Government jobs often come with numerous benefits and perks. Fortunately, there are a variety of state and federal government jobs you can apply for regardless of if you have a college degree or not. Some positions may require work experience or training, and requirements may vary from state to state. In this article, we review 14 government jobs you can get without a college degree, and their primary duties and average salaries.
Government jobs that don't require a degree
Here are 14 jobs working for the government that you can get with a high school diploma:
- Library assistant
- Data entry clerk
- Postal clerk
- Administrative assistant
- Census taker (enumerator)
- Court clerk
- Correctional officer
- Subway or streetcar operator
- Mail carrier
- Accounting technician
- Supply technician
- Social services assistant
- Deputy sheriff
National average salary: $11.96 per hour
Primary duties: Government lifeguards work in state parks, recreation departments or public beaches. A lifeguard oversees swimmers in and near the water. Lifeguards monitor injury prevention and safety practices to eliminate hazards or hazardous behavior. A lifeguard educates patrons on rules and regulations and enforces guidelines to ensure safety. Requirements can vary, and some lifeguards may have to pass a fitness test or complete certifications.
Read more: Learn About Being a Lifeguard
National average salary: $13.71 per hour
Primary duties: A library assistant aids and directs patrons in locating library materials. They answer telephones, field calls and take messages. Assistants sort and shelve books while identifying old or obsolete materials. Library assistants check out and renew borrowed items and issue and receive materials such as slides, microfilm, cards or pictures. Library assistants typically learn on the job, and many government agencies maintain libraries.
National average salary: $2,200 per month
Primary duties: Data entry clerks work in government departments such as the department of motor vehicles or tax collector's office. Data clerks maintain databases by entering and updating customer information. A data entry clerk compiles and sorts information to prepare data for entry and follows or determines entry priorities.
Clerks adhere to data entry policies and protocols and may periodically review accounts for data deficiencies or errors. While data entry clerks learn on the job, computer knowledge is helpful.
Read more: Learn About Being a Data Entry Clerk
4. Postal clerk
National average salary: $15.39 per hour
Primary duties: Postal clerks receive letters and parcels, sell postage and stamps and sell stamped envelopes. Clerks fill out and sell money orders, sort mail for carriers and examine packages and letters for proper postage. Postal clerks assist patrons in completing forms for change of address, passport processing or special delivery circumstances.
National average salary: $15.57 per hour
Primary duties: Administrative assistants are employed in county, state or federal government positions such as working for politicians, courthouses or the armed services. They typically answer phones, take memos and maintain files. They also greet clients and customers, and may be in charge of sending and receiving correspondence and documents. Administrative assistants create spreadsheets and presentations and provide support to senior management.
National average salary: $17.46 per hour
Primary duties: Census takers canvass neighborhoods to collect demographic, economic and housing data. They typically cover a designated area and submit carefully recorded information to the appropriate authority.
7. Court clerk
National average salary: $35,451 per year
Primary duties: A court clerk provides support to judges, attorneys and other officers of the court. They manage and maintain court records, distribute orders of the court and prepare agendas. Clerks monitor court calendars and handle documents such as subpoenas, injunctions and judgments. Clerks may review legal briefs, motions or lawsuits for accuracy. Requirements may vary, and some positions may require an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice or a similar subject.
National average salary: $36,483 per year
Primary duties: A correctional officer enforces rules and keeps order within jails and prisons. Officers search for contraband, supervise inmates and file reports on inmate conduct. They aid in the rehabilitation of inmates and provide counseling to offenders. Officers conduct facility inspections to ensure they meet the required standards.
National average salary: $43,792 per year
Primary duties: Operators drive trains or streetcars along designated routes either above or underground. Subway and streetcar operators observe signals to determine when to stop, slow down or proceed. They make announcements related to stops, final destinations or delays. Operators watch for and report debris or people on the tracks and oversee passenger safety.
10. Mail carrier
National average salary: $22.32 per hour
Primary duties: Mail carriers sort and prepare mail for delivery along a designated route. They collect money for postage-due mail, cash-on-delivery or postage. They deliver letters and packages to residences and businesses and abide by any custom delivery requirements, such as package placement, from customers.
National average salary: $44,005 per year
Primary duties: Accounting technician positions exist across a broad spectrum of government agencies, such as the department of defense, transportation departments or public learning institutions. Accounting technicians work with managerial staff and colleagues to prepare accounts, reports, budgets and financial statements. They may administer payrolls or arrange payments for invoices. Technicians monitor financial transactions and complete required bookkeeping.
National average salary: $45,066 per year
Primary duties: Supply technicians keep accurate inventory records to ensure the smooth transition of items from one location to another. Supply technicians scan and document the arrival and departure of supplies and follow government protocols throughout the process. They review supply lists and track inventory trends to recommend replenishments.
National average salary: $46,418 per year
Primary duties: A social services assistant keeps records regarding client visits and progress. They work with patients and families to answer questions or obtain medical information. Assistants work with supervisors to develop strategies to help clients access social services programs such as food stamps or housing assistance.
Social services assistants may participate in educational programs that teach the community about drugs and violence and how to make better choices. Positions may vary, and some might require an associate degree.
14. Deputy sheriff
National average salary: $48,230 per year
Primary duties: A deputy sheriff patrols assigned areas and watches for illegal or suspicious activity. Deputies conduct preliminary investigations, administer sobriety tests and apprehend criminal suspects. They also prepare reports, serve warrants and subpoenas and may conduct searches related to arrests, suspicion or conduct. Depending on the area, some candidates may need to pass a civil service exam before entering training to become a deputy sheriff.