Annual employment growth

There are around 1.7 million Australians employed in Manager roles across the country. These occupations can be very diverse and Managers work across many different types of organisations and industries.

Are qualifications or experience needed?

This is a relatively skilled group, as Managers generally hold senior positions, taking responsibility for staff and operations. This means qualifications and experience are usually needed, however, sometimes significant on-the-job experience is sufficient.

  • The majority of Managers hold post-school qualifications, although this is less common for Farmers and Farm Managers and Hospitality, Retail and Service Managers.
  • The need for workplace experience is reflected in the age profile of the workforce. More than half of all Managers are aged 45 years or older. Just 3% are aged 15 to 24 years, although there are more opportunities for young people in Hospitality, Retail and Service Manager roles (accounting for 7% of this group).

Managers are typically skilled in communication and building relationships, planning, budgeting and problem solving.

Top employing occupations

Retail Managers 262,500
Advertising, Public Relations and Sales Managers 156,500
Construction Managers 116,700
Livestock Farmers 90,600
ICT Managers 84,400

In which industries do managers work?

Managers work in every industry, but the largest shares are in Retail Trade and Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (12% and 11% respectively). Other major employing industries include Manufacturing (9%), Construction (9%) and Accommodation and Food Services (8%).

Some Manager occupations are concentrated in specific industries. For example, Café and Restaurant Managers are mainly employed in Accommodation and Food Services. For other Manager occupations, such as General Managers and Human Resource Managers, employment is spread across all industries.

Are there job opportunities?

When looking for Manager vacancies, remember they are not always advertised online. Some positions are filled by the promotion of existing workers, while others are advertised in less formal ways such as word-of-mouth or head hunting. It is important for job seekers who are looking for Manager positions to remember this and use professional networks to help bolster their recruitment chances.

Within this occupation group, the National Skills Commission’s 2021 Skills Priority List identified skills shortages for around 12% of all Manager occupations. Some key Manager occupations which are both in shortage and have strong projected national future demand include Quality Assurance Manager and ICT Project Manager.

Will there be future opportunities?

Mangers often perform a range of non-routine, cognitive duties (such as problem solving) so this occupation group is less susceptible to automation.

Employment by occupation subgroup, Managers

  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
Occupation subgroup ‘000 ‘000 % % % % % % % % %
Chief Executives, General Managers and Legislators 133.2 11.7 9.6 11 32 0 30 54 15 18 -5.9
Farmers and Farm Managers 165.6 3.3 2.0 26 29 2 57 18 30 44 1.7
Specialist Managers 902.8 197.3 28.0 11 37 2 22 51 29 17 10.3
Hospitality, Retail and Service Managers 552.2 56.3 11.4 21 46 7 23 25 33 37 1.9
All Managers 1,743.4 209.8 13.7 15 39 3 26 40 30 26 6.1

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, Employers’ Recruitment Insights; National Skills Commission, Skills Priority List, 2021.