Your well compensated federal employees

Our perception of public employees is frequently distorted by the perception of low pay when compared to other public opportunities. The reality for most government workers is much different. These workers not only earn a higher cash income, but much higher total compensation. 

How many workers do you know with both a pension plan, a defined contribution savings plan, good health benefits and with these benefits carried into retirement with a COLA added to pension payments?

Federal civilian workers whose highest level of education was a bachelor’s degree earned 5 percent more, on average, in the federal government than in the private sector

Federal civilian workers with no more than a high school education earned 34 percent more, on average, than similar workers in the private sector.

Average benefits were 52 percent higher for federal employees whose highest level of education was a bachelor’s degree than for similar private-sector employees

Average benefits were 93 percent higher for federal employees with no more than a high school education than for their private-sector counterparts.

For federal employees with doctorates or professional degrees salaries were 23% lower and benefits about the same as the private sector. 

Source: CBO. Comparing the Compensation of Federal and Private-Sector Employees, 2011 to 2015


  1. It is about the same for many state, county, and city employees. Companies have to control payroll budgets or they may soon have to close their doors. Government offices can operate without many of these concerns as long as they can get increases in their budgets each year, many of the increases are automatic.

    Yakov Smirnoff – “What a way to run a country”


  2. Your stats certainly explain why the government does not run professionally. I would have flipped the degree employees with the non-degreed employee’s compensation. It makes it seem like these college educated people are not smart enough to find a job in the private sector and they setting for government work. I hope that is not true and probably is not fair to say that about those workers but it looks that way.

    As far as the high school educated employees, without looking at the job classifications, I do not know if that is a fair assessment. So many people now work for no benefits or part time, that any benefits would double their compensation.


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