Are Diplomats Federal Employees?

Yes. U.S. diplomats work for the U.S. Department of State, so they are federal employees. Because diplomats are also public officials, and many diplomats work outside of the United States, however, they are often subject to different rules. For example, diplomats may be paid differently than other federal employees.

What Is a Diplomat?

Diplomats represent and advance the interests and policies of the United States, usually while serving overseas. They can be Foreign Service Officers (economic officers, management officers, political officers, etc.) or Foreign Service Specialists (there are 19 types of Foreign Service Specialists).

According to U.S. News & World Report:

A diplomat is a public official who works on behalf of his or her country and helps to implement its foreign policy.”

What Do U.S. Diplomats Get Paid?

Salaries for U.S. diplomats vary widely. The average salary for U.S. diplomats is $104,801, but diplomats may be paid anywhere from $35,000 to more than $100,000 per year depending on their education, pay grade, and the cost of living where they are stationed.

Diplomats stationed in an unsafe location may receive extra pay.

What Benefits Do Diplomats Get?

Diplomats usually stay in government-owned housing, free of charge. In major cities, diplomats may live in beautiful apartments in upscale neighborhoods, and the homes offered to U.S. diplomats are very spacious.

Additionally, diplomats can travel all over the world without a visa requirement and often get the chance to immerse themselves in local languages, cultures, and customs.

Due to diplomatic immunity, diplomats enjoy protected status and are often exempt from local laws.

What Are the Disadvantages of Being a Diplomat?

Foreign service employees can be sent to any embassy, consulate, or diplomatic mission anywhere in the world – at any time. Sometimes, diplomats are assigned to hardship posts, and some posts do not allow family members to accompany the employee.

In addition to instability and isolation, diplomats can face real dangers while serving abroad, especially in places where U.S. influence may be unwelcome.

Because assignments normally last for 2 to 4 years, diplomats must move – and uproot their families – often. Once they do move, they are expected to adapt quickly, getting used to the climate and customs, forging new relationships, and avoiding danger every step of the way.

Finally, diplomats have a huge responsibility toward their country, which can make the job very stressful.

Diplomatic Immunity Only Goes So Far

Although diplomats are immune from prosecution thanks to diplomatic immunity, the U.S. Department of State holds them to extremely high standards. Diplomats are subject to disciplinary actions – much like other federal employees.

If you face any issues while working as a diplomat, The Law Firm of John P. Mahoney, Esq., Attorneys at Law, PLLC is here to help. For more than 25 years, we have been representing federal employees in Washington D.C., throughout the United States, and worldwide.

We know how much your job means to you, and how much you have sacrificed for your country. That’s why you deserve proper education.

Let us defend your rights and your career. Call us at (202) 759-7780 or contact us online to get started today.

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