When people hear the word government, images of the President and prominent politicos most likely pop into their head. While the President has a pretty cool job, there are so many more equally awesome behind the scenes, state and local civil servant jobs out there. For this week’s State and Local Spotlight we wanted to introduce you to some of these awesome state and local jobs that you may have never heard of.
- Animal Control Officer
Animal control officers are pretty much the police force for the animal world. They work to ensure state and local laws and regulations pertaining to animals are being followed and respond to calls of animal disturbances. Additionally, they often patrol assigned beats to make sure the communities’ pets and wild animals are protected. While animal control officers may seem like dog whisperers, these civil servants are highly trained to handle all animal related issues—whether it’s a ravenous raccoon in your backyard or a scared kitten in a tree.
We’ve all seen the traditional food pyramid and know that our diets should probably better adhere to it. Fortunately, there are county nutritionists that help busy families keep their health on track. In Aiken County, South Carolina, the health department employs nutritionist to help with the planning, implementation, and evaluation of WIC and Maternal/Child Health nutrition services. The nutritionists primarily work to implement quality assurance for WIC program nutrition services, making sure no matter what a family’s situation is, they have access to nutrition services.
- Forensic Pathologist
Sometimes unexpected deaths are due to natural causes but other times they may be a result of suicide, murder, or an accident. Forensic pathologists are charged with figuring this out. When an unexpected death occurs, forensic pathologists perform an autopsy to determine the cause of death. However, their work does not just involve the body of the deceased—forensic pathologists visit the scene of the death and gather background information about the deceased in order to most accurately piece together what happened. These civil servants are crucial to identifying if a crime has occurred and offering closure to those who have unexpectedly lost a loved one.
- Cybersecurity Officer
Everyone is talking about cybersecurity lately but few people know what actually goes into ensuring networks are protected. State cybersecurity officers are working hard behind the scenes to plan, develop, and maintain enterprise-wide cybersecurity programs to protect electronic data and network infrastructure. Without these officers, state and local networks would be vulnerable to intruders, putting systems at risk for potentially devastating intrusions and attacks.
- Interview and Interrogation Specialist
“I’m not lying, just hook me up to a lie detector machine!” A common line in most crime dramas and one that many of us have probably said ourselves at some point. However, not just anyone can administer a lie detector test, more commonly known as a polygraph. Interview and interrogation specialists usually have to have some sort of investigative experience and must be a member of the American Polygraph Association. Determining truthfulness is ultimately more of an art than a science and interview and interrogation specialists are constantly refining this skill in order most efficiently reach the truth.
- Fire Communications Dispatcher
Similar to 9-1-1 operators, fire communications dispatchers screen and direct calls for a city’s fire department. While the intense calls of an intruder in the house or a hit and run are what most people think when they hear about dispatchers, these civil servants actually do so much more. Some of these duties include screening calls for emergency ambulance, fire, public works, tow trucks, and ranger services. Additionally, some innovative state and local govies are trying to expand dispatcher services to include text messaging services as well as phone.
- Corrections Nurse
Even though prisoners have done something to land them in jail, they still need access to healthcare services while they are there. That’s where corrections nurses come in. These nurses are available to treat a wide array of medical issues from acute illnesses to medical emergencies. Whether a prisoner is crying wolf with their ailment or genuinely needs medical attention, correction nurses have to be ready to assess the situation and prescribe a plan of treatment. While there are increased safety risks, working as a corrections nurse can be just as rewarding, if not more, than working as a nurse in a more traditional setting.
Did you love learning about all the cool positions in state and local government? If so, be sure to look out for our upcoming State and Local guide and keeping following State and Local Spotlight for more local insights.