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Top career paths in the public sector

As the name suggests, the public sector is a government-owned economy funded by taxes. The structure covers healthcare, military, civil service, public education, criminal justice, transportation, etc., all under the local and national or federal government.

The opportunities in the public sector are designed to give back to people, build the community and strengthen core values rather than make a profit.

 Should you secure a public service degree?

Public service entails solving fundamental communal problems. If you decide to focus on your passion, it’s only right to get a degree in this field, where you will be taught how to create, examine and implement actionable solutions to improve people’s lives.

If you’re interested in a career in the public sector, there are many online degree options.

Spalding University offers online university programs in Louisville. It provides a diverse, inclusive and caring learning environment where you can obtain high-quality education to better your life and the lives of others.

 Career paths in the public sector

The public sector employs more than 22 million people in the US, or about 15% of the workforce. It’s a broad category that includes everything from government agencies to non-profit organizations.

Here are some of the most popular careers in the public sector, along with their average earnings:

  • Social worker

Social workers help people solve and cope with problems in their everyday lives. They work with individuals, families and communities to help them improve their social functioning and overall wellbeing.

The median annual salary for social workers is $50,470.

  • Teacher

Teachers instruct students in elementary, middle and high schools. They develop lesson plans, grade papers and provide feedback to students.

The median annual salary for teachers is $58,030.

  • Police officer

Police officers protect people and property from criminals. They patrol their assigned areas, respond to 911 calls and investigate crimes.

The median annual salary for police officers is $61,600.

  • Nurse

Nurses provide care for patients in hospitals, clinics and other healthcare settings. They assess patient health, administer medications, and provide support and education to patients and their families.

The median annual salary for nurses is $75,330.

 Benefits of working in the public sector

The public sector offers a wide range of benefits that can be extremely attractive to jobseekers. Here are some of the biggest benefits of working in the public sector:

  • Job security

One of the biggest benefits of working in the public sector is job security. Because the government is not subject to the fluctuations of the economy, public sector jobs are typically more stable than private sector jobs.

  • Good salaries

The public sector also offers good salaries and benefits. In many cases, the salary and benefits package in the public sector is better than what you would find in the private sector.

  • Advancement opportunities

Another benefit of working in the public sector is that there are often opportunities for advancement. As you gain experience and knowledge in your field, you may be able to move up to a higher-paying position.

  • Flexible work schedules

Many public sector jobs offer flexible work schedules, which can be a great perk for employees. In some cases, you may be able to set your own hours or work from home.

 Skills needed to thrive in the public sector

As the public sector evolves, so do the skills required to succeed within it. If you’re considering a career in the public sector, or are already working in the field, there are certain skills you’ll need to thrive. Here are some of the most important:

  • Resilience

Certain situations you’ll encounter will be emotionally and physically draining. Being resilient will enable you to avoid much damage to your health.

  • Political awareness

 You must be adept with political happenings within and around you and how they may influence your position. As a public servant, you must learn to keep your differences aside and work with politicians as your work demands.

  •  Communication

 You’ll have to interact with a variety of people, and as such, clear and crisp communication is essential to succeed as a public servant.

  •  Empathy

You must show empathy in words, actions and gestures as you serve everyday people dealing with problems while trying out ways to help them.

Some of these skills are specific to the public sector, while others are more general, transferable skills. However, all of them are important for anyone looking to have a successful career in the public sector.


The public sector offers many career paths with a range of opportunities for growth and development. No matter what your interests or skills may be, there is likely a place for you in the public sector.

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