Local government officer

policy officer

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would plan and supervise important public services like education and housing. You’d make sure that people get good services that meet their needs and are value for money. The councillors - who are elected by local people - will decide the aims of the council and it would be your job to work out how to achieve these aims. 

You would deal with people from a wide variety of backgrounds. You could work in a variety of departments and roles, such as planning the services, or leading a team which puts the plans into action. You would have to stick to budgets and make sure the money is spent carefully. 

Your day-to-day tasks would vary according to the department you work in and your level of responsibility.

You could:

  • Analyse and interpret information
  • Use information to plan services and projects
  • Set up and lead projects
  • Check the progress of projects
  • Write reports and briefing papers for colleagues and councillors
  • Deal with enquiries and advise colleagues
  • Do presentations at meetings
  • Supervise administrative work and manage clerical staff
  • Keep records
  • Prepare and manage contracts
  • Liaise with other public agencies
  • Oversee budgets and funding

Working conditions

Hours

In a full-time job you would work 35 to 37 hours a week, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to work extra hours to complete a project, or go to evening meetings. Part-time work may be available.

Environment

You would be based in an office that may be open to the public.

Travel

You may need to travel within your local authority area to go to meetings, or to visit other council offices or sites.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Helping customers
  • Being tactful
  • Communicating ideas through writing
  • Finding solutions to problems
  • Being logical
  • Solving mathematical problems
  • Budgeting
  • Planning and organising
  • Paying attention to detail

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

Keep track of your skills in your account and find the jobs, opportunities and courses that suit you.

Click here to view / add your skills

Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on Apprenticeships.scot.

Qualifications

There is no fixed entry route to become a local government officer. The skills and experience that you need will vary depending on the duties and level of responsibility you have in the job.

You could enter a role directly with National Certificate (NC) or National Qualification (NQ) in administration or business studies.

Many entrants now have a degree in subjects such as:

  • Economics
  • Politics
  • Social administration
  • Business studies

Some roles may require a degree or job specific qualifications such as town planning, urban design or historic building conservation, for example for a conservation officer post.

To enter a NC or NQ requires four National 4s or National 5s.

Entry to a degree usually requires four to five Highers including English.

You could also start as a local government administrative assistant and work your way up to more senior roles.

Useful subjects

  • Maths (required by most employees)
  • English (required by most employees)
  • Business
  • ICT
  • Administrative and numerate subjects

Helpful to have

Qualifications that show ICT, administrative and financial skills such as Skills for Work Financial Services (SCQF level 5).