handing over a diploma

Government Employees: Is Higher Education Worth It?

Data shows that federal employees earn lower salaries than their counterparts working in the private sector. In 2018, the Federal Salary Council announced that government employees were paid 32% less than their private-sector counterparts. This significant difference in pay, brings up an important question - What efforts are being made to raise the wage of federal employees?

Federal Employees vs. Private-Sector Employees

A federal employee is someone who works for the federal government to provide various services to the general public. Private-sector employees work primarily for businesses and nonprofits. For private-sector employees, more education attained means more compensation. This is true for federal employees as well. However, on average, federal workers with more education made less than private-sector employees, even though they both had similar levels of education.

The biggest issue is that many federal jobs require that in addition to a college degree, they need a graduate or doctorate degree to qualify for the job. Getting a college education is already expensive, and many people will take out a student loan in order to go. However, when certain jobs require more than a bachelor’s degree, individuals go back to school and seek a Masters and/or Doctorate degree. This adds to the debt that they might already have.

Since federal employees need more education, they have to spend more in order to qualify for jobs at the federal level. However, research has shown these employees are making a smaller income compared to private-sector employees with the same amount of education.

What Efforts Are Being Made to Raise Federal Employee’s Salary?

To mitigate some of this cost, there are programs that will help federal employees pay off student loans. However, there are pros and cons for each program, and employees have to meet specific requirements in order to qualify. In 2018, 99% of applicants were rejected for public service loan forgiveness. 70% of the applications were denied because they did not meet the program’s requirements.

Additionally, the federal government provides benefits and perks for federal employees to help offset the cost, like health insurance, retirement, and paid leave.

For some government employees, these benefits and perks do not make up for their smaller salaries. Therefore, the government is undertaking various steps to raise the pay of federal employees. In June, a bill was passed by the House that approved a 3.1% pay increase for federal employees in the next year. This is an important step toward ensuring that federal workers receive adequate pay for their skills.

Ask Our Attorneys for Help

If you are a federal employee and feel that you are not being adequately compensated, reach out to the attorneys at The Law Firm of John P. Mahoney, Esq., Attorneys at Law, PLLC. Backed by years of experience, our firm has the proper resources to help you determine if you have a case or not.

Contact our firm today at (202) 350-3881 to schedule a consultation.