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Best Places to Work in the U.S. Federal Government

Science jobs are in. A new survey of the best places to work in the United States federal government has tapped the Nuclear Regulatory Commission as the most desirable government workplace. Two other science organizations made the Top 5.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office ranked second and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation came in third in the new survey, which was conducted by the Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based in Washington, D.C. The  survey is aimed at raising awareness and improving public attitudes about government service.

The Smithsonian Institution placed fourth, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) rounded out the top five.

The survey was developed based on the Office of Personnel Management's Employee Viewpoint Survey, which included three questions for employees:

  • I recommend my organization as a good place to work.
  • Considering everything, how satisfied are you with your job?
  • Considering everything, how satisfied are you with your organization?

Organizations were also evaluated on areas of workplace environment, such as effective leadership, employee skills/mission match and work/life balance.  Overall, the 2010 rankings include 290 federal organizations, and approximately 260,000 employees.

Here are the top 10:

  1. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  2. Government Accountability Office
  3. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
  4. Smithsonian Institution
  5. NASA
  6. Social Security Administration
  7. Department of State
  8. General Services Administration
  9. Department of Justice

10.  Intelligence Community

The 2010 list is the fifth one compiled by the partnership since 2003. The "Best Places" survey is one of several programs sponsored by the partnership to encourage government service.

Denise Chow
Denise Chow

Denise Chow was the assistant managing editor at Live Science before moving to NBC News as a science reporter, where she focuses on general science and climate change. Before joining the Live Science team in 2013, she spent two years as a staff writer for, writing about rocket launches and covering NASA's final three space shuttle missions. A Canadian transplant, Denise has a bachelor's degree from the University of Toronto, and a master's degree in journalism from New York University.