State and Local Government Jobs
State and local government jobs are always available. Without counting public schools and hospitals, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that state and local governments employ about 14 million people in the U.S., with 10.7 million of those working for local governments (like counties and towns). That makes state and local government one of the largest employers in the country.
There are a huge range of jobs in state and local government, so it is difficult to generalize what working conditions and hiring prospects are, but some examples of occupations include working for the state’s department of transportation, or for the local sheriff’s department. Bus drivers, trash collectors, tax collectors, judges, social workers, and firefighters also make up a large segment of this group.
For those in rural or remote communities, local governments are often the most secure source of employment, and competition can be fierce for a few jobs, especially in entry-level and clerical positions. For some positions, however, like high school teachers and community college adjunct professors, rural communities often struggle to find enough qualified people to fill their positions.
Larger communities, especially those that are growing rapidly, need to support their growing communities with a staff of qualified people. As in any industry, IT professionals are in high demand, including Demographers, Network Administrators, and Communications Technicians. Community planners-people who make sure zoning regulations are applied consistently and appropriately are also in demand in growing areas. Community planners typically have a Master’s Degree in their field. Growing communities are also often in need of Community Services professionals-these might include early-intervention specialists for at-risk children, substance abuse counselors, or therapists.
To find the specific opportunities and requirements in your area, check out the website maintained by your state or locality. USAjobs.gov also maintains some links and information about local government jobs.