Working in the civil service

Civil servants carry out the work of central and local government.

Central government matters affect the whole country. For example, collecting taxes, deciding what powers the police should have and changing the exam system. Local government covers the area where you live, including its parks, schools and libraries. Some civil servants are ‘generalist’ administrators and some are specialists: lawyers, scientists, economists, doctors, etc. Civil servants don’t all sit behind desks. Your job might involve visiting businesses, inspecting farms or footpaths, monitoring rivers or patrolling our coastal waters.

Skills match quiz

Is a career in this area a good match for you?

Take the quiz

Approximate pay levels

Figures supplied as a guide only

Some clerical and admin jobs are on temporary contracts or through an agency.

Salaries for all jobs will be higher in London and the South East.

Pay levels graph

Future careers

The government needs experts on all new developments, including scientific and medical research and IT.

A current trend is for local and central government services to be provided by private companies, for example employment support, waste management, cleaning and catering.

Things to consider

Things you may need to know:

  • Some UK civil servants work overseas - in Europe and beyond.
  • You need to be interested in how government works and how the country is run.

Useful links

Pearson is not responsible for content on external websites.

Working for the Civil Service

Civil Service Executive officer job profile

Local Government Association