Decoding VPS Salaries:A Comprehensive Guide to Victorian Public Service Pay Scales



Working in the Victorian Public Service (VPS) can be both rewarding and financially fulfilling. However, navigating the complexities of VPS salaries and pay scales can be confusing, especially for new employees or those looking to move from the private sector.. This comprehensive guide aims to shed light on VPS pay structures, salary bands, and the factors that influence pay rates within the VPS. Whether you are already a VPS employee or considering a career in the VPS, understanding the intricacies of VPS salaries is essential to make informed decisions about your career path.

Overview of the Victorian Public Service (VPS)

The Victorian Public Service is the state government workforce in Victoria, Australia, responsible for delivering public services to the community. It encompasses various departments, agencies, and organisations dedicated to serving the public’s interests. The VPS comprises a diverse range of roles, from administrative and support staff to highly specialised professionals, each contributing to the efficient functioning of government services.

Importance of Understanding VPS Salaries and Pay Scales

Understanding VPS salaries and pay scales is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, it allows employees to gauge their position within the VPS hierarchy and compare their remuneration with industry standards. Secondly, it helps prospective employees negotiate fair salaries when joining the VPS. Finally, comprehending pay scales enables employees to plan their career progression and potential earning capacity within the VPS.

Brief Explanation of VPS Salary Bands and Ranges

VPS salary bands are structured to categorise employees based on their roles and responsibilities. Each band encompasses multiple levels, each representing a step in the career ladder. The VPS salary ranges within each band signify the minimum and maximum salary points available for the corresponding level. These ranges provide flexibility for negotiation and reward employees based on their skills, experience, and performance.

VPS Salary Structure

Introduction to VPS Pay Scales and Grades

The VPS pay scale is a systematic framework that determines salary levels for different job roles. It categorises positions into grades, with each grade representing a specific salary range. The VPS pay scales take into account the complexity of the job, the level of responsibility, required qualifications, and the market demand for specific skills.

VPS Grade Structure

Category Grade Abbreviation
VPS Grade 1
VPS Grade 2
VPS Grade 3
VPS Grade 4
VPS Grade 5
VPS Grade 6
Senior Technical Specialist
Senior Executive Service 1
Senior Executive Service 2
Senior Executive Service 3

VPS pay scales are designed to be fair and competitive, ensuring that employees are rewarded adequately for their contributions. The scales are periodically reviewed to reflect economic conditions and industry standards changes. As an employee progresses through their career, they may move up the pay scale, earning higher salaries as they gain experience and take on more significant responsibilities.

Several factors influence salary determination within the VPS. These include the level of education and qualifications, years of experience in the relevant field, job performance and achievements, and the demand for specific skills in the job market. Additionally, negotiation skills and the ability to showcase one’s value to the organisation can also impact salary offers.

Comparing VPS Pay Rates with APS Pay Scales

The Australian Public Service (APS) has its own pay scales and salary structures. While both the VPS and APS aim to attract and retain talented employees, APS pay rates may differ from that of VPS due to varying job demands, geographic locations, and organisational structures. It is essential for VPS employees to understand these differences when evaluating their salary packages. Typically we find that APS has better benefits (e.g. flex time and higher super contributions) but the VPS salaries are higher on the whole (for equivalent work). 

VPS Salary Breakdown by Level

VPS 3-6 Salary Ranges

The VPS is divided into various levels, such as VPS 3, VPS 4, VPS 5, and VPS 6, each corresponding to different roles and responsibilities. The salary ranges within these levels provide a clear idea of the earning potential for employees at each stage of their career. For example, VPS 3 positions are typically entry-level roles (such as administrative support), while VPS 6 positions involve more senior and specialised responsibilities and typically people management.

Salary progression within VPS levels depends on individual performance, experience, and the successful completion of designated milestones. Employees may be eligible for pay increases or promotions as they demonstrate their capabilities and meet performance expectations.

VPS Executive Pay Scale

VPS executive roles involve top-level management positions with significant responsibilities in decision-making and policy implementation. The VPS executive pay scale differs from the standard pay scale and offers competitive salaries to attract qualified professionals capable of leading government departments and agencies effectively. Executives (SES-level) are typically appointed on a 5 year contract. 

VPS Pay Scale and Enterprise Agreement (EBA)

The VPS Enterprise Agreement is a legally binding document negotiated between the VPS and employee representatives. It outlines the terms and conditions of employment, including salary increases, leave entitlements, and other benefits. The EBA aims to promote fair and equitable treatment of VPS employees while providing a framework for resolving workplace issues.

Mobility payments are additional allowances offered to employees who transfer to roles that are deemed hard to fill or located in remote areas. These payments are designed to incentivise employees to take on challenging roles and help address staffing gaps in critical areas.

Superannuation in the VPS

Superannuation is a crucial component of VPS salaries and retirement planning. The VPS contributes a percentage of an employee’s salary to their superannuation fund, ensuring financial security during retirement. The superannuation rate is typically the legislated minimum.

Clarifying Whether VPS Salaries Include Superannuation

Advertised VPS salaries (up to and including VPS 6) typically do not include superannuation. SES roles are typically the total package, including both the salary and superannuation.


Understanding VPS salaries and pay scales is essential for every employee within the Victorian Public Service. It allows individuals to make informed career decisions, negotiate fair salaries, and plan for their financial future. By comprehending the intricacies of VPS salary bands, pay rates, and the factors influencing remuneration, VPS employees can confidently navigate their career paths and work towards achieving their professional goals within the public service sector.

Ben Wood
Ben Wood

Professional and executive Career Coach with seven years of experience providing CV writing and career services to 400+ professionals and executives, with specialist knowledge in public sector appointments, executive profile development, and tech/telco careers. Background of 20+ years in IT includes 10+ years at Telstra where he managed engineering and product development teams with up to 100 staff.