Become a trade mark examiner

 Trade marks help businesses thrive and prosper. As a trade mark examiner, you can help encourage and protect Australian innovation.  

What is a trade mark examiner?

A trade mark examiner reviews and assesses applications to make sure they meet the requirements for registration under the Trade Marks Act 1995.

What do they do?

As a trade mark examiner, you'll be among the first to see new developments in technology and marketing.

Your day to day will include:

  • searching for trade marks that have previously been applied for
  • analysing and interpreting information
  • applying legal tests and principles, including interpreting legislation and court decisions, to ensure trade marks can be registered.

In the role, you'll work independently and as part of a small team. You'll need to:

  • take responsibility for, and management of, your own work
  • meet set targets
  • perform other search, examination and administrative tasks to help achieve team and organisational goals.

What makes a good examiner?

We're looking for the following qualities and skills in our trade mark examiners.


  • Openness to learning in a group setting.
  • Receptive to constructive feedback and be able to apply it in training and on the job.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and cooperatively and thrive in a diverse work group.
  • Ability to work independently under the guidance of supervisors.
  • Ability to recognise and respect the work preferences and different views of others.


  • Meet deadlines and adapt to a changing environment.
  • Well-developed written and verbal communication skills.
  • Good interpersonal skills.
  • Sound research, analytical, comprehension and decision-making skills.
  • High level of digital literacy.
  • Self-motivation.

Considerations before you apply

The majority of our training is held virtually, so you'll need to have a strong internet connection wherever you're based. You'll also need to travel to Canberra office for approximately 6 weeks total during the training period, likely in blocks of 2 weeks at a time. If you live outside of the ACT, we'll cover your travel costs to Canberra.

We offer flexible working arrangements, such as home-based work, once you've finished the training program.

Examination work:

  • is intensively keyboard and screen-based
  • involves a lot of time sitting or standing at an adjustable workstation, working at a computer, using both a laptop and dual-desktop screens
  • involves repetitive hand/arm actions and fine hand coordination
  • involves fine visual attention to detail and concentration.

If you have musculoskeletal or visual vulnerabilities, you can reach out to the contact officer for more details, including the availability of reasonable adjustments. Their name and contact details will be provided on the role advertisement.

Examiner training

After you've accepted an employment offer from us, we'll provide detailed training to help support you in your new role.

What the training involves

We provide new examiners with the training and support needed to perform their roles. The training period lasts 52 weeks.

The program is based on the technical skills required to successfully apply the:

  • legislative tests of the Trade Marks Act 1995
  • corporate skills required to perform effectively as an employee of the Australian Public Service (APS).

It includes group sessions and individualised on-the-job training. It covers:

  • basic procedures in:
    • how IP Australia works
    • trade mark legislation
    • examination practices
  • how to make use of appropriate references and resources. For example, how to use the tools to consistently apply tests set out in case law
  • examination work under close supervision.

As a condition of engagement with us, you're required to:

  • successfully demonstrate competency in all areas in the training program
  • attain Acceptance Delegation within specified time frames.

What to expect

Here's what to expect during your training:

  • You'll be required to meet particular milestones at each stage of the program.
  • Each stage must be completed before advancing to the next stage.
  • You'll be required to examine trade marks under the supervision of a workplace coach.

When you complete the program, you'll be able to examine trade marks independently.

As your career as an examiner progresses, your role could expand to include:

  • supervision
  • mentoring
  • coaching responsibilities.

Frequently asked questions

Have a burning question? Check out our most frequently asked questions.

When do you advertise trade mark examiner positions?

When we need trade mark examiners. If you'd like to hear about advertised positions, you can set up a job alert.

Can I apply for the job if I'm not an Australian citizen?

No. You have to be an Australian citizen to apply.

Do you have age limits for applicants?

No, we select examiners on merit.

How do I apply?

Here's where you can learn all about how to apply.

Work at IP Australia

What's the starting salary?

Examiners start at an APS4 level, which is outlined in our enterprise agreement.

What about career advancement?

There are opportunities to progress from a starting APS4 level through to an APS6.

Advancement is determined by many factors, including the successful completion of relevant competency based training programs.

Working in a broadband structure means that if you meet specified requirements you can advance to the next classification:

  • without waiting for a position to become available
  • without a formal interview process.

Where will I be working?

While any in-person training is held in Canberra, you can work from any location within Australia.

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