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Public Servant - State Government

Year 10 Preferred On The Job Training Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites

State government public servants are government employees who work in any of the departments of a state or territory government.

The State Public Service offers a broad range of administrative, clerical, technical and professional careers in areas such as public policy, planning, welfare, education, natural resources management, water supply, construction, legal services, law and order, health, and tourism and recreation.

The main fields of employment are administrative and clerical, and professional and paraprofessional. These occupations exist across all departments and agencies, and include positions from entry level to senior management.

For details about the range of tasks that may be performed by administrators and clerks, see the separate entries for Administrative Assistant, Bookkeeper, Human Resources Officer, Occupational Health and Safety Officer, Office Administrator, Transport Clerk and Word Processing Operator.

For information about the work performed by professional and paraprofessional employees, see the separate entries for Accountant, Agricultural Scientist, Analyst (Information Technology), Economist, Environmental Scientist, Geologist, Hydrologist, Lawyer, Librarian, Nurse - Registered, Police Officer - State, Programmer (Information Technology), Teacher and Training Officer.

The State Public Service may also employ trade and technical people. for further information, see the separate entries for Bricklayer, Carpenter, Civil and Structural Engineering Associate, Electrical Engineering Associate, Electrician, Forest Technical Officer and Geographic Information Systems Officer.


  • good oral and written communication skills
  • discreet when dealing with confidential information
  • able to analyse and solve problems
  • good organisational and time management skills
  • responsible attitude
  • able to work neatly and accurately
  • able to work as part of a team
  • methodical approach to work
  • Australian citizenship, permanent residency or an appropriate work visa

Interest Area

Clerical/Administrative Influencing/Personal Contact


Year 10 Preferred On The Job Training Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites

To become a public servant in the ACT and NSW governments you usually have to complete Year 10 or your HSC/ACT Year 12, depending on the entry position. Your employment prospects may be improved if you have qualifications or basic skills in computing, data entry and administration. Training is also given on the job, and assistance for work-related study may be available once you are employed within the ACT or NSW governments.

The principle of merit in recruitment and promotion means that the person whose skills, knowledge and experience best match the job requirements will be selected. In addition, each position in the ACT and NSW governments has specific requirements, and job applicants need to demonstrate that they meet these requirements by responding to set selection criteria.

You can also become a public servant through a traineeship in Government or in other specialised areas such as Information Technology, Financial Services, Business or Business Administration.

Graduate positions in the ACT and NSW governments require completion of a relevant degree from a recognised tertiary institution. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your HSC/ACT Year 12. Institutions have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information as requirements may change.

Additional Information

    People interested in joining the ACT or NSW public sector should check www.jobs.nsw.gov.au, www.jobs.act.gov.au and advertisements in newspapers to find out about vacancies. You should also contact individual departments and employment agencies.

    To become a public servant in the ACT and NSW governments, you may be required to undergo a National Police Check and pass a medical test (people with disability are given special consideration).

    Once you are employed, you may be able to develop, and have recognised, additional skills under the Public Sector (or other) Training Package that will expand your career opportunities within the public service.


Competition for graduate positions remains strong. Promotions and transfers within the public sector may be available, although advancement depends upon an officer's ambitions, qualifications, skills and abilities. Middle-level positions require ability or experience in more complex processing, investigation or supervision. More senior positions involve policy formulation, leadership and management skills.

NSW Government departments and agencies are located in the central business district and in metropolitan and regional areas, while ACT Government departments are located in Canberra.

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More Information - External Links

Public Service Association of NSW Community and Public Sector Union (Canberra Regional Office) ACT Government I Work For NSW

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