What Does a Civil Servant Do?

Civil servants perform numerous job tasks under the employment of local, state and federal government agencies. Civil servants help government agencies function on a daily basis and are responsible for running all sorts of government programs and services.

A civil servant is a public employee and works within the framework of a specific government agency or department. Careers in civil service are as wide ranging as they are in the private sector. Typically, civil servants perform any type of job task that is required within an agency. Some civil servants work directly with the public, while others have no contact with citizens. A single government agency, such as the U.S. Department of State, employs countless civil servants who work in areas such as foreign affairs, budget management, passport services and information technology. Alternatively, a local municipality may have a staff of librarians, police officers and teachers who are employed directly by the city.

Civil service jobs are considered to be highly competitive due to the general stability of civil service employment compared to the private sector job market. However, layoffs of civil servants happen from time to time. Finding civil service job openings requires visiting local, state or federal websites that give details of how to apply for openings. Applying for a civil service job may require passing a civil service exam.