Improving Your Chances of Working With the Australian Border Force

A career with the Australian Border Force offers more than you may think. Australia possesses one of the most significant and challenging border environments in the world, which means that no two days on the job are ever the same. The ABF has one mission at its core, and that is to protect Australia’s border while enabling legitimate travel and trade. 

So, how can you become a part of this leading organisation, doing a job that that really matters to Australia safety and security? As part of its vision to be a global leader in border law enforcement, the Australian Border Force runs an annual recruitment drive to hire trainees who can help build a safe, secure and prosperous Australia. The Border Force Officer Recruit Training Program (BFORT) is the clearest pathway to becoming an ABF officer. 

Why the Australian Border Force?

The Australian Border Force is a high-performing team that works collaboratively with other law enforcement agencies using the latest technologies. Its duties stretch all over Australia, keeping the border secure across air, land and sea — including air and seaports, remote locations, mail and cargo centres and Australia’s extended maritime domain.

That means most employees work in a variety of roles across key environments and locations, bringing new challenges and a strong work-life balance. There are also some ABF officers who work overseas.

Working With the Australian Border Force

Source: The Australian Border Force Image Library

Attributes of an ABF Officer

Border Force Officers are multi-skilled, mobile, agile and responsive. The ABF will be looking for people who can:

  • Commit to its values and behaviours, maintaining a high level of integrity and professionalism
  • Meet and maintain stringent medical and psychometric standards; as fitness, health and mobility are vital to their work
  • Commit to developing their skills and knowledge
  • Exercise lawful authority efficiently and appropriately
  • Meet and maintain high standards of operational readiness
  • Use critical thinking, sound judgement, and be prepared to take reasonable and necessary actions
  • Commit to community engagement and protection as well as client service

Education and Training to Become an ABF Officer

There are a number of entry pathways into the Border Force. This includes entering as a Border Force Recruit, a graduate trainee or through general recruitment. You may work as a Border Force Recruit without formal qualifications. To enter the Border Force Recruit program, you must be over 18, hold or be willing to obtain a driver’s licence, be an Australian citizen and undergo medical, fitness and security assessments. Training is provided on the job, with successful applicants undertaking a 12-month recruit training program before becoming a Level 3 officer. 

To become a graduate trainee, you must complete a three-year or equivalent bachelor degree at an Australian university. Graduate trainees are introduced to a diverse range of work within the organisation through an intensive ten-month training program. The program includes rotational work placements and formal training. 

General ‘above base’ recruitment entry is available to individuals applying for specific roles, based on their previous experience and qualifications. To get into these courses, you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Universities have different prerequisites, and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.

On the job training with the Australian Border Force

Source: The Australian Border Force Image Library


Career development is at the forefront, and those on the Border Force Officer Recruit Traineeship (BFORT) build their skills and knowledge with on-the-job and educational training.

Run across 12 months, the training program is intensive and prepares you for a career in the ABF. As a trainee, you will have a mix of instructional and operational training. During the operational (on-the-job) phase, you could be posted into a range of areas to complete your training. Upon successful completion of both phases, you will graduate as an Australian Public Service Level 3 (APS3) Border Force Officer (General Duties).

For all information on the ABF, it’s recruitment pathways and what working with them will be like, visit their website, here