Career Starter Program

About the Department of Finance

Primarily located in Canberra, the Department of Finance is a central agency within the Australian Public Service (APS). If you are looking for an interesting position with supportive colleagues, then consider a place on our team.

As a central government agency, we support the delivery of the Australian Government’s Budget, assisting agencies through the process and providing critical advice to the Government on new policies and programs. We are an agency with diverse responsibilities - our work extends far beyond managing government expenditure. We have responsibility for delivering excellence and value in advancing public sector reform, ultimately enabling the government of the day to deliver and provide for all Australian citizens.

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. We welcome your ideas on improving business. Don’t be afraid to do things differently – at Finance, we value team members who can seek out and capitalise on opportunities to innovate and modernise.

Our work also involves:

  • 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.

At Finance you will:


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 that our people are at the centre of the work we do and it is important that 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.


About the program

As a Career Starter, you will experience a stable, full-time permanent job with a competitive starting salary within the Australian Public Service.

The program includes a structured development program and detailed training sessions. The training will assist you in working towards a Statement of Attainment for six competencies for a Certificate IV in Government.

These competencies include:

  • transition into corporate life
  • writing skills for the APS
  • essentials of project management
  • application and interview skills.


As part of the program, your cohort will also be in charge of planning and running the department’s annual charity Trivia Night for our flagship charity.

You will receive lots of support throughout the program from your supervisors and colleagues. You will also be ‘buddied up’ with a Career Starter from last year’s program.

Your role may include:

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

What is in it for you?

As a Career Starter at Finance you will receive:

  • a full-time permanent job with a starting salary of $46,154 (APS Level 1) based at One Canberra Avenue, Forrest, Canberra
  • advancement opportunity to the APS Level 2 (salary increase to $52,997)
  • four weeks paid leave per year
  • superannuation of 15.4 per cent
  • free access to full gym facilities at One Canberra Avenue.

Life after the program

The program runs for one year and afterwards you will be a permanent full-time employee with us. You will have continued access to learning and development opportunities, which will allow you to grow and develop your career after the completion of the program.


Application process

What you need to do:

  • submit your application and resume online (from August  2018)
  • complete an online cognitive test
  • participate in a video interview
  • attend an assessment centre (during October school holidays).

To be eligible for the program you must:

  • have completed your Year 12 certificate in 2017 or 2018
  • be an Australian citizen
  • be able to obtain and maintain a Baseline security clearance.

More information

Applications for the 2019 Program have now closed.

If you have any questions, please contact the Recruitment Team at or call 02 6215 1717.


Call us: 02 6215 1717

Email us:




Last updated: 04 June 2019