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 for 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.

Tasks

  • Representing the organisation in negotiations, and at conventions, seminars, public hearings and forums, and promoting existing and new programs and policies.
  • Leading, managing and developing administrative staff to ensure smooth business operations and the provision of accurate and timely information.
  • Providing information and support for the preparation of financial reports and budgets.
  • Developing and managing the organisation's administrative, financial, physical and staff resources.
  • Developing and implementing administrative, financial and operational procedural statements and guidelines for use by staff in the organisation.
  • Analysing complex resource management issues and initiatives that affect the organisation, and preparing associated reports, correspondence and submissions.
  • Providing high level administrative, strategic planning and operational support, research and advice to senior management on administrative matters such as staff management, financial planning, facility management and information services.

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 (http://employment.gov.au) for more information.


Specializations

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.

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.

  • Average age
    Average age
    48 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Moderate
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    62% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    45 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    $2,783
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Very high skill
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    87% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    23,800 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 8.2%
    NSW: 22.9%
    NT: 1.3%
    QLD: 22.5%
    SA: 5.9%
    TAS: 1.4%
    VIC: 20.9%
    WA: 16.8%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 0%
    20-24: 0.7%
    25-34: 13.1%
    35-44: 25.9%
    45-54: 34.5%
    55-59: 14.7%
    60-64: 7.6%
    65 and Over: 3.5%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 18.1%
    Bachelor degree: 27.2%
    Certificate III/IV: 11.1%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 19.6%
    Year 10 and below: 7.4%
    Year 11: 3.9%
    Year 12: 12.9%
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