Which are the best state departments to work for in the US?

Susanna Kahr

Since today is President’s Day and we’re one of the largest employer rating platforms, we thought we’d find out which state departments are the best employers! So, if you’ve been thinking about applying for a job in the Department of Defence, Department of Justice, Department of the Interior or any other federal agency, keep reading to see which ones employees rate the best! 

United States Department of Defense 

As an executive branch department of the federal government, the United States Department of Defense coordinates and and supervises all agencies and functions of the government which are related to national security and the United States Armed Forces. The Armed Forces consists of: the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Guard. As you can probably guess, the Department of Defense provides the military forces needed to prevent wars from breaking out and ensure our security. But, did you know that the United States Department of Defense is America’s Largest Employer? An incredible 2.87 MILLION employees work here! So, our question is, what do they have to say about working here? First and foremost, they’ve awarded this department a kununu score of 4.17 out of 5. And, employees have told us on our site that “the work/life balance is good, the pay is good, and the job is secure,” “it is mentally challenging, the job is stable; the pay is in line with market standards and the people are second to none.” So, what are you waiting for, your next adventure could be one job application away! 


United States Department of Justice

The United States Department of Justice, also known as the Justice Department, is a federal executive department of the government, which is responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice in the United States. The mission of this department is “to enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those found guilty of breaking the law; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.” So, if you’re training in law, this could be the place for you! But first, let’s find out what employees have to say about working here. The good news is that employees rate the United States Department of Justice highly and have given it a kununu score of 4.14 out of 5 on our site and they go on to tell us “I enjoy working in an environment where I am valued for what I bring to the table”, and that there is “decent pay, excellent benefits and a flexible work schedule!” Sounds good, right?! It’s time to get your application in. 

United States Department of the Interior 

The United States Department of the Interior (DOI) is responsible for conserving and managing our country’s natural resources and cultural heritage for the benefit and enjoyment of everyone who lives here. They also provide data about “natural resources and natural hazards to address societal challenges, create opportunities for the American people, and honor the Nation’s trust responsibilities or special commitments to American Indians, Alaska Natives, and affiliated island communities to help them prosper.” There are around 70,000 employees working for the United States Department of the Interior and they rank their employer highly, awarding them a kununu score of 4.1 on our site! One employee told us, “working in Bruce Canyon was amazing, the work was hard, but healthy and fun, the workers are nice and the area is beautiful,” which makes it sound like a dream job. But they’re not alone, another employee also told us, “the best part about my job is working outdoors 90% of the time. Also the people I work with on a day to day basis are more like family/close friends than just coworkers. We all genuinely care and look out for one another.” We don’t know about you but we’re getting ready to send an application in! 

United States Department of the Air Force 

The United States Department of the Air Force  (DAF) is one of the three Military Departments within the United States Department of Defense which we covered earlier. However, if you thought that the Air Force only dealt with planes and pilots, then you’ll be excited to hear that as of this year, the National Defense Authorization Act has approved a new, independent Space Force within this department! As this new military branch takes shape this department will be recruiting the brightest minds in science, technology, aerospace and engineering this year, so check out their new jobs, here. And, if that’s not enough excitement for you, kununu users have given their employer a score of 3.92 and have told us some great things about working here. One employee says “I got to do some pretty amazing things in the Air Force and I received very professional training and work experience, it was well worth my time,” and another says that their “co-workers are supportive and caring, often sharing meals and offering help where needed.” If this sounds like the place for you then we recommend getting an application in ASAP! 

United States Department of State 

The United States Department of State, commonly referred to as the State Department, is responsible for carrying out U.S. foreign policy and international relations. This department currently employs: 13,000 Foreign Service employees, 11,000 Civil Service employees and 45,000 local employees, so you’re bound to find a job for you here. Working here means working on America’s foreign policy and honing your skills in diplomacy, advocacy, and assistance to advance the interests of the American people. Kununu users have given their employer a score of 3.89 on our site and have told us that “the U.S. Department of State is a great place to work for learning about diplomacy and other cultures”, “I have lots of opportunities to travel and the work I do is meaningful for both the company and me personally.” They’ve also told us that “there are clear opportunities for advancement and I’ve been able to meet leadership at the highest echelons of the company,” and that “it’s a rewarding place to work and the work can vary every day, so you’ll never be bored.” So, if you’re interested in working in American foreign policy, this could be the employer for you! Check out their open jobs, here. 

United States Department of Commerce

The United States Department of Commerce is responsible for promoting “job creation and economic growth by ensuring fair and reciprocal trade, providing the data necessary to support commerce and constitutional democracy, and fostering innovation by setting standards and conducting foundational research and development.” This department currently hires 46,608 employees (as of January 31, 2018) across its bureaus located in all 50 states, every U.S. territory, and more than 86 countries. Working here can mean a number of different things, like providing U.S.-based companies and entrepreneurs with programs such as the Decennial Census, the National Weather Service, NOAA Fisheries, and the Foreign Commercial Service, overseeing ocean and coastal navigation, helping negotiate bilateral trade agreements, or enforcing laws that ensure a level playing field for American businesses and workers. Employees have given this department a kununu score of 3.81 and have told us that their “employer makes employees feel valued, needed and appreciated.” One employee even said, “my experience working at my company is great, I rarely have any troubles and I enjoy my job.

Interested in working here? Take a look at the careers on offer, here.

United States Department of Agriculture 

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is made up of 29 agencies and offices and hires nearly 100,000 employees at more than 4,500 locations across the country and abroad. This agency “provides leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on public policy, the best available science, and effective management.” They also have a vision “to provide economic opportunity through innovation, promote agriculture production that better nourishes Americans while also helping feed others throughout the world” all while preserving America’s natural resources through conservation, restored forests, improved watersheds, and healthy private working lands! Here at kununu, this department has been given a score of 3.8 and employees have told us that the “pay is good and overtime is rare”, there are “great benefits and the work/life balance is a good one and I have a flexible schedule which is very nice.” So, if you’re interested in working in agriculture or conservation, have a look at the jobs on offer with this agency, here

United States Department of Health and Human Services 

The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) serves to enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans. Working here means working to provide effective health and human services while fostering advances in medicine, public health, and social services. It also means working to eradicate HIV/AIDS, prevent the spread of Malaria and Ebola, find the cure for cancer, provide healthcare to underserved communities, stop the opioid epidemic, and make food and drugs safe for the public! According to employees, United States Department of Health and Human Services is also a great employer. Kununu users have rated this department 3.55 and one employee tells us, “I really look forward to going to work at HHS every day, I’ve been at my job for 24 yrs and I love what I do.” To see the kinds of jobs you could do with this agency, take a look here

United States Capitol Police Department 

The United States Capitol Police Department (USCP) is a CALEA nationally-accredited, federal law enforcement agency. The USCP safeguards the Congress, its legislative process, members of Congress, employees, visitors, and facilities from crime, disruption, and terrorism. So, working here means working to protect and secure Congress so it can fulfill its constitutional and legislative responsibilities in a safe, secure, and open environment i.e. you’re responsible for making sure that our country’s lawmakers can continue to govern properly! According to kununu users, the United States Capitol Police Department is a good employer too, and employees have given them a score of 3.54, saying that there is “good teamwork and the colleagues were extremely good to me!” Here are some of the job opportunities on offer.

United States Department of Homeland Security 

The United States Department of Homeland Security secures the nation from the many threats it faces. This requires the dedication of more than 240,000 employees in jobs that range from aviation and border security to emergency response, from cybersecurity analyst to chemical facility inspector. While the department’s duties are wide-ranging, the goal is clear, working here means working to keep America safe everyday. On kununu, users have given their employer a score of 3.39 and they have said lots of great things about working here. One employee says “I work with many wonderful people and I feel that my job keeps America safe, my job has so many positives that I wouldn’t be able to name them all. But one of the most important one is that I have a boss who appreciates my work and cares about me not only as an employee but as a person.” Another says that the United States Department of Homeland Securitypays better than most other jobs in the area and I have several added benefits to working here that are better than other places.” Check out the careers on offer with the Department of Homeland Security, here.

United States Department of Labor 

The United States Department of Labor “fosters, promotes, and develops the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees, improves working conditions, advances opportunities for profitable employment and assures work-related benefits and rights.” Kununu users have given their employer a score of 3.31 and told us that they have a “stable paycheck, a good working environment, and rewarding job duties” and “management has an open door policy and they care about employees.” See the different jobs available in this department, here

United States Department of Energy 

The mission of the United States Department of Energy is to “ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions.” In fact, the Department of Energy has one of the most exciting histories in the Federal Government. Although it has only existed since 1977, the Department traces its roots back to the Manhattan Project effort to develop the atomic bomb during World War II, and to the various energy-related programs that previously had been dispersed throughout various Federal agencies! So, if you’re interested in working for a department with an exciting story, this could be the place for you. What’s more, kununu users have given their employer a score of 3.07 and say “the work we do is important” and “I have worked hard and have moved my way up at a steady pace.” Ready to get started? Take a look here to see the latest jobs available with this department. 

United States Department of Financial Services

The United States Department of Financial Services “supervises and regulates the activities of approximately 1,500 banking and other financial institutions with assets totaling more than $2.6 trillion and more than 1,400 insurance companies with assets of more than $4.7 trillion!” That’s crazy, right?! What’s more, the companies under its remit include: more than 130 life insurance companies, 1,300 property/casualty insurance companies, about 100 health insurers and managed care organizations, and 300,000 individual insurance licensees, 122 state-chartered banks, 80 foreign branches, 10 foreign agencies, 14 credit unions, 13 credit rating agencies, nearly 400 licensed financial services companies, and more than 9,600 mortgage loan originators and servicers! So, working here means working with a wide range of different financial institutions! According to employees, “they seem to respect the work life balance aspect and most people are generally friendly and helpful” and “it is a pretty good stable job, the pay could be a little more but overall it is a fine job for this location.” It’s no wonder then, that kununu users have given their employer a score of 3.04! Take a look at the careers on offer, you might find the perfect job for you. 

United States Department of Transportation

The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) ensures that the US has the safest, most efficient and modern transportation system in the world. They aim to make a transport system that “improves the quality of life for all American people and communities, from rural to urban, and increases the productivity and competitiveness of American workers and businesses.” This department employs almost 55,000 people across the country, in the Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST) and its operating administrations and bureaus, each with its own management and organizational structure. Employees have given this department a kununu score of 2.78 and say that their “mission is to save lives by reducing crashes by commercial vehicles and it is righteous work.” Interested in a job in this department? Have a look here



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