Health Care and Social Assistance

This image shows that there were 1,685,100 people employed in Health Care and Social Assistance as at November 2018, up 21.4% since November 2013. Employment is projected to grow by 14.9% over the five years to May 2023.
33% of jobs are regional. 9% of workers are aged 15 to 24 years. 9% of workers are self-employed. 49% of workers hold a bachelor degree or higher. 32% of workers hold a certificate 3 or higher qualification. 4% of workers hold an other qualification. 16% of workers do not hold a post-school qualification.

Health Care and Social Assistance is Australia’s largest and fastest growing industry, with a significant number of new jobs added over the past decade. Large shares of workers in this industry are employed as Professionals (42%) or Community and Personal Service Workers (31%). This industry has a relatively old workforce.

Post-school education is commonly required in this industry, and there has been a strong rise in the number of people studying Health. In 2017, there were 216,000 university enrolments in Health (almost doubling over the past decade) and 221,000 in the Vocational Educational and Training sector.

Health Care and Social Assistance is projected to have the strongest employment growth of any industry over the five years to May 2023, supported by the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Australia’s ageing and growing population.

Health Care and Social Assistance, Annual employment growth (%)

Health Care and Social Assistance

Health Care and Social Assistance
Top employing occupations This industry All industries
Registered Nurses 270,300 278,900
Aged and Disabled Carers 162,800 175,900
Child Carers 111,000 143,900
Nursing Support and Personal Care Workers 96,800 98,900
Receptionists 94,300 179,600
General Practitioners and Resident Medical Officers 63,900 69,200
Welfare Support Workers 32,600 59,500
General Clerks 27,800 281,800
Enrolled and Mothercraft Nurses 26,800 29,000
Psychologists 26,800 33,400
Social Workers 26,400 37,700
Dental Assistants 24,700 25,300
Kitchenhands 24,500 136,100
Physiotherapists 23,500 23,700
Medical Technicians 21,600 35,300
Welfare, Recreation and Community Arts Workers 21,500 29,200
Medical Imaging Professionals 21,300 23,000
Commercial Cleaners 21,000 156,500
Practice Managers 19,500 22,800
Midwives 18,400 18,500

Sources: ABS, Labour Force (trend and annual averages of original data); ABS, Education and Work; Department of Jobs and Small Business, Industry Employment Projections; Department of Education and Training, Higher Education Statistics; NCVER, Total VET Students and Courses

For more information see