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. To become an information technology officer or professional and technical officer you usually need to complete a diploma, degree or trade qualification, or extensive work experience in the relevant field. 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.

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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. 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 (http://australia.gov.au) for department and agency contact details. APS vacancies are advertised on the Australian Public Service website at www.apsjobs.gov.au. 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 program aims to assist Indigenous jobseekers to gain professional positions in both the private and public sectors. Visit the Department of Employment website (http://employment.gov.au) for more information. Competition for positions in the APS is very strong.

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.
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