There are more than 28,000 people working across all areas of local government. Local authority employees come from a wide range of backgrounds with diverse skill sets, qualifications and experience.
You can read more about some of our roles below. The information here is a guide to the kinds of roles in local authorities. If you find a role you are interested in advertised on this site, full details will be available in the information booklet provided for applicants by the recruiting organisation.
Accountants work directly in finance and audit functions and deliver financial and management accounting services across the organisation. The local authority sector also provides apprenticeships in the areas of accounting
Many local authority public services are delivered by staff in administrative roles. An administrative role with a local authority gives you the opportunity to work within multi-disciplinary teams to deliver quality services to external and internal customers. Administrative roles are varied and can involve assignment to different parts of the organisation or different areas of work. Roles vary from clerical officers (Grade 3) where you will support colleagues and managers to implement work programmes, staff officers (grade 5), often with a team leader role, to more senior roles such as administrative officers (Grade 7), responsible for one or more departments or sections and for implementing operational plans.
The local government sector provides apprenticeships in the areas of accounting and information technology. The apprentices are recruited initially by Accounting Technicians Ireland and Fast-track into IT (FIT). Generally, each apprenticeship is a two-year programme and is a combination of formal education and learning on the job. Both programmes lead to a level 6 award on the National Framework of Qualifications. Further information on these apprenticeship programmes is available from Accounting Technicians Ireland and FIT.
Archaeologists are responsible for the protection and preservation of the archaeological heritage within the county or city, which is primarily done through the planning process. In addition, they provide expert support and assistance to all directorates of the council. The archaeologist can be required to carry out archaeological monitoring, excavation and testing on behalf of the local authority and may be involved in promoting knowledge and appreciation of the history and archaeology.
Career opportunities within architecture cover all levels of both technical and architectural disciplines. There are six different levels of architectural posts ranging from graduate architect to county/city architect. In addition, the local government sector employs technical staff in grades from senior executive technician to clerk of works.
Trained archivists manage the appraisal, acquisition, preservation, listing and arrangement, digitisation, and research accessibility, of local archives. They are also involved in local authority records management and data protection.
The role of a conservation officer is to provide advice on the responsibilities imposed by national legislation for the maintenance of historic structures. The job involves encouraging and supporting owners and institutions in their efforts to look after buildings both through the provision of advice and through the various grant schemes operated by the council. An important element of the job is to liaise with owners and professionals on the development of proposals affecting historic buildings, or new buildings in historic areas, and to report to the area planners when such proposals are submitted for planning permission.
As engineers are responsible for major operational and infrastructure programmes there are lots of rewarding opportunities for engineers to work and build significant experience in the local government sector. Roles can include work in a regional design office, under the auspices of Transport Infrastructure Ireland, work on-site during major infrastructural projects, and professional oversight and management of areas such as housing and environment. Engineers can progress from the grade of assistant engineer, through to executive engineer, senior executive engineer and senior engineer.
Fire services departments provide a multi-skilled approach to the areas of fire-fighting, rescue and fire safety engineering. Local authority fire services are staffed by engineering, technical and administrative staff, as well as part time (retained) and full time fire personnel. Engineers are employed in fire prevention sections to ensure that the built environment is protected and that all new buildings comply with legislative requirements.
Local authority employees provide a wide range of services directly to the public, for example general operatives ensure parks are well tended, undertake maintenance works in the council’s housing, repair roads and keep the streets of the county and city clean. They provide a vital service in promoting quality of life and contribute to making villages, towns, cities and countryside attractive places to live, work and invest.
Local authorities recruit graduates at entry level through a graduate recruitment programme managed by the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA). Each graduate participates in a three-year structured graduate development programme during which they have the opportunity to develop new skills and knowledge both on the job and through formal training and accredited sector specific education, co-ordinated through The Institute of Public Administration (IPA).
Health and Safety
Working in health and safety in a local authority will involve advising management and employees on all matters relating to safety, health and welfare at work. This includes the role Health and Safety Officer who will work with a multi skilled workforce to support the enhancement and embedding of safety, health and welfare systems across the organisation. This will also involve overseeing, monitoring and coordinating safety management programmes and working with all departments to support effective implementation of safety practices and promoting a culture of safety awareness.
There are many aspects, capabilities and skill sets within the sphere of ICT and the local government sector draws on the majority of these, including systems and software development, cyber-security, IT support, network engineering, website development and digital innovation. The local government sector also provides apprenticeships in IT.
Library services are delivered by staff across a range of grades from librarians who plan and oversee library operations and manage programmes to library assistants who work directly with the public, helping them to make best use of the service. Find out more about public library services in Ireland at www.librariesireland.ie.
Planners in local authorities may work in forward planning, development management or enforcement. They work in partnership with key stakeholders and citizens to manage the evolution of an area and its physical, economic, social and cultural development. They also work to ensure that high-quality development adds value not only in terms of commercial viability but also for meeting environmental standards and community needs. Planners are employed in grades from assistant planner up to senior executive planner.
Senior management roles
Senior management roles include directors of service and senior executive officers. Supporting the chief executive by managing service areas or work programmes, these are experienced managerial positions responsible for leading on policy implementation, service delivery and change management. These roles offer the opportunity to demonstrate leadership, innovation, agility and a commitment to customer service and will provide you with excellent opportunities to engage with the active delivery of strategic policy. Senior management roles in local authorities and regional assemblies are advertised on this website but recruitment is handled by the Public Appointments Service, rather than by the employing authority.
Please note that candidates are required to develop a Publicjobs profile when applying for roles that the Public Appointment Service (PAS) advertise for the local authorities, regional assemblies and the LGMA.
Technicians are assigned in a number of areas such as civil engineering, architecture, building surveying and property management. Roles can include the preparation of drawings, specifications and tender documents and the analysis and assessment of tenders and recommendation reports. Technicians also have a role in the supervision of contractors engaged by the council in a number of directorates.
A range of tradespeople such as masons, painters, plasterers, carpenters and plumbers undertake work to ensure the upkeep of council housing, the maintenance of public spaces and roads and to maintain and repair the water network on behalf of Irish Water.