June 20, 2024

When you have a large family, you need to be particular in your job search to see which job will provide you with the best benefits. 

Due to the necessity of benefits, many people are torn between federal or corporate jobs to see which benefits work best for them. 

If you are someone who prioritizes the importance of car insurance, you may lean towards federal jobs due to the potential for federal employee auto insurance discounts.

Each path has its pros and cons, and which works best for you and your family greatly depends on the situation. Each family and individual will have their own needs. 

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of public and private sector jobs, as well as their benefits.

Federal Jobs: Job Security & Long-Term Benefits

Government jobs are well-known for having generous benefits. 

For example, many government jobs give their employees excellent health care plans with low cost and great retirement benefits. 

Some examples of public sector jobs include:

  • Federal, state, local, and tribal government agencies
  • Military positions
  • Public health service
  • Public and private school, college, and university
  • Law enforcement or public service law

Let’s detail some of the benefits you could see from such jobs.

Job Security & Stability Due to Demand

In most cases, federal jobs have better job security than private ones. 

Since jobs in the public sector are backed up by the government, there is more demand for them since they serve many communities or organizations. 

Therefore, the jobs in the public sector are much more stable.

Federal jobs often have rules in place that protect their employees. 

An example of this would be Reduction In Force (RIF) procedures, which occurs when an agency will be cutting positions. 

During an RIF procedure, it will be determined whether a federal employee will keep their current position or if they have the right to another position.

Long-Term Retirement & Pension Benefits

Another well-known fact about federal jobs is that they often have generous retirement plans. 

Many jobs in the public sector give their employees retirement benefits through pensions. 

There are two pension plans typically used by federal jobs: 

  • Defined Benefit (DB) program called the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS).
  • Defined Contribution (DC) program called the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP).

Under FERS, federal employees contribute a percentage of their salary so that they can receive the benefits in the future during their retirement. 

The exact amount that needs to be contributed has changed frequently due to changes in Federal laws. 

Many people who have large families feel that having a generous retirement plan is important so that their family’s finances can be secure in the future long after they are done working.

More Rewarding Vacation Time

As much as you want to ensure that you are providing for your family, you also want to ensure that you can also spend time with them. 

Careers in the public sector are pretty forgiving regarding taking time off. 

Federal holidays are often observed, and some jobs within state or local governments will have additional holidays that can also be observed.

The longer someone works in a federal job, the more vacation time they will also earn.

The Cons of Working in the Public Sector

Every career path can have its downsides, including federal work. 

Here are some of the cons you should consider before settling on a public sector job:

  • Slow career growth: Working up the ladder in the public sector is different than it would be in the private sector. Promotions rely on the amount of experience you have rather than your aptitude.
  • Potentially lower salary: Compared to the private sector, some public sector jobs have lower starting salaries, which can be a drawback when you factor in how difficult it can be to get promotions. However, public sector jobs have many more benefits than private-sector jobs.
  • Dealing with bureaucracy: Because most decisions need to go through multiple people for approval, innovation and fast decision-making do not often happen with government jobs. This can be frustrating for anyone who prefers to get things done quickly.
  • Sticking to a routine: Depending on what you are looking for with your job, doing the same tasks every day can be a major con for you. Variety may not happen much, depending on your public sector job.

When it comes to public sector jobs, the benefits and retirement may be what draws you in.

Corporate Jobs: Less Stability But Greater Advancement Potential

Compared to federal jobs, corporate jobs are considered to be less stable, but it is much easier to progress and make more money based on your skills.

Examples of jobs in the private sector include:

  • Financial services
  • Law firm jobs
  • Newspaper and magazine
  • Hospitality
  • Estate agent work
  • Nonprofit work

In general, private sector jobs are any privately owned businesses or multinational corporations. 

These businesses may have regulations from the government, but the government doesn’t control them.

Higher Salary

Even though the public sector has better benefits when it comes to retirement or job security, private sector jobs typically have higher salaries. 

If you are big into budgeting for your family, earning more money may be more appealing to you, as you will have more money to work with.

Benefits That Federal Employees May Not Have

Public sector jobs have benefits like greater retirement plans, but that doesn’t mean that private-sector jobs don’t have their own useful benefits. 

For example, some corporate jobs can provide employees with subsidized child care options, which can be a great option for large families. 

Private sector jobs may also offer their employees product discounts, club memberships, and more.

Easier Progression & Raises

As previously mentioned, working in the private sector is much easier to progress in your career. 

Salaries are much more negotiable, and major decisions are simply made by the company’s manager rather than a higher authority like it would be in the public sector.

Cons of Working in the Private Sector

Here are some of the cons to consider when working in the private sector:

  • Tough competition: Many of the markets in the private sector are more saturated, therefore leading to more hiring competition.
  • Stressful environment: Jobs in the private sector can be demanding with many customers and deadlines.
  • Job instability: If the company that you work for in the private sector doesn’t meet budget or performance goals, you could easily lose your position to make up for losses.

Depending on what you’re looking for, the private and public sector have their own unique pros and cons. And most of them offer flexibility in remote jobs.

Luke Williams writes and researches for the auto insurance comparison site, BuyAutoInsurance.com. His passions include insurance and clearing the air around careers in both the public and private sectors.