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
|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|
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|
|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|
|Legal, Social and Welfare Professionals||29||67||4||22||78||16||5|
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).