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The Pros and Cons of Government Contracting Jobs

Government contracting jobs have great qualities, and some others that make them less desirable. Here's a list of the pros and cons.

Most government organizations are typically of a size that they are one of the biggest employers around, and this means they can offer a wide range of opportunities in many different fields of work. While governments will typically hire many permanent staff, they also usually have plenty of contract opportunities, for both individuals and companies. Government contracting jobs can be a good option for those with the right skills, and there are pros and cons to this style of working.



The salary available can be one of the main attractions of government contracting jobs. Generally governments pay well, with the actual amount usually depending on the type and complexity of the work. However, the website shows that median salaries for government contract employees can range from around $55,000 to in excess of $90,000. For those that choose this type of work, therefore, it can be lucrative and provide an excellent salary.

More Secure Payments

While a good salary can earned for government contracting jobs, the fact that the employer is a government organization usually means that you can be assured of payment. This can greatly reduce the chances of doing the work and not being paid. Government departments are usually solid organizations that are unlikely to go anywhere, or go bankrupt and run out of money to pay there employees. This can make it more secure than becoming involved in contracting jobs in the private sector.

Good Opportunities

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that the Federal Government is the largest employer in the USA, and there are also many job opportunities with State and Local Government. A number of the posts will be contracting jobs and this provides many opportunities for those that pursue this type of work. For those that get their foot in the door and do a good job, this provides the possibility of it leading on the other contracting jobs. At any one time governments are also usually looking to employ permanent staff. Being involved in government contracting jobs can provide networking opportunities where it is possible to find out about permanent opportunities, for those that are interested.


Payment can be slow

While payment from the government is generally assured, in many cases it can take time to get the money. Government departments can be slow to pay, and this needs to be considered in terms of your cash flow and having money available. It is therefore sensible to check the payment milestones of a contract and the likely period it will take for the government to approve these and issue the payment.

Qualifications can be exacting

In many cases the requirements for qualifying for government contracting work can be exacting. For some contracts and also working in certain locations, security clearance may be required and working for the government may involve a range of background checks to become approved. This can be time consuming and in many cases can rule people out from qualifying for government contracting jobs.

Decision Making Can Take Time

Working on a contracting job may require the government to make decisions during the progress of the work. This can involve bureaucracy, with a number of individuals or departments having an input to the final decision. This can mean that decision making is a slow process and this can cause frustration by holding up the progress of a job waiting for answers.

Job Security

While there are generally plenty of opportunities for government contracting work, like any contracting job it can involve working for short periods of time. This can obviously impact on job security, as there is no guarantee of follow on work when a contract finishes. This can be a disadvantage for many people who may not want to be continually looking for new opportunities as contracts end.

Lack of Benefits

Government contract workers are typically not afforded the same employment benefits as a permanent employee. This can mean that they miss out on benefits such as health insurance, paid vacations and retirement packages. Those that choose to work on government contracting jobs therefore need to check the terms of employment carefully to see what they would be entitled to if they take up a position.

For those with the requisite skills, government contracting jobs can be an option to consider. As governments are some of the biggest employers around, there are typically plenty of contract opportunities available. However, there are pros and cons to this type of employment. Some of these are shown above, and these should be carefully considered prior to becoming involved in government contracting work.

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