STEM Cadetship

The STEM (science, technology, engineering or mathematics) Cadetship offers tertiary students a head start to a unique career in Defence.

The STEM Cadetship is an entry level employment pathway for high performing tertiary students currently studying a relevant STEM degree.

A civilian STEM career in Defence offers students exposure to technical and scientific expertise, diverse learning opportunities and unique development experiences.

STEM Cadets have access to cutting edge technology and experience an inclusive, stimulating and dynamic environment that fosters innovation, creativity and problem solving.

Cadets can immerse themselves in practical work that provides them with the skills and knowledge required to undertake rewarding, exciting, challenging and meaningful work whilst completing their studies.


STEM Cadets receive the following benefits:

  • Ongoing part-time Australian Public Service (APS) employment with Defence.
  • A minimum of 60 paid work placement days per cadetship year. A cadetship year is defined as the 12 month period following commencement on the cadetship program.
  • A minimum annual salary of $52,652 pro rata plus 15.4% superannuation. Based on the completion of 60 work placement days, this equates to a minimum salary of $12,150 per annum.
  • Reimbursement of STEM degree compulsory university fees (i.e. course fees) upon successful completion of the relevant STEM units each semester.
  • Reimbursement for the cost of books and resources required for the STEM degree up to a maximum of $1,000 (GST Inclusive) per year.
  • A $3,000 bursary payment per year.
  • Progression to a full time ongoing APS level 4 or Science and technology level 3 position within the STEM Cadets work placement area, or transition into the Defence Graduate Program, on successful completion of the relevant STEM degree and all requirements of the cadetship program.
  • Mentorship by senior scientists, engineers, IT professionals or mathematicians, and world class training to help gain and expand skills.


See the STEM Cadetship disciplines page for more details on the STEM degrees and related work Groups that are sought be Defence in the STEM Cadetship.


The STEM Cadetship offers positions in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Newcastle, Perth and Sydney.

If a cadet’s work placement is not in their home state, it is recommended cadets arrange with their supervisor to complete their work placement via an intensive method (i.e. during mid-semester and Christmas break).

Defence will provide relocation assistance for the duration of work placements if required. This includes all travel costs and accommodation.


The STEM Cadetship Program is open to Australian undergraduate university students who meet the following eligibility conditions.

  • Be an Australian citizen.
  • Have completed minimum of 12 months full-time tertiary study of a relevant STEM degree at the time of application.
  • Have a credit average (GPA ≥ 5 on a 7point scale).
  • Completed tertiary studies (which may include Honours / Masters) between the end of Semester 2 2024 and the end of Semester 2 2026.
  • Be currently enrolled in a relevant STEM undergraduate degree
  • Have 12 months full-time tertiary study (equivalent to 8 units per year) remaining at the time of the cadetship program commencement.
  • Applicants who preference Defence Science and Technology Group as a work area, need to be enrolled in a relevant STEM undergraduate degree with Honours / Masters, or are eligible and agree to undertake an Honours / Masters degree if required.


Defence APS recruitment is based on merit, which means that the best person for the job is selected from a field of applicants.

Defence compares and weighs up the skills, experience and abilities of each applicant and often use tools and techniques (such as written applications, interviews and/or work sample tests) to collect evidence needed to make a merit-based decision.

The STEM Cadetship selection process is as follows.

  1. Applicants are required to meet the eligibility requirements and download the job information pack prior to applying.

  2. Eligible applicants must submit an online application providing a current resume/CV showcasing relevant skills and experience. Applicants will be asked to preference a work Group in the application form. Learn more about the Groups involved in the program on the STEM Cadetship disciplines page.

  3. Applicants will be invited to complete online emotional and behavioural testing, in addition to attending a virtual assessment centre.

  4. Merit pools will be developed from which successful applicants will be offered a STEM Cadetship role.

  5. All offers will have been made before December. Successful applicants will be called to check their continued interest in a position. Upon verbal confirmation, a formal written letter of offer will be sent.

  6. Unsuccessful candidates will be notified via email shortly after.

Security clearance

All positions within Defence require successful applicants to obtain some level of security clearance to be eligible for employment, which include a variety of background checks. Information, including frequently asked questions, is available from AGSVA Getting a Clearance.