Uncle Sam’s Most Wanted

The government is desperate. It’s alarmingly short of talented police officers, food inspectors, prison guards, airport screeners, border patrol agents, and immigration analysts, among other positions.

That means that as with most industries in our country, hiring is hot news. In fact, there are approximately 193,000 mission-critical jobs that need to be filled in the next two years, including 62,863 security and law enforcement related jobs.

This data is courtesy of a new report, “Where the Jobs Are: Mission Critical Opportunities for America,” which says the number of compliance and enforcement hires is up nearly four-fold compared to 2005 figures — and include 27,243 new border patrol agents, customs officers, immigration agents, food inspectors, criminal investigators, and airport screeners.

The Partnership for Public Service says its report outlines government-wide projected hiring needs through 2009, based on a survey of 34 federal agencies representing nearly 99% of the federal workforce.

According to the report, there are two key factors involved in these projections.

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First, the report says, is the need to keep Americans safe. More than 83,000 jobs need to be filled at agencies charged with protecting and securing the nation, which includes 47,897 jobs at the Department of Homeland Security and 35,505 jobs at the Department of Defense.

Second is the need to replace retiring federal workers. The government estimates that nearly one-third of the 1.6 million full-time federal workforce is expected to retire or resign in the next five years.

A Breakdown of the Hiring

In other sectors of the government, hiring needs include the following:

  • More than 23,000 nurses and nursing assistants, along with physicians, pharmacists, and occupational therapists to fill 35,350 medical and public health jobs.
  • Biological scientists to address the threat of bioterrorism. The Department of Agriculture projects 2,462 hires and the Department of Homeland Security expects to hire nearly 1,000 workers.
  • Transportation security officers for 22,329 jobs at the Department of Homeland Security.
  • More than 8,300 contracting experts at the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and other agencies.
  • Accountants, tax examiners, auditors, and budget and financial analysts to fill 21,248 jobs at the IRS, Department of Treasury, and other agencies.
  • IT experts for at least 11,562 positions.
  • Attorneys, paralegals, and other legal positions to fill 9,691 jobs at the Department of Treasury and other agencies.
  • Air-traffic controllers to fill 15,004 jobs at the Department of Transportation over the next 10 years.

Elaine Rigoli has nearly 15 years of experience managing content and community for various B2B and consumer websites. Elaine has written thousands of business and technology articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and eWeek, among other publications.

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