Celebrating the work of civil servants who safeguard our nation
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Celebrating the work of civil servants who safeguard our nation

May 6, 2020 | Updated on October 21, 2020

It often takes a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic for us to remember how important federal employees are to our daily lives. Our nation’s civil servants defend our shores, protect our computer networks and secure our financial institutions. They safeguard travelers and our vast transportation systems. They lead scientific discoveries, develop new medical treatments, ensure we have clean air and water, and much more.

In celebration of Public Service Recognition Week, here are just a few of the critical professions in the federal workforce.

Information Technology Managers

Federal agencies depend on information technology managers for many things: processing tens of millions of tax returns, protecting our nation’s most sensitive data and classified information, developing software and managing systems.

It’s unsurprising, then, that IT managers represent the second largest occupational group in the federal workforce after general administrative support staff. As of June 2019, the roughly 83,000 IT managers across government made up more than 4% of all full-time federal employees.


Nurses make up the third-largest occupational group in the federal workforce. While some of them serve in civilian roles at the Department of Defense or at the public health agencies of the Department of Health and Human Services, more than 80% of federal nurses are employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

In addition to caring for our veterans and serving on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19, the federal government’s 82,000 full-time nurses also teach, conduct research and provide critical health care in communities.

Emergency Management Specialists

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, many agency leaders saw the need for a robust cohort of federal employees dedicated to helping the nation prepare for and respond to crises. That’s why emergency management specialists—although they number around 2,500—are the fastest growing occupational group in the federal workforce.

From fiscal 2014 to 2018, the number of emergency management specialists grew by almost 33%. These employees work across dozens of agencies, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Veterans Health Administration and the Department of Energy.

Recognize a Public Servant

IT managers, nurses and emergency management specialists are a small slice of the 2.1 million federal employees whose work affects us all. The continued work of federal employees helps our nation overcome major challenges. This week and always, we should recognize them for their service.

For more information on how to commemorate PSRW, visit psrw.ourpublicservice.org.
For more information on how to become a federal employee, visit gogovernment.org.