Go to top of page

Fact sheet 3 : Understanding APS jobs

Get the facts

The APS has a wide range of jobs corresponding to different roles and levels of responsibility (grouped as classifications). These include:

  • service delivery and advice to the public
  • policy advice, programme design, implementation, stakeholder management, and high level decision-making
  • corporate services such as information technology, human resources, records management, accounts processing and ministerial and parliamentary processes
  • technical and professional jobs such as lawyers, journalists, accountants, scientists, engineers, librarians, inspectors and economists.

In addition there are a range of administrative support positions.

We offer full time and part time jobs on either a temporary or ongoing basis. If you are interested in part time work, speak with the contact officer about the possibility of flexible hours or part time work, even if the job is advertised as a full time position.

In the know…tips and hints

Applying for the sake of it means spending time and energy applying for jobs that you may not be really suited for. Understanding the job, what is required and whether you have the right skills and experience are important in deciding whether to apply or not.

Find out more

What are classifications?

The level of APS jobs is based on the duties that are required to be performed. Jobs are classified and paid at different levels according to the complexity, responsibility and skills involved. The most common classifications used are as follows:

  • APS 1 and 2—general administrative and service positions, cadetships and trainees
  • APS 3 and 4—general entry level positions and general administrative, technical, project and service positions, and graduate positions
  • APS 5 and 6—senior administrative, technical, project and service positions, which may have supervisory roles
  • Executive Level 1 and 2—middle management positions
  • Senior Executive Service Band 1, 2 and 3—senior leadership and management positions. More information is available at our SES page.

Classifications grouped together, such as APS 1 to APS 3, are called broadbands.

Sometimes agencies may use different classifications, job titles and terminology to describe their jobs. The duty statement and selection criteria can help you understand whether you have the skills and experience needed for that position. In addition the contact officer may be able to provide further information on the roles and responsibilities of the job.


Contact officer: often a manager or supervisor, they can tell you more about the job, the roles and responsibilities, the agency and so on. The contact officer is there for the specific purpose of answering your questions. Do not hesitate to call them and ask them to explain anything about the job or recruitment process that is unclear.

Executive / personal assistant: provide administrative support to senior managers.

Secretary: in some of the larger agencies in the APS, the head of the agency is referred to as the Secretary, similar to Chief Executives in the private sector.

Myth vs reality: You have to know someone to get a job in the APS

Getting a job in the APS is based on your skills, abilities and experience and how well they fit the requirements of the job.