An Overview of Federal Jobs
The federal government defends the United States from foreign attacks, represents U.S. interests abroad, enforces laws and regulations, and administers domestic programs and agencies. Employees of the federal government monitor the weather; ensure that food is safe to eat; secure travel by air, land, and sea; and protect banking through federal insurance. The federal government is one of the largest employers in the nation.
The executive branch of the government employs 96 percent of federal civilian employees, excluding U.S. Postal Service workers. The executive branch is composed of the Office of the President, fifteen executive Cabinet departments—including the newly created Department of Homeland Security—and nearly ninety independent agencies.
At all levels of government, there are periods when no new person-
nel are hired. This often happens because of budgetary issues or
because few employees are retiring and no new hires are needed.
If you have taken a civil service test and are on a waiting list when a
hiring freeze is enacted, you may have a long wait.
The Office of the President is composed of several offices and councils that assist the president in policy decisions. These include the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which oversees the