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Public Service Careers: Your Comprehensive Guide

Anthony Williams By Anthony Williams 8 Min Read

Working in the public service industry is one of the most noble and impressive professions in the country. Whether you’re part of the emergency services, a teacher or a civil servant, all of these roles directly impact on a community.

People in public service contributes in a positive way, keeping citizens safe, happy and able to express themselves.

However, some roles in the public sector can be challenging, and many require extra time, and extra qualifications. In some cases, you will need and extra dedication that you wouldn’t be expected to devote to your average 9 to 5.

This article gives you the full introduction to these careers – with pros and cons included.

Public service guides

You’ll do Overtime

If you’ve followed the news, you’ll be well aware that civil servants and emergency workers can find themselves squeezed with long working weeks and extra hours of overtime when they work on vital projects or in vital services.

This is especially true if you work in the emergency services. Even off-duty, you’re technically expected to intervene in any situations around you. This can be seen as a negative attribute to public sector work, though that would perhaps be an incorrect judgement.

That’s because some of this work is fulfiling. It’s a huge underestimated quality to this kind of work – and something that’s worth highlighting here.

If you’re a teacher at a comprehensive school, and you need to spend a little more time after school teaching your least talented pupils before their exams, that can either feel like an extra and annoying charge or a privilege.


Deducing how you might react to such spells of overtime – in the knowledge that they are at least in the public good – is a good starting point when considering this kind of work.

You’ll Need Qualifications

One of the reasons that the public sector in the UK is so impressive and well-oiled is because there is so much talent and expertise working within it. Now, it’s obvious that to be a doctor or a nurse that you’ll have to spend some time at university learning about medicine and have an array of vital skills and knowledge needed for the job.

But it’s equally important for a number of public service workers to find themselves qualifications – both in order to progress their careers and to find themselves in certain positions that require you to have some relevant qualifications.

An example of this is in the police service. While you can join the police with few qualifications aside from those you attained at school, if you study a police studies degree, you’ll find that you’re far better qualified and informed about the stresses and tensions of the job.

In fact, with a degree, your speed of mobility upwards through the ranks will be considerably higher than if you’d gone without the qualification. The lesson overall for workers in the public sector is to study and learn along their career pathway – taking in the information necessary to turbo-charge their careers.

The Pay

The public sector might be a little less bountifully rewarded than private sector workers – you’ll not see large bonuses in the public sector, for instance – but that’s not to say the pay is poor.

In fact, it’s roughly above average even in the lower-levels of your future career, and as a senior worker in the civil service, you can be looking at quite a considerable salary, as well as employee perks that you’ve accumulated along your long line of service.

The other important element of your pay in the public sector is that it’s supplemented by a considerable pension package that’ll truly take care of you in older age. That’s something to consider more and more the further down your career path you happen to be.

Finally, there are plenty of places at which you’ll find yourself discounted for working in the emergency services – something that can add up to handsome savings over the course of your life.

Never a Dull Moment

One of the most fabulous things about a career in the public sector is the sheer variety that you’ll encounter on the job. This is something that more and more young people are looking to find in their careers – with plenty of individuals searching for that all-important variety career
that’ll keep them interested and exhilarated throughout their working day.

So, whether that means driving an ambulance or working for top politicians in the civil service, you’ll find no shortage of excitement in your role.
If variety’s what you seek, then, a role in public service isn’t a bad option.

Of course, there’s a variety of roles in the sector, too. From working with your knowledge of crime or medicine to applying your administrative or business skills to work in Whitehall, you’ll find that there are careers for all kinds of ambitious individuals waiting for you to discover.


A quick browse on job sites will reveal many of these – including on the government’s job portal.

Pride in Your Work

Now comes perhaps an essential feature of public sector work that will attract you to the numerous fields in which your labour directly contributes to the functioning of society. Without public sector workers, society would be more difficult, less caring, and poorly-run, with a lower quality of life for all.

As such, your contribution should – and will – rightly make you proud as someone doing their bit for the welfare of the state.

This pride in your work is something that will give you meaning and purpose as your progress in your career. While you might one day choose to move into the private sector, you’ll still have gained numerous skills and insights into the inner workings for state industries that’ll surely guide you to promotions and high-level roles elsewhere.

Working in the public service is something that all individuals weighing up their career options should consider. It’s a highly rewarding and well-regarded work. It’s something that’ll sustain you through the overtime and dedication that you’ll put into your job.


Your Comprehensive Guide To Public Service Careers
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Tony is a blogger, content creator, SEO marketer, and internet entrepreneur. He writes articles on various topics. Follow him on Twitter.
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