AEC Graduate Program

Updated: 17 May 2017

Applications for the 2018 Graduate Program are now closed

Program overview

The AEC is at the heart of Australian democracy. The AEC Graduate Program is an approximate 12 month program that will provide you with access to many professional development opportunities and the chance to help design, develop and deliver policies, programs and services that impact upon all Australians.

Throughout the year you will gain valuable skills and experience through a comprehensive induction program and a series of placements across the AEC. On-the-job training, seminar events, mentoring and specific public sector training all form part of the program to expose you to life in the public service through a variety of learning approaches.


The AEC is a small to medium Commonwealth Government agency responsible for the conduct of federal elections and referendums and maintaining the Commonwealth electoral roll. The AEC also delivers education and public awareness programs to ensure that all Australians have sufficient knowledge and understanding of their electoral responsibilities. AEC staff take great pride in the importance of the responsibilities entrusted to them and work to achieve electoral integrity through the values of agility, professionalism and quality.

Our National Office is located in Canberra city, and our network spans across every state and territory.

What roles do we have available and where?

The AEC has 2 Graduate Streams:

  • General
  • Information Technology (IT)


Generalist graduates will have the chance to work across a broad spectrum of available placements within the AEC. Business areas in the AEC perform a range of tasks including project management, parliamentary submissions, election planning, policy and procedures development, communication strategies, education programs, advertising campaigns, market research, research and strategy around electoral policy and reform, data analysis, design and maintenance of electoral enrolment systems, creating election planning aids and training programs and human resources.


Working at the AEC as an IT graduate will provide you with opportunities that range from assisting business areas in analysing and developing requirements, to using a wide variety of current and emerging technologies to support AEC outcomes.

Awareness or experience in IT security, cloud computing and mobile applications are desired as the AEC is constantly seeking to build emerging technologies into our business processes.

The majority of our graduate positions are located in Canberra. Further opportunities may exist to be deployed on a short term placement to one of our interstate or regional offices.

Throughout the Graduate Program, graduates will have many development opportunities, including participation in:

  • three 15 week rotations, in various branches across the agency,
  • an election placement (if available),
  • the Australian Public Service Commission's (APSC) Graduate Development Program,
  • performance coaching training, and
  • a comprehensive induction program.

What is the eligibility criteria?

To be eligible to apply for the 2018 AEC Graduate Program applicants must, at the time of commencement:

  • have graduated within the last five years (no earlier than 2013)
  • have a Grade Point Average of 5 or above (a credit average)
  • be able to obtain a baseline security clearance
  • be an Australian citizen

Please note candidates applying for the IT stream must have a relevant degree.  

Applicants may have studied one of the following disciplines, however applicants who have studied other disciples will also be considered.
Stream Examples of related disciplines
General Accounting, Arts, Commerce, Communications, Economics, Finance, Human Resources, International Development, International Relations, Legal, Political Science, Project Management, Public & Government Management, Social Science, Statistics or other disciplines.
IT Information Technology, IT infrastructure, Computer Science, Software Engineering, Network Engineering, IT Security, IT Project Management or a related field.

The AEC recognises the richness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and the unique knowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees bring to our workplace. We actively seek to increase Indigenous representation in the Australian Public Service and encourage applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

As the AEC is responsible for providing the Australian people with an independent electoral service, it is essential that all our employees are – and are seen to be – politically neutral.

What is in it for graduates that are successful?

The AEC has competitive employment conditions and pay.

  • Graduates will begin as an APS 3 and receive a starting salary of $56 613.
  • Upon successful completion of the program graduates will be classified APS 3 classification.
  • Thereafter the Electoral Commissioner will, having regard to the employee’s skills and experience, progress them to a point within the graduate broadband. Once graduates are assigned an ongoing position, business areas can put forward a business case seeking for graduates to be advanced to a higher classification within the APS 3 – 5 broadband.
  • AEC's working week is 37.5 hours.

What happens after the Graduate Program?

The AEC Graduate Program will provide you with the skills and knowledge needed to underpin a future career within the AEC and the wider Australian Public Service.

When you have successfully completed the program, you will be placed in a role where you can apply the skills and knowledge developed over your graduate year.

Find out how far our experience has taken others

Selection process

Applications will be processed as quickly as practicable.  We will acknowledge receipt of applications and notify everyone who applied regarding the outcome of the application.

The assessment and selection process includes:

  • written application
  • online assessment
  • assessment centre

More information

You can read more about the APS recruitment process and get tips on the application process in Cracking the Code – How to apply for jobs in the Australian Public Service.