Career Starter Program

Department of Finance
Career Starter Program

Your career

Recently completed Year 12? Looking to get a competitive edge over your peers? The Career Starter Program is an award winning, entry level program that allows participants to build skills on the job, learn through structured training and work as part of a team on a community project.

As a Career Starter, you will have a full-time permanent job with a competitive starting salary in the Australian Public Service (APS).

To be eligible, you must:

  • have completed your Year 12 certificate in 2018 or completing it in 2019
  • be an Australian citizen or going to be granted Australian citizenship by November 2019 and be able to provide evidence of this
  • be able to obtain and maintain a Baseline security clearance.

The program includes:

  • Statement of Attainment of a Certificate IV in Government. Training sessions include:
    • transition into corporate life
    • writing skills for the Australian Public Service
    • application and interview skills
    • essentials of project management
    • policy development
  • quarterly networking events
  • a 'buddy' from the previous years' program or similar
  • the opportunity to work as a team on a community project.

You will receive lots of support throughout the program from supervisors, colleagues and your 'buddy'.

Your role may include

  • project assistance and contribution
  • administrative support
  • providing advice to stakeholders
  • drafting basic reports
  • undertaking research
  • general and routine processing.

What's in it for you?

  • permanent job with the Department of Finance or another participating department within the Australian Government (all positions are Canberra based)
  • starting salary of $47,077* (APS Level 1)
  • advancement opportunity to the APS Level 2 (salary increase to $54,057*)
  • four weeks paid leave per year
  • superannuation of 15.4 per cent (above superannuation guarantee of 9.5 per cent).

*Salaries are for Department of Finance positions only; salaries for positions within other participating departments will vary.

About The Department of Finance

The department is a central agency of the Australian Government. We play a key role in assisting the Government to shape and deliver its priorities focusing on ensuring government funded programs are effective, sustainable and reflect best value to government and the Australian community.

A job at Finance gives you exposure to a variety of work that will challenge you and build valuable capabilities for a career in the APS.

Our work also involves:

  • supporting the delivery of the Australian Government Budget
  • collaborating with shareholders to deliver important infrastructure for Australia including Snowy Hydro 2.0, Inland Rail, Western Sydney Airport, Australian Naval Infrastructure and NBN
  • leading the modernisation of the public sector to provide better services to citizens and businesses
  • managing policy for whole of government activities such as procurement, shared services, insurance, advertising and travel
  • advising on the financial impacts, risks and merits of new policy proposals from across all Government portfolios
  • managing the Government's domestic property portfolio
  • delivering a range of tools and services to assist the work of parliamentarians and their staff
  • working with Government Business Enterprises such as the Australian Postal Corporation and Defence Housing Australia.


Undertake work with real impact on the lives of Australians. You will be involved in significant projects and see the results of your work every day.


Experience a diverse range of project based work that will develop your talents and push your career to places you never imagined.


Work with engaged people who succeed as a team. You will have the drive to work hard, deliver to the highest standards and achieve greatness as a team.


Enjoy a wide view and gain exposure to extensive networks and influencers who can help expand your career in countless directions.

About our workplace

At Finance, we recognise our people are at the centre of the work we do and it is important staff feel valued and enjoy coming to work each day.

We have an inclusive workforce, which attracts, retains and supports employees from all diversity groups. We have five diversity networks that contribute to the positive culture of the department through social and cultural events and activities.

These networks are:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Staff Network
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Plus Network
  • Ability Network
  • Gender Equity Network
  • Emerging Leaders Network.

You can also join the Finance Social Club, a team committed to empowering the Finance community to take ownership of and steer the social culture.

We support flexible working arrangements and can provide support for you to continue your studies part time.

Our modern head office in Forrest, ACT, includes a free on-site gym, open collaboration spaces and is close to cafes and walking trails.

Application process

Applications for the 2020 Program opens on Monday 5 August 2019 and will close Monday 26 August 2019 at 11:30pm (AEST).

What you need to do:

  • submit your application and resume online (from 5 August 2019)
  • participate in a video interview
  • complete a short online assessment
  • attend an assessment centre (during October school holidays).

Applications are currently closed

Information session

We are holding a 2020 Career Starter Program information session at our One Canberra Avenue, Forrest ACT offices on Thursday 8 August 2019 from 5.00pm - 6.30pm.

Please feel free to come along for an opportunity to hear more about the program and the application process, and also to ask us any questions that you might have.

Candidate guide

For more information about the program and application process, see the Candidate guide. 

Contact us

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