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  • The ATO Graduate program

    As an ATO graduate, you will be part of an award-winning program, and a unique and robust learning experience. We pride ourselves on being consistently recognised for our efforts as an employer.

    Our 12-month Graduate program will:

    • challenge and enrich your learning
    • develop your skills, knowledge and confidence.

    Applications for the 2021 program will open on 9 March 2020 and close on 6 April 2020.

    Get started

    For enquiries about the Graduate program email:

    See also:

    What to expect

    We provide:

    • an intensive 12-month program
    • challenging work rotations to develop your skills and explore different areas of interest
    • a program manager to support you throughout the year
    • dedicated training and development opportunities
    • a competitive starting salary of over $63,000
    • advancement upon successful completion
    • flexible working arrangements
    • a workplace culture that is supportive and promotes equal opportunity
    • an excellent social and networking base with fellow graduates.

    On successful completion of our Graduate program, you'll:

    • be positioned in an ongoing role that is relevant to your discipline
    • advance to the next classification level APS4
    • be paid a salary of over $71,000 with excellent superannuation benefits (on successful advancement)
    • continue to receive a wide range of employee benefits, including four weeks annual leave, annual salary advancement, flexible working hours and excellent super benefits.

    Your graduate year gives you an unmatched opportunity to develop networks and professional contacts, and make friendships along the way with a range of people.

    We also give high priority to building your capabilities. We promote a culturally diverse and safe working environment. We want you to enjoy a full and varied career with us.

    Packages and benefits:

    Your employment package will help you balance your professional and personal life. In addition to your salary, you'll also have access to a range of benefits, including:

    • annual salary advancement
    • flexible working hours
    • four weeks annual leave per annum, plus additional time off between Christmas and New Year’s Day
    • the option to purchase additional annual leave (up to eight weeks)
    • three weeks cumulative sick leave per annum
    • paid maternity leave, or supporting partner's leave (after a qualifying period)
    • excellent superannuation benefits
    • opportunities for advancement and mobility
    • professional development.

    What we expect

    We expect our people to:

    • apply leadership at all levels
    • be responsible and adaptable to our business needs
    • strive to do the basics brilliantly
    • contribute to a positive workplace that ensures we are working as one.

    Award winning employer

    We pride ourselves on being consistently recognised for our efforts as an employer. Our Graduate program is an example of our exemplary record as a nurturer of new talent and a culture in which our employees excel.

    Image showing the ATO as the winner of the most popular Integrated Marketing Campaign in the public sector.

    Winner of the Most Popular Integrated Marketing Campaign (public sector) – AAGE Graduate Recruitment Industry AwardsExternal Link

    Image showing the ATO as the Australian's Top 100 Graduate employers 2019.

    Financial Review Top 100 graduate employers 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019

    Image showing the ATO as the Australian's Top 100 Graduate employers 2019.

    Grad Australia Top 100 graduate employers 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019

    Image showing the ATO as the Australian's Top 100 Graduate employers 2018.

    Australian Association of Graduate Employers (AAGE) Top 75 graduate employers 2016, 2017 and 2018

    Check your eligibility

    You are welcome to apply for our 2021 Graduate program if you are:

    • an Australian citizen or will be by 30 January 2021
    • a credit average or above student
    • in the final year of your degree or have completed your university studies within three years at the time of your application (28 February 2017 – 31 December 2020) and are able to provide evidence of completion before the start of the program
    • of good character, as demonstrated by a satisfactory integrity check that will be carried out before you start working with us
    • able to satisfy the relevant medical check (if required for the position).

    Holding overseas qualifications

    If you hold international qualifications, you'll need to provide us with a statement verifying recognition of your qualifications. Your qualifications can be verified from the:

    Note: We won't consider your application without this supporting documentation. This documentation is required to progress your application.


    As an Australian Public Service (APS) agency, we're committed to fostering diversity in the workplace and recognising the diversity of the Australian community as set out in the Australian Public Service Commissioner's Directions 2016External Link and Section 10A of the Public Service Act 1999External Link.

    We'll make reasonable adjustments to help staff with a disability to perform the inherent requirements of their job.

    We recognise that one of our greatest assets is the diversity of our staff. By embracing our differences, we support everyone to realise their full potential.

    The Diversity and Inclusion Plan 2017–19 identifies six key priorities which form our ongoing strategies and initiatives for an inclusive workplace. They are:

    Degree and stream suggestions

    We offer graduate positions in the following streams:

    Table 1: Find your field of study below to access our suggested streams

    Field of study completed in last three years

    Suggested stream





    Actuarial studies




    Application development

    IT or Analytics

    Business analysis

    IT or Analytics

    Business informatics

    IT or Analytics

    Business information systems

    IT or Analytics

    Business intelligence


    Business management/administration


    Business process mapping and optimisation


    Cloud computing and networking






    Computer science

    IT or Analytics


    IT or Analytics

    Creative technologies


    Cyber securities


    Data mining


    Data science

    IT or Analytics

    Design (graphic, communication, business process, innovation, industrial)

    Design or M&C









    Gaming/ gamification


    Government and public management


    Human resources


    Information systems



    IT or Analytics

    IT services and strategy






    Machine learning




    Market research




    Mathematical modelling


    Media production


    Public relations






    Risk and intelligence analysts


    Science (IT-related majors)


    Software engineering

    IT or Analytics





    Visual communication




    Information Technology (IT)

    Graduates have the opportunity to work within the Enterprise Solutions and Technology (EST) business line, enabling them to respond innovatively to the changing needs of the community and helping to enhance our already world-leading processes, infrastructure and technology.

    Our graduates help the organisation achieve business outcomes by providing efficient and effective enterprise solutions and IT services, including IT architecture and design services, applications, infrastructure, and security services.

    EST is the custodian of our enterprise architecture. They design, build, test and maintain the systems and infrastructure that underpin the ATO’s operations.

    As the demand for technology services increases, we will continue to harness the opportunities it brings. This means the volume and complexity of our work will increase, challenging our capacity, capabilities and ingenuity. After considering what we need to deliver for government, this means we need to get smarter about our discretionary IT investments, focusing only on those that bring the greatest value to the whole of the ATO.

    You could work in areas dealing with:

    • IT strategy
    • architecture design processes
    • information management
    • applications development
    • risk management
    • project management
    • IT and information security
    • Cloud computing and networking
    • Creative technologies
    • Cyber security
    • Data science
    • Games and application development.

    We are looking to engage people who have a degree or majors in one of the following areas:

    • IT
    • computer science
    • software engineering
    • business informatics
    • business systems
    • information systems
    • computing
    • other relevant IT degrees and double degrees.


    Our Taxation stream encompasses fields of study in; law, finance, accounting, commerce, economics and business. Your role will be to manage and shape the tax and superannuation systems by helping people understand their rights and obligations.

    Our aim is to make it easy for taxpayers to comply by providing a contemporary service that is streamlined and integrated. We'll manage non-compliance with the law.

    You may be working in a team to:

    • obtain information and provide advice to clients
    • conduct a range of client engagement activities including risk reviews and audits
    • make decisions and recommendations for mitigation strategies
    • administer the good and services tax (GST)
    • research and analyse tax information and procedures
    • interpret taxation legislation and procedures
    • administer the superannuation system.

    During the program, you may be asked to undertake a work rotation in any of these business areas:

    • Client Engagement
    • Enterprise Strategy & Corporate Operations
    • Law Design & Practice
    • Service Delivery
    • Tax Practitioners Board.

    Note: Practical legal training and chartered accountants accreditation are not incorporated in to the graduate program. They can be explored once you have completed your graduate year through our tuition assistance program (TAP) or study leave options.


    As part of our digital transformation, we have new opportunities available for graduates with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and statistics qualifications. With the volume and complexity of our data continuing to increase, you can help us make the most of the flow of information and continue to improve our client experience.

    Analytics is recognised as a key pillar in our digital transformation. We continue to use data in smarter ways to improve decisions, services, and compliance using a wide range of analytic capabilities and technologies.

    We're increasingly making use of data science with advanced analytics – techniques such as predictive modelling, machine learning, data mining and prescriptive analytics – to optimise services to taxpayers, improve the client experience, and protect revenue.

    With this organisational focus on analytics, you'll have the opportunity to work across the ATO to deliver a range of outcomes for the Australian community.

    Your work could include:

    • quantitative analysis around revenue collection
    • developing models to better understand risk and opportunity
    • workload forecasting across multiple work types, aimed at ensuring the best client experience
    • using analytics to prescribe the next best action when interacting with taxpayers and developing self-service analytics that enable leaders and analysts to understand performance
    • accounting advice on new measures and taxes.

    We're looking for graduates who have skills in:

    • computational analytics
    • interpreting complex financial information
    • statistics
    • machine learning
    • financial mathematics
    • mathematical modelling
    • econometrics
    • analytics/data mining
    • operations research
    • business analysis
    • business process mapping
    • optimisation
    • any other related quantitative discipline.

    Human Resources (HR)

    HR management in the ATO requires a professional and contemporary approach to managing people and the workplace culture and environment.

    With this focus, HR aims to provide an exceptional customer service with effective, relevant and responsive solutions that meet the needs of managers and employees at all levels.

    As part of our HR team, you'll help build a work environment that encourages growth and learning, and seeks fresh ideas and engagement. You'll assist in driving change that improves the customer experience. 

    To meet ongoing challenges, we'll rely on the expertise you've gained from your studies and your past experience. In practice you'll be:

    • assisting our leaders and managers to enhance productivity through performance management, continuous improvement and innovation
    • implementing enterprise-wide integrated learning and development approaches to enhance organisational capability and agility, with an emphasis on integration of business and people systems
    • implementing workforce management strategies to enable flexibility in undertaking work and workforce shifts and achieve the optimum workforce mix
    • shaping the culture of our organisation by embedding our corporate values, including targeted initiatives for increasing engagement and discretionary effort
    • refining prevention and early-intervention strategies and implementing the people case management system to maintain a safe and healthy work environment and a productive workforce
    • building and maintaining sustainable human resources systems that support our organisation in delivering to the community.

    You could work in areas dealing with:

    • workforce strategy
    • workforce capability
    • workforce supply
    • learning and development
    • performance and conduct
    • industrial relations
    • leadership development
    • workplace diversity
    • health and safety.


    We have a strong Design capability that offers exciting opportunities for design graduates. You could work with our team of internal designers, a team of like-minded creative individuals, on exciting initiatives that make a real difference to the Australian community.

    We partner with our clients to design administrative services that keep the user at the centre of the process – balancing their needs with organisational vision and government agenda to deliver optimal outcomes.

    Our designers work in multi-disciplinary teams to design new or improved products, services, systems and processes. They explore opportunities to improve administrative practices and in doing so, our designers play an important role in fostering willing participation in our tax and superannuation systems.

    You may be working with teams on design engagements involving the following disciplines:

    • design leadership – applying the practices of design thinking to business problems in order to design the most effective solution to meet the needs of our clients, government, stakeholders and partners in the tax and superannuation systems
    • user-experience design – designing, planning and conducting design activities that involve users in the design process
    • information design – interpreting, synthesizing, visualising and documenting ATO design content using both graphics and/or text to convert content into an accessible and useful format for use by the target audience
    • business improvement – understanding the root cause of the problem we are trying to solve, testing and prototyping potential solutions, checking their effectiveness and taking action based on the results.

    We want to engage people who have a degree or majors in:

    • business process design
    • communication design
    • graphic design
    • innovation and design
    • industrial design
    • visual communication.

    Marketing and Communication

    Our Marketing and Communication capability designs, develops and implements high-quality communications for a wide range of audiences using multiple channels.

    We're looking for fresh-thinking graduates who can contribute to our diverse program of work including:

    • communication strategy
    • advertising
    • internal and external communication
    • change communications
    • writing and editing
    • social media
    • digital marketing
    • media and public relations
    • crisis communications and issues management
    • relationship management
    • stakeholder engagement
    • market research and data analytics
    • user experience (UX) design
    • production – graphic and information design, multimedia, website design and publishing, video production, speechwriting, podcasts
    • brand strategy and management.

    We're looking for people with a degree or major in one or more of the following areas:

    • advertising
    • marketing or public relations
    • communications
    • media production
    • journalism
    • writing
    • market research
    • design or equivalent (for example, graphic, web, digital or industrial).

    Work locations

    We're located in all capital cities and some regional locations across the country.

    You'll be working in the city nominated within your official letter of offer, however if you accept a position in a major city, you'll be expected to work in any of our offices within the greater metropolitan area. This is to gain experience and exposure to the different work these offices undertake.

    If you're not offered a position in your home location and we request you to relocate to another site, we may provide financial assistance to help cover removal costs (including insurance) under certain conditions and at the delegate's discretion.

    Stream locations

    The list below is a guide based on previous graduate cohorts and may change due to business needs. Make sure you check the application form during the application period (28 February – 28 March) to determine where your desired stream will be offered.

    The following streams may be offered in these locations:

    • Adelaide – Taxation, IT, Analytics, Design
    • Albury – Taxation
    • Brisbane – Taxation, IT, Analytics, Design, HR, M&C
    • Canberra – Taxation, IT, Analytics, Design, HR, M&C
    • Gosford – Taxation
    • Hobart – Taxation, Analytics
    • Melbourne – Taxation, IT, Analytics, HR, Design, M&C
    • Newcastle - Taxation, Analytics
    • Sydney – Taxation, Analytics, HR, M&C
    • Perth – Taxation, Analytics
    • Townsville – Taxation
    • Wollongong – IT

    Graduate experience

    Everything you need to know about starting out as a grad in the ATO.


    Your journey at the ATO begins with a welcome from the Executive followed by dedicated three-day induction guided by your program manager.

    Over the course of these few days you'll be exposed to all facets of the Graduate program including, your training calendar, corporate and security, and get an introduction to the different business areas of the ATO. You'll also find out what it means to be an employee of the Australian Public Service and meet graduates from previous years.


    Our graduate program offers a full training program that will give you exposure to a range of both stream-specific and whole-of-ATO topics. You'll have the opportunity to consolidate and apply your learnings via research tasks throughout the year. All of our training is delivered by qualified facilitators who are topic experts.

    Rotations and post program placement

    During the graduate program you'll be allocated two work rotations that will give you exposure to the different business areas of the ATO. The rotations will allow you to develop your knowledge and capabilities across a range of topics.

    At induction, you'll find out details of your first rotation. Your second rotation is decided in the middle of the year and your post program placement will be determined at the end of your graduate year. Your rotations are designed to maximise your learnings and experience in the program and therefore contrast each other.

    Upon successful completion of the program, you'll be eligible for further advancement to the next APS work classification level (APS4).

    Client contact experience

    Nestled within your two rotations is the client contact experience, where you'll work in a client focused area such as the contact centre or myGov shopfront. You may also be trained in answering real-time, online queries through our online chat ‘Ask Alex’ or assist clients in setting up their myGov accounts. The client contact experience demonstrates the diversity of the community the ATO serves and the vast range of topics we provide advice on.

    Mentoring, support and performance indicators

    During your Graduate program, you'll have the opportunity to learn from experienced staff in your training and work rotation areas, and be guided and mentored by them.

    We provide support to our graduates at a professional and personal level, including:

    • your program manager – supports and guides your probation, approves your leave, recommends appropriate work placements and provides advice and support on any issues or concerns you may encounter
    • trainers – offer support through the facilitation of courses, assessment marking and feedback, and provide additional tutoring and support to address any technical training related questions
    • rotation team leaders – support you in your workplace area, and teach you the technical skills and use of IT systems relevant to your role. They'll assist you to build your workplace capabilities and knowledge
    • graduate peers – provide valuable support through the many training and assessment activities you'll undertake together
    • a support buddy – a former graduate who can answer questions and give you tips on settling into the ATO.

    Performance indicators

    Your program manager liaises with your workplace team leader and trainers to evaluate your performance.

    You'll develop a performance tracking document (called Compass) with your program manager and your rotation team leader. This is renewed in each new work rotation as goals are achieved and new ones set. Regular feedback from managers and trainers help shape your development needs and assist in keeping you 'on track.'

    ATO Graduate debate

    In previous years, the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) has run the APSC Graduate debate.

    Historically, we've had a strong representation at this event and it was a highlight for many past graduates. In 2017, we used our live streaming capability to run our own debate and broadcast it nationally. Due to its success, we opened the debate to other APS agencies.

    The debate teams are selected by a panel of past graduates who had participated in the debate. Each team is aligned with a team coach, usually a past graduate with debate experience.

    The topic for the 2019 debate was – 'Should the APS invest in technology or people?' The event aimed to highlight a current topic of interest and provide graduates with an opportunity for self-development, networking and public speaking.

    Providing graduates with this opportunity to debate in front of senior executives, represents an investment into our staff culture. It shows the ATO is open to a range of discussions at all levels, which promotes a questioning attitude on how we can do things better. The debate continues to be a huge success and a highlight in our graduate calendar.

    Social events

    Joining our Graduate program will give you an excellent social and networking base. Over the course of the program you'll have many opportunities to be involved in social events specific to your site. In some sites, there are social networks of graduates from across the APS who participate in a range of social events.

    In addition, most sites have active social clubs and run fundraising activities, happy hours and various networking opportunities. A range of events are often coordinated locally including sporting competitions and family fun days.

    The national network of social clubs hosts a sports carnival every two to three years. You can represent your site and state in events, or just come along to enjoy the friendly atmosphere.

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    Last modified: 15 Jan 2020QC 49441