Protective service officer patrolling in front of the Alice Springs sign


AFP protective service officers (PSOs) are first responders to national security threats.

As a PSO you'll get to work in an active environment, performing a range of high visibility patrols on vehicle, bike or foot.

Places our PSOs work include:

  • Defence establishments
  • parliamentary sites and designated official establishments
  • places with important safety and security requirements, like the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation or the Christmas Island Immigration Detention Centre.

They also work in remote Australian locations and can travel and work overseas.

What you'll do

Your day-to-day work will be challenging and varied. It can include:

  • performing high-visibility vehicle, foot or bike patrols
  • providing static protection services
  • responding to national security incidents
  • frontline defence against terrorism, critical infrastructure and key locations.

To learn more about life in the AFP, and get to know our people, visit our people's stories.

Joining the AFP as a new recruit

To start your career as a protective service officer with us, you must:

  • be aged 18 years or over
  • be an Australian citizen
  • hold a valid Australian driver's licence (P plates are accepted, if you have a learners licence don't apply until you have your provisional licence)
  • meet our character standards
  • hold at least one of the following qualifications:
    • Year 10 Certificate and 2 years of work experience
    • Year 10 Certificate and a nationally recognised vocational education qualification at Certificate III level or higher
    • Year 12 Certificate
    • vocational education (TAFE) qualification or university qualification at Diploma level or higher.

You must also provide evidence that you:

  • have had 2 primary doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine or one dose of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine at the time of application (evidence can be provided in the form of an immunisation history statement or COVID-19 Digital Certificate)
  • hold current first aid and CPR certifications
  • can swim 100 m freestyle.

Find out more about joining us as a protective service officer including salary and benefits.

How to apply

We advertise vacancies on our Jobs portal.

Each position will outline the application process.

To see the current positions available, visit our Jobs portal.

Watch our protective service officers in action

We are searching for people who want a new rewarding and exciting career

Apply now to be a PSO through our jobs portal 

AFP Protective Service Officer in front of a car parked in Exmouth

Being a PSO has taken me to some really interesting places. Patrolling the Exmouth coastline is definitely one the most scenic jobs you can have in Australia.

Protective Service Officer