Civil Service executive officer

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Civil Service executive officers work in government departments that develop policies and provide services to the public.

Salary range: £21,000 to £40,000

How to become a Civil Service executive officer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly
  • a graduate training scheme

University

You could apply to join the Civil Service after doing a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree, although a university qualification is not essential.

Most subjects are accepted but public administration may offer a good general introduction to this area of work.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More information

Apprenticeship

You can apply for the Civil Service Fast Track Apprenticeship. This is a 2-year higher apprenticeship. There are 6 different career routes:

  • policy
  • business
  • commercial
  • digital, data and technology
  • finance
  • project delivery

You’ll usually need GCSEs but some routes require A levels or equivalent qualifications.

Work

You could start as an administrative officer. After gaining experience, you could apply for a post as an executive officer when vacancies become available.

Direct application

You can apply directly for jobs. You’ll be expected to have relevant work or life experience to do this.

You’ll be assessed on your skills, knowledge and behaviours that fit in with the values of the Civil Service, as part of the application process.

Other routes

If you’re a graduate or in your final year of university, you can apply for a place on the Fast Stream scheme. Competition for places is very strong, so a degree with a higher grade and work experience will help you.

Your degree can be in any subject, though some Civil Service departments may prefer a degree in a subject that is relevant to their work, for example science and engineering.

More information

Career tips

The Summer Diversity Internship Programme helps graduates and undergraduates from ethnic minorities and under-represented backgrounds transfer to the Fast Stream scheme.

Movement to Work offers work experience opportunities in the Civil Service for unemployed young people.

Further information

You can get more details about how to become an executive officer from Civil Service Careers.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • customer service skills
  • administration skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • business management skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and requirements

You’ll need to:

What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

What you’ll do will depend on your job role, but your daily tasks might include:

  • managing a team
  • training staff
  • applying government plans to public services
  • preparing and presenting reports
  • analysing data
  • communicating with the public
  • giving advice to government representatives
  • managing a budget
  • handling a caseload
  • updating files

Working environment

You could work in an office.

Career path and progression

With experience, there’s often the opportunity to apply for jobs in different departments.

There is a clear promotion structure in the Civil Service. If you’re on the Fast Stream you can expect to reach senior level in around 5 years.

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