The benefits of working in the public sector as an engineer

Sarah J. Cox our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 23 May 2024

Not all engineering is carried out by private companies – the public sector also requires top talent. 

There are many reasons why an engineer might want to work in the public sector. For starters, the government is responsible for running a number of engineering projects, such as defence projects and the road network.

Due to the array of projects tied to government work, there are lots of opportunities for engineers of all disciplines to work within the public sector. There’s also a lot of chance for innovation on projects.

We take a look at how the public sector differs from the private sector and the benefits of public-sector engineering.

Public sector vs private sector 

Government jobs take place across many different strands, including central and local government branches.


Due to national and local authorities being involved in large engineering projects, engineers working within this sector will find a variety of contexts, such as highways, rivers, the NHS, and the military. 

Similarly, with the UK’s increased focus on renewable energy initiatives, public sector engineering jobs in this sphere are on the rise. These jobs are vital, allowing employees to go into a range of different working environments.

On the other hand, the private sector is a lot more demanding, with a lot more work involved. 

Although the private sector is an attractive proposition for many engineers as there is a variety of engineering roles available, the public sector is also growing in diverse roles, all of which have numerous benefits.

Is it good to work in the public sector?

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), there were an estimated 5.93 million employees in the public sector in December 2023, increasing by 2.4% since the previous year. 

While the number of those employed by the private sector sits at roughly 27.2 million, more and more people are being drawn to work in the public sector each year which can be put down to several reasons. 

If you’ve been wondering why to move from the private sector to the public sector, below you’ll find some things to consider.

1. Security & stability 

Although the private sector is prone to market shifts and periods of instability, the public sector enjoys much more stability due to government backing. 

As a result, engineers who work for the public sector have a much higher degree of security and can enjoy a certain level of protection against closures and hostile financial conditions. 

Another substantial advantage of public sector jobs is a guaranteed pension scheme, the benefits of which can far outweigh those in private sector jobs.

2. Service to your community

Perhaps one of the most satisfying parts of working in the public sector as an engineer, or indeed in any job role within a government organisation, is being able to directly affect your local community with the projects you work on. 

3. Better pay and shorter hours

Hours within the public sector tend to be a lot less demanding than in the private sector. 

Many government organisations also offer flexitime working hours, as well as accommodate for engineers who may work part-time, taking into account the different circumstances of employees. 

According to the ONS, from January to March 2024, the annual average regular earnings growth for the public sector was 6.3%, for the private sector this was 5.9%.

4. Training opportunities and career development

Employees within the public sector are frequently encouraged to expand their existing skillsets by attending training programmes or gaining extra qualifications. 

Government organisations are dedicated to helping staff realise their potential and further their career.

Move your career forward with TRS Staffing Solutions

At TRS Staffing Solutions, we have a number of interesting opportunities within a variety of sectors

To find out more, visit our Government and Public Services page and apply today.

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