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Civil Servant

An image of a woman writing on a whiteboard to represent the job role of government civil servant

What do they do?

Civil servants work within government to turn policy into action. They are crucial in advising government and effectively implementing the government's policies including those affecting the environment.

What’s a typical day like?

It’s an office based role, so a typical day might include computer work, meetings and report writing. At senior levels, civil servants work closely with elected politicians, handle enquiries from the media and often need to be skilled public speakers.

This career would suit people with: 

  • Good organisational and time management skills

  • A methodical approach to work and attention to detail

  • Excellent communication skills

  • The ability to read complex information and summarise it

  • An interest in politics but with the ability to remain neutral

What makes it a green career?

  • Government policy and regulation is crucial to many aspects of our response to climate change, setting legal targets to reduce CO2 emissions and developing ways to achieve this. Government policy creates:

  • Regulation of our energy market, ensuring that we have enough energy; that everyone can afford to heat their home; and that in time our energy system is de-carbonised

  • A market for renewable energy (which isn’t yet competitive with fossil fuels, and in the short-term needs subsidies)

  • Minimum energy efficiency standards for new development, which determines how much energy we need in the first place (and how much CO2 we generate)

  • The planning policies which determine how and where development takes place and how our environment is protected. These policies and the decisions based on them in turn influence our travel habits and our carbon emissions and how resilient our society and environment is to climate change and its effects

  • The taxation system, which through making things less or more expensive, can influence our behaviour and therefore our carbon emissions (for instance taxes on petrol or air-fares)

What qualifications do you need?

There are various options for entry including the Civil Service Fast Stream for graduates.

How much would you earn? 

Administrative roles between £14,000 and £20,000 per year.
Middle managers start on £24,000 + per year .
Heads of departments can earn £140,000 per year.

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