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Old 01-11-2009, 03:17 PM   #21
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General Schedule = GS. I have a Son that did "get in" recently (last 3 years). However, he holds a CPA certification and is working for the IRS. He entered a training program that lasted about a year and is now a "senior" GS11 heading for a GS12 (hopefully). IRS does have non-supervisory positions at the GS 13 leave. My Son was "old" to enter Government employment at the age of 37. He likes the job (works out of his home about 4 days a week and sets most of his own "audit appointments". His work is in businesses NOT individual tax payers.

This site may help: http://www.opm.gov/oca/09tables/index.asp
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Old 01-12-2009, 01:38 AM   #22
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As a young man I got a master's degree (in civil engineering) after my military service in Vietnam. My primary motive was to transaction back into civilian life. Throughout my life, that master's degree has helped me many times. When the choice comes down between two people with equal experience, the master's degree can make the deciding difference on who gets chosen for a job position.

Also, if you are in a technical field, the extra education at higher levels can significantly improve your knowledge base. A bachelor's degree is generally too general to really give anyone a good foundation for a technical subject. However, a Master's degree really gives you a boost in understanding the fundamentals - it helps in the rest of life.
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Old 01-13-2009, 01:48 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freebird5825 View Post
Exactly! Once you get in the door, it is the experience that makes the promotions happen.
Good luck with that pending GS-12 promotion!
Many kudos to you for turning down the managerial track. It is not worth it if you prefer hands-on techie work. I was, however, treated differently after I passed on that "chance to excel". oh well!
I was in the 0855 series, BTW, one that has stringent educational minimums.

Thanks, but it's not exactly pending! More of a "hope to make it" kind of thing. In my line of thinking, I don't see why I can't make it if I want to. There are opportunities that seem like they're calling my name. I just transferred to where I am now, though and I think I need to sit tight till I've been here a year. Financially, I know it would make the most sense. I won't be eligible for another paid PCS until August, plus I still have a good bit of time remaining on a lease I'd probably have to buy out. I'll be eligible to retire in 4 yrs, but I can adjust that if I need to in order to get a much better high-3. I'm not going to extend by much though. Regardless, I'm going to retire sooner rather than later!
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Old 01-13-2009, 05:47 PM   #24
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If you are that close to retirement, its worth it to work your high 3 in a high COLA area. Then retire to a low COLA area ;-)

I'm in the "Boston" locality, one of the highest COLA'd regions. It does cost a lot to live here, but been here all my life so I guess I'm used to it.
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Old 01-14-2009, 09:43 PM   #25
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If you are that close to retirement, its worth it to work your high 3 in a high COLA area. Then retire to a low COLA area ;-)

I'm in the "Boston" locality, one of the highest COLA'd regions. It does cost a lot to live here, but been here all my life so I guess I'm used to it.

I just got notification today of a referral for a job in the Houston area that would give me a nearly $10k raise. I've only been on this job about 5 months and I sure don't look forward to maybe having to tell my boss I'm leaving already. However, if I get the job, I'd be crazy to turn it down. Finishing up my career there would be a big boost to my retirement pay. I also was referred for a different position, also in Texas but not in a high locality pay area. It wouldn't be any pay raise, but would be much closer to some of both our families. (DW & I). Of course, it would be awfully hard to leave this -20 weather behind! I know for sure I'd take the Houston area job with the big pay increase, not so sure about the other job, though. We'll see how the interviews go.
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Old 03-03-2009, 06:09 AM   #26
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Make sure you are getting top dollar for your security clearance.
Security Clearance Jobs - ClearanceJobs.com
That is one form of IT job that is not going to Bombay.

The security you seek in life is elusive.

The Road Not Taken

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

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Old 03-07-2009, 09:58 AM   #27
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So - is there a ballpark formula for calculating the federal pension? I was telling a friend he should consider working a government job for 5-10 years. Let's say the pay is $100,000 just for ease of calculation. What would the pension be? For five years of service? For ten years?

Not sure if I've phrased this question well - but please take a shot at answering it.
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Old 03-07-2009, 11:48 AM   #28
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1% per year of service, generally speaking (unless fire/law enforcement/air traffic). So, 10% of your highest 3 years salary if you work 10 years.
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Old 03-07-2009, 01:51 PM   #29
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I started working for a local government at age 22 and quit at 29 (last year). In our pension plan, you are vested after 3 years. I just got my pension statement. If I retire / start withdrawing at 55, I'll get $500/month for life. If I retire/start withdrawing at 66, I'll get $1,800/month. That's really pretty good considering most people don't have anything saved up by the time they are 29.

I started maximum contribution to my 457b plan when I was 27. Now of course it's shrunken quite a bit, but it's still something.

So if you can put up with the bullsh*t factor in the public sector, I say it's definitely a good deal!
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Old 03-09-2009, 12:30 PM   #30
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"I started working for a local government at age 22 and quit at 29 (last year). In our pension plan, you are vested after 3 years. I just got my pension statement. If I retire / start withdrawing at 55, I'll get $500/month for life. If I retire/start withdrawing at 66, I'll get $1,800/month. That's really pretty good considering most people don't have anything saved up by the time they are 29. "

And we wonder why state and local public pensions are going broke.
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Old 03-11-2009, 07:24 AM   #31
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How many years of service does it take for him to qualify to purchase health insurance from the government if he retires early? Or is that even in the equation?
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:07 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by OAG View Post
General Schedule = GS. I have a Son that did "get in" recently (last 3 years). However, he holds a CPA certification and is working for the IRS. He entered a training program that lasted about a year and is now a "senior" GS11 heading for a GS12 (hopefully). IRS does have non-supervisory positions at the GS 13 leave. My Son was "old" to enter Government employment at the age of 37. He likes the job (works out of his home about 4 days a week and sets most of his own "audit appointments". His work is in businesses NOT individual tax payers.

This site may help: 2009 Salary Tables and Related Information
I'm curious as to how this system works? If you have a lot of experience but never work for the gorvement, what GS level do you get?

A while back, I tried applying for a Homeland Sec. job online and they asked me to entered some kind of level or classification but no explanation as to what it is so I left it blank. I did not get the job obviously.
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:42 AM   #33
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I'm curious as to how this system works? If you have a lot of experience but never work for the gorvement, what GS level do you get?

A while back, I tried applying for a Homeland Sec. job online and they asked me to entered some kind of level or classification but no explanation as to what it is so I left it blank. I did not get the job obviously.
Usually the job announcement will give you the best idea of what to ask for. But if not, here is a general policy document

Operating Manual for Qualification Standards

The usual educational requirements are listed in a table at the bottom, and there is also a link near the top for experience requirements when used instead. This policy is only loosely used but will give you some idea.

Edited to add: I am not sure if DHS uses GS grades anyway, so this may be of no use to you. I think they might be caught up in the DOD pay scales.
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Old 03-11-2009, 11:19 AM   #34
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This link may help as it is DHS Career related: DHS | Homeland Security Careers
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