply for SSD.


If you’ve been diagnosed with a condition or disease that will prevent you from working, you owe it to yourself to explore the option of SSD payments. Applying for SSD can be cumbersome, but the long term impact can be positive because, upon approval, you will have a consistent and reliable income stream for the duration of your disability.

Benefits of Joining Professional Networking and Advocacy Associations

Benefits of Joining Professional Networking and Advocacy Associations

178915467As is true in most professional industries, many benefits are available to attorneys who opt to join professional networking or advocacy associations. Having your own practice, or even practicing at another attorney’s law firm, is hard work. While you alone may be able to accomplish a great deal, joining a professional networking association or legal advocacy association allows an attorney to tap into a legal resource pool and coalition of alliances he or she may have never dreamed possible. This can be beneficial to your clients, as well as go a long way towards protecting clients’ rights.

Attorney Makes a Difference as President of the NC Advocates for Justice

Elizabeth City, N.C., attorney Danny Glover Jr. has been recognized as one of his state’s top car accident attorneys, having received a 10.0 Superb Rating on Avvo. In addition to all of the legal publications and Continuing Legal Education (CLE) manuscripts in which his writings can be found, Glover’s work has been highly praised by his clients and colleagues.

As he has learned first-hand the benefits of joining professional networking and advocacy associations, Glover values his membership with the N.C. Advocates for Justice (NCAJ), National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers and AVVO. Having been a proud member of the NCAJ for close to two decades, Glover was recently elected president of the organization.

In his experience, he finds that what he (along with the 3,500 members of the NCAJ) has been able to accomplish in recent years far exceeds anything he could have done on his own. In fact, Glover not only believes membership in the NCAJ has been extremely helpful to his clients, but he also credits the NCAJ with organizing meetings and events, where attorneys from all different fields of law can openly converse and gain valuable insight into their own fields of law.

The Value of Developing a Network of Colleagues to Offer Input and Support

While every state has different types of professional peer-based organizations individuals can join to help them develop a network of colleagues capable of providing valuable input and support, not all attorneys avail themselves of these groups. This is unfortunate, particularly due to the fact that neglecting to build a network like this can actually hinder your rate of success as an attorney. It can also deny you many other benefits including:

  • Access to expert witnesses
  • Assistance with gaining an understanding of certain laws and legal jargon
  • Important business connections
  • Advocates for legislative changes
  • Peer community you can turn to for guidance
  • Like-minded associates
  • A stronger voice in state legislative issues
  • Continuing legal education
  • Ability to remain informed about the latest legal developments
  • Promotion of your services, through the organization’s directory

If you are a practicing attorney, who has not yet developed a network of colleagues who can offer you input and support when you need it, we recommend you take the time to do so. Research organizations in your area and find those which have similar goals and objectives to yours. The rewards available to you by being part of a professional network and advocacy association are many.