How to become a Police Officer - Australian Federal Police

Police officers working for the Australian Federal Police (AFP) are responsible for policing federal law in all states and territories, and for community policing in the ACT and Australia's external territories. The AFP, with its headquarters located in Canberra, is Australia's international law enforcement and policing agency. It is the chief source of advice to the Australian Government on policing issues, enforces Commonwealth criminal law and protects Commonwealth and national interests.

Personal requirements of a Police Officer - Australian Federal Police

  • Of sound character
  • At least 18 years of age
  • A full, unrestricted manual vehicle drivers licence
  • Able to satisfy medical and fitness requirements
  • Australian citizenship

Education & Training for a Police Officer - Australian Federal Police

To become a police officer (AFP) you usually have to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education, or complete Year 10 plus a trade certificate. Tertiary qualifications may add to your competitiveness and, wherever possible, the AFP seeks to recruit graduates from a wide range of disciplines, not limited to law, justice or criminology studies. To get into the degree courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Institutions have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. Successful applicants complete 24 weeks of training at the AFP College in Barton, ACT. Recruits complete a further 12 months of on-the-job training.

Additional Information

To join the AFP, applicants must pass aptitude, medical and psychometric tests, as well as security checks, a fitness test and a selection assessment. Applicants must hold a Provide First Aid Certificate and be able to swim 100 metres unaided.

Duties & Tasks of a Police Officer - Australian Federal Police

Australian Federal Police officers:

  • investigate and prosecute offences committed against the Commonwealth in areas such as organised, corporate and computer crime; environmental offences; drug trafficking; fraud; counterfeiting and terrorism
  • confiscate proceeds of crime when an offender is convicted
  • carry out VIP and diplomatic protection duties as directed
  • protect police witnesses and investigate the unlawful disclosure of government information and official corruption
  • work in joint operations with state and territory police
  • liaise with other police forces and crime prevention institutions to combat international crime
  • contribute to United Nations activities such as peacekeeping and international aid programs
  • undertake clerical and administrative duties.

Working conditions for a Police Officer - Australian Federal Police

Australian Federal Police officers work shifts. Their duties vary from team to team. They are required to serve anywhere in Australia, or in the Australian territories of Norfolk Island, Christmas Island, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Jervis Bay, and be willing to move with the job depending on operational requirements.

Employment Opportunities for a Police Officer - Australian Federal Police

Appointment to the AFP is based on merit, and recruits have the opportunity to seek employment in all states and territories of Australia. Overseas postings are also available. Recruits may be employed for duties as plain-clothed Federal Agents, or as uniformed officers in community policing in the ACT. In addition to performing a variety of duties, recruits have the opportunity to gain experience in specialised policing roles (both uniformed and plain-clothed), as well as the chance to collaborate with national and international law enforcement agencies. Entry is highly competitive. Job opportunities depend on the level of government funding and technological change in areas such as communication, computer technology, surveillance equipment, data collection and forensic services. The AFP is an equal opportunity employer and has an Indigenous recruitment and career development strategy.

Avg. weekly wage:


Future growth:


Employment by state:

ACT ACT 1.3%


NT NT 3%

QLD QLD 19.9%

SA SA 8.5%

TAS TAS 1.8%

VIC VIC 28.1%

WA WA 9.3%

Hours worked:



Lower unemployment

Gender split:

Male 72.8%

Female 27.2%

Education level:

Not completed Year 12: 1.2%

Highest qualification is secondary school: 16.8%

Highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 15%

Highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 31.1%

Highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 32.9%

Highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 3%

Age brackets:

15-19 - 0%

20-24 - 3%

25-34 - 29.4%

35-44 - 36.1%

45-54 - 23.1%

55-59 - 7.1%

60-64 - 1%

65 and Over - 0.3%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

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