AEC Graduate Program

Updated: 20 May 2019

Applications for the 2020 Graduate Program are now closed

The AEC are participating in the DTA and Indigenous Graduate Pathway programs and will be recruiting graduates through these processes.

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 and specific public sector training, seminar events, and mentoring all form part of the program to expose you to life in the public service.


The AEC is a small to medium Commonwealth Government agency responsible for maintaining an impartial and independent electoral system for eligible voters through active electoral roll management, efficient delivery of polling services, and targeted education and public awareness programs.  We do this by:

  • Conducting successful electoral events, including federal elections, by-elections and referendums
  • Administering political party registrations and financial disclosure
  • Supporting electoral redistributions
  • Ensuring confidence in the electoral roll; and
  • Undertaking public awareness activities.

The AEC values and commitments are an essential component of our operating environment and frame how AEC staff work. The AEC's focus is on electoral integrity through the values of quality, agility and professionalism.

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


The AEC has 2 Graduate Streams:

  • Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
  • General


Awareness or experience in business analysis, IT security, cloud computing and/or mobile applications are desired (but not mandatory) as the AEC is constantly seeking to build emerging technologies into our business processes. There will be exciting opportunities to assist as we explore opportunities to innovate and modernise to meet the needs and expectations of our community.

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.


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.

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:

  • a comprehensive induction program
  • 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.

What is the eligibility criteria?

To be eligible to apply the 2020 AEC Graduate Program applicants must, at the time of commencement:

  • have graduated within the last five years (no earlier than 2014)
  • have a Grade Point Average of 5 or above (a credit average)
  • be able to obtain a baseline security clearance
  • be able to satisfy a police records and character check
  • be an Australian citizen or provide evidence to verify impending citizenship.
Applicants may have studied one of the following disciplines, however applicants who have studied other disciples will also be considered. Please note candidates applying for the IT stream must have a relevant degree as outlined in the table below.
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 as outlined in the AEC Enterprise Agreement 2016-19.

  • Graduates will begin as an APS 3 and receive a starting salary of $58 322.
  • Upon successful completion of the program the Electoral Commissioner will, having regard to the employee’s skills and knowledge, progress them to a point within the graduate broadband, business areas can put forward a business case seeking advancement to a higher classification within the APS 3 – 5 broadband.

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

Applicants will need to have applied through the DTA or the Indigenous Pathway Program to be considered. Applicants will go through a recruitment process with AEC staff participating in the recruitment process.

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.

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