The Professionals graphic shows 23% of jobs are regional. 7% of workers are aged 15 to 24 years. 15% of workers are self-employed.

The Professionals graphic shows 75% of workers hold a bachelor degree or higher. 14% of workers hold a certificate 3 or higher qualification.3 % of workers hold an other qualification. 8% of workers do not hold a post-school qualification.

Professionals is the largest employing occupation group in Australia (accounting for around one in four workers).

There are clear differences in the representation of men and women across occupations in the Professionals group. Around 74% of Health Professionals and 72% of Education Professionals are female, but 79% of ICT Professionals are male. The extent of part-time employment also varies, being relatively rare for ICT Professionals but more common for Health Professionals, Arts and Media Professionals, and Education Professionals.

In which industries do Professionals work?

Around two thirds of Professionals are employed in just three industries.

  • Health Care and Social Assistance (24% of Professional employment).
  • Education and Training (21%).
  • Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (21%).

Are qualifications needed?

Most Professional jobs require a bachelor degree or higher qualification (75% of Professionals have this level of qualification), with university study the main pathway for employment. Reflecting the time it takes to gain relevant qualifications, a relatively small proportion of Professionals is aged 15 to 24 years.

In addition to qualifications, skills that are often required to be a Professional include communication, planning, project management, problem solving, writing and research.

Top employing occupations

Registered Nurses
Primary School Teachers
Software and Applications Programmers
Secondary School Teachers
Advertising and Marketing Professionals
Management and Organisation Analysts
University Lecturers and Tutors
Civil Engineering Professionals
General Practitioners and Resident Medical Officers
Human Resource Professionals
Graphic and Web Designers, and Illustrators
Early Childhood (Pre-primary School) Teachers
Financial Investment Advisers and Managers
Database and Systems Administrators, and ICT Security Specialists
Computer Network Professionals
Private Tutors and Teachers
Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers
Vocational Education Teachers

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Are there job opportunities?

There will continue to be job opportunities for Professionals. Along with the rising demand for these workers, however, the supply of university educated Australians is also increasing, with higher education enrolments increasing significantly over the past decade. With more university graduates, and more people searching for work, there are now large numbers of qualified applicants competing for some Professional occupations.

With increased competition, job seekers are encouraged to be as flexible as possible with their availability and highlight their transferable skills and experience. Employers will be looking for reliable and flexible workers, with good communication skills who can learn new tasks quickly and adapt to new working environments. If you can, give examples from your work history which highlight these skills and make you stand out from the crowd.

Will there be future opportunities?

Professionals perform analytical, conceptual and creative tasks which are less susceptible to technological automation.

Employment by occupation subgroup, Professionals

  Employment Profile Workforce Educational Profile
Occupation subgroup Part-time Female Aged 15 to 24 years Aged 55 years or older Bachelor degree or higher Cert III or higher VET qual No post-school qual
Region % % % % % % %
Arts and Media Professionals 37 52 11 18 52 21 23
Business, Human Resource and Marketing Professionals 19 51 6 16 69 16 12
Design, Engineering, Science and Transport Professionals 16 31 8 14 74 15 8
Education Professionals 34 72 8 20 84 10 4
Health Professionals 38 74 6 20 80 14 3
ICT Professionals 9 21 5 12 69 13 11
Legal, Social and Welfare Professionals 29 67 4 22 78 16 5
All Professionals 26 55 7 17 75 14 8

Sources: ABS, Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations; ABS, Characteristics of Employment; ABS, Education and Work; ABS, Labour Force (seasonally adjusted and annual averages of original data).