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Which jobs can get you in government?

By Ana Isabel Alonsagay

Those seeking a flexible, rewarding career path can often find fulfilling opportunities through Australian government jobs.

As an exciting, diverse sector of accomplished leaders, analysts, policy makers, and educators, the field holds a wide range of ambitious roles for most (if not all) skills, personalities, and previous professional experience. With a 16.9% increase in vacancies from August 2020 (Source: ABS), there’s also plenty of choice and job security around  – with further, rapid growth predicted for the future. 

Often sought for their ability to “give back” to the community, for their high staff retention, and value for the all-important work-life balance; below are five of the best government roles for those looking to work in the public service. 

Database administrator

As a database administrator, you’ll be tasked with maintaining and securing information on local government databases. This can include managing, assessing, and upgrading database software as necessary; notifying workers of database changes and offering user support; improving overall database performance, and applying the appropriate cybersecurity measures required.

The role is mainly comprised of various technical skills, such as knowledge of operating systems, programming, skills in hardware installation, and skills in database languages and design. Online IT courses, such as a ICT50120 - Diploma of Information Technology, are recommended for building the experience and hard skills required to stand out in the job market.

According to Payscale, the average database administrator earns about $71,147 AUD a year in Australia. 

ICT manager

ICT managers in government are responsible for overseeing the use of digital and telecommunication systems within their organisation. Daily duties may involve developing ICT strategies alongside business goals, managing allocated resources, and dealing with stakeholders on various ICT acquisition, development, and maintenance activities. 

As a leadership role, you’ll also be expected to direct general IT operations, assist with the selection and installation of new technologies, and ensure security of both government and public data.

As with database administrators, ICT managers can build the strategic knowledge and management skills they need through an online diploma course in Information Technology – a program that typically dives into technical design and development skills, as well as broader areas of business direction, customer service, and risk management.

According to Payscale, ICT managers in Australia can earn up to an average of $104,086 AUD a year.

Policy and planning manager

male government worker on the phone

Policy and planning managers are placed front-and-center of government strategic planning. They are tasked with developing, organising, and coordinating new programs, policies, and processes; ensuring they achieve the goals and work standards set for their organisation. Much of their role may also revolve around policy research, analysis, and development; along with advising government officials or board members on related matters.

In this position, you may even be required to attend negotiations, seminars, conventions or public hearings (formed in discussion of policy issues) as a representative of your organisation.

According to Job Outlook, policy and planning managers earn around $2,338 AUD per week (or about $121,576 AUD a year), with strong growth predicted in the years to come. 

Social services assistant

For those who consider themselves “people-persons” and derive fulfillment from directly helping others, the role of a social services assistant is among the most rewarding public sector careers. Those in the field work alongside families and social workers – assisting individuals with their care and treatment plans, offering consultation services, linking clients to appropriate community programs (and helping them apply for such), and monitoring their overall treatment progress. 

The position best fits those with excellent communication skills, strong emotional intelligence, and who exhibit a high degree of empathy and compassion. Building one’s skills in counselling, crisis response, and relationship-building is also critical to succeed in the field; with online courses such as a CHC52015 – Diploma of Community Services available (and recommended) to develop these professional abilities. 

Opportunities in this area are set for rapid growth in the future, with the average worker earning about $67,732 AUD year in Australia (according to Payscale). 

Human resources director

Human resources (HR) directors ensure proper planning, development, and management of their organisation’s HR programs. Those in the role are typically tasked with pinpointing current human resource issues in their business, establishing new HR-related strategies for the improved safety, welfare, health, and productivity of the workplace. You may also be responsible for recruitment, orientation, and training of new employees, as well reviewing their contributions and ongoing performance. 

As a directorial role, you may advise executive members and managers directly on complex HR matters and related business strategies. 

Those looking to build their skills and experience in human resources can pursue a qualification in the field. Such training can help develop one’s knowledge of employee relations, recruitment, workforce planning, and WHS policies. 

According to Payscale, the average HR director earns around $145,863 AUD per year in Australia. 

How to find a government job 

APS Jobs”, an online job board specifically tailored to opportunities in the Australian government, is a highly-recommended resource for those starting their job search in the field. Individuals can filter through available vacancies by department (or agency), position, and location. The platform additionally offers graduate programs for those seeking government roles straight out of university. 

Job-seekers can find a generous range of sectors, job classifications, and organisations to work for – from large departments to small companies, among varying public fields such as education, environment, health, community services, and finance. Government roles also offer different types of employment to suit one’s needs or preferences, including ongoing employment, term employment, and casual employment. 

Public service jobs also typically include “application kits” for job-seekers, outlining exactly what one must include in their application. These address their preferred resume format and length, closing date, and selection criteria: the specific skills, knowledge, and qualifications sought after in a potential candidates.  

What are the qualifications required for a government job?

smiling male student studying online

Qualification and training requirements will vary depending on the government role (and position), though most jobs typically require applicants to have at least a Year 10-level of education. Further (or entry-level) training is generally recommended through VET programs or online courses. Individuals are advised to assess the specific criteria of their department or agency, often included in their “application kits” or provided through direct communication. 

Those looking to enter APS graduate programs, however, are required to have a completed degree from a recognised tertiary institution.

Pursuing a career in government?

The benefits to a government job run plenty: high job security, diverse opportunities, a strong sense of work-life balance – and the chance to make fulfilling contributions to Australia’s community.

Whether you’re seeking a role in social services, IT, or financial management; online training is often recommended to build the skills you need for employment.

Upskilled offers a wide variety of online qualifications – spanning across industries such as business, tech, and community services – helping you build both the technical and soft skills required for government employment. From courses that dive into digital skills to those that focus on management and leadership, we can help you kickstart your career in public service.

Get the skills you need to make a difference, and enquire with us on a course today.
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