Education Employment Outcomes

VET graduate employment outcomes

Graphic. 65.8% of VET graduates had an improved employment status after training. Trade apprenticeship or traineeship 86.5% improved employment status. Non-trade apprenticeship or traineeship 71.4% improved employment status. Other training 63.0% improved employment status.

What apprenticeships or traineeships are considered to be trades?

There is a wide range of occupations regarded as trades. Some examples are constructions trades workers, hairdressers, mechanics, metal trades workers, electricians, telecommunications workers, aircraft maintenance engineers, locksmiths, cabinetmakers and chefs.

Graduates in Architecture and building, Education and Engineering and related technology commonly reported employability benefits from their study, with more than 70% of these graduates stating they improved their employment status after training. Information technology and Creative arts graduates reported the least improvement in employment status after graduating (38% and 40% respectively).

Do VET graduates have high earnings?

Workers who hold a VET qualification at the certificate III or higher level generally earn more than those who have not studied after leaving school (see page Education and Employment). In 2019, the median annual income for VET graduates working full-time after completing their training was $59,100. The highest median salaries were for those who studied

  • Engineering and Related Technologies ($67,800)
  • Architecture and Building ($62,600)
  • Management and Commerce ($62,000).
  Improved employment status after training (%) Median annual income
Diploma or higher 67.8 $63,900
Certificate IV 69.8 $68,100
Certificate III 67.1 $52,200
Certificate II 53.7 $52,200
Certificate I 37.0 $53,600

*Income figures are for those employed full-time.

Higher education graduate employment outcomes

While higher level qualifications ultimately improve employment prospects, employment outcomes for students immediately after graduation have weakened over the past decade. Positively, though, outcomes have generally improved over the last five years. In 2019, 72.2% of bachelor degree graduates (available for full-time work) were in full-time employment four months after graduation.

*Full-time employment is a proportion of those available for full-time employment. Part-time employment is a proportion of those available for any employment

Higher education graduate salaries

In 2019, the median annual full-time starting salary for an undergraduate was $62,600.

Postgraduate coursework graduates had a median starting salary of $85,300 and for postgraduate research graduates it was $90,000.

The highest bachelor degree graduate salaries by area of study were

  • Dentistry (median of $88,200)
  • Medicine ($73,100)
  • Teacher education ($68,000).

Sources: NCVER, VET Student Outcomes; ABS, Characteristics of Employment; QILT, Graduate Outcomes Survey