The primary difference between public- and private-sector jobs is that public-sector jobs are generally within a government agency, whilst private-sector jobs are those where employees are working for non-governmental agencies. This includes jobs within individual businesses as well as within other types of company organizations.
If you are looking for employment but are not sure whether you seek to work within the public or private sector, then the following guide will provide you with some useful tips and advice on the different types of jobs available within each sector:
Examples of public-sector employment areas:
- Health and care
- Emergency services
- Armed forces
- Civil service
- City councils
There are a number of advantages to working in the public sector, including job stability and the various high-quality benefits packages available. These include excellent retirement benefits and favorable insurance policies. Public employees typically enjoy better job security than private employees, except during periods of major budget cuts. Also, many government positions are permanent appointments once a probationary period has been met. After this period has past, it is very unlikely for an employee to be laid off.
Furthermore, once you have been granted employment within the public sector, it is relatively easy to move from one public sector position to another whilst still retaining the same benefits, holiday entitlements, and sick pay as you did in your previous role. In general, government workers also tend to earn better compensation compared to their private-sector counterparts; however, certain private-sector occupations can earn far more than the average public-employee salary.
Examples of private-sector employment areas:
- Financial services
- Law firms
- Estate agents
- Newspapers or magazines
The benefits of working in the private sector traditionally outweigh the benefits of working in the public sector. Private sector employment allows greater fluidity if moving from one job to another. Further still, for those individuals remaining within the same company, it is far easier to quickly move up within a company, as these decisions are made within the company rather than being based on central rules and regulations as stipulated by the government.
In addition to the above, individuals employed within the public sector will find a greater degree of flexibility when obtaining a pay rise, with companies in the position to offer regular pay rises if an employee sufficiently fulfills his or her obligations. There is also greater variety in potential job descriptions within the private sector, given that public employers have a set number of roles to play in society.
However, a more competitive marketplace can mean longer hours and more demanding work environments, compared to the more stable environment found in the public sphere. Public agencies are not subject to the market pressures present in the private sector.
Before moving from a job in one sector to a position in the other, it is important to explore the differences between these career paths, paying particular attention to available benefits, job security, and workplace environment.