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Federal Employee Salaries: Some Above Private Sector


You’ve likely heard frustrated friends compare some federal employee salaries and generous health benefits with private sector employees' slender paychecks and missing benefits. Some fact-finding shows that your friends may have reason to gripe.

A recent study by technology news site InformationWeek found that federal IT workers earn 10 percent more, on average, than IT workers in the private sector. An article from government technology website Wired Workplace, “Fatter Paychecks for Fed IT Workers?” states that federal workers also report a greater sense of job security and satisfaction than their private sector counterparts.

Another story, “Federal Government Jobs Far Outpace Private Sector Counterparts in Pay, Benefits,” notes that, according to the Bureau of Labor Analysis, each federal worker gets $40,785 in benefits spent on them a year versus $9,882 for a private company worker. No wonder some federal workers are all smiles. They may receive over four times more income in benefits per year.

Is a lack of competition in the federal bureaucracy causing unrealistic spending on human resources? How can the federal government afford to pamper their employees when no one else can? Take a look at our deficit and you’ll know that they shouldn’t be able to afford it. Federal employee salaries and benefits in certain areas may deserve some review.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Let’s take a look at PayScale’s data on how people in various industries are paid in the private and government sectors. You’ll see that, in some cases, federal employee salaries are higher and that doesn’t include their benefits, which are likely higher, too. If you want to see more PayScale comparisons between federal and private sector income, simply research a job title then choose the “By Employer Type” view.

Software Engineer




Project Manager, IT


Child Care Worker

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