Government & Defence

Policy Officer

Policy officers develop and advise on policies related to the guiding rules and principles of government.

  • Entry-level education

    Bachelor’s degree

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Policy Officer do?

Policy officers develop and advise on policies related to the guiding rules and principles of government. Policy officers may also be called policy analysts or policy advisers.


Work activities

As a policy officer, you might:

  • research social, economic and industry trends
  • write reports and briefing papers
  • analyse and evaluate issues
  • help formulate and implement policies
  • deliver high-quality policy advice 
  • review existing policies to identify out-of-date or incorrect information
  • advise on recommended changes required to existing policies
  • develop and implement project and consultation plans
  • ensure projects progress in a timely fashion
  • keep computerised records and policy documentation up to date.



Key skills and interests

To become a policy officer, you would need:

  • good spoken and written communication skills
  • the ability to work well as part of a team
  • to work quickly under pressure, often according to complex rules and procedures
  • accuracy and attention to detail
  • an interest in government and political processes
  • Australian citizenship, permanent residency or an appropriate work visa.

Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

Most policy officers work for State or federal government departments. You would generally work standard office hours, although some departments may use a flexible system. Part-time work and job sharing are common.


You would be based in an office environment, which may be open plan.

Policy officers work in every federal, state and territory government in Australia. Many positions are located in capital cities or larger cities and towns. 



How to become an Policy Officer?

Entry Level Education

Most policy officers work in government, so would be Federal or State public service employees. You will need at least a bachelor's degree. Depending on the policy area, this degree may need to be in a certain area of study. To get into these courses you usually need to complete your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English and maths would be appropriate subjects to study before university.



Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Overall employment of policy officers is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Employment of policy officers is driven by the changing structure, priorities and policies of Federal or State Government departments and expansion of existing ones. Both Federal and State governments have, in recent years, been decreasing the number of jobs available through a number of cost-cutting measures.

However, governments at both State and Federal levels are large employers, so opportunities will continue to exist for qualified employees.


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