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How to Join the APS

All Australian Public Service (APS) vacancies for ongoing jobs, and non-ongoing jobs for more than 12 months, and certain employment decisions, are notified in the weekly electronic publication, the APS Employment Gazette (APSJobs). The Gazette is available to download as a PDF file on the homepage of APS jobs are also advertised on individual Australian Government agency websites and some APS jobs are advertised on external job boards.

Types of jobs available

The APS has entry level and management positions, technical positions as well as general administrative, service delivery and support roles across all sectors. Apprenticeship, Indigenous career pathways, school leaver and graduate programs are available across a wide range of APS departments and agencies. Full time, part time, temporary and contract opportunities at all levels of experience exist across a wide range of sectors.

Applying for jobs in the APS

Applying for a job in the APS may be different from applying for a job elsewhere. This is due to the requirement for agencies to conduct a merit-based competitive selection process in most cases.

Apart from some centralised recruitment campaigns conducted by the Australian Public Service Commission and a small number of other agencies, each APS agency is responsible for conducting its own selection process in accordance with the merit principle and these processes may differ between agencies.

Further information is available from the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) Opens in a new window website.


Potential APS employees need to meet a number of eligibility requirements to be employed by the APS.

Citizenship requirements

Most APS jobs are open to all Australian citizens; however, individual agencies may decide to employ non-Australian citizens. Further details about citizenship requirements for employees in the APS, is available from the Opens in a new windowConditions of Engagement page on the APSC website. There may be other restrictions on who can be employed, as follows:

Existing APS employees

Jobs open to existing APS employees only are marked in the Gazette with the symbol (♣). APS employee means a person who is an ongoing APS employee or an ongoing Parliamentary Service employee at the time of the relevant Public Service Gazette notification.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

Identified positions are positions with specific selection criteria that signify that the role has a strong involvement in issues relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Identified positions are jobs that are open to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians who meet the selection criteria, which require:

  • an understanding of the issues affecting Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people; and
  • the ability to communicate sensitively and effectively with Indigenous communities.

Affirmative measures provisions’ identify jobs that are restricted to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants. These are to provide job opportunities for Indigenous people.

People with a disability

The APS welcomes and encourages applications from people with a disability. Positions in the APS are able to be identified only Opens in a new windowopen to people with disabilities under a affirmative measures provision. To ensure people with a disability have access to the same opportunities as other people, Opens in a new windowreasonable adjustments are available to all who participate in recruitment activities, ongoing and non-ongoing employment with the APS.

The RecruitAbility scheme aims to attract and develop applicants with disability and also facilitate cultural change in selection panels and agency recruitment. Further information on Opens in a new windowRecruitability is available from the Australian Public Service Commission website.

Recipients of some redundancy benefits

People who have received a redundancy benefit from the APS, the Parliamentary Service are excluded from APS employment for varying periods (depending on the amount of their redundancy benefit). Additional information on Opens in a new windowredundancy benefits and re-engagement can be found on the APSC website.

Security Clearances

There are a number of Australian Government departments and agencies that require security clearances across a range of levels. APS employment notices will have listed any security requirements, and further information is available at the Opens in a new windowAustralian Government Security Vetting Agency website.

APS Job Classifications

Jobs in the APS are classified according to expected level of work to be undertaken. APS classifications include APS Level 1 – 6, Executive Level 1 and 2, and Senior Executive Service Band 1, 2 and 3. For information about the expected capabilities and behaviours required at each level, see the Opens in a new windowIntegrated Leadership System (ILS) on the APSC website.

Further information and support to applying for jobs in the APS – PDF icon Opens in a new windowCracking the Code (PDF - 494 KB).