"Today's engineers find half their knowledge is useless in five years!"

Do you want to be a...

Public Servant - Australian Public Service

Year 10 Preferred Subject Prerequisites Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites Aptitude Tests Police Check Medical Exams

Public servants in the Australian Public Service (APS) work in a wide range of areas such as community and social services, defence, economic management, education, employment, foreign affairs, health, housing, industrial relations and transport. They are employed in a variety of clerical, technical and professional careers.

There are various entry points to the APS:

Trainee Administrative Service Officer who advances to Administrative Service Officer Level 1/APS Level 1 after completing the Government Traineeship.

Graduate Administrative Assistant who advances to Research Officer Grade 1 or Administrative Service Officer Level 3/APS Level 3 after completing their training programme.

Administrative Service Officer/Executive Level Officer who enters with specific skills in response to advertisements for vacant positions, and may progress to Executive Level 1 or 2, in which they may undertake management roles.


  • able to communicate effectively in spoken and written English
  • able to deal confidently with people at all levels
  • discreet when handling confidential information
  • prepared to learn and use information technology
  • Australian citizen or permanent residency with intention of citizenship

Interest Area

Clerical/Administrative Influencing/Personal Contact


A public servant in the APS may specialise in the following categories:

Administrative Service Officer who may perform a range of administrative, research and policy tasks, depending on the government department or agency they work for.

Foreign Affairs and Trade Officer who works on the policy and operational aspects of Australia's foreign policy and trade interests. Officers work for the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and can be located in capital cities around Australia or overseas.

Information Technology Officer who provides support, and develops and manages networked computing systems. They also install, customise and support various software systems and other information technology products and services.

Professional and Technical Officer who may be employed in a number of areas within the APS, depending on their qualifications and specialisations. They may work as Archivists, Conservators, Librarians, Meteorologists, Microbiologists, Psychologists, Public Relations Officers, or in other professional and technical areas. Refer to these entries for education and training information.


Year 10 Preferred Subject Prerequisites Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites Aptitude Tests Police Check Medical Exams

The education and training requirements to become a public servant in the APS differ depending on the position.

There are no standard qualifications to become a Trainee Administrative Service Officer, although departments and agencies generally require Year 10. Different departments or agencies may have their own specific requirements and should be contacted directly for further information.

Graduate entry into the APS requires completion of a degree from a recognised tertiary institution. Entry to these courses usually requires you to gain your HSC/ACT Year 12.

To become an information technology officer or professional and technical officer usually requires completion of a diploma, degree or trade qualification, or extensive work experience in the relevant field, depending on the position.

On-the-job training and in-house courses are provided at all levels to develop and broaden work skills. Public servants may be required to undertake further part-time study.

Additional Information

    In order to work within the Australian Public Service you will need to meet the set selection criteria of the particular job category. You will also be required to undergo a National Police Check and pass a health and fitness test.

    The actual tasks and duties carried out by the various job levels differ between departments and agencies. For specific task descriptions and training requirements you will need to speak to the recruitment officers of the different departments.

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


Australian public servants work in every state and territory in Australia.

Many positions are in the capital cities or larger cities and towns. There are limited opportunities for overseas postings. Many graduate-entry positions are based in Canberra.

With ability, experience and training, progression to senior officer and senior executive positions may be possible. Promotions and transfers to other departments are available after gaining entry to the APS. These are based on merit.

Recruitment and testing services are conducted by individual Commonwealth Government departments and agencies. Contact your chosen department or agency for full details. Visit the Federal Government website for Department and agency contact details.

APS vacancies are advertised on the Australian Public Service website. Some jobs are advertised in local or national newspapers.

For Indigenous Australians, opportunities for employment while studying are available under the Indigenous Cadetship Support initiative. This employment programme aims to assist Indigenous jobseekers to gain professional positions in both the private and public sectors. Visit the Department of Employment website for more information.

Competition for positions in the APS is very strong.

Similar Jobs

More Information - External Links

Australian Public Service (APS) Jobs Department of Employment Australian Federal Government

Other Jobs by Interest Areas...

Artistic Creative Jobs Clerical Administrative Jobs Figures Computational Jobs Helping and Community Jobs Influencing and Personal Jobs Literary Jobs Medical Jobs Outdoor Jobs Practical Manual Jobs Scientific Jobs Technical Engineering Jobs

Job Search? Look for and press ENTER.

Remember: This is an EXACT match, so please use whole words only

This search looks for a match with the WHOLE keyword/s you enter. In other words, abbreviations like vet won't find veterinarian. Slang terms like brickie won't locate bricklayer 🙂

COL's JOB Guide

Please contact us to notify errors or suggest improvements.

Australia's Careers OnLine : Professional Careers Advice for job seekers on the 'net since 1995!