How To Become A Spy In Australia: A Complete Guide

Students want to know how they can become a spy or agent in Australia with the ASIS graduate program.


Are you naturally curious and exhibit superior judgment, intellect, and people skills? Then a career as a Spy/Intelligence Officer might be perfect for you.

A Spy/Investigation Officer work for a security or intelligence agency to protect the interests and security of the nation. Their primary duty is to solicit, amass and analyze intelligence and sensitive data from varying national and global sources that the government can’t access by any means.

To become a Spy in Australia, you need at least a bachelor's degree that includes criminal law, international affairs, finance, law, human psychology, statistics, and mathematics. Additionally, you would require a clean criminal record and a negative drug test to qualify you for this role.

If you are keen to pursue a challenging career and wish to trade in secrets, then you must know how to become a Spy in Australia. The article will teach you how to develop the skills necessary, the steps to join the ASIS, and job opportunities of this profession.


1. Who Is A Spy?

A Spy, or an Intelligence Officer, is a government servant who works to serve the interests of their country overseas.


Their main job is to learn the intentions of people and form informed decisions to help government organizations in planning, operations, and HR functions.

Strong physical and mental abilities, a disguised appearance, expertise in eavesdropping, and adherence to prescribed spyware protocols are some of the characteristics that specify a Spy.


2. What Does A Spy Do?

Let us now look at the tasks and duties that form part of the spy’s job profile:


  • Plan, build and manage intelligence operations from varying trusted sources outside of the borders of the country. 

  • Conduct intensive and long investigations to identify patterns in large data sets, and evaluate, categorize, and organize amassed information.

  • Attend meetings to discuss and organize field operations with higher-ranking officials.

  • Supervise the behaviors of a person or groups of people to collect relevant information.

  • Develop a cover identity to enter an organization as part of a strategic operation.

  • Meet other Spies to probe or guide them.

  • Conduct remote investigation.

  • Network and form professional connections to widen their information sources. 

  • Scrutinize information to find out key data points.

  • Travel locally or internationally to participate in operations. 

  • Prepare documentation, conduct interviews, and generate reports on operations for review by senior staff and other concerned members.

  • Analyze topography or use photogrammetry to gather and evaluate images.

  • Use an array of tools, vehicles, and equipment to gather intelligence.

  • Participate in counterintelligence operations, inquiries, and production.

  • Ensure the safety of acquired information and intelligence-amassing techniques and methodologies.


3. Skills To Become A Spy

Here are the highly admired and most sought skills that are vital to execute a safe and successful investigation mission:


  • Leadership

  • Smartness

  • Confidence

  • Creative mindset

  • Self-Awareness and Situational Awareness

  • Out of the Box thinking

  • Knowledge of self-defense / Martial Arts

  • Athletic personality

  • Ability to Stay Unnoticeable

  • Cool and Casual demeanor

  • Skilled at Reading Lips

  • Expertise at Detecting Lies

  • Tech-savvy 

  • Proficiency in using Spy and Surveillance gadgets

  • Quick thinker

  • Remarkable Observation Skills

  • Able to work in high-pressure and challenging environments

  • Sharp Memory

  • Good Interpersonal and Communication Skills 

  • Good understanding of the body language 

  • Skilled at communicating with hand gestures

  • Charisma and Charm 

  • Knowledge of different languages

  • Good Intuitive abilities 

  • Able to Identify Behavioral Patterns 

  • Good Emotional Control

  • Good listening abilities

  • Superior intellect and Judgmental abilities



4. Key Qualifications To Become A Spy In Australia

To be a Spy in Australia, you must meet the following personal and educational qualifications:  

  • Hold Australian citizenship

  • A Clean Criminal Record

  • Strong academic background in mathematics, statistics, international affairs, and criminal law. 

  • Complete abstinence from drugs as they conduct drug tests 

  • Gain a University-Level Tertiary qualification

  • A valid Driver's License

  • Knowledge of a foreign language especially of the nation’s enemies will give you a competitive edge. 

  • Engagement in some form of sport and show physical fitness. It doesn’t just look good on the resume, but it also improves your chances of job success. 

  • Overseas experience is valued but not necessary.


5. What Key Things Does A Spy Use?

Spy agents always carry the following essentials that help them in successful intelligence operations:


  • Electronic gadgets

  • Spy Supervision and surveillance software like hidden cameras

  • Notebook to prepare sketch and record information

  • Pens/Pencils 

  • Sunglasses and Night-vision Goggles

  • Research databases

  • Digital watch with a timer

  • Flashlight 

  • Google Maps 

  • A wig, make-up, and an extra pair of clothing to stay disguised

  • A book to hide your face if someone catches you pursuing them

  • Communication devices such as phones, and Walkie talkies,

  • Baby Powder to view fingerprints

  • Binoculars

  • Sticky tape

  • Water bottle

  • All-weather clothing

  • An emergency transponder


6. Things That A Spy Must ALWAYS Remember 


  • Always conform to the law as a little carelessness in obeying the law or misuse of law could put you in legal trouble. Avoid committing a crime to gather evidence such as breaking in a residential/commercial premise or damaging property, etc. It will not only gain media attention and damage your reputation, but it can put you also behind bars.


  • A spy should not trust anyone except his teammates. Looking at the confidentiality of the work that he undertakes, he should never disclose his identity to anyone even with his family members and close friends.


  • Be careful while performing your investigation, as if anyone catches you following someone, you can be CHARGED FOR STALKING and may have to face severe legal repercussions. Learn the laws and abide by them to execute your mission safely.


  • Do not carry any weapon in public places that can harm people as it can land you in great trouble with the cops.


7. Steps To Become An Intelligence Officer In Australia? 

Do you like the role and have the necessary skill set for the job? Then, here is a 6-step guide to learn how to become an ASIS agent:


Step 1: Pass Background Checks

It is a prerequisite to earning a position in an Australian spy agency. All job applicants must undertake a rigorous screening process that includes background checks.


It does not matter how talented you are. If you don’t meet this criterion, they will reject your application.

The reason behind their strictness towards the criminal record is that a clean record demonstrates good judgmental abilities and appropriateness for the role.



Step 2. Earn a Bachelor's Degree

Once you pass the background check, the next step to preparing for a Spy career is to complete a bachelor's degree in criminal justice, computer science, law, finance, international studies, and psychology.

It is recommended to study political science, history, sociology, and undertake skill development sessions to help refine your job-specific skillset.


Step 3. Maintain your Grades

As the profession is concerned with national safety and security, the qualification required for this role is relatively high.


National security agencies generally look for applicants with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Also, related awards and accomplishments help for this position.

Thus, the preparation for this role must start from the high school level. Study hard and put in all your effort to maintain your grades.


It is advisable to engage in relevant academic opportunities to boost your employability.


Step 4: Learn One or More Secondary Language

Most spies are employed in overseas locations. If you know foreign languages, it will help you communicate with other spies effectively.


Being bi-lingual or multi-lingual will also improve your chances to get more work assignments.



Step 5: Get Physically Fit

Along with a clean background and a strong academic record, an aspiring investigation officer must also showcase physical strength and fitness to clear the physical fitness assessments.


Many applicants get rejected in this screening process due to not being able to showcase excellent physical health.

To clear this final and mandatory assessment, it is vital to assess your growth areas and work on building them on a regular basis. Strength training, cardio exercises, long-distance running, are effective in building a sturdy physique.


Learning self-defense techniques and following a consistent exercise regimen will make you a strong and desirable candidate for the position.



Step 6: Apply For an ASIS Position

Here comes the most important step in your professional journey: How to join the ASIS?

ASIS is the Australian Secret Intelligence Service that engages in gathering and distributing overseas intelligence to safeguard security and promote the interests of the country. The agency has an equivalent status as that of MI6 and the CIA.

To earn a security clearance, prospective ASIS intelligence officers have to meet the specified educational requirement, pass a deep background check and undergo several interviews rounds with references as part of their stringent screening process.


The entire process can take up to 2 years for the agency to verify your candidacy.


8. How to Apply For a Spy Role In ASIS?

Aspiring intelligence officers should know that working in ASIS is a demanding yet rewarding experience. It will no longer be limited to a profession; it will transform into a lifestyle.

You will be sure to achieve a sense of great satisfaction and pride while working on complex foreign intelligence collection and analysis tasks and contributing to the national interests of Australia.

ASIS seeks passionate and motivated Australians from all backgrounds and diverse specialties and skills to join their team. ASIS recruits Investigation Officers for the following positions:


  • Intelligence Officers

  • Technologists

  • Intelligence Operations Support

  • Corporate Specialists

  • Graduates

The application process to qualify for an intelligence officer post in ASIS is a comprehensive process that evaluates a candidate on grounds of character, trustworthiness, judgment, reliability, physical strength, and academics.

The objective to perform a thorough background screening or vetting process is to ensure that you aren’t a security risk. Job applicants need to provide the evidence for the following of the screening process:


  • Family background

  • Addictions such as drugs, gambling

  • Mental health condition

  • Investments

  • Past overseas travel

  • Political views

  • Marriage certificate or partnership document 

  • Identity proofs

  • Past and present Employment References 

  • Bank statements, loan documents, and information on other credit accounts

  • Referees (who will undergo an in-depth probing to get knowledge about the job application)

With these documents, a candidate can visit the Careers page of ASIS and apply for jobs

The ASIS graduate program involves a combination of planned professional soft skills development programs (online and in-person), 18-month rotational programs, on-the-job training, and a continued self-development program to prepare qualified Investigation Officers ready to take on real-world challenges.


9. Work Conditions For A Spy In Australia




Working in a secret intelligence agency is an exhilarating, fast-moving, unpredictable, and dynamic experience. Spies spend the majority of their time gathering information and carrying out analysis.

They usually work in intelligence-gathering, defense units, and as private contractors in government firms.


Aspiring Spies must know that the career involves staying away from their family and home in an unacquainted place for long periods.


Nature of Employment

With 85% of employed workers working full-time, the profession is ideal for full-time job seekers.


Work Hours

Full-time workers usually work for 41 hours per week compared to the industry’s average of 44 hours.



The average age of employed Spies in Australia is 38 years which is comparable to the average age of other occupations i.e., 40 years.



Looking at the gender share, 50% of workers employed in this profession constitute females. This shows that the occupation presents equal work opportunities for males and females.


10. Where Can You Work As A Spy In Australia?

Their places of employment include private organizations, government agencies, and corporate entities in areas of Public Safety and Administration, Professional, Technical and Scientific Services.

Though Spies work in several regions of Australia, a large proportion of workers are employed in The Australian Capital Territory.


11. What Are The Job prospects For A Spy In Australia?

A career as a Spy is undoubtedly competitive and challenging. It gives strong job security for professionals who get a position.

The last 5 years’ data shows strong growth in the number of Intelligence Officers in Australia. Based on the national Job Outlook website, moderate future growth for Spy professionals is expected in the coming years.

Experienced investigation officers can progress on their professional journey by getting trained in a specific area such as Defense Intelligence Analyst, Criminal Intelligence Analyst, etc.


12. How Much Does A Spy Earn In Australia?

The average salary of an intelligence agent is AU$88,275 per year. Their average weekly salary is $1,821.


Salary difference by Experience


  • An early career Intelligence Officer (1 to 4 years of experience): AU$82,414 

  • A mid-career Intelligence Officer (5 to 9 years of experience): AU$133,547


13. Conclusion

A career in secret intelligence is an uncommon but rewarding and appealing experience. The best part of this profession is that it is open to all Australians from every background.

However, before pursuing this demanding job, prospective Spies must understand the implications of working in this role and determine whether it is a good fit.

Choosing the right agency that matches your goal and performing regular self-assessments can help to earn an entry role.


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