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I'm thinking of joining the Australian Public Service

I'd like to find out more about where to find job opportunities

Generally in the public service, specific vacant positions are advertised. There are a few exceptions, where groups of people are recruited at the same time for specific jobs and are then assigned to a vacant position somewhere in the agency.

Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognise them.

Ann Landers

Click on each type of program to learn where to find job opportunities.

Entry level programs

Many departments and agencies conduct their own entry level programs. Typically they run a recruitment campaign and successful applicants are given an extensive development program.

What should I do now?

To find department or agency programs, you can visit the relevant jobs website for that department or agency to find out more.

Departmental/agency specific programs

Most bigger departments run an annual Graduate Development Program where they recruit recent university graduates and provide a year-long development program. These are generally advertised in the press or on the agency web site. Graduate recruitment for the following year usually takes place around March – June.

There are a range of cadetships, scholarships and work experience opportunities offered by individual departments and agencies across the Australian Public Service. Scholarships include partial or complete funding to assist a person to complete their formal qualifications.

Other programs include Customs and Border Protection trainee, Legal Internships at the Australian Law Reform Commission, the Defence Materiel Organisation Undergraduate Program, to name a few.

Australian Public Service wide programs

Indigenous programs

If you are indigenous, you can also look at options such as – the Indigenous Traineeships, Indigenous Cadetships and the Indigenous Graduate Program. These programs are co-ordinated by the Australian Public Service Commission.

By lodging a single application you have the opportunity to be considered for employment in over 40 Australian government agencies.

The Indigenous Australian Government Development Program is another Australian Government Program that provides an entry program for Indigenous people. There is no minimum education requirement, though participants will need to have the capacity to undertake a diploma-level qualification.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

The Australian Public Service also runs two programs specifically in Information and Communication Technology: the ICT Apprenticeship Program and the ICT Traineeship Program.

The Australian Government ICT Apprenticeship Program targets students who are currently completing their Year 12 Certificate and people with a passion for ICT who are looking for a new and exciting career change.

The Australian Government ICT Cadetship Program targets current University students who have completed their first year (or full-time equivalent) of an undergraduate degree in ICT, or an undergraduate degree with an ICT major.

Ongoing jobs

Jobs in the Australian Public Service are advertised in the Australian Public Service Employment Gazette.

Many Australian Public Service vacancies are also advertised in the press, on individual agency websites, through the general Australian JobSearch website or at The Department of Human Services offices.

Most Australian Public Service jobs are open to all members of the community to apply, if you think you meet the requirements set out in the advertisement. To work in the Australian Public Service you need to be an Australian citizen, except in exceptional circumstances.

Non-ongoing jobs
  • Non-ongoing jobs are often advertised in the Australian Public Service Employment Gazette.

  • For shorter-term vacancies many departments and agencies maintain registers of people wishing to obtain temporary jobs. You can contact individual agencies to find out how to be placed on their temporary employment register.
  • Recruitment and job search companies are often used by Australian Public Service agencies to fill temporary vacancies. You can contact these companies to see what, if any, opportunities are available. If you go through a recruitment company, you may either be employed by that company or employed by the department or agency as a non-ongoing employee. Either way, your experience will make you more competitive when seeking other employment in the Australian Public Service.

What if I have been employed in the Australian Public Service before?

If you have previously been employed in the Australian Public Service or similar Commonwealth body, you may be able to register your details on Ready Now - the temporary employment register for former Australian Public Service staff.