5 Great Places for Government Jobs Outside Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. is a great place to visit, but are you sure you want to live in that area? Many people looking for government jobs in the U.S. assume that a move to the nation’s capital will eventually be in the cards, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Many important government agencies are housed outside of D.C., allowing Master of Public Administration (MPA) grads to find a place that fits their interests. Here are just a few.

Cape Canaveral

Do you have your eyes fixed on the stars? Cape Canaveral, Florida, is a famous company town in many ways. It just so happens that the company, NASA, is a federal agency, and its business is moving humanity into the final frontier of space. In addition to the space agency, the nearby Port Canaveral employs people in Customs, Immigration, and Agriculture, as well as housing offices of the Navy and Coast Guard.

El Paso

Maybe southwestern charm is more your thing. Southern ladies and gents looking for a government career can find one right in the Lone Star State in El Paso. The city has a strong Army tradition, with a medical center, an airfield, and Fort Bliss, the U.S. Army’s second-largest installation. El Paso, Texas, also has a large law enforcement presence, with offices of the Border Patrol and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), as well as an FBI field office. MPAs might not seem to lend themselves to military careers or police work, but someone has to keep the administrative portions of these agencies flowing.


Who hasn’t dreamed of escaping to a tropical paradise? Honolulu, the capital city of Hawaii, combines island charm with big-city living. The city is host to a variety of diplomatic and commercial agencies with interests in the Pacific Rim’s vibrant economies, as well as military and security offices. The relative isolation of the islands from the U.S. mainland requires a greater-than-average governmental presence, which explains why 43% of the city’s residents are directly or indirectly employed by the federal government.

San Diego

Fans of sunny, temperate weather don’t need to flee the continent to find jobs, however. San Diego, California’s second-largest city, may be best known as a center for tech startups, but government offices have their place in the metropolis as well. The Navy and Marines have bases there, as do various other agencies including Agriculture, Immigration, and Labor.

Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs, Colorado, offers the opportunity to hit the slopes and run the government in the same place. Among the many government agencies to be found there, the defense sector, led by the Air Force, is strong in the city, as is the Department of the Interior.

When you’re looking to establish a career, the place where you choose to settle is crucial since you may likely be there for many years. A life of service in the federal government doesn’t necessarily mean living in Washington, D.C. After all, the Fed governs the entire nation, not just a little strip of land on the Atlantic. Travel around the country a bit, explore your options, and find the best place for you.

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