European Union (EU) officials work for institutions like the European Commission or the European Parliament.
Salary range: £23,500 to £173,500
How to become a European Union official
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
You’ll need a degree and 1 to 3 years’ professional experience for administrator jobs. If you’re a recent graduate, you’ll usually start as a junior administrator.
For many jobs, your degree can be in any subject, although you may need a particular degree such as law, economics, statistics or a science for some roles.
You’ll need at least 3 years’ professional experience and a degree in a specific subject for specialist job roles.
For lawyer linguist jobs, you must have a recognised law degree or be a qualified solicitor or barrister.
You’ll also need to be fluent in 2 more EU languages as well as your native language. One of your languages will usually need to be French or German.
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You can work towards this role by starting with an advanced apprenticeship as a business administrator.
There are no set entry requirements but it may help you to get in if you have:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
It may be possible to work your way into this job by starting in a role with less responsibility and applying for promotion when you’ve got more experience. There are two levels you can start with, depending on your qualifications:
- Support level
- Assistant level
For a Support level job like secretary or clerk, you’ll need one of the following:
- 2 A levels or equivalent and 3 years’ professional experience
- 1 year of professional training and 3 years’ professional experience
For Assistant level jobs, you’ll usually need one of the following:
- a higher national diploma or equivalent
- 2 A levels or similar qualifications, plus relevant work experience
Volunteering and experience
If you’re a graduate, you may be able to get useful work experience through the European Commission Traineeship Scheme. This is a 5-month training and work placement programme.
You must apply for jobs at all grades through an annual selection process known as an ‘open competition’. This involves computer-based testing in your home country, and an assessment stage held in Brussels.
If you’re successful at the assessment stage, you’ll be put on a reserve list for up to 1 year. Candidates from the reserve list will then be selected for interview when a suitable job comes up.
You can find out more about becoming a European Union official from EU Careers.
Details on how to apply can be found from the European Personnel Selection Office.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
- knowledge of English language
- analytical thinking skills
- excellent verbal communication skills
- knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
- the ability to read English
- the ability to use your initiative
- maths knowledge
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
- be able to speak a second EU language
- be a citizen of an EU member state
You do not need a qualification in the second language, but you’ll be tested during the recruitment process. Sample tests can be found on EU Careers.
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day duties may include:
- drawing up new laws
- taking part in negotiations with non-EU countries
- putting new policies and programmes into practice
- attending meetings and conferences
- preparing research and reports
- answering questions from members of the European Parliament
- managing staff, finances or equipment
You could work in an office.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could progress to higher grades. There is a clear promotion structure, with regular reviews, exams and competitions for progression.