Career Starter Program

Career Starter Program

Applications for the 2023 Career Starter Program have now closed. Applications for the 2024 Program will open from July 2023.

Click here to apply.

The Career Starter Program is an award-winning entry level program run through the Department of Finance for students who have recently completed Year 12. As a Career Starter, you will have a full time permanent job with a competitive starting salary in the Australian Public Service.

About the program

  • Full time position with a competitive starting salary starting at the APS 1 Level – $51,530 per year
  • Advancement opportunity to the APS 2 Level upon successful completion – salary increase to $58,511 per year
  • 15.4% superannuation and 4 weeks paid leave per year
  • Statement of Attainment of a Certificate IV in Government
  • Quarterly network events
  • A ‘buddy’ from the previous years’ program


To be eligible for the Career Starter Program, you must:

  • have completed your Year 12 certificate in 2022 or be completing one in 2023
  • be an Australian citizen or have proof you will be granted Australian citizenship by November 2023
  • be able to obtain and maintain a Baseline security clearance.

For further details, please see the Department of Finance website.

Application requirements

The application process is a multi-stage assessment process that may include elements such as:

  • written application
  • online assessment
  • virtual assessment centre

Key dates

Applications open

June 2023

Applications close

July 2023

Video interview

August 2023

Virtual assessment centre

September 2023

Matching process and Offers

September 2023

Program commencement

February 2024

*subject to change

If you have any questions, please email our Entry Level Programs Team.

What do our Career Starters have to say?

Some previous participants of the Career Starters Program have shared their experiences.

Anna Ovari

Anna Ovari

"The Career Starter Program is the perfect first step for anyone to get into the public service. The opportunities the program can provide you are infinite. Not only will you have to opportunity to develop an understanding of the public service and what it does, but you’ll be able to build a solid foundation for a career in the APS. You will be supported throughout your whole journey by your superiors, your colleagues and your fellow Career Starter peers. The skills I’ve learnt in one year, I’ll take with me into my future, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision to undertake the Career Starter Program. I would recommend it to anyone who has any interest in the public service, or anyone who is unsure of what they want to do – the options are diverse and you will be engaged no matter what you choose."

Ella Grech

Ella Grech

“I’ve really enjoyed my time as a 2022 Career Starter Program participant. It has provided me the unique experience of a fulltime work environment where gradual learning is fully supported through achievable work expectations and resources. I find this aspect to be extremely valuable, as it alleviates the uncertainty and stress typically experienced when transitioning between school and a full-time job. The knowledge you can grow and build upon from this experience is infinite! The foundations of the APS you learn through the certificate in government, in addition to the skills you pick up on the job, are extremely transferable to any future career. I would recommend this program to everyone because of the connections, skills, and knowledge you gain.”

Max Leonard


“The Career Starter Program enabled me to secure an exciting position in the public Service as soon as I left school! Because of the generous working conditions, salary, and great experiences, I recommend this program to everyone who is graduating high school. I have made numerous new friends, and have gained a massive amount of knowledge since I started. There are so many opportunities in the APS, and this program is a great opportunity to kickstart it all!”

Find out more