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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.

    Application for the 2020 Graduate program are now closed.

    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 professionally and personally throughout the year
    • dedicated training and development opportunities
    • a competitive starting salary of nearly $62,000
    • 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 approximately $68,000 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, along with friendships 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 (after a qualifying period)
    • excellent superannuation benefits
    • opportunities for advancement and mobility
    • professional development
    • opportunities to work in different locations.

    What we expect

    We expect our people to:

    • apply leadership at all levels
    • be responsible and adaptable to our business needs
    • 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 2017

    Grad Financial Review Top 100 graduate employers 2016 and 2017

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

    Grad Australia Top 100 graduate employers 2016, 2017 and 2018

    Image showing ATO as a Top graduate employer for 2017

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

    Check your eligibility

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

    • an Australian citizen or will be by 30 January 2020
    • 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 2016 - 31 December 2019) 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:

    We will not consider your application without this supporting documentation. This documentation is required to progress your application.


    As an Australian Public Service (APS) agency, we are 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 will make reasonable adjustments to help staff with a disability to perform the inherent requirements of their job.

    The Diversity and Inclusion Plan 2017–19 identifies six key priority groups which will form the basis for ongoing diversity strategies and initiatives and a commitment to an inclusive workplace. These groups are:

    Next steps:

    We offer graduate positions in the following streams:

    Degree and stream suggestions

    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 informatics

    IT or Analytics

    Business information systems

    IT or Analytics

    Business intelligence


    Business management/administration






    Computer science

    IT or Analytics


    IT or Analytics

    Data mining


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

    Design or M&C









    Government and public management


    Human resources



    IT or Analytics





    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.

    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 the following fields of study; law, finance, accounting, commerce, economics and business.

    During the program, you may be asked to undertake a work rotation in any of the business areas below. Whilst we do our best to ensure your field of study is aligned, it isn't always guaranteed.

    Business areas include:

    • Client Engagement Group
    • Corporate & Enabling Services
    • Law Design & Practice
    • Service Delivery
    • Tax Practitioners Board

    It should also be noted that Practical legal training and Chartered accountants accreditation are not incorporated in to the Graduate program but can be explored through our Tuition assistance program or study leave options afforded to all our staff through the enterprise agreement once you have completed your graduate year.


    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. As an organisation we continue to use data in smarter ways to improve decisions, services, and compliance using a wide range of analytic capabilities and technologies.

    We are 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 will 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 are 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
    • 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 will help build a work environment that encourages growth and learning, and seeks fresh ideas and engagement. You will assist in driving change that improves the customer experience. 

    To meet ongoing challenges we will rely on the expertise you have gained from your studies and your past experience. In practice you will 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 are 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 are 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 are 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
    • 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
    • Albury – Taxation

    Graduate experience

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


    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 will be exposed to all facets of the Graduate program, your training calendar, meet past grads and get an introduction to the different business areas of the ATO. You will also find out what it means to be an employee of the Australian Public Service.


    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 will 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 will be allocated two work rotations that will provide you with 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 will find out details of your first rotation; your second rotation is determined later in the year and your post program placement will be determined at the end of your graduate program 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). You may have the opportunity to be involved in a mentoring program, apply for further external study and start your first career-launching placement in the ATO.

    Client contact experience

    Nestled within your two rotations is the client contact experience, where graduates will work in a client focused area such as the call 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, through a number of people, including:

    • your program manager – supports and guides your probation, approves your leave, recommends appropriate work placements, as well as providing 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 will 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. When this agreement is put into place, your performance is discussed and reviewed.

    This is all part of the developmental nature of our program.

    ATO Graduate debate

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

    Historically, we have 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, in 2018 we opened the debate to other APS agencies, including a team made up of graduates from the Department of Finance, Department of Jobs and Small Business and The Treasury.

    The debate teams were selected by a panel of past graduates who had participated in the debate. The panel assessed videos submitted by the graduates and shortlisted via a telepresence audition. Each team was aligned with a team coach – a past graduate with debate experience.

    The topic for the 2018 debate was; 'Does the ATO need to privatise to compete?'

    The debate showcased insightful thinking of the graduates and provided them with a national event they could be involved in collectively, rather than split between regions.

    Providing graduates with this opportunity to debate in front of senior executives  represents the 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 us through our Graduate program will give you an excellent social and networking base. Over the course of the program you will 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.

    Next step:

    Last modified: 28 Feb 2019QC 49441