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How to Become a Government Service Executive

Learn about the requirements of becoming a government service executive. Read on for information about the education demanded of this career, the job experience that will help you to advance, and other skills needed to succeed as a government service executive. View article »

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  • 0:04 Government Service Executives
  • 1:32 Step 1: Research Position
  • 2:27 Step 2: Earn Degree
  • 3:18 Step 3: Gain Experience
  • 4:14 Step 4: Improve Skills
  • 4:52 Step 5: Apply for…

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Video Transcript

Government Service Executive

A government service executive position is a high profile job with a multifaceted mission of service to the community. Executive positions include urban planning directors, food and quality inspectors, health care administrators and chief engineers. Duties can include overseeing the distribution of funds, drafting correspondences and implementing new plans and procedures. These professionals may spend the majority of their time in meetings with directors of programs and committees within the organization. They may also conduct reviews, select committees or address concerns in public forums.

Supervisors must work well as part of a team and demonstrate strong leadership skills. They work on a full-time basis and typically enjoy good benefits and moderate job security.

The following covers the requirements for aspiring government service executives:

Degree Level At least a bachelor's degree
Degree Fields Business, finance, liberal arts, engineering or a subject related to selected career field
Experience Extensive work experience could be needed to acquire executive-level positions
Key Skills Strategic planning, delegation, managerial, leadership, critical thinking, communication, negotiation, math and decision making skills
Salary (2016)* $103,322 per year (Median salary for deputy directors in civil services)

Source: *PayScale.com

Step 1: Research Position

The federal government is the largest employer of Americans, and it not only offers the same wide variety of jobs that the private sector offers, but also offers a greater number of executive positions. These high profile positions grant qualified professionals challenging careers that fully utilize their education and previous work experience.

Government executive positions are primarily supervisory and managerial. Features include multifaceted responsibilities that range from protecting consumers to building sustainable communities to promoting economic vitality. Professionals work in conjunction with other staff managers to ensure that objectives are met and that concerted efforts are made for optimal efficiency. Ultimately, executives are responsible for every major decision of the government organization.

Step 2: Earn a Degree

Although a few executive positions in areas such as construction or food service may not require a four-year college degree for a high-ranking position, almost all prospective government executives will need at least a bachelor's degree. For general administrative jobs, applicants may want to choose a degree in liberal arts, business administration or finance. Those who aspire to land top positions in specialty fields such as engineering or technology must pursue a degree in that field.

Applicants seeking an executive job in a competitive field should opt for additional coursework or an advanced degree in the field. It is essential that professionals update their knowledge and demonstrate familiarity with current trends, discoveries and new methodologies in their specific fields.

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Step 3: Gain Experience

Applicants interested in eventually gaining an executive position may first join the sector in an entry-level job. Virtually all government jobs use a level system called grades to allow employees to gain positions with greater job responsibilities as well as pay increases. Promotions to higher grades are given at regular intervals and are generally open to all employees. Workers will continue to progress through the levels until they reach the full performance - or the highest grade. This final grade entails a management position.

The prospective executives must have superb managerial skills. They must show evidence of careful decision making skills, ability to delegate responsibilities to support staff and successful implementation of plans and procedures. Additionally, they should have strong organizational and record keeping skills.

Step 4: Improve Skills

It is essential that applicants for a government executive position have excellent leadership abilities. All applicants are examined by the Qualifications Review Board, an independent peer review committee that certifies that the applicant has leadership skills as well as an excellent track record of achievement, rather than mere technical expertise in the field.

Candidates should update their leadership and managerial skills through coursework, conferences or seminars. They could also gain leadership experience through volunteer work with community organizations.

Step 5: Apply for an Executive Job

Managers at the highest grade-level from several related fields may apply for an executive position. Because many of the candidates aspire to gain the prestige and substantial salary increase of an executive position, applicants may encounter fierce competition.

To be competitive, applicants must show evidence of successful managerial and leadership skills with documents that detail their achievements. In addition to a resume, applicants should include evaluations from every grade level, evidence of the successful implementation of new methodologies and documentation of special training or volunteer activities. They will need several letters of recommendation attesting to both their personal qualities and career strengths. They must also compose a detailed mission statement. It may take several weeks for candidates to compile and submit the application.

The steps towards becoming a government service executive include researching the position, earning a degree, gaining experience, improving leadership and managerial skills, and applying for executive jobs.

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