Although the typical federal worker has to spend at least three decades with the U.S. government to qualify for a pension averaging about $13,500, there is life after government for early retirees on the speaking circuit -- if they had the right job.

Recently, former defense secretary Caspar W. Weinberger signed on with an international management firm, the Harry Walker Agency, to arrange and collect for a series of speeches he will make throughout the world this year. One suspects that he will make as much in an evening or two as a retired federal worker, of lesser rank, gets in a year.

Other top former civil servants who have gone on the lecture circuit include former president Ford; former House speaker Thomas P. (Tip) O'Neill Jr.; former secretary of state Henry A. Kissinger and former White House chief of staff Donald T. Regan. Ford and O'Neill draw federal pensions because of their long terms in Congress, and also participate in the federal employees' group health program.

Because they left government before being eligible for full pensions, Kissinger, Regan and Weinberger are having to make do on whatever work they can pick up.Western Secrets

The best-selling publication of AFL-CIO's Industrial Unions Department is a booklet called "The Inside Game -- Winning With Workplace Strategies." It has sold 30,000 copies at $2.50 each. The guide is full of management tips from around the world. Recently the department got a request for a copy of its booklet from a Tokyo man who belongs to the Japanese Postal Workers Union. Department officials are wondering whether their publication might return as an import, repackaged and more compact and at half the price!

Job Mart

The Justice Department's Federal Prison Industries is looking for a secretary, Grades 4/5 or 6. Call Melanie Cohen at 724-3265.

General Services Administration has an opening for a secretary (typing), GS 7/8. Call Mary Adams at 566-0401.

Army in Arlington has openings for a sports specialist and a recreation specialist. Both jobs are GS 7 and require civil service status. Call Gloria J. Chandler at 692-5412.

Selective Service in Georgetown needs a GS 7 secretary. Call Sheila Haley at 724-0435.

Internal Revenue Service is looking for clerk-typists, GS 2 through 4, and secretaries, GS 6, to work downtown or at Baileys Crossroads. Call Barbara Herlong at 566-2004.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Rockville wants a GS 9 librarian. Call 443-8425.

Adopt a School

General Services Administration staffers have adopted two new schools -- the Prospect and Buchanan Learning Centers -- as part of their program to help area schoolchildren. The two D.C. public schools are designed for young people with learning disabilities. GSA employees and officials already work as volunteer classroom aides, tutor in math and English and help out with career planning for students at McKinley High School in Northwest Washington and at Cora Kelly Magnet School in Alexandria.

Meetings

The Pentagon Chapter of Federally Employed Women will have a career planning seminar from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 27 at the Pavilion at the Old Post Office. For information call 255-0421.