Working in a Local Council

Local councils provide the main services that affect our daily lives. From the streets and parks you use to the events, facilities and services your community enjoys. Because every local council is different the variety of opportunities may differ. A job in a local council could have you working outdoors, you could spend a lot of your time with members of the community, or you could be part of the team that ensures the council runs smoothly.

Some of the people who work in local councils have university qualifications, some have been through apprenticeships and some have technical skills they’ve picked up on the job. All are working in an organisation where what you do can really make a difference to local communities.

Are you:

  • a school leaver
  • a university graduate
  • someone looking to utilise years of skills and experience locally
  • someone already working in a local council and seeking additional skills and training opportunities
  • a student
  • responsible for searching for appropriate Vocational Education Training (VET) qualifications for employees and who delivers them, or
  • a career advisor/ counsellor?

This website will assist you to understand more about the variety of job roles in local government. Using the search tools will provide you with information on training pathways, details of VET qualifications and the Registered Training Organisations (RTO’s) that can deliver them, links to local government associations and industry bodies, job opportunities and further career information. We encourage you to explore occupations available in local councils (1).

You could work in the following areas of local government

  • The face of local government (Corporate Services & Governance)
  • Supporting and nurturing the community (Human Services)
  • Managing and maintaining the community’s facilities (Engineering & Infrastructure)
  • Protecting and sustaining the environment (Environmental Services)

Councils have an ageing workforce, are expected to do more for less and are driving towards more professionalism and multi-skilling. Over the next few years they need to attract new staff or up-skill current staff to replace council retirements and develop a skilled workforce to meet the future demands of their communities.

Skill areas in demand are those in: engineering; building surveying; town planning; IT; trade areas; civil works area; accounting; governance; emergency management; asset management; project management; human resources/ learning development/ workforce development; customer service and environmental health.

There are approximately 562 councils across Australia, the majority of which are regional or rural. The size of local councils is highly variable; however, the average council population is 28,400. Local governments are funded in a variety of ways including rates, grants and fees from services provided. The local government sector employs approximately 192,500 persons across Australia in some 400 different occupations. Local governments are often significant employers and require a diverse workforce that encompasses a wide range of occupations. Therefore working at your local council can offer diverse and rewarding job opportunities.

(1) Please note: Job titles and higher education qualification titles may differ between states and territories. The qualification level required to perform a role may vary across councils. The information provided on this website is a guide only.