Why you should consider working at a US Federal Defense Contracting Firm?
January 3, 2022
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In 2018, the US government spent $835 billion on contract services, making it the world's largest contract employer. If you or your company can meet the government's requirements, you could end up with a steady stream of income. However, every job has advantages and disadvantages, and government contracting is no exception.

The decision to become a government contractor may be influenced by a combination of circumstances and personal preference. Some people swear by this type of work, while others would turndown a government job if they were offered one. On the other hand, others have more government work than they can handle and yearn for a change.

While government contracting can be a terrific way to start or grow a business, its drawbacks are not. As with any risk, you must consider all factors to determine whether the reward is worthwhile. Here are some of the benefits and drawbacks of working with the government.


Why work at a Federal Defense Contractor?

Aerospace and defense companies are not obvious places to start a career for a tech professional. However, the aerospace and defense industry is critical to achieving America's national security goals and driving the economy. The American aerospace and defense industry's manufacturers, suppliers, and service providers are playing a transformative role in the United States.

In 2018, the aerospace and defense industry employed over 2.5 million people and contributed more than $374 billion to the US economy. Let's take a closer look at the advantages of working for an aerospace and defense company.

Make a Statement

Defense companies are technology companies, but their missions are larger than developing the next hot holiday gadget. They manufacture radars, sensors, missile interceptors, precision munitions, data-analysis tools, and command and control systems for the US government and allied militaries. In addition, the industry creates technology for civilian government agencies. Defense contractors also create cybersecurity programs, which safeguards everything from intellectual property to personal data.


DARPA was responsible for the development of the Internet and GPS, the cell phone, the computer mouse, and drones. Many people are now looking forward to the industry's future innovations, such as unmanned flight, space exploration, and the commercialization of space travel.


Consider the thrill of creating innovations that will last a lifetime or more because people in the industry believe in what they do. This is noble work, and those in charge of keeping the nation and our skies safe are pointing to us with genuine gratitude for the work we do."


Fly Above the Entry Level

The most well-known technology companies are inundated with resumes. That means you could spend years battling the pack to advance beyond an entry-level position. Bonuses, tuition reimbursement, learning opportunities, and difficult, significant assignments are far more common in defense industries, particularly in smaller organizations.


Strive for Work-Life Balance

Though defense offices don't usually have foosball tables or bean bags like a Silicon Valley tech firm, they do give something more valuable: flexibility and stability. Defense contractors operate on government contracts with fixed time and payment schedules, as opposed to tech startups, which are frequently under constant pressure to get goods to market. This work style improves time management for staff schedules, ensuring that milestones are reached.

Commercial companies and tech startups receive a lot of credit for the innovations that have changed people's lives. Nonetheless, many of those technologies originated in the aerospace and defense contracting sectors.


Meet a Variety of Talented People

Aerospace and defense firms attract fascinating people, including astronauts, quantum physicists, former animators, admirals, war heroes, and many tech enthusiasts.

Defense contractors come from a wide range of backgrounds. Many of them have served in the armed forces and can tell you a story or two. Others have spent years researching and developing cutting-edge technology.


Equal Opportunity Exists

United States Department of Labor states that women earn approximately 20% less than men. The United States federal government ensures equal pay for federal contractors. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance conducts pay audits regularly.

Diversity promotes the organization by providing a better workplace with a variety of perspectives and, in the long run, developing better technologies.


Important Advantages

Defense contractors are well-known for providing excellent benefits because they value their employees' hard work and dedication.

·      PTO is generous and grows with each year of service.

·      Success Sharing Plan – Annual cash bonus and401K contribution are optional.

·      Tuition Reimbursement of 100% for Approved Coursework

·      Plans for Long-Term and Short-Term Disability

·      Additional Employee and Family Options for Life Insurance

·      Medical/Dental/Vision Insurance Plan with National Acceptance


Contracting with the Federal Government

The government of the United States is the world's largest customer. It purchases a wide range of goods and services and is obligated by law to provide opportunities for small businesses.

There are two types of government contractors:

·      Prime contractors compete for and win contracts from government agencies directly.

·      Subcontractors work alongside prime contractors to provide a specific capability or product.

To work as a subcontractor or prime contractor, your small business must be legally classified as a small business and registered as a government contractor. Then you can start looking for prime or subcontracting opportunities with the federal government.


Follow Federal Contracting Regulations

The federal government is very picky about how it buys goods and services. Its goal is to ensure that competition is fair and open, that prices are competitive, that consumers get what they pay for, and that all laws are followed.

Various rules and regulations apply to various types of federal purchases. Most federal agencies are governed by the Federal Acquisition Regulation or the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement, so you should familiarize yourself with them. Individual organizations frequently have their own set of rules. Typical rules include:

·      Size standards differ by industry and determine whether or not your business is considered small.

·      Sourcing regulations that prevent your company from producing its own materials

·      Legal mandates such as the Buy American Act and the Trade Agreements Act

·      There are restrictions on how much you can subcontract and who you can subcontract with.

·      Minimum amounts you must spend on contract work or materials.

·      To comply with the federal government's procurement rules, you must carefully document and report on your business activities.