Salary and characteristics of federal workers in Alaska
Source: Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development
Federal departments in Alaska aren’t required to report their employees’ occupational data, which limits the state’s ability to look at the jobs and demographics of federal workers. However, combining several data sources allowed the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development to produce estimates for federal workers and their characteristics for the first time.
Of the roughly 13,048 federal civilian employees in Alaska in 2012, 62 percent were men and 38 percent were women. The largest share, 43 percent, worked in management, business, or administrative support positions. The next largest group was life, physical, and social scientists at 16 percent, followed by transportation workers at 9 percent.
Salaries tend to be high: The majority, 51 percent, made between $40,000 and $79,999. The average was $71,775, substantially higher than the 2012 statewide average of $55,272. Part of the reason the federal average is higher is the federal government’s larger percentage of high-paying technical occupations, such as those in engineering and health care, which skews its average upward.
Highest-paying occupations: On average, the salaries of the 25 highest-paying federal occupations in Alaska were about $20,000 higher than the same occupation for a different employer. However, this wasn’t always the case; for example, the statewide average wage for a petroleum engineer was $234,555 in 2012 — $125,000 more than the federal wage. Also, the wage for a nonfederal podiatrist was about $78,000 greater than the federal counterpart.
Average ages: About 54 percent of federal civilian employees were between 20 and 49 years old, with the remaining 46 percent at age 50 and older. Overall, 28 percent met the minimum federal retirement age of 55, though that doesn’t mean all of those workers qualified to retire at that age.
About half have more than 10 years in: In 2012, 53 percent of federal employees had between one and nine years of service and 47 percent had more than 10 years. Combining the length of service with average age statistics showed that at least 8 percent met the most stringent minimum retirement qualification, or about 1,084 people, and about 22 percent met the typical qualifications for early retirement.