Top 15 Highest Paying Federal Government Jobs 2024 (Inc Salaries)

May 24, 2024 · 14 min read

Discover the highest paying federal government jobs in 2024, from a finance manager to general attorney, this article discusses it all. Read more!

Ask people what Federal Government is, what it represents, or what its use it is to the average person in the street and many will look at you quizzically. No small wonder because if you do some desktop research to find a definition, you will be told that the Federal Government is composed of three distinct branches: legislative, executive, and judicial, whose powers are vested by the U.S. Constitution in the Congress, the President, and the Federal courts, respectively. Clear as mud?

Once you wrap your head around it, and dig a little deeper, you'll come to realize that Federal Government jobs pay well for a government employee and offer numerous advantages including a high average salary that make them highly attractive to individuals seeking stable and rewarding career paths.

One key advantage is job security, as federal positions often come with strong employment protections and consistent funding. Additionally, federal employees typically enjoy competitive salaries, comprehensive benefits packages, and retirement plans, contributing to financial stability throughout their careers. Working for the federal government in either the public sector or private sector also provides opportunities for career advancement and professional development, with a wide range of agencies and departments offering diverse roles and responsibilities and the ability to earn a six-figure salary in a significant role.

Overall, federal government jobs operating across a wide array of fields such as the aerospace industry, public affairs, and department of energy, offer a unique combination of stability, benefits, career growth, and the chance to contribute to the public good in the job market.

With that being said, let's discuss the 15 highest paid federal government jobs.

Top 15 Highest Paying Federal Government Jobs (Inc Salaries) 

1. Pharmacologist

A Pharmacologist is a scientist who specializes in the study of drugs and their effects on living organisms.

This occupation involves investigating the interactions between drugs and biological systems to understand how substances can be used for therapeutic purposes or to identify potential risks and side effects.

They often work in laboratories, conducting experiments to analyze the mechanisms of action, absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of drugs, and may also study how genetic variations among individuals can influence drug responses. Importantly their work contributes to advancements in medicine, helping to treat diseases, alleviate symptoms, and improve overall healthcare.

The average annual salary for a Pharmacologist in the US is $132,653 and is one of the highest paying Federal jobs.

2. Fish and Wildlife Administrator

A Fish and Wildlife Administrator is a professional who oversees and manages programs related to the conservation and management of fish and wildlife resources.

They may work for government agencies, such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or state wildlife departments, as well as non-profit organizations or private companies involved in conservation efforts, and their responsibilities typically include developing and implementing policies and regulations to protect and sustain natural habitats, ensuring the well-being of fish and wildlife populations, and promoting sustainable use of these resources. 

The average annual salary for a Fish and Wildlife Administrator in the US is $144,067 and is one of the highest salary Federal Government jobs.

3. Finance Manager

A Finance Manager is a professional responsible for overseeing the financial health of an organization.

They play a crucial role in helping organizations make informed financial decisions, optimize resource allocation, and achieve their financial goals, and their primary role involves managing and coordinating financial tasks, including budgeting, financial reporting, forecasting, and strategic financial planning. 

Typically, Finance Managers are involved in preparing financial statements, analyzing financial data, and providing insights to guide executive decision-making and may work closely with other departments within the organization, such as marketing, operations, and human resources, to ensure that financial objectives align with overall business strategies.

The average annual salary for a Finance Manager in the US is $107,357.

4. General Attorney

A "General Attorney" is a broad term that doesn't specifically denote a distinct legal position or role.

Instead, it could refer to an attorney who practices in a variety of legal areas without specializing in a particular field. Attorneys who work across different practice areas, such as criminal law, family law, real estate law, and more, may be referred to colloquially as general attorneys.

However, in a more specific context, the term might be used to describe attorneys working for government agencies who handle a broad range of legal matters for the government entity they represent. For example, a city or county attorney might be considered a general attorney if they provide legal advice and representation to their local government on various legal issues. 

The average annual salary for a General Attorney in the US is $115,585.

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5. Physicist

A physicist is a scientist who specializes in the field of physics and engages in theoretical and experimental research to explore the fundamental laws and properties of the universe.

They may or may not work for the government and often focus on specific subfields within physics, such as classical mechanics, electromagnetism, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, relativity, astrophysics, and particle physics, among others and their work may involve designing and conducting experiments, developing mathematical models, and analyzing data to gain insights into the underlying principles of the physical world.

The average annual salary for a Physicist in the US is $178,510 making it one of the most lucrative Federal Government jobs around.

6. Astronomy and Space Scientist

An Astronomy and Space Scientist is a professional who specializes in the study of celestial objects, such as stars, planets, galaxies, and other astronomical phenomena, and use a combination of observational and theoretical methods to explore the universe and deepen our understanding of its structure, origins, and evolution.

They typically conduct research to investigate various aspects of the cosmos, and their work often contributes to broader scientific inquiries related to astrophysics, cosmology, and planetary science. 

The average annual salary for an Astronomy and Space Scientist in the US is $113,628.

7. Podiatrist 

A Podiatrist is a medical professional who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of conditions related to the feet, ankles, and lower extremities.

They work in private practices, hospitals, and other healthcare settings and collaborate with other healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive care for patients. Regular foot care is essential for maintaining overall health and mobility, and podiatrists play a vital role in ensuring the well-being of their patients' lower extremities.

The average annual salary for a Podiatrist in the US is $245,431 and is one the highest-paying government jobs.

8. Program Manager

A Program Manager is a professional responsible for overseeing and coordinating multiple projects within an organization to ensure that they align with the organization's goals and objectives.

They work in various industries, including IT, construction, healthcare, and government, overseeing programs that can range from technology implementations to organizational change initiatives, and their role involves strategic planning, coordination of resources, communication with stakeholders, and monitoring the progress of various projects under a specific program.

The average annual salary for a Program Manager in the US is $148,515. making it one of the highest paying jobs within the government. 

9. Technical Systems Program Manager

A Technical Systems Program Manager is a professional responsible for overseeing and managing programs that involve complex technical systems and their role combines elements of program management with a focus on coordinating and integrating various technical components to achieve specific organizational objectives.

Technical systems may encompass a wide range of elements, including software applications, hardware infrastructure, networks, databases, and other technology-related components. 

The average annual salary for a Technical Systems Program Manager in the US is $147,178 making it a high paying government salary.

10. Patent Administrator 

A Patent Administrator is a professional who assists in the administrative and procedural aspects of managing patents within a legal or intellectual property setting.

They contribute to the smooth operation of patent-related activities within law firms, corporations, or intellectual property departments, and their role involves handling various tasks related to the patent application and maintenance process, ensuring compliance with relevant regulations and supporting patent attorneys or agents. 

The average annual salary for a Patent Administrator in the US is $95,000.

11. Patent Attorney

A Patent Attorney is a legal professional who is specialized in intellectual property law, particularly in the area of patents.

The role of a patent attorney involves a combination of legal expertise and technical knowledge, as they need to understand the scientific or technical aspects of the inventions they are working with and they help inventors and businesses secure patents for their inventions and innovations. Generally they work in law firms, corporations, or as solo practitioners, providing legal services related to patents and intellectual property. 

The average annual salary for a Patent Attorney in the US is $277,327 and is one of the highest paying government jobs.

12. Administrative Law Judge 

An Administrative Law Judge is a legal professional who presides over administrative hearings and adjudicates disputes between individuals, organizations, or government agencies, and they work within administrative law systems, which are distinct from the traditional court system, and their decisions can have legal implications but are specific to the administrative agency's jurisdiction.

The types of cases they handle can vary widely, covering areas such as labor disputes, Social Security disability claims, environmental regulations, and professional licensing matters, the goal of which is to provide a fair and impartial resolution to disputes within the context of administrative law.

The average annual salary for an Administrative Law Judge in the US is $137,238.

13. Dental Officer

A Dental Officer is a licensed dentist who serves in a professional capacity within a specific organization or branch of the military. The term is commonly used in the context of military services, where they play a crucial role in providing dental care to service members and sometimes their families.

Outside the military context, the term "Dental Officer" may also refer to a dentist in other settings, such as public health clinics, private practice, or government agencies. In these cases, the responsibilities may vary based on the specific role and setting.

The average annual salary for a Dental Officer in the US is $126,768.

14. Securities Compliance Examiner

A Securities Compliance Examiner is a professional responsible for assessing and ensuring that financial institutions, investment firms, and securities industry participants comply with applicable laws, regulations, and industry standards.

They work for regulatory bodies, such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or other financial regulatory authorities, and their primary goal is to promote transparency, protect investors, and maintain the integrity of the securities markets. Generally their work helps prevent fraudulent activities, protect investors, and promote confidence in the securities industry. 

The average annual salary for a Securities Compliance Officer in the US is $92,762.

15. Medical Officer

A Medical Officer is a licensed medical professional who typically serves in a leadership or administrative role within a healthcare organization or a government agency.

The specific duties of a Medical Officer can vary based on the setting in which they work. For instance in public health organizations, they may work on public health initiatives, disease prevention, and health promotion programs, which might contribute to policy development, epidemiological research, and healthcare planning to address community health needs. 

The average annual salary for a Medical Officer in the US is $170,795.


If you're ready to embark on a rewarding journey in Federal Government that not only allows you to contribute to the well-being of society but also opens doors to many opportunities and a wide range of salaries working as say an astronomer, financial manager, economist, or criminal investigator, it just may be time to consider a fulfilling and dynamic career in in this well paid industry. And you can make it big in Nigeria too as an accountant and up your earning potential. A great way to get yourself even higher up the salary ladder in the Federal Government is to get an MBA or a BBA undergraduate degree from a US accredited university like Nexford.


FAQs 

What is the highest paying federal government job in 2024? 

Many job sites will vary when it comes to this particular question, but generally if you do a Google search you will find that most agree that the highest paying federal government job in 2024 is non other than a Podiatrist who on average can expect to earn a whopping annual salary of $245,431.

Is working in the federal government a good career path? 

Working in the federal government can be a rewarding career path for many individuals, because it offers several advantages. Federal government positions often provide a high level of job stability and security. Federal employees typically receive competitive benefits packages, including health insurance, retirement plans, and other perks.

Federal agencies often have structured career paths and opportunities for career advancement with many agencies provide training and professional development programs to help employees enhance their skills and climb the career ladder. The federal government offers a wide range of job opportunities across various fields, including healthcare, law, technology, science, and public administration.

While the workload can vary depending on the agency and position, federal government jobs often come with reasonable working hours and policies that promote work-life balance. And, the federal government may provide educational opportunities for employees to continue their education or pursue advanced degrees.

What skills or expertise is required for high-paying federal government  jobs? 

High-paying federal government jobs often require a combination of education, experience, and specialized skills. The specific requirements can vary depending on the agency, the level of the position, and the nature of the work.

However, some common skills and expertise that are often sought after in high-paying federal government roles include: Advanced degrees (master's or doctoral) or professional certifications. Specialized technical skills that, depending on the field,  could include proficiency in data analysis, cybersecurity, information technology, engineering, or other specialized areas. Leadership and management skills that includes the ability to lead teams, make strategic decisions, and oversee complex projects. Skills in policy analysis and evaluation that includes the ability to analyze data, assess the impact of policies, and recommend changes.

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For positions in regulatory agencies, knowledge of laws and regulations relevant to the agency's mission is crucial. In agencies dealing with budgeting, finance, and fiscal policy, skills in financial management and analysis are important. And project management skills, including the ability to plan, execute, and evaluate projects, are highly valuable, as many high-paying federal positions involve overseeing projects and programs.

What qualifications are required for high paying federal government jobs? 

Qualifications for high-paying federal government jobs can vary widely depending on the specific position, agency, and level of responsibility. However, there are some common qualifications and criteria that are often associated with well-compensated roles in the federal government and this includes:

Advanced degrees such as a master's degree, Ph.D., J.D. (Juris Doctor), or other professional qualifications. Certain positions may require specific professional certifications relevant to the field. For example, positions in finance or auditing might require certifications such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA). And, many high-paying federal positions, especially those in defense, intelligence, or law enforcement, require candidates to obtain and maintain a security clearance.

Why is it beneficial for federal government professionals to gain a BBA/MBA degree? 

Earning a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) or Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree can offer several benefits for professionals working in the federal government and these include: Enhanced leadership and management skills as BBA and MBA programs often include coursework in leadership, management, and organizational behavior. Becoming more proficient in strategic thinking and decision-making. BBA/MBA programs usually cover financial management, budgeting, and accounting principles.

This knowledge is beneficial for federal employees involved in financial planning, budget execution, and resource allocation within government agencies. Many BBA/MBA programs include coursework in project management. This is advantageous for federal government professionals who are often involved in managing and implementing various projects, ensuring they are completed on time and within budget. BBA/MBA programs often emphasize negotiation and communication skills. These skills are crucial for federal government professionals engaged in interactions with stakeholders, external partners, and other government agencies. BBA/MBA programs provide opportunities for networking with fellow students, alumni, and business professionals. Building a strong professional network can be advantageous for federal government professionals seeking collaborations, partnerships, or career advancement.

And, earning a BBA/MBA can enhance a federal government professional's qualifications and increase their competitiveness for leadership and executive positions. Some agencies may even require or prefer candidates with advanced business degrees for certain high-level roles. Overall, a bachelor's degree or master's degree will help professionals develop soft skills and competencies, to eventually rise to management levels, or, even start their own business to make even more money.

Conclusion 

In conclusion, federal government jobs offer a range of compelling advantages that make them an appealing career choice. The stability and job security provided by government positions, along with comprehensive benefits packages, contribute to a sense of financial well-being and job satisfaction. With structured career paths, opportunities for advancement, and a commitment to work-life balance, federal government jobs provide a platform for professional growth and development. 

If you're ready to embark on a rewarding journey in Federal Government that not only allows you to contribute to the well-being of society but also opens doors to many opportunities and a wide range of salaries working as say an astronomer, financial manager, economist, or criminal investigator, it just may be time to consider a fulfilling and dynamic career in in this well paid industry. And you can make it big in Nigeria too as an accountant and up your earning potential. A great way to get yourself even higher up the salary ladder in the Federal Government is to get an MBA or a BBA undergraduate degree from a US accredited university like Nexford.

Learn how to develop the most in-demand skills for your future career in Federal Government!

Discover how you can acquire the most in-demand skills with our free report, and open the doors to a successful career. 

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