One can make a very good living in the Federal government, and these numbers don’t factor in bonuses or retirement pension. Also one must also consider how much extreme job security is worth.
(From The National Journal)
The information, compiled by FedSmith.com using data from the Office of Personnel Management and other agencies, shows the annual compensation for every civilian federal worker, save those at the Defense Department. The number of workers earning more than $200,000 represented about 1.6 percent of employees on the list and is up from about 15,000 who cleared that salary in 2013. It also makes up a slightly higher percentage of the employees on this list.
Most of the high earners worked as medical officers at the Veterans Affairs Department. Other agencies that require a highly specialized workforce paid several employees at least $200,000; these included the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.