10 Best Government Jobs for College Students

Best Government Jobs for College Students - featured image

It’s common for US college students to have part-time jobs while studying. In fact, according to National Center for Education Statistics, an estimated 32% of undergraduate students between 16 and 64 years of age are employed at the same time as they attend school. This is a good point, as their academic learning can be reinforced, and they can learn responsibility through student employment.

Making money is the main reason why students explore federal careers as part-time jobs. It can be beneficial to have a part-time job to supplement your income, whether paying for school, rent or just getting extra groceries.

Additional Information:

Best Government Jobs for College Students - fact

One of the sectors that pay well and offer great job opportunities is the government. There are many benefits and perks associated with government jobs. Whether you have a college degree or not, or you’re currently studying and looking for a part-time job, you may be able to apply for state and federal government jobs. Completed military service obligation and work experience and training may be needed in some positions, but requirements vary by state.

The desire to make a difference is common among students. No matter where they are, they want to impact and make a difference. Those passionate about serving can channel that enthusiasm and passion into a career in public service. A government job is ideal if you want to serve society and the surrounding community.

What is a Government Job?

For students seeking internships and jobs with the federal government and its agencies, conducting thorough research is a must to find legitimate government agencies recruiting and hiring students. It pays to check state government opportunities through the Pathways Internship program as well!

A government job can be found in many different sectors under the government. Employees are honored and privileged to serve the public, but they also gain financial security and job stability. Many government branches offer a variety of jobs. In some cases, a degree is not required, but instead, training or work experience is. Students and recent graduates are often qualified for these positions.

You can also select the government-industry you wish to work in. Working for your local government is a great way to support your city, county, or community. As a state government employee, you will cover similar concerns as local governments, as well as a few federal concerns. On the other hand, having a federal government job involves national work.

Government Sites Offering Job Roles For College Students

As a college student, it’s essential to know where to look for part-time government jobs. Here are some government sites offering job roles for college students from a qualifying educational institution:

USA Jobs is where college students find more than 14,000 employment opportunities and career paths. High school through graduate level internships and jobs for recent college graduates are available. For instance, current students can participate in the Internship Program and the Pathways Recent Graduates program.

Students at a high school, trade school, or college can qualify and apply for a student temporary employment program. While completing your education, this program offers paid employment opportunities in federal agencies. Students should search the individual websites of departments and agencies for a student career experience program with missions that align with their values and interests, as not all federal internships and jobs must be posted on the site.

College students seeking information about finding and applying for federal jobs will find Go Government useful. This one-stop shop provides an introduction to careers in public service, along with hot jobs and internships. Periodically, a recent graduate program is also offered. Depending on your major or field of interest, you can find various job postings.

A Presidential Management Fellows PMF program is one of the most prestigious fellowships for master’s degrees, advanced degrees, and professional degree holders These individuals are committed to leadership and management careers in public policy and administration. Fellows at the Management Fellows PMF program are nominated by their colleges and rotate through several agencies within a 2-year period.

US Department of Labor

There are many opportunities for you to build your skills and make a meaningful difference while still in school or just starting out in your career. The US Department of Labor, an excellent resource for college students seeking a part-time government job, offers streamlined developmental programs tailored for students and non-students, regardless of their interests.

Generally, the Department of Labor is tasked to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of wage earners, job seekers, retirees, and advancing opportunities for profitable employment, ensuring rights and benefits related to work.

Scholarship for Service is an example of a scholarship program that, in partnership with qualifying educational institutions, provides generous financial aid to students with early career direction. A student’s academic performance, the likelihood of completing the degree, and suitability for government employment are criteria for selection for SFS Scholarships.

The duration of the scholarship must be equal to the length of the scholarship recipient’s employment in government, state, county, tribal councils, or other approved organizations. Tuition, stipend, professional allowance stipend, and support for 1-3 years are included in scholarships.

Job postings on this site are exclusive to the public sector, which makes it the largest in the country. Thousands of government jobs are available on the Government Jobs website, including library assistants, social service assistants, logistics managers, and air traffic controllers. 

Skills Needed to Land a Government Job

Negotiation Skills

Regardless of the role you hold in government, you will encounter different personalities. Your role may require negotiating with other employees representing other departments and agencies. Hence, it’s crucial to have good negotiation skills. 

Respect for Hierarchies

Getting a government job requires respecting its hierarchy. When dealing with colleagues, consider job title, background, tenure, and status differences. You must respect and be courteous to everyone you work with. Be professional at all times. 

Communication Skills

Good communication skills are a must in any setting—and government jobs are no exception! Being able to communicate appropriately is crucial to completing your tasks efficiently.


This trait will serve you well when working with diverse individuals whose opinions and ideas may differ from your own. It is essential to have tolerance and an open mind when dealing with coworkers in government. You need to persevere no matter how challenging some situations can be. 

Time Management Skills

There is a high workload in some government jobs. Managing your workload and prioritizing will require time management skills. Regardless of what job you choose in government, be prepared to juggle different tasks at different priority levels.

Benefits of Having a Part-Time Job in College

College offers both classroom and non-classroom experiences and learning opportunities. Both on and off campus, many campuses offer students jobs that allow them to gain experience before entering the workforce. As a student prepares for life after graduation, a part-time job can be an asset. Check out the benefits of being hired part-time while juggling your studies.  

Earn Extra Dough

Earning extra cash is a great reason to take on a part-time job. Student life usually means little or no money, but when you work part-time, you don’t have to worry about paying for the basics or, depending on your parents or student loans. You can start treating yourself to nice things like going out with friends and going out with your family. You can even start saving up for emergency funds to have more security. 

Strengthen Your Resume

When you have a job in college, you demonstrate professionalism, reliability, communication skills, and workplace skills that future employers will value. Any job experience is a great additional feature that makes your resume stand out from other candidates. Consequently, you can negotiate a more generous salary once you apply for a full-time job.

Gain Transferable Skills

Working part-time can help you develop skills that a university or college degree cannot! You can brush up or hone soft skills that are in demand and necessary for exceptional job performance in real-life or corporate settings. 

Gain Learning Opportunities

Your previous internship program appointments can count as work experience, but being employed and paid in an actual workplace is an opportunity to learn from colleagues, employers, and situations. As you work with people with different experiences or expertise, you can refine your skills and become a more versatile and well-rounded worker.

Increase Self-Confidence

Working part-time is a way to build and enhance your confidence because it requires you to interact with people. You also become more independent and more comfortable in social situations.

Understand Diverse Industries And Sectors

You do not have to commit long-term to a part-time job in an industry. You can move on to a new opportunity if a specific part-time job is not a good match. After college, having this experience will help you find your ideal industry.

Develop Independence

Part-time work can help students gain independence, whether they are in high school or university. Ultimately, everything is under your control, such as your schedule, money, and duties. As a result, you will become more independent and less reliant on others. As you become more self-reliant, you can grow and be more mature.

Build And Widen Your Network

Networking is possible at any part-time job, regardless of where you work. You will still make connections in the professional world even if you are not gaining work experience in a field that interests you. Networking is essential, and you can do it as early as possible. The people you meet now can have significant roles later when you pursue your dream job or open a company. 

Gain Job References

If you’re being considered for a job, providing references from your previous employer or coworker who can speak highly of your work ethic can make a big difference. The key is to demonstrate successful job performance and cultivated relationships while working part-time so they can make excellent job references on your resume. This helps you increase your credibility too. 

Earn Time Management Skills

You may find yourself working a part-time job, taking classes, socializing with friends, and juggling your hobbies. All these can make it impossible to do all simultaneously without time management skills. As you work in a part-time job, you can gradually improve your time management skills. 

Excellent Government Jobs for College Students

Library Assistant

Library Assistant - Image

Assisting readers, researchers, and library goers in locating library materials is the responsibility of a library assistant. Answering the phone, taking messages, and fielding calls are part of a library assistant’s job. In addition to sorting books, assistants identify obsolete or discarded materials. They issue and receive slides, microfilm, cards, and pictures, as well as check out and renew borrowed items. There are many public libraries all over the US, so you can apply for one in your city. 

Data Entry Clerk

The job of a data entry clerk may be found in diverse government departments. You can choose to apply in a specific local, national, or federal department that you want to be part of. To maintain databases, data clerks enter and update customer information. Entry clerks prepare data for entry by compiling and sorting information and following or determining entry priorities. Data entry clerks follow policy and protocol, and they may periodically check accounts for data deficiencies or errors. Having good computer skills can come in handy for this job. 

Court Clerk

Court Clerk - Image

Providing support to lawyers, judges, and court officers, Court Clerks perform many administrative duties in local and federal courts. If you’re taking law in college, this can be an ideal part-time job for you. The court clerk is responsible for maintaining records, swearing in jurors, and recording trials. They provide support to judges, attorneys, and other court officers. Their duties are maintaining court records, distributing court orders, and preparing agendas. 

Subpoenas, injunctions, and judgments are also handled by clerks. During the review process, clerks may ensure that legal briefs, motions, or lawsuits are accurate. To hold other positions in the judicial system, you might need a Bachelor’s degree or postsecondary certificate, whereas an entry-level Court Clerk needs only a high school diploma. 

Administrative Assistant

Administrative assistants work for politicians, courts, or the armed services in county, state, or federal government positions. Most of their duties include answering phones, taking memos, and maintaining files. Administrative assistants are essential to an office’s success in completing various administrative tasks. They are vital in supporting the whole office or assisting specific staff members. 

Additionally, they may handle correspondence and documents and greet clients and customers. Senior managers are assisted by administrative assistants in creating spreadsheets and presentations. High school diplomas or equivalents are required for administrative assistants. If you want a good-paying part-time job, an administrative assistant’s annual salary is excellent.

Social Services Assistant

Social Services Assistant - Image

Keeping track of a client’s visits and progress is the responsibility of a social services assistant. Patients and families rely on them for medical information and answers to questions. A social services assistant assists supervisors in developing strategies to assist clients in accessing social services programs. A social services assistant might participate in a program that teaches the community about drugs and violence, as well as how to make better choices. 

Accounting Technician

An accounting technician maintains the most up-to-date tax and financial information for their organization. Among their duties are managing payrolls, generating invoices, preparing budget reports, and keeping track of the organization’s financial transactions. This is a great training ground if you are interested in Accountancy or other related majors. Public learning institutions and transportation departments all employ accounting technicians. An accounting technician may handle payrolls or arrange payments for invoices. Bookkeeping and financial transactions are monitored by technicians.

Public Transportation Assistant Operator

Public Transportation Assistant Operator - Image

Subway or elevated suburban trains are operated by these operators. You can assist operators in transporting and serving passengers. You can assist in handling fares and assist in emergency situations. The only requirements for this position are a high school diploma or GED equivalent and some on-the-job training. Those willing to learn technical subway or streetcar operation skills can get a high-paying government job without a degree requirement.


Fire extinguishing, as well as responding to accidents and emergencies, will be your responsibility. You will be working in the fire department. However, as a part-time firefighter, you should still be available, especially during emergencies. Requirements typically include a high school diploma or GED equivalent for firefighters, as well as training at a fire academy. There is a decent employment growth rate for this high-paying government job. This role is best suited to people who are physically fit and can remain calm under pressure.

Mail Carrier

Mail Carrier - Image

Daily, mail carriers deliver packages and mail to people’s houses for the United States Postal Service. USPS mail carriers serve as representatives of the USPS in their communities, strengthening relationships with residents. You are responsible for collecting letters and parcels, selling postal products, and operating postal equipment. Mail carriers or clerks handle mail indoors or outdoors in the postal service. The job pays well, and it doesn’t require a degree.

Financial Clerk

Many organizations, including government agencies, hire financial clerks to perform administrative tasks. Records are kept and updated, bills and charges are calculated, and transactions are carried out. Customer service is also part of their roles. This government job is an excellent opportunity for college students. During the course of their employment, they receive training and experience that helps them develop the necessary skills. It is still a decent-paying government job with many openings, despite the decline in employment for financial entry clerks.

Key Takeaways

  • There are many good government jobs perfect for college students. The key is to look for job postings on reliable websites.
  • While these are excellent reasons for holding a part-time job, you must continue your schoolwork to graduate on time. Balance is an essential point to remember for college students who work on the side.
  • If you are considering a part-time job, be sure to prepare your resume and practice your interview skills. Finally, apply for the government department you want to be part of.

Malcolm Peralty
Chief Editor