Occupation Outlook

Which occupation groups will have the most new jobs over the next five years?

Over the five years to November 2020, seven of the eight occupation groups are projected to have higher employment.

Projected employment change, by occupation ('000)

This bar graph shows the number of total new jobs projected for each occupation group over the five years to November 2020. Professionals up by 396,400. Community and Personal Service Workers up by 231,600. Managers up by 140,500. Sales Workers up by 104,900. Technicians and Trades Workers up by 95,900. Clerical and Administrative Workers up by 27,300. Machinery Operators and Drivers up by 7,700. Labourers down by 14,600.

The three industries which are expected to have the strongest growth each employ large numbers of Professionals. In line with this, Professionals is projected to contribute the largest number of new jobs over the five years to November 2020 (up by 396,400 or two in every five new jobs). These will be dominated by Health Professionals (up by 125,100).

The Community and Personal Service Workers group is expected to benefit from the strong growth in Health Care and Social Assistance, with an additional 231,600 jobs by November 2020, almost half of which are projected to be for Carers and Aides (up by 111,800).

Sales Workers is projected to contribute 104,900 new jobs over the five years to November 2020. This growth may benefit both females and young workers (aged 15 to 24 years), as this occupation group employs large numbers in both cohorts.

Projected employment growth, occupation share (% of total new jobs)*

This pie graph shows the share of total new jobs projected over the five years to November 2020 by occupation.  Managers 14%.  Professionals 40%.  Technicians and Trades Workers 10%.  Community and Personal Service Workers 23%.  Clerical and Administrative Workers 3%.  Sales Workers 10%.  Machinery Operators and Drivers 1%.

*These shares are calculated on the total new jobs expected to be created over the next five years. They exclude the projected fall for Labourers.

Professionals, in line with their strong projected growth, are well represented in the top 10 subgroups expected to add the largest numbers of new jobs.

The chart below provides more disaggregated information about where the new jobs will be. It highlights the diversity of new opportunities.

Largest projected employment gains by subgroup (‘000)

This bar chart shows the share of projected employment gains to November 2020 by occupational subgroup.  Health Professionals 125,100.  Carers and Aides 111,800.  Business, Human Resource and Marketing Professionals 92,900.  Sales Assistants and Salespersons 88,900.  Specialist Managers 71,900.  Education Professionals 68,700.  Sports and Personal Service Workers 51,400.  Hospitality, Retail and Service Managers 47,400.  Hospitality Workers 37,000.  ICT Professionals 36,900.

The ten specific occupations with the largest numbers of new jobs expected over the five years to November 2020 are

  • General Sales Assistants (up by 65,800)
  • Registered Nurses (51,400)
  • Aged and Disabled Carers (43,000)
  • Child Carers (39,000)
  • Accountants (31,100)
  • Electricians (26,000)
  • General Clerks (22,400)
  • Contract, Programme and Project Administrators (20,400)
  • Chefs (19,200)
  • Waiters (19,000).

Women have a relatively large share of jobs in many of the high growth occupations. The growth in employment for General Sales Assistants and Waiters, for example, is also likely to present opportunities for young workers and those looking to combine work and study or work and caring responsibilities.

Which occupations will decline over the next five years?

Labourers is the only occupation group projected to experience lower employment (down by 14,600 jobs to November 2020).

There are, though, a small number of Labourer subgroups expected to add jobs.

  • Food Preparation Assistants (up by 11,200)
  • Construction and Mining Labourers (7,400).

Although Labourers is the only occupation group projected to record a fall in employment, the 10 subgroups with the largest projected falls over the next five years are quite diverse and represent all occupation groups except Professionals and Community and Personal Service Workers.

Largest projected employment falls by subgroup (‘000)

This bar chart shows the projected employment falls to November 2020 by occupational subgroup.  Machine and Stationary Plant Operators -26,000.  Automotive and Engineering Trades Workers -18,100.  Factory Process Workers -15,800.  Other Labourers -15,600.  Personal Assistants and Secretaries -11,400.  Numerical Clerks -9,900.  Sales Support Workers -6,000.  Mobile Plant Operators -4,400.  Farm, Forestry and Garden Workers -2,100.  Farmers and Farm Managers -1,000.

Sources: ABS, Labour Force (annual averages of original data); Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections