Featured Advice
What are your interests?

Social?

Social

The Social person's interests focus on interacting with the people in their environment. In all cases, the Social person enjoys the personal contact with other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.

Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.

Working in the Public Service

Working in the Public Service

What are the main occupation types employed?

There are a great range of opportunities available to those seeking a career within the Public Service. The organisations and career sectors that you can work in are varied and wide ranging. For more information, take a look at our Career Sectors.

To find out more, why not take a look at our Competency Model.

The entry level position in the Civil Service is usually at the Clerical Officer grade level, while junior management positions include Executive Officer level and Administrative Officer level. Senior Management roles are usually Assistant Principal, Principal Officer levels while Assistant Secretary and Secretary Generals are management grades at the highest level.

The following chart might prove useful as it gives a good indication of the typical grade structures for the Civil Service. To find out more about the roles, eligibility and salary, click on the grades below.

 

Clerical Officers (CO)

Clerical Officers work in all departments in Ireland, providing vital input to the team through a range of general office duties. Promotional opportunities are available to all Clerical Officers when they are made permanent. Clerical Officers need a good general standard of education and a customer focused attitude.

Executive Officer (EO)

A trainee management role, Executive Officers perform a first-level management role in all departments. This encompasses both project management and after initial training, staff management. Executive Officers can apply for promotion after a specified period of time

Administrative Officer (AO)

The Administrative Officer position is primarily aimed at graduates.  Administrative Officers play a crucial role in policy formulation (through critical analysis, research and policy drafting) for a wide range of governmental areas. Administrative Officers can also be involved in drafting briefing materials for Ministers. This role is an excellent opportunity for honours graduates to begin working in the Public Service.

Higher Executive Officer (HEO)

The Higher Executive Officer is a mid management role. Higher Executive Officers report to an Assistant Principal and they assist them in managing projects, budgets and staff and help develop government policy.

Assistant Principal (AP)

Assistant Principals commonly head up a specific policy development, business planning, regulatory or service delivery unit within their Department. Specific duties and responsibilities include:

  • Participating in the development of national economic, social and business strategies and policies
  • Advising top management on the practical implications of key business decisions and proposals
  • Translating high-level decisions into practical programmes of action
  • Providing appellate functions where members of the public can make appeals against administrative decisions, such as in the various Ombudsman offices
  • Participating on national committees and representing the State on international organisations.

Principal Officer (PO)

Principal Officers are key participants in the top management process who generally have responsibility for managing a major policy development, business planning or service delivery unit within their Department. Specific duties and responsibilities include:

  • Formulating and developing policies, business plans and expenditure budgets
  • Providing advice on emerging policy proposals to Assistant Secretaries, Secretaries General, Ministers and Government
  • Preparing legislation and providing expert advice to Ministers and members of the Oireachtas
  • Monitoring policy formulation, strategy, legislative and regulatory development of a range of state, semi-state, the private sector and national organisations.
  • Representing the State on EU, Anglo-Irish and Cross-Border bodies
  • Participating in meetings of international organisations where decisions reached may be of vital importance to Irish economic and social well-being

Assistant Secretary

An Assistant Secretary is a member of the Management Advisory Committee of a Department, they are expected to contribute to the achievement of the Department's overall objectives. An Assistant Secretary is expected to lead and direct strategic change within their area of responsibility, provide effective leadership in promoting the Department's strategic objectives and engendering a positive working environment, and represent the Department's interests in communicating and Liaising with a range of government departments, state agencies and other stakeholders.

Secretary General

Secretaries General are responsible for managing the Department, implementing government policies, delivering outputs as determined with the Minister, providing advice to the Minister and using resources appropriately and assigning specific functions, for which the Secretary General is responsible, to officers or grades of officers within the Department.

Third Secretary/Junior Diplomat

Third Secretary /Junior Diplomat in the Department of Foreign Affairs, the recruitment grade for the Irish diplomatic service. Third Secretaries initially work in the Department of Foreign Affairs before travelling to an Irish embassy or consulate where they will work for a number of years. There are many different projects and areas of work within Foreign Affairs, from dealing with Irish tourists' issues abroad to acting as an Irish Representative in various formal functions. To apply for the AO and Third Secretary position, you need a first or second class honours degree.

Professional and specialist roles exist within the Public Service for both graduates and non-graduates.

These include:

  • Engineers
  • Statisticians
  • Planners
  • Architects
  • Accountants/Auditors
  • Medical Consultants
  • Psychologists
  • Nursing Staff
  • Legal Staff - Solicitors, Barristers, Law Clerks
  • Paramedical Staff – Dental Surgeons, Environmental Health Officers, Pharmacists, Community Welfare Officers.
  • Scientists   

We also provide recruitment and consultancy services to Local Authorities, the Health Service Executive and other public bodies during times of public service recruitment.

We recruit for the Fire Brigade on behalf of Dublin City Council and we also recruit for An Garda Síochána and the Prison Service.

The role of Firefighter is one that is held in extremely high esteem. The Firefighter team is suitably respected within the community for the service they provide to the public. Roles within the Fire Brigade include firefighting, driving ambulances and fire appliances, providing emergency medical assistance, technician and operating the control room, among others. Training is ongoing and learning new skills will ensure that you are constantly challenged.

Joining up to train as a Garda is a career that will change your life forever. As a Garda your work will involve protecting and serving the public, reducing theft and crime and generally making our society a safer place for all of its citizens. It's a serious task and a fulfilling position, which requires an extremely committed, hardworking approach.

To find out more information relating to these positions log onto www.publicjobs.ie.

What types of work contract are offered?

A range of flexible working hours is available depending on the department in which you are working.

Probationary contracts which may lead to a permanent contract: Contracts in which the employee is on probation for one year before they become permanent (subject to satisfactory completion of the probationary contract);

Temporary contracts: Contracts for a duration agreed between the employing Department/Office and the employee. The duration will usually be advertised when the position(s) is advertised on www.publicjobs.ie.

Are there any particular work/life balance initiatives in place?

Some of the initiatives available to staff are as follows (please note that the granting of any of these initiatives is at the discretion of the employing Department/Office and staff may have to be in service for a particular length of time before being eligible to apply):

1) Work sharing allows staff to opt for a part-time attendance pattern. Current examples of attendance patterns include mornings only, afternoons only, three days per week, four days per week, 9 am to 3.20pm each day, week on/week off and three weeks out of four. Worksharing staff are paid on a pro rata basis.

2) Flexitime gives staff flexibility to vary their starting and finishing times, depending on the needs of their section. Staff must be in work during the core times of 10.00am - 12.30pm and 2.30pm – 4.00 pm. A person may start work between 8.00am and 10.00am and finish between 4.00pm and 7.00pm. Staff may build up hours during a four week flexi period which can be taken as leave in the next flexi period.

3) The Shorter Working Year scheme allows staff to balance their working arrangements with outside commitments. Under the terms of the scheme, special leave is available for a period of 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 or 13 consecutive weeks. The leave may be taken as one continuous period or as a maximum of 3 separate periods each consisting of not less than 2 weeks and not exceeding 13 weeks in total. The period of absence counts as unpaid special leave.

4) A career break is a period of unpaid leave from work of between six months and five years. In the Civil Service, staff may take two career breaks during their career. A career break may be allowed for domestic reasons; including child care, education or travel abroad. A person on a career break may not take up paid employment in Ireland. A career break of up to three years is available for purposes of self-employment.

What are the key attractions?

The Civil and Public Service encourages staff to strive to be the best. After all, a happy workforce is an efficient one. When you work for the Civil or Public Service, you will have the opportunity to study part-time and will be refunded for all course fees that are relevant to your job. You will be given study leave and you will be supported and encouraged along the way. 

We often need a break to recharge. In the Civil or Public Service, you can avail of a career break, without having to worry about taking a step down in your career.

Healthy Work Life Balance

The Civil Service is a recognised leader in the development of flexible working practices. Flexible working time is available in many government departments. Job sharing facilities and other typical working arrangements may be availed of to pursue further education or for personal reasons.

Some of the initiatives available to staff are as follows (please note that the granting of any of these initiatives is at the discretion of the employing Department/Office and staff may have to be in service for a particular length of time before being eligible to apply) :

Work sharing allows staff to opt for a part-time attendance pattern. Current examples of attendance patterns include mornings only, afternoons only, three days per week, four days per week, 9 am to 3.20pm each day, week-on/week-off and three weeks out of four. Worksharing staff are paid on a pro rata basis. 

Flexitime gives staff flexibility to vary their starting and finishing times, depending on the needs of their section. Staff must be in work during the core times of 10.00am - 12.30pm and 2.30pm – 4.00 pm. A person may start work between 8.00am and 10.00am and finish between 4.00pm and 7.00pm. Staff may build up hours during a four week flexi period which can be taken as leave in the next flexi period.

The Shorter Working Year scheme allows staff to balance their working arrangements with outside commitments. Under the terms of the scheme, special leave is available for a period of 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 or 13 consecutive weeks. The leave may be taken as one continuous period or as a maximum of 3 separate periods each consisting of not less than 2 weeks and not exceeding 13 weeks in total. The period of absence counts as unpaid special leave.

A Career break is a period of unpaid leave from work of between six months and five years. In the Civil Service, staff may take two career breaks during their career. A career break may be allowed for domestic reasons; including child care, education or travel abroad. A person on a career break may not take up paid employment in Ireland. A career break of up to three years is available for purposes of self-employment. 

What locations do you operate from?

Civil Servants fill positions nationwide.

What are the current employment trends?

Please check out www.publicjobs.ie for our current vacancies. You may also register a profile on our site and set up job alerts on your profile to be notified of vacancies as they arise.

Describe any particular characteristics of your workforce?

What's it all about?

The Civil and Public Services primary goal is to provide services to the public. How this is achieved is constantly evolving. It may include working with the government to create and implement new policies and services, dealing directly with the public or even providing market research.

What kind of people are we looking for?The Civil and Public Service are extremely diverse, ranging from accountancy to HR to customer services. In fact, no matter what your area of expertise, there is probably a Civil or Public Service job of interest to you.

What's it like to work in the Civil Service?

Working for the Civil or Public Service is both a challenging and fulfilling career. The great thing about a career here is the range of opportunities provided. The Civil and Public Service encourages people to pursue their career goals, whether this is to move up the career ladder or to change their career completely and develop their own career path.

And what about the work place?

The Civil and Public Service is an extremely friendly place to work and everyone works together as a team. Most departments and organisations have social clubs and sports teams, offering a great opportunity to meet new people and keep active. A unique 'Partnership' scheme is a forum where all staff are encouraged to contribute ideas to help improve their work environment.

What else is different?

One of the areas that set the Civil and Public Service apart from other organisations is its international approach. Its embassies and consulates throughout the world help to represent Ireland's viewpoints abroad. Many Civil Servants have the opportunity to travel to the European Parliament in Brussels to represent the Irish government on various subjects.