13 of the coolest jobs in government

Though many see government as an uncool place to work, that just isn't the case.

Explore 13 of government’s coolest jobs

Think federal workers are just bland, clock-watching bureaucrats who work away the years in sterile government buildings?

Tell that to Joseph Harrigan, who’s managing the IT for the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic operations, or volcano junkie Weston Thelen, who monitors the seismic activity for the Hawaiian Islands.

To showcase the cool work feds are doing around government, FedScoop highlighted 13 workers who are using technology in unique, off-the-wall ways. Some of their jobs you couldn’t find anywhere else on Earth.


“The federal government doesn’t get enough credit for doing things that are innovative and creative,” said Megan Coakley, head of the National Institutes of Health’s 3-D Print Exchange, a post that earned a spot on our list.

After all, who wouldn’t want to run Denali National Park’s puppy webcam? Or decide the fate of the “robot revolution”? Or run the most powerful computer in the country?

Changing the federal government’s staid stereotype could be critical as its workforce ages.

According to a 2011 Government Accountability Office report, nearly 30 percent of the federal workforce as of the end of fiscal year 2011 will be eligible for retirement by 2016. At some agencies, that’s even higher, and the same goes for those holding executive and management positions.

And millenials working for government said in the Office of Personnel Management’s Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey that they want to work in offices “that support creativity and innovation.”


So check out 13 of the coolest jobs in government. Let us know what you think of our picks and whether there are others who should’ve made the cut. And, if you’re interested in applying for a job like the 13 we picked, we’ve compiled a infographic to prep you on the federal hiring process below:


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