5 Great Public Service Careers

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5 Rewarding Jobs in Public Service

  • Water Manager
  • Emergency Services
  • Public Defender
  • Early Childhood Educator
  • Urban Planner

There are a variety of fulfilling public service careers available across all disciplines. Public services are those that are provided to communities by the government. While some of these jobs involve working directly for the government, others are positions with companies who have received government contracts to provide services. According to Forbes, one major advantage to public service work is that some of these jobs are part of student loan forgiveness programs. After 120 payments and a length of employment of roughly 10 years, these professionals can have the remainder of their student debt erased. The list below are some examples of public service positions found in most communities.

1. Water Manager

Almost all cities and towns, regardless of size, have at least one water manager. This professional monitors the planning of new pipelines and makes sure all water is adequately treated to remove impurities and toxins. They must follow all testing and compliance protocols and act immediately on any suspicion of contamination. In smaller towns, water managers also handle client complaints, billing concerns, and reading water meters.

2. Emergency Services

This branch of public service encompasses firefighters, paramedics, and emergency management professionals. Emergency responders are usually on the scene within minutes of the incident being reported and work to contain and eliminate the problem by putting out a fire, stabilizing and transporting a patient to the hospital, or whatever the situation requires. Emergency managers create plans for dealing with potential future crises like natural disasters or infectious disease outbreaks. While these are rare occurrences, these professionals ensure that the necessary leadership personnel are in place.

3. Public Defender

These public service professionals are an important part of the justice system because they provide legal counsel for people who cannot afford their own attorneys. Public defenders level the playing field and ensure that defendants are not found guilty of a crime simply because they lack the funds to properly present their cases. These lawyers are appointed directly by the court to anyone accused of a crime who requests this service.

4. Early Childhood Educator

These teachers work with children from shortly after birth to kindergarten when they can enter the public school system. According to the U.S. News and World Report, there is a growing body of research showing that education early in life correlates with success later. Public service early childhood education positions are available at community learning centers or HeadStart programs.

5. Urban Planner

Ensuring enough green space, improving low-income areas, adequately distributing resources, and zoning are all parts of urban planning. This sector of public service oversees the planning of new developments as well as restructuring of telecommunication, power, and water infrastructure. Urban planners keep future generations in mind when approving or modifying plans while also building environment protections into these plans.

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While these careers sometimes have a reputation for being too political because they are government jobs, most positions actually have little to do with politics. All public service careers involve working to improve lives of the general public so, while challenging, are also rewarding.