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Government Benefits Officer Profile


This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as a Government Benefits Officer. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as a Government Benefits Officer
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Government Benefits Officer Work Information

Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

Some local authorities require staff to undertake both roles, whilst in others staff may specialise in revenue collection or assessing benefits.

Revenue officers:

Revenue officers undertake some or all of the following tasks: calculating bills such as rents, council tax and business rates; ensuring that bills are sent out on time and issuing reminders; dealing with queries from the public and other agencies such as housing associations; record keeping and performance monitoring.

Benefits officers:

Benefits officers undertake some or all of the following tasks; assessing the income and needs of clients to calculate entitlement to housing and council tax benefits; paying the appropriate benefits and adjusting benefits when circumstances change; liaising with other departments and agencies such as social services and housing associations; keeping records and performance monitoring.

Hours and Environment

Local government revenues/benefits officers usually work office hours - 35 to 37 hours a week Monday to Friday. Part-time and flexitime work may be available. It may be necessary to visit clients in their own homes, but only within the local authority area.

Skills and Interests

To be a local government revenues/benefits officer you will need:

  • good communication skills, both written and verbal
  • tact, diplomacy and sensitivity when dealing with clients
  • the ability to explain complex issues clearly
  • good numeracy and computer literacy skills
  • the ability to work accurately and pay attention to detail
  • analytical and problem-solving skills.


You normally require five GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3), including maths and English. Where there is competition for posts, A levels/H grades or an equivalent such as BTEC/SQA national awards in Business and Finance may be required.

You may also need experience of specific benefits systems software packages, but training will be provided where necessary.

There is no upper age limit to start work as a local revenues/benefits officer, and mature entrants are sometimes preferred because of the sensitive nature of the work.

If you have accountancy or other professional qualifications then these may lead to some exemptions in the IRRV exams.


Once employed, you should receive in-house training in specific benefits systems software packages.

To become fully qualified, you should study for the qualifications of the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (IRRV). Many employers recommend these qualifications and sponsor their employees for IRRV courses, whilst others have formed workplace assessment centres in connection with IRRV competence-based qualifications.

The IRRVs Technician Qualification is for staff up to middle management level. You may take it as a free-standing qualification or as a stepping-stone to study for the Full Professional Qualification. The qualification may be attained after a one-year part-time course leading to the Technician examinations or by achieving all the units of a competence-based assessment scheme.

The Full Professional Qualification is for those wishing to progress to senior positions and is in three levels, each taking a year of part-time study to complete. Its modular scheme allows a choice of subjects embracing general management courses as well as courses in accounting and revenues and benefits law and administration.

Entry to the Technician examinations and competence-based Technician schemes are open to all candidates employed in revenues and benefits offices and disabled and ethnic minority candidates are welcomed. Candidates for the Full Professional Qualification should hold the Technician Certificate or be qualified to a similar level (NVQ3) in general subjects (there is no requirement to take the Technician Qualification before studying for the Full Professional).

NVQs/SVQs are available at Levels 3 and 4 in Housing and Council Tax Benefit and in Local Taxation, and at Level 4 in Valuation.


Revenues and benefits officers are employed by local authorities throughout the UK, and by a growing number of companies working under contract to local authorities. With suitable experience and motivation, promotion prospects are good. It is also possible to move into other local government financial roles.

Officers specialising in benefits may have opportunities to work in the voluntary sector undertaking a similar role. It is possible to specialise and provide advice on benefits, often working for the Citizens Advice Bureau or a local authority.

The skills and experience gained as a revenue/benefits officer are transferable, and may lead to opportunities in central government departments such as the Inland Revenue and the Department for Work and Pensions.

Annual Income

The annual income section is intended as a guideline only.

New entrants are likely to start at around £11,400.
With experience, salaries are likely to be around £13,700 to £16,700.
On promotion to supervisory roles officers may earn around £18,000 or more.

Salaries reflect differences between jobs, local grading policies and the size of the council, with higher rates paid in London. Performance related pay has been introduced by many councils.

Further information

Local Government NTO *
Layden House
76-86 Turnmill Street
Tel: 020 7296 6600

Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation
41 Doughty Street
Tel: 020 7831 3505

Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA)
Rosebery House
9 Haymarket Terrace
EH12 5XZ
Tel: 0131 474 9200

In Northern Ireland - contact your local District Council for information.

National Training Organisations (NTOs) ceased to be recognised by the government on 31 March 2002. However, some are continuing to operate in their respective fields. Please contact individual NTOs with queries regarding their current status.

The Secretary of State for Education and Skills is licensing new Sector Skills Councils - charged with boosting skills and productivity in business sectors. For information about Sector Skills Councils, their roles and responsibilities, please visit the Sector Skills Development Agency website:

Other Useful Government Benefits Officer Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Government Benefits Officer job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Government Benefits Officer Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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