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Career Starter Program

2022 Career Starter Program applications are expected to open from July 2021.


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

Key elements

The key elements of the Career Starter Program are:

  • Full time position with a competitive starting salary starting at the APS Level 1 - $50,569 per annum.
  • Advancement opportunity to the APS Level 2 upon successful completion – salary increase to $57,420 per annum.
  • Statement of Attainment of a Certificate IV in Government.
  • Quarterly network events.
  • Four weeks paid leave per year.
  • Superannuation of 15.4 per cent.
  • A ‘buddy’ from the previous years’ program.


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

  • Have completed your Year 12 certificate in 2020 or completing it in 2021.
  • Be an Australian citizen or going to be granted Australian citizenship by November 2021 and be able to provide evidence of this.
  • Be able to obtain and maintain a Baseline security clearance.

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

Application Details

To be confirmed.

Key Dates

Applications open July 2021
Applications close August 2021
Shortlisting September 2021
Virtual interview September 2021
Video Panel interview September 2021
Process finalised October 2021
Program commencement February 2022

If you have any queries, you can email our Entry Level Programs Team.

What do our Career Starters have to say?

Hear from some of our current Career Starters below about their time on the Career Starter Program and why Infrastructure is the place for you.

The Career Starter program has been an immensely positive experience. The program has struck the perfect balance of integrating me into a professional workplace, without being thrown into the deep end. Being exposed to integral functions of the Australian Public Service, whilst being equipped with skills, is exciting and prepares myself to confidently pursue career opportunities. The program’s focus on building networks around me to support my development and personal goals, is a reflection of care in tailoring a program that helps young people be incorporated into the workforce. I feel encouraged to find opportunities to grow, and I recommend any school leaver considers this program to help start your career.

  • David Hiscock

The Career Starter Program has given me an opportunity to learn the life of the public service and to challenge myself with all of the things this department (DITRDC) does. The department is a proud place to be, its often that you will hear about our achievements on the news: infrastructure projects to NBN and everything in-between. Career Starters in this department are valued highly, being provided with all sorts of resources to challenge and develop us as public servants. If I had the choice again, I would never have chosen a path different to the Career Starter Program at DITRDC.

  • Emily Oakes

No words can describe how incredible the Career Starter Program (CSP) has been! I wasn’t sure what to expect walking into a full-time position in the Australian Public Service (APS) knowing nothing about Government, but at the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (DITRDC), I have gained not only a stable and rewarding job, but I’ve also gained knowledge, life skills, experience, confidence, personal growth and career development - I couldn’t recommend this program enough!

  • Kara Murphy

Where are they now?

Hear from our past Career Starters:

Since the conclusion of the Career Starter Program, I can say that I have seen a lot of personal development. While my position has not changed, I am able to complete my job to a much higher standard and as a result I am finding more and more opportunities are opening for me. I have been working on many documents that are very important pieces in the budget process, in Senate Estimates briefings, and more whilst working with a range of teams to develop new processes and make a name for myself around my division. The Career Starter program has given me the trajectory to fast track my career in the public service, and I am definitely seeing the results.

  • Oliver Witrzens

Since the conclusion of the 2020 program, I am continuing to see new work opportunities come my way. Currently, I am on a temporary transfer to the Web Services team acting at the APS5 level. I work with people from across the department on content updates to departmental websites. I am interested in both policy and website development, so having the opportunity to try both out before making decisions on further study is fantastic.

  • Ashlee Chivers