Letter: Government work unattractive to engineering grads
In response to "Kelman: The hiring season is here," one of the main problems with recruiting qualified grads into the Army Corps of Engineers is low starting pay. I have copied and pasted an actual job announcement from this District Job Announcement Board: "Civil Engineer, GS-810-05/07/09/11" -- note it starts a GS-810-grade 5 -- which pays $25,623 plus $3,239 locality pay, for a total $28,862. The locality adjustment is based on cost of living in certain areas of the country, but most fit into the "rest of us" table. Graduating engineers are finding that better jobs and higher pay in the private sector. Benefits have to be looked at carefully. Health insurance is paid partially by the government, along with life insurance. But government employees cannot qualify for disability insurance, which is NOT offered by the government. The retirement plan is just "good," not great, as the old plan was. A 401(k)-type plan is available, but you must watch your funds and make adjustments to your own investments within the fund. So, grads, take a hard look at federal employment.
Army Corps of Engineers