Who is a civil servant and what does he do?

Those wishing to become civil servants must first figure out who belongs to civil servants in Russia, what is the list of professions of such workers at the present time. Then you need to clarify what they are required to do. And only then should you be interested in certification, salary and career expectations.

Who is that?

The very concept of “civil servant” in Russia, oddly enough for many, does not apply to everyone who works in government organizations. So, for example, various representatives of the armed forces and other power structures, diplomats and persons holding elected positions, as well as their assistants, do not fall into this group in the narrow sense of the word. Also, representatives of auxiliary, technical personnel of state institutions are not civil servants in the Russian Federation. It should be noted at the same time that in the list from the profile law, on the contrary, this category includes:

  • military personnel;
  • federal civil servants;
  • federal government civil servants;
  • other employees of the civil service, the composition of which is determined in other laws;
  • administrative staff of specific regions.

There are only two classifying signs: the performance of professional duties at the national or regional level and the receipt of cash payments for these duties from the all-Russian or regional treasury. Therefore, a policeman and a clerk at the MFC are considered civil servants, and deputies and mayors are not included in this category. The difference from people performing even seemingly the same functions sometimes in the public or commercial sector is the presence of special powers, which are also enshrined in law. All of them solve their tasks in the manner necessary for the functioning of the entire state power.

The list of professions of officials is very long. It is given in thematic normative documents, primarily in the presidential decree. But in a simpler form, this list is as follows:

  • the government of the country, governments and administrations of all regions of the country and large cities, their ministries and departments, local divisions and administrations;
  • representatives of the prosecutor’s office;
  • law enforcement structures;
  • armed forces;
  • apparatus of the State Duma and the Federation Council;
  • Administration of the President;
  • representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Russia and abroad;
  • apparatus of courts of all levels;
  • Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights.

At the same time, it is guaranteed not to be included in this composition:

  • municipal staff;
  • employees of state-owned enterprises;
  • judges;
  • staff of budgetary institutions;
  • doctors;
  • teachers.

A civil servant always works under a contract. Employees of budgetary institutions work under labor contracts. Their status actually does not differ from the status of the personnel of commercial firms and hired individual entrepreneurs. Employees are assigned monetary allowance in full accordance with the norms of a national or departmental nature. State employees are paid salaries based on available funding, as well as at the discretion of accountants and senior staff.

The high status of a civil servant is not available to those who:

  • declared incompetent;
  • has been convicted and the conviction has not been expunged or extinguished;
  • refused to issue a non-disclosure agreement if a state secret is needed to complete tasks;
  • is ill with certain ailments;
  • lost Russian citizenship or became the owner of dual citizenship;
  • does not have the required skill level to perform basic duties.

Types of positions and responsibilities


This type of civil civil servants is designated as «active state advisers». They are further divided into 3 basic ranks:

  • 1 class coincides in status with a colonel general or naval admiral;
  • Grade 2 equal to a lieutenant general or vice admiral;
  • finally, 3 category officially equated to a major general (or, in the naval sphere, to a rear admiral).

It is worth considering that in the prosecutor’s office, division by rank is not equated with military and naval service. They have their own gradation of official positions, which are equated to state advisers to the Ministry of Justice. Special ranks are also introduced in:

  • the police;
  • customs service;
  • general organs of justice.


These are already simply “state advisers”, the addition of “valid” cannot be applied to them. In the same way, 3 ranks are distinguished. They equate to:

  • colonels and captains of the first ranks;
  • lieutenant colonels and captains of the second ranks;
  • majors and captains of the third rank.


Here the titles of advisers are distinguished. Again there is a division into 3 key ranks. They are equated to:

  • captains and lieutenant commanders;
  • senior lieutenants;
  • lieutenants;
  • lawyers of 1-3 categories (in the prosecutor’s service).


And again, the classification of categories has 3 links. The positions themselves at this level are called referents. Compliance provided:

  • junior lieutenants;
  • ensigns;
  • senior midshipmen.


The lowest federal and regional civil service class ranks are junior advisers. Secretaries are also included in this group. Similar military positions are chief foremen on ships, foremen and sergeants, and corporals. There are no identical positions in the prosecutor’s office. In the police, jobs are identical in rank — from privates to senior sergeants, inclusive.

But this gradation is not enough to clearly describe what is included in the functions of civil servants, what they are obliged to do, and what they are forbidden to do. An alternative and more convenient division is as follows:

  • leaders (including deputies);
  • assistants (they are advisers) — help leaders;
  • specialists — solve certain tasks at a professional level;
  • providing specialists (they work with information, documentation, financial and economic aspects, without which the activities of state bodies are unrealizable).

Managers and assistants belong to the highest, main, leading categories of official positions. The same ranks, including the senior rank, may be held by specialists. As for providing specialists, they cannot be only managers and their deputies. It is permissible for them to occupy posts of a different level.

Correspondence between various civil, military, prosecutorial and police service levels was not introduced by chance — it allows you to easily move from one profile to another without an extremely complex calculation of status, and also to determine who is in charge in a particular situation.

Official privileges are inconceivable without duties — and this point cannot be bypassed when characterizing the activities of civil servants.. The necessary functions are fixed in the regulations of individual departments. They are more clearly defined in personal contracts. The general requirements are as follows:

  • enforcement of basic state laws (including when communicating with citizens and representatives of organizations);
  • strict adherence to official regulations;
  • execution of the routine approved by the order of the department;
  • maintaining and, if necessary, strengthening qualifications;
  • preservation of all types of secrecy provided for by law;
  • avoid any slander and dissemination of false information.

A separate block of duties is related to anti-corruption measures. It’s about:

  • informing about oneself and family members, about other relatives, about income and disposable property;
  • informing about the renunciation of citizenship or the emergence of dual citizenship;
  • compliance with the anti-corruption procedures established by the regulations;
  • notification of personal interest in a particular solution to a specific problem;
  • report on any attempts of bribery, pressure.


Public service attracts many people precisely by the powers that they are given. But they differ markedly depending on the substitution:

  • actual administrative positions;
  • posts in the police;
  • military and naval ranks;
  • certain positions in the prosecutor’s office, customs and the Ministry of Justice.

Any such person, however, has the right to know the current regulations and other documents that define his functions, tasks and requirements, important performance criteria. There is also the right to get acquainted with the assessments of their activities by management, controllers and other persons who are allowed by law to give feedback. This also includes the right to familiarize yourself with a personal file, to add to this case your own explanations on various cases and events, and other materials. In a separate group are those powers that allow you to more efficiently and quickly perform professional duties. It’s about:

  • maintenance of technical and organizational conditions;
  • requesting any information from management, other employees, individuals and organizations;
  • submission of proposals for improving the work of the state body;
  • gaining access to state secrets and other restricted data that are needed to complete the task.

The civil service implies a rather wide list of social and private rights for everyone who is engaged in it. Thus, according to the law, the duration and conditions of rest, wage parameters, and additional incentive payments should be prescribed in contracts.

Officials have every right to participate in a trade union representing their interests, or to refuse to participate in such a union. Coercion to participate in it, to withdraw from it, or to vote at a trade union meeting in a certain way is not allowed. A civil servant has every right to defend his interests, prescribed in the legislation.

He can do this:

  • addressing the immediate supervisor;
  • filing complaints with higher management;
  • filing lawsuits in court and objecting to them during the process;
  • attracting public attention (but only without damaging the reputation of the service as a whole, its organization and its leaders in particular).

Inalienable protected rights are also health insurance and receipt of a state pension at least in the same amount that is assigned to ordinary citizens in similar conditions.. Usually, various departments provide their employees with extended guarantees of both medical and pension nature.

Civil servants have the right to engage in other work on a reimbursable basis, except in cases where a conflict of interest is likely or it becomes impossible to perform essential duties. Employers — both the department and a third-party organization or individual entrepreneurs — must be notified of such a combination of jobs by a notification on a special form.

Police officers, military personnel, representatives of the National Guard and some other structures cannot work part-time.

Primary requirements

The age limit for civil servants should be no more than 65 years. This requirement is enshrined in legislation and cannot be canceled at the departmental level. If you have the status of an assistant or adviser helping a particular person, the term of holding the position may be extended by the decision of the immediate head or head of the organization (branch, division, department). This period may not exceed the tenure of the assisted staff member. For managers, it is allowed to extend the age of holding a position by the decision of their superiors or the structures that appointed them to the post. But even such an extension is impossible beyond 70 years.

If, nevertheless, there is a need for the further performance by a civil servant of his function or other tasks in a state body, he can be hired under a fixed-term employment contract for a position that is not included in the list of positions in the civil service. It is necessary to check the qualities and skills of employees when they first fill a position. This verification is carried out either upon presentation of documents, or through a probationary period, which may be longer or shorter, which is determined by the specific position and place of work.

In addition, annual qualification exams are held to determine the professional suitability and level of motivation of an official.

When moving to a higher position, an additional interview is mandatory.. All other types of tests and inspections in the civilian sector are not allowed. But in the structures responsible for the security of the state, checks will be much stricter. Usually, the presence of seniority and positive references from the previous place of work means that the candidate will be accepted after a brief conversation. However, for candidates under the age of 22, a mandatory internship is provided, regardless of the level of education and other points.

The civil servant must know:

  • the country’s constitution;
  • federal laws;
  • job schedule;
  • official regulations;
  • departmental orders and directives;
  • job description;
  • document flow rules;
  • their powers and responsibilities;
  • other information that is necessary and desirable for the performance of the work.


The fact that civil servants are paid quite a lot motivates many to aspire to become them. However, this is impossible without periodic certifications, the first of which is carried out already upon admission to the position. The purpose of certification is to verify compliance with the duties performed. Its result is the preparation of a motivated review for a controlled period. To this act is added information about completed projects and tasks solved.

By default, the attestation check passes 1 time in 36 months. Others are provided for by special orders. It can be organized if there is reason to believe that the competence of an employee of a state body has been lost ahead of schedule, either when moving to a new level, or when reorganizing the structure. In any certification, attention is paid to the level of training of the assessed persons. Theoretically, one can be trained in the specialization «state and municipal management» at any university.

But the best prospects are open to graduates:

  • Moscow State University;
  • MGIMO;
  • HSE;
  • academy of the FSB;
  • financial university under the government;
  • Plekhanov Russian University of Economics;
  • Far Eastern Federal University;
  • UrFU;
  • OmGU;
  • Pacific State University;
  • NCFU;
  • TUSUR.

Major officials often have legal training. Quite a few of them were also educated in:

  • economic specialties;
  • sociology;
  • international relations;
  • military profile;
  • foreign languages.


Salaries in state bodies are stable. In addition, employees receive excellent pensions and large benefits in accordance with their duties. The average salary in government agencies is 60,000 rubles per month. In the central structures of ministries and departments, it exceeds 140,000 rubles. In the executive branch, the income reaches 130 thousand, in the courts and the prosecutor’s office — 122 thousand, in other structures — 180 thousand.

At the regional level, the difference between the incomes of representatives of executive power of federal and local status reaches more than 40%. It also concerns specific subjects of the federation, and levels of government.

On average, civil servants in the regions receive 55,700 rubles. At the municipal level — 45,500 rubles. Much depends on the specific position.

Career and prospects

The professional development of civil servants largely depends not only on them, but also on direct management. Some have been in the same position for several years, while others are growing rapidly. It must be taken into account that the most «delicious» places are usually reserved for «their» people. The nature of the work in many cases is overtly bureaucratic. With a change in leadership, there is a great danger of losing a position without pleasing the new boss.

You can increase your chances of success by:

  • second higher education;
  • learning foreign languages;
  • studying the features and nuances of a particular area (tax or financial, trade or construction, housing and communal or other areas of management);
  • establishing contacts with management;
  • broadening the general outlook;
  • the ability to use the general theory of management and other disciplines in practice;
  • successful solution of emerging problems in the shortest possible time and with minimal expenditure of labor and other resources.

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