Government entities may not technically be businesses, but their operations have a lot in common with that of for-profit companies and corporations. Like private sector organizations, the government is most effective when it is run in ways that encourage productivity and efficiency while reducing wasted time, efforts and expenses – which, in this case, are paid for by taxpayer dollars. If you would like to work in a high-paying government role but don’t have a passion for law enforcement, politics or scientific research, a business degree could be exactly the stepping stone you’re seeking. Business majors can go on to hold many different roles in government, including taxation and compliance, budgeting and accounting, human resources and procurement and the supply chain.
Unsurprisingly, job roles that related directly to taxation – including tax examiner, tax collector and revenue agent – are government jobs. In fact, this occupational group is the only one of the business and finance careers in which government jobs at the federal, state and local level make up 100 percent of all positions, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Generally, tax examiners are concerned with the tax returns individuals and small businesses file, while revenue agents have a more expansive scope of job responsibilities as they review the tax returns of corporations and large companies, the BLS reported. Tax collectors are the workers, sometimes known as revenue officers, who settle overdue tax debts through methods such as working out a payment plan with the taxpayer or through liens and wage garnishment. The greatest share of tax examiners, revenue agents and tax collectors – 43 percent – work for the federal government, while 39 percent work for the state government and 18 percent for local government entities.
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Tax returns aren’t the only financial area in which government compliance is an important matter. Financial examiners, who make sure that lending institutions are cooperating with laws and regulations regarding risk management and consumer compliance, are often government employees, as well. About 14 percent of financial examiners work for the federal government, and another 8 percent are employed by state government agencies, according to the BLS.
Financial examiners provide the oversight to prevent predatory lending practices, hold bank managers accountable and make sure banks have enough money to take on the financial risks of lending without a loss causing devastating effects on the economy.
Jobs in Budgeting and Accounting
Like successful businesses, government entities and programs operate on a budget. The business skills of creating budgets, monitoring expenses and reporting financial data are crucial to government entities, which often have tight budgets to begin with and need to stretch their funds to achieve the best results. Budget analysts work with senior-level personnel to develop realistic budgets, oversee proposals and funding requests and keep track of how agencies spend their money. One in five budget analysts works for the federal government, according to the BLS. Eight percent of accountants and auditors, whose primary job is to create financial reports that show organizations’ income and expenses, are also government workers, the BLS reported.
Some government agencies employ management analysts to look for ways to improve operations by cutting unnecessary expenses or improving productivity. About 17 percent of all management analysts work for the government.
Jobs in Human Resources
All told, the federal government – excluding the postal service – employs 2 million full-time workers, according to Fortune. These workers hold many different roles within dozens of different agencies. Given the size of the federal workforce, it’s no surprise that skilled HR professionals play an important role in government operations. About 12 percent of human resources specialists, generalists and recruiters work for the government, according to the BLS. Four percent of labor relations specialists, who act as intermediaries between labor unions and management personnel, are also government workers.
For compensation, benefits and job analysis specialists, it’s local government entities that are major employers. Nine percent of these professionals who research wage information, administer employee benefits and classify job roles work for local governments.
Jobs in Procurement and Logistics
Government agencies are just as dependent on supplies as for-profit businesses are. They need personnel such as buyers, purchasing agents and purchasing managers to negotiate contracts and procure the supplies they need as well as logisticians and supply chain managers who coordinate the transport and allocation of those supplies. Eight percent of purchasing personnel and 20 percent of logisticians work for the federal government, the BLS reported.
Government logisticians earn a median wage of $84,200, and the government is the highest-paying of the top industries for purchasing jobs. Senior-level purchasing managers may see six-figure annual salaries.