Go to top of page


The APS Remuneration Report is an annual snapshot of remuneration across the whole Australian Public Service (APS). The 2015 report is based on data collected from all APS agencies as at 31 December 2015.

This report excludes employees engaged under s22(2)(c) of the Public Service Act 1999 as intermittent and irregular staff and employees locally engaged under s74 of the Act. Employees on leave without pay and employees at the trainee/cadet classification are also excluded.

Agency Heads and public office holders are not covered as their remuneration is set by the Remuneration Tribunal.

Valid data was received for 2,538 Senior Executive Service (SES) employees and 136,527 non-SES employees.

When considering the Report data, readers should note that the large agencies have a significant impact. The Department of Human Services, the Australian Taxation Office and the Department of Defence make up approximately 48.9% of the APS workforce and are influential on median figures.

2015 APS context

The APS experienced an increase in employee engagements in 2015. There were 5,830 ongoing employees engaged in the 2015 calendar year. This is up from 2,717 in 2014. Engagements in 2015 and 2014 were lower than previous years, with 6,701 ongoing engagements in 2013, and 9,075 in 2012. 1

Increases in employee engagements can affect median values. This is because newly engaged employees tend to commence on salaries at the bottom of their salary scale.

Enterprise Bargaining in the 2015 calendar year saw 24 new agreements made. As a number of these were made late in the year, it is unlikely that first general wage increases were in pay systems by 31 December 2015.

APS Executive Remuneration Management

The APS Executive Remuneration Management Policy (http://www.apsc.gov.au/publications-and-media/current-publications/executive-remuneration) provides that total executive remuneration should not exceed 65 per cent of the lowest pay point of the Secretaries structure.

The Australian Public Service Commissioner can approve remuneration above this point where compelling circumstances apply.

APS classifications

The classification system outlined in the Public Service Classification Rules 2000 (the classification rules) (https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2014C01338) is used to present the remuneration data.

A number of agencies use 'local' classifications in addition to the approved classification. The remuneration data for a local classification is included in the relevant APS classification to which it corresponds.

The Classification Rules provide for a number of trainee classifications. Only data covering Graduates have been included.

Methodology and definitions

Information on the reporting methodology and structure is contained in the Appendices.

Last reviewed: 
29 March 2018