Annual employment growth
Professionals is the largest employing occupation group in Australia (accounting for one in every four workers).
There are clear differences in the representation of men and women across occupations in the Professionals group. Around 75% 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 Arts and Media Professionals, Health Professionals, and Education Professionals.
Are qualifications or experience needed?
Most Professional jobs require a bachelor degree or higher qualification (78% of Professionals have this level of qualification), so university study is the main pathway for employment. Reflecting the time it takes to gain relevant qualifications, a relatively small proportion of Professionals are aged 15 to 24 years (only 6%).
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
Are there job opportunities?
There will continue to be job opportunities for Professionals. Along with the rising demand for these workers, 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 can help you stand out from the crowd.
Within this occupation group, the National Skills Commission’s 2021 Skills Priority List identifies skills shortages for around 19% of all Professional occupations. Accountant, Developer Programmer and Software Engineer are all large employing occupations which are in shortage and have strong projected future demand
In which industries do Professionals work?
Around two-thirds of Professionals are employed in just three industries: Health Care and Social Assistance (23% of Professional employment), Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (22%) and Education and Training (21%).
Employment by occupation subgroup, Professionals
|Employment||Employment Profile||Workforce Educational Profile||Projected Employment|
|Employ’t May 2021||5 year change
to May 2021
|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||5 year change to May 2025|
|Arts and Media Professionals||121.5||19.5||19.1||40||55||10||19||55||20||24||4.2|
|Business, Human Resource and Marketing Professionals||841.3||171.4||25.6||18||50||5||16||73||15||10||9.5|
|Design, Engineering, Science and Transport Professionals||494.3||103.2||26.4||17||33||8||15||76||15||7||12.1|
|Legal, Social and Welfare Professionals||284.0||72.7||34.4||29||67||4||21||82||12||5||17.5|
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); National Skills Commission, Employment Projections; National Skills Commission, Skills Priority List, 2021.