5 jobs in Public Services

Looking for a career in uniformed public services? Perhaps you aren't sure where your qualifications can take you? Here are five job roles that you can aim for.


Whether it’s working in uniformed public services or teaching the next generation, a desire to help others and change the world we live in attracts people from all walks of life, working towards a career in public services.

Here are five jobs that you can apply for with qualifications in public services: 

Police Officer 

What is a police officer? 

A police officer helps to keep law and order, investigate crime, and support crime prevention.

Do I need a degree? 

You can get into this job through a variety of pathways, from university, to college and apprenticeships. 

In order to get into policing through the college route, you are required to gain some of the skills and knowledge required through a Level 3 Uniformed Protective Services or Public Services course, or alternatively, through an apprenticeship programme. 

A typical level three course would require 4 or 5 GCSEs at grade 9 to – 4 (A* to C) or equivalent. 

What will I do?

A police officer could expect to do any of the following: 

  • respond to calls for help from the public
  • Investigate crimes and offences
  • interview suspects and make arrests
  • give evidence in court
  • control traffic and crowds at large public events and gatherings
  • advise the public on personal safety and crime prevention
  • promote respect for people in relation to their race, diversity and human rights 

What salary could I earn? 

The typical salary for a police officer depends on the experience to which a professional has gained, and the level to which their job role operates. However the starting salary for a Police Officer ranges from £19,000 and can rise to over £40,000 with experience.


What is a soldier? 

Soldiers take part in peacekeeping missions, supporting humanitarian efforts or fighting in combat zones around the world.

Do I need a degree? 

You do not need to study a degree to become a member of the armed forces. Apprenticeships offer a fantastic route into employment, whilst those with qualifications in Public Services can apply for the arm

What will I do? 

Your day-to-day duties will depend on your job. Roles you might work in include:

  • combat – as an infantry soldier or aviation crewman
  • engineering – as an aircraft technician or vehicle mechanic
  • HR, finance and support – as an HR specialist or military police soldier
  • intelligence, communications and IT – as a military intelligence operator or communication systems engineer
  • medical – as a healthcare professional or veterinary technician
  • logistics and support – as a chef or logistics supply specialist
  • music and ceremonial – as a musician or ceremonial gunner

Working environment

You could work be based overseas, in a warzone or at a military base.

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding and outdoors in all weathers.

You may need to wear protective clothing and a uniform.

What salary could I earn? 

The starting salary for a soldier begins at around £15,000 and can increase to over £35,000 based on experience. 


If you have a determined attitude to deliver care and support to others, a career as a paramedic is an incredibly rewarding, yet challenging one.

What is a paramedic? 

Paramedics respond to emergency call-outs and give people life-saving medical help, and play a pivotal part of the National Health Service (NHS). 

Do I need a degree? 

Yes – You will need a Paramedic Science Degree approved by the Health and Care Professionals Council, this is a full-time course which usually takes around 3 years to complete. To gain entry to this course, you will need to have 2 to 3 A Levels or equivalent for the degree, such as a relevant subject diploma at Level 3 and above. 

What will I do? 

In this role you’ll:

  • respond to emergency calls
  • assess situations when you arrive and check details with others at the scene, like the police
  • work calmly and quickly to stabilise patients
  • use a defibrillator to revive patients
  • give patients medicines and injections
  • help to deliver babies
  • attend non-emergency calls and decide whether patients need to go to hospital
  • check equipment regularly and keep accurate records
  • reassure family and members of the public who are on the scene

What salary could I earn? 

The entry salary for paramedic starts at around £25,000 per year, which can rise to around £38,000 with experience. A typical working week ranges from 36 to 38 hours a week and usually entails 12-hour shift work in a busy and demanding environment.


If you’re a brave and selfless individual who aspires to help those in need, in high-pressure, often dangerous scenarios, then a career as a firefighter is right for you. 

What is a firefighter?

Firefighters help to protect people from fire and other dangers, and give advice on fire prevention. 

Do I need a degree? 

No – You do not need a dedicated degree in order to become a firefighter. You can get into this industry by a college course in Public Services, apprenticeships, applying direct or progressing through a fire service training course. 

If progressing through a college route, applicants would be required to hold a Level 2 and/or Level 3 qualification in Public Services. 

What will I do? 

Due to the nature of the job, every day will be different, but you could:

  • inspect and maintain equipment
  • carry out practice drills and take part in training
  • respond to emergency call-outs
  • rescue people and animals from burning buildings and accident sites
  • control and put out fires
  • deal with bomb alerts and floods
  • manage chemical or hazardous substance spills
  • give presentations to schools and community groups
  • inspect buildings to make sure they meet fire safety regulations

What salary could I earn? 

As a fireman or woman starting out as a firefighter, you can earn an average salary of around £23,000. As an experienced member, you could expect to earn up to £38,000 a year. Typical hours as a firefighter can range from 41 to 43 hours a week and due to the demands of the job, this could span across evenings, weekends and bank holidays. 

Prison Officer 

What is a prison officer? 

Prison officers supervise inmates in prisons, remand centres and young offenders’ institutions.


Do I need a degree? 

No – You don’t need a degree to become a prison officer, or a similar role such as a security officer. You do however need to have relevant qualifications, such as in Public Services. Alternative routes are available through apprenticeship schemes and applying directly, once you have gained the required qualifications for the role. You can usually find these requirements on the job listing. 

What will I do? 

In this role you could:

  • keep inmates secure
  • carry out security checks and searches
  • supervise prisoners and maintain order – this can involve authorised physical control and restraint
  • support vulnerable prisoners
  • promote anti-bullying and suicide prevention policies
  • go with prisoners on external visits like court appearances or hospital appointments
  • prepare inmates for release through rehabilitation programmes
  • update records and write reports on prisoners

What salary could I earn? 

The typical salary for a starting prison officer begins at £22,000 and can increase to up to £38,000 with experience. A typical working week would expect to contain 37-41 hours, spanning across evenings, weekends and bank holidays. 

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