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Working in the public sector

Working in the public sectorWhat is the public sector? How much does it pay? And what has it got to do with MI5? Read on to find out more.

What is the public sector?

The public sector is defined as any organisation which is run by the government, nationally or locally, and is funded by the tax payer. For example, schools, local and national government bodies and the health sector.

Public sector organisations offer similar roles to private organisations (ie businesses and industry).
The range of jobs offered is diverse- depending on which department or government body you work for you could specialise in any of the following:

  • Management
  • Administration
  • Accounting
  • Law
  • Customer services
  • Community outreach
  • PR and marketing
  • Analysis
  • Counselling and specialist advice and support
  • Engineering and building
  • Maintenance

Tell me more

Local government (district, borough, county and metropolitan councils) departments you could work in include housing, social services and the environment. Local councils also have public relations departments which would be of interest for those keen to move into PR, and more and more of these teams now help produce council-run newspapers, offering roles to budding journalists.

National government jobs are also classified as public sector and as with all government roles fall into scores of different departments, including Work and Pensions, Customs and Revenue (HMRC), Children, schools and families, Business, innovation and skills and home and foreign affairs.

Other public sector bodies include:

Health services, such as doctors, nurses, surgeons and administrative staff.
Emergency services, such as paramedics, police, fire fighters and administrative staff.
Separate bodies responsible for managing specific areas such as The Environment Agency.

  • There is no limit to how high you can progress in the public sector, and neither is there a shortage of exciting opportunities.

Did you know, for example, that the secret service is a public sector organisation – so if you fit the bill you could find yourself being hired by MI5!*

Read about the highs and lows of public sector work