Having a job where you get to give something to the public in some way can be very rewarding.
In this article we take a look a four public service occupations where you could do this.
Public service occupation 1 – town planner
Work, rest and play. We need all of these things. We need work to earn money, we need a place to rest and make a base for ourselves and we need spaces where we can be entertained. We also need to be able to get from work to home which means that we need roads, railways and cycle routes.
If working on projects where you get to plan how all of these things can exist together then town planner might be the job for you.
Planners consult, negotiate, assess planning applications, design; attend meetings, both public and private and report on projects.
This occupation is mostly office-based and a nine-to-five job and jobs are available UK-wide.
To become a chartered town planner, which is advised, you need to take a degree that is recognised by the Royal Town Planning Institute.
Public service occupation 2 – orchestral musician
Public service broadcasting refers to programmes that serve the public interest rather than just make money. The BBC is an example of a public service broadcaster.
The BBC is also the largest employer of professional musicians in Europe and it has nine orchestras and choirs. Almost all of the 30,000 members of the Musician’s Union work for the BBC at some point.
Professional musicians work in different locations. They also perform in different venues. Employment can be full time, part time or freelance.
To become a professional musician, you obviously need talent. You will also need to have taken graded music exams and trained on a performance based university course or at a specialist music college, which is called a conservatoire.
Public service occupation 3 – trading standards officer
Nobody wants to buy a 500ml drink and be given only 300ml, find themselves eating meat from a packet labelled as vegetarian or eat in a restaurant where the kitchen is filthy.
Trading standards officers look after us. They do this by visiting places where trade is done and checking that the things that we buy meet the standards that they should. Where standards are not met, they are involved in prosecuting those in breach of trading standards.
Trading standards officers work mostly for local councils. This means that there are job opportunities all over the UK.
The job involves lots of site visits and this includes going to pubs and nightclubs sometimes, so the hours can be unsociable even though it is generally on office job.
You can specialise in an area like safety and pricing or you can work more generally across all areas.
Public service occupation 3 – health and safety inspector
When we go to work, we expect to be safe. The role of a health and safety inspector is to protect us in the workplace. They do this by inspecting premises, advising employers, investigating accidents and enforcing the law.
If you like the idea of a job where you get to protect people by making sure that risks in the workplace are controlled, then a career in health and safety might be for you.
This is mostly an office based role but it does involve some travel and visits to workplaces, which might have to take place in the evening or at the weekend. As with the job of trading standards officer, you could specialise or you could work more generally.
To become a health and safety inspector you need a minimum of a higher national diploma and if you study for a STEM-related degree, you improve your employability a lot.