A career at Defence

The Defence Graduate Program pathways provide unique learning and career progression opportunities.

The Program provides:

  • opportunities to make an impact and do meaningful work from the first day on the program.
  • a generous financial package, including:
    • starting salary of $73,343 plus 15.4% superannuation (increasing to $76,277 upon the Fair Work Commission approval of the Defence Enterprise Collective Agreement – 2024)
    • support with relocation
    • membership or accreditation with professional associations
    • generous leave entitlements. 
  • flexible work options to help achieve a happy work-life balance
  • a permanent position and promotion after successfully completing the program
  • personal and professional career development opportunities, such as:
    • study assistance
    • rotations across Defence
    • practical learning opportunities with exposure to Defence technology and locations.
  • work alongside a diverse group of experts dedicated to protecting Australia's national interests.

Inclusive culture

Defence is committed to diversity and inclusion and encourages candidates from diverse backgrounds to apply. Employees strive to uphold and demonstrate respectful, professional and inclusive behaviours.

A diverse workforce:

  • supports an inclusive culture
  • encourages innovation
  • enables staff to adapt in a rapidly evolving security environment.

Defence is proud to host a number of staff networks, initiatives and activities to celebrate and respect the diversity of its workforce.

A diverse workforce supported by an inclusive culture enhances Defence’s capability and effectiveness. It enables ideas and innovation to adapt to a rapidly evolving strategic environment. 

Salary and entitlements

Defence is committed to enabling an enjoyable work/life balance for its staff. This includes generous remuneration package, conditions of service, flexibility and leave benefits. 

Successful candidates will start the Graduate Program as a permanent full-time APS employee.

Defence APS staff are employed under a Defence Enterprise Collective Agreement, or an Australian Signal Directorate (ASD) Conditions of Employment Determination 2018.

All successful candidates start the Graduate Program on a salary of $73,343 plus 15.4% superannuation (increasing to $76,277 upon the Fair Work Commission approval of the Defence Enterprise Collective Agreement – 2024).

Graduates advance to a higher salary after successfully completing the Graduate Program. The salary increase depends on which training pathway completed. 

The average work day for a graduate is 7.5 hours per day. Flexible work hours and arrangements are negotiated individually, depending on the work area.

Defence also helps to support with relocation costs for those who need move away from home for work.