How to become a Public Servant - Australian Public Service

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.

Personal requirements of a Public Servant - Australian Public Service

  • 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

Education & Training for a Public Servant - Australian Public Service

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 Senior Secondary Certificate of Education.

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.

Duties & Tasks of a Public Servant - Australian Public Service

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 program.
  • 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.

Employment Opportunities for a Public Servant - Australian 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. For Indigenous Australians, opportunities for employment while studying are available under the Indigenous Cadetship Support initiative. This employment program 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.

Avg. weekly wage:


Future growth:


Employment by state:

ACT 25.2%

NSW 27.9%

NT 1.4%

QLD 10.7%

SA 4.2%

TAS 1.8%

VIC 22%

WA 6.8%

Hours worked:



Lower unemployment

Gender split:

Male 44%

Female 56%

Education level:

Highest qualification is secondary school: 6.1%

Highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 4%

Highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 9.5%

Highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 38.4%

Highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 40.1%

Age brackets:

15-19 - 0.1%

20-24 - 6.1%

25-34 - 26.8%

35-44 - 22.6%

45-54 - 19.5%

55-59 - 8.2%

60-64 - 7.1%

65 and Over - 9.5%

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

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