Education, health, military protection, local council support… These are the pillars upon which we stand as a nation and the incentives for jumping aboard them as a young graduate are rightly generous. Public money funds the most important stitching in the canvas of society, seeking to enhance or secure our way of life. Here's what you need to know about public sector salary expectations for recent graduates.
What makes the public sector so great?
Because the sector isn’t dictated by the fluctuations of the free market, jobs are more stable than their private-sector alternatives, with billions in taxation and investment to back employment opportunities. By entering a public sector role, you’ll have clear directives and the knowledge that you have a long and fruitful career ahead.
Additionally, pension schemes are far better than many of those offered by private organisations, rewarding public servants for their dedication to a cause. Police officers, teachers and doctors in the NHS can relax into a comfortable life once they retire. Since the average age of our population is increasing, it’s good to have due compensation in the background of your ensuing years of work.
It’s also worth noting that the basic satisfaction of caring for people, in any capacity, is a nice thought to take home every day. The public sector is your chance to build a better Britain from the ground up.
Public sector salary expectations
You’re bound to find a territory that will lap up your unique skills and ideas in the public sector. The following are some average salaries for graduate-level roles:
Army Officer (£27,000): After your initial training, the British Army give new Officers 30 days’ holiday a year, as well as free dental and healthcare. You’ll pass the Officer development test at Sandhurst, one of the most famous military academies in the world.
Staff Nurse (£21,000-£22,000): The pay bands increase by another £5-6,000 in your first five years, with options to become a Nurse Team Leader further down the line. This promotion would bring your salary past the £30,000 mark.
Firefighter (£21,000-28,000): A job that’s never what you expect, firefighters have to be on call 24/7, and will encounter all sorts of serious emergencies.
Civil Servant (£25,000-£27,000): Wages are varied, depending on which department you’re working for. As an example, the DWP has a vast majority of employees (91%) earning less than £30,000 per annum, whereas the DfID stats sit at 16% respectively. There is the potential to rise to at least £45,000 after four to five years.
Police Officer (£19,000-22,000): Leadership development courses are open across regional police forces, getting you fast-tracked to the upper end of the wage scale, at around £37,000.
Government: You can expect starting salaries to vary depending on the job role and department, for example:
- Environmental health officers in local government usually earn £25,000 - £35,400
- Qualified youth offending team officers in local government can expect to earn £20,000 - £29,000
In public affairs, salaries for an account executive range from £18,000 - £25,000. An account manager could expect to earn an average of £25,000 - £45,000, while salaries for account directors range from £35,000 - £70,000.
Salaries at managing director level start at approximately £60,000 and may rise to over £100,000 in larger consultancies and depending on the level of work/clients involved.
Learn more about career paths you can take in the Public Sector.
Benefits of working in the public sector
As flexible work culture has crept into the private job market, public sector roles have mirrored it. You may be offered a contract that’s inscribed with a core number of hours; deciding how to fill them each week may be up to you.
Anyone working as a government official, or in the emergency services, can access unique discounts on the high street. So you can shop, eat out, and stock up the fridge for less.
The breadth of specialised areas in the public sector can twist to your tastes and personal beliefs. Voracious political thinkers can interrogate how social schemes actually pay off in a community; likewise, anyone concerned about crime can lead initiatives for dealing with it, if they show an aptitude for policing.
While private companies have their share of attractive promises for graduates, you should definitely keep the public sector in mind. It could give you the purpose and sense of cohesion you’re craving while setting up fair rewards for your hard work.
Browse graduate jobs in public sector & government with Bright Network and take the next step towards a career in the public sector.