Finding an APS job

Defence has a range of Australian Public Service (APS) career opportunities that offer the scope for a career change at any time.

Staff recruiting is based on merit, which means that the best person for the job is selected from a field of applicants. This is done by comparing and weighing up the skills, experience and abilities of each candidate. Different tools and techniques, such as written applications, interviews and/or work-sample tests, are used to collect the evidence needed to make a merit-based decision.

Individual applicants

Defence job postings are designed to attract people who are interested in joining the department. They are not intended for recruitment suppliers.

Unsolicited resumes or applications from recruitment agencies and/or search firms will not be accepted and Defence will not pay fees to any such organisation unless arranged with the provider prior to advertising the vacancy.

Job posting frequency

Jobs are posted regularly, often daily, so visiting the website often to search current vacancies is recommended.

Applicants can also subscribe to the Job Alert service and be notified via email of future jobs that match their preferences.

Application deadlines

Only in exceptional circumstances is a vacancy able to be extended. Applicants who require an extension must contact the contact officer 24 hours prior to the vacancy closing date.

Applying for the right job

Applicants should take time to research and plan the application highlighting their skills, experience, training and abilities required to successfully undertake the job. Applying for the sake of it means spending time and energy applying for jobs they may not be really suited for. Understanding the job, what is required and whether the applicant has the right skills and experience are important in deciding whether to apply or not.


Most positions in Defence do not require specific qualifications. However, those that do will state them clearly in the job Information Pack.


Apart from the minimum age requirement for employment in each Australian state and territory, age is not a consideration when assessing applicants for employment opportunities. All Australian Public Service (APS) jobs at Defence are filled according to a merit based selection process.

Special measures positions or heritage

If applying for a special measures position, as per the eligibility requirements outlined in the information packs, proof of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Heritage is required from all applicants.

Applicants are required to complete and return the Recognising Organisation Resolution section and Applicant Declaration outlined in the Confirmation of Heritage form.

Confirmation of Heritage (PDF, 89.44 KB)

Applicants that had their heritage formally recognised and can provide a similar form to the recognising organisation resolution, are not required to complete this form. The original recognition of heritage document needs to be provided instead.


People with disabilities can not be excluded if their application shows they are able to undertake the inherent requirements of the job if reasonable adjustments are put in place. However, they can be excluded from the recruitment process based on merit and comparative assessment of applicants.

If a person is found suitable for the job and they have a disability, reasonable adjustments can be made to the workplace or job to allow them to carry out the inherent requirements of that job.

Inherent requirements refer to the core aspects of a job and include:

  • outcomes to be achieved but not how they are conducted (e.g. preparing briefs may be inherent requirement, however using a keyboard and computer to prepare briefs is not an inherent requirement)
  • safety requirements
  • adherence to the APS Code of Conduct.

Reasonable adjustments refer to assistance, adjustment or modification to undertake the inherent requirements of the job. Adjustments may include:

  • modifying the role / duties e.g. rearranging duties within a team
  • implementing flexible work arrangements
  • undertaking building modifications
  • providing specialist equipment.

RecruitAbility scheme

The RecruitAbility scheme supports people with disability applying for jobs in the APS.

When completing the application form there is a question under the diversity section asking for the applicant to indicate if they wish to opt into the RecruitAbility scheme. The applicant must tick the opt in box to participate in the scheme. Simply declaring they have a disability will not automatically include them in the scheme.

More information on the scheme is outlined in the jobs information pack.

APS levels explained

The levels of APS jobs at Defence are based on the duties that are required to be performed. Jobs are classified and paid at different levels according to the complexity, responsibility and skills involved. The most common classifications used are as follows:

  • APS 1 and 2 - general administrative and service positions, cadetships and trainees.
  • APS 3 and 4 - general entry level positions and general administrative, technical, project and service positions and graduate positions.
  • APS 5 and 6 - senior administrative, technical, project and service positions.
  • Executive Level 1 and 2 - middle management positions.
  • Senior Executive Service Band 1, 2 and 3 - senior leadership and management positions.

With this in mind, the best thing to do is read through the information provided for a particular job. The selection criteria and duty statement provide a good indication of the skills and abilities required for the job.

Applying for multiple positions

Job seekers are welcome to apply for any of the job postings that they believe match their skill-set and career aspirations.

Additional information

The contact officer can provide more information about the role or the process - for example, details about upcoming work priorities, the work environment or the timeframe for announcing the decision. The contact officer details should be outlined in the jobs information pack.


Careers portal username and password

The first time a person applies for a position on the APS Careers website, they will be asked to enter their email address (username), and create a password.

When returning to APS Careers they will be required to login using their email address and enter their password. Should an applicant forget their password, they will need to click on the forgotten your password link. They will then be required to enter their email address. A reset password will be sent to their email address.

If the applicant is unable to answer their secret question, by contacting a new password will be generated and sent to their email address.