Government & Defence

Public Service Executive

Public service executives manage government departments, implement government policies and deliver a wide range of services to the public.

  • Entry-level education

    Bachelor’s degree

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Public Service Executive do?

Public service executives manage government departments, implement government policies and deliver a wide range of services to the public.


Work activities

As a public service executive, you would:

  • manage a team of public service executives and / or officers
  • manage the administration and finances of the department or section
  • be responsible for motivating, training and reviewing team performance
  • apply policies and procedures to deal with enquiries and complaints
  • update records on computer systems and databases
  • preparing and presenting reports.

You could work in any of the Federal or State Government public service departments and agencies that deal with developing government policies and delivering services to the public. All departments and agencies employ people at executive officer grade, although job titles can vary.


Key skills and interests

To become a public service executive, you would need:

  • management and leadership skills
  • excellent written and spoken English skills
  • decision making ability
  • good organisational and time management skills
  • problem solving ability
  • the ability to interpret figures and written information
  • good IT skills
  • Australian citizenship, permanent residency or the appropriate work visa.

Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

Most government departments work standard office hours, although some may use a flexible system. In some departments you may be required to work on a shift basis which would include evenings, weekends and public holidays. Part-time work and job sharing are common.


You would be office-based, although there may be some travel to attend meetings, training courses and visiting other organisations.


How to become an Public Service Executive?

Entry Level Education

You can join the Australian Public Service (APS) either as a Trainee Administrative Service Officer, Graduate Administrative Assistant or Administrative Service Officer/Executive Level Officer. You do not need formal qualifications to become a Trainee Administrative Service Officer, although departments and agencies generally require senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. For all other roles, you will need at least a bachelor's degree.

To become a public servant in State government, you usually have to complete at least either your junior or senior secondary school certificate, depending on the entry position. Graduate positions require completion of a relevant degree.

Public service executives generally have many years of experience as public service officers before progressing to executive levels roles.


Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment of public service executives is driven by the changing structure of Federal or State Government departments and expansion of existing ones.

At the executive level, Federal or State elections may also precipitate such changes. Both Federal and State governments have, in recent years, been decreasing the number of public services jobs available overall, though this applies more generally to public service officer, rather than to executive, level roles.

However, the public service at both State and Federal levels is a large employer, so opportunities will continue to exist for qualified employees.


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