Job descriptions and industry overviews

Civil service administrator/manager

Advises the government on current political issues and manages government departments and agencies.

woman working on a tablet

Job description

The civil service is engaged in a wide range of activities and employs over 30,000 people in more than 30 different departments/offices. The principle aims of the cvil service are to implement government policy and provide services to the public. This may involve working with the government to create and implement new policies and services, dealing directly with the public or even providing market research.

The civil service is involved in a wide and varied range of activity; this is reflected in the roles civil servants are asked to perform.

The Administrative Officer (AO) grade is the highest level to which staff are regularly recruited to the general administrative grades of the civil service, and it is from this grade that more senior posts are filled. Upon appointment, AOs are assigned to a government department/office where they can begin to build their career. They could be working in areas such as education, health, social welfare, tourism or finance.

Work activities

  • Rapidly absorbing complex information and critically evaluating its meaning and relevance.
  • Drafting briefings and other documents for ministers and the government, and contacts with other departments, professional bodies or international organisations.
  • Planning and organising tasks and schedules to ensure efficient delivery of projects to the required standard.
  • Communicating clearly and getting your message across consistently using a variety of media.
  • Working with others in a way that mutually supports effective outcomes.

Work conditions

Travel: will very much depend on the department appointed to.

Working hours: mainly 9 to 5, Monday to Friday.

Location: mainly in towns and cities throughout the country.

Opportunities for self-employment: not possible.

Typical employers

The civil service

Career development

Mobility is a key feature of the Civil Service and you may be required to work in a number of diverse areas during the course of your career. Promotion is on merit rather than on seniority, and you will be given support in acquiring qualifications in subjects such as public administration, law and IT.

Entry requirements

Open to graduates of all disciplines with either a first or second class honours degree.

Other relevant degree subjects

Much depends on the department assigned to but the following should prove useful:

  • Geography
  • Irish
  • Law
  • Management
  • Politics
  • Public administration
  • Social science.

Postgraduate study

A pre-entry postgraduate qualification is not a requirement.

Specific entry requirements

Recruitment usually involves aptitude tests as well as interviews.


Mainly on the job.

Tips for applications

When applying for a job with the civil service, you may be required to undertake an assessment test. For more information on what to expect visit the Public Jobs website .

Skills and qualities

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills to describe complex ideas and information in an accessible way.
  • Good leadership qualities and team working skills.
  • Self motivation.
  • Interest and commitment to self-development.

Labour market information

Republic of Ireland: There are still restrictions on recruitment to the Civil Service.

gradireland editorial advice

This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the gradireland content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

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