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/sbin isn't in the path of non-root users as most of those commands need yout to be root to do anything useful with. You can add it to your path (and everyone's path on the machines) by editing the PATH statement in /etc/profile. Alternatively if you just want to edit your user's path you can create a .profile/.bash_profile/.bashrc/.cshrc/whateverFileYourShellUses in your home directory and put a new PATH statement in there.
I don't follow... The .profile file is typically used to define environment variables and carry out tasks at startup, you could start applications from it but you would end up starting those applications evertime you opened a shell.
Is that the answer to the question you asked or did I just answer the question I thought you were asking?