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Civil service executive officer

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Civil service executive officers manage departments that develop government policies and provide services to the public.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £21,000 to £60,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37 per week

1. Entry requirements

You’ll need to meet certain nationality rules to apply. You'll need to be:

Depending on your role you'll also usually need:

  • GCSEs or A Levels (or equivalent)
  • a second class degree or higher if you want to join the Graduate Fast Stream

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

The Summer Diversity Internship Programme (SDIP) helps graduates and undergraduates from ethnic minorities and under-represented backgrounds transfer to the fast stream scheme.

You could start as an administrative assistant and work your way up to executive officer.

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

You’ll need clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). You’ll also need to pass a security check.

GOV.UK has information about careers in the Civil Service and how to apply.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • excellent spoken and written English
  • management skills
  • problem-solving skills
  • IT skills and the ability to analyse data
  • number skills for working with budgets
  • good judgement and the ability to apply rules fairly

3. What you'll do

You could work in one of 170 civil service departments like:

  • Ministry of Defence
  • Home Office
  • Department for Education
  • Office for National Statistics
  • Public Health England
  • National Crime Agency

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

  • managing a team
  • training others
  • 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 for the Civil Service has more information about what you’ll do.

4. Salary

Starter: £21,000 to £24,000

Experienced: £25,000 to £40,000 (higher executive officer)

Highly Experienced: up to £60,000 (senior executive officer)

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll work around 37 hours a week Monday to Friday. In some departments you may need to work shifts including evenings, weekends and bank holidays.

You’ll be office-based, but you’ll travel to meetings and training courses. You might also need to visit other organisations.

For some government departments, you might need to travel or work overseas.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, there’s often the opportunity to apply for and move to 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 within about 5 years.

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Last updated: 13 September 2018