3 Reasons Why Veterans Should Consider a State Government Job

BART officer checks a train with a trained dog to ensure the safety of passengers (photo courtesy of BART).

While we all love to hate on our local DMV office, state agencies have come a long way in shaking off the slothful, bureaucratic image of the government worker. Better pay, work-from-home opportunities, and the ability to make a difference where you live are just some of the benefits that come with working for state and local government agencies.

For veterans, state government employment can give the same benefits that come with a federal job. Time in service counts toward retirement; the jobs bring a generous pension, 401K and medical benefits; and they offer ample vacation and holiday time off.

Additionally, many states also offer the same veterans hiring preference as federal jobs. Four states even offer "absolute" preference, meaning that veterans applying in those states will get preference over a more qualified applicant.

Related: Search for Veteran Jobs

Need more convincing? Here are three reasons veterans should seriously consider working for state or local governments:

1. Work Where You Live and Make a Difference

Working and making a difference where you live is a great fit for veterans looking to continue their mission after taking off their uniform.

Making a difference in your own state or city can be a useful motivator to help you enjoy the work that you do. According to a LinkedIn survey, run by Imperative, "74% of candidates want a job where they feel like their work matters." Where better to make a difference than where you live? Studies show that a purposeful mission is more desirable than cash when it comes to job satisfaction.

In addition, the survey also found that nearly nine out of 10 Millennials (those between the ages of 22 and 37) "would consider a pay cut to work at a company whose mission and values align with their own."

2. Great Benefits

Another great perk is the overall benefits package state and local governments offer. Don't want a nine-to-five job? No worries -- many states have followed the private-sector trend of offering flexible work schedules and telecommuting, particularly for IT and cybersecurity jobs. Don't want an office job? Then work for the state department of transportation or county parks and recreation.

3. Competitive Salary and Demand for Workers

Despite the reputation for low wages, state and city government salaries have risen higher comparative to private-sector jobs.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, compensation for state and local government workers increased 3% from March 2018 to March 2019. In contrast, private-sector jobs for the same time period rose by only 2.5%.

Additionally, baby boomers are retiring in record numbers, and demand will be high for young talented workers who want to make a difference in their communities.

Remember that state agencies also include public colleges and universities. Military veterans can often use their veterans preference at these institutions as well.

-- Sean Mclain Brown can be reached at sean.brown@military.com. Follow him on Twitter at @seanmclainbrown.

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