The term "civil servant" encompasses a huge range of careers. Civil servants are professionals who work for the government and whose salaries are paid by taxpayers. Civil service can be conducted at the national, state and local level. The president is a civil servant, as is a civil engineer working for the Chicago Department of Transportation. Teachers who work for public schools also are considered civil servants, as are mayors and employees of the Department of Motor Vehicles. Civil service jobs are among the most secure and carry impressive benefits that aren't always available in the private sector. Almost every imaginable profession can be carried out on behalf of the government, and civil service offers options as varied as the private sector.
Local, state and federal governments are responsible for building and maintaining roadways and bridges for the public to use. Civil engineers specialize in the construction of roads, bridges, dams, tunnels, sewage and water systems. Civil engineers are employed on a national, state and city level, and play a vital role in transportation. Health and safety engineers also are civil servants, helping keep the public safe by working side by side with civil engineers. Government agencies employ many other specialized engineers to work on behalf of the public, such as construction engineers, mechanical and electrical engineers.
Teachers who teach at public elementary, middle and high schools are considered civil servants, because their salary is paid by taxpayers. Public school teachers must be licensed by a teachers' education program and they also must have at least a bachelor's degree. Teachers are among the country's most important civil servants because they are responsible for educating young citizens. Teachers have great benefits and their salary increases with the number of years they work.
Members of the armed forces, such as the Marines, Army and Air Force, are civil servants who work to defend the United States. The armed forces employs a huge number of people, from soldiers who will fight on the ground; to aeronautical engineers who create fight jets; to officers who plan defensive and offensive military strategies. Doctors, mechanics and even lawyers are also employed by the armed forces. The highest level of service in the armed forces is general (and admiral for the Navy), of which there were only 40, as of 2007.
Social workers provide a wide range of civil services to the public. They help people deal with myriad issues involving drugs, family, housing, employment and health. Family social workers ensure the safety of families and children by removing children from negligent environments, facilitating adoptions and finding foster homes. Public health social workers provide support for individuals and families who are facing illness or substance abuse.
Judges working in America's courtrooms are considered civil servants. They have juris doctorates and many years of practicing law in private or public sectors. Judges preside over trials to ensure that all rules, regulations and laws are adhered to by both defendants, plaintiffs, lawyers and the jury. Judges can preside over many different types of cases, from disputes over a traffic ticket to murder trials. Judges work at the local, state and federal level. The judges of the United States Supreme Court hold the highest civil service positions in the country, besides the president.