Professionals

This image shows that there were 3,018,100 Professionals as at November 2018, up 18.7% since November 2013. Employment is projected to grow by 10.9% over the five years to May 2023.
23% of jobs are regional. 7% of workers are aged 15 to 24 years. 15% of workers are self-employed. 76% of workers hold a bachelor degree or higher. 14% of workers hold a certificate 3 or higher qualification. 2% of workers hold an other qualification. 8% of workers do not hold a post-school qualification.

Annual employment growth (%), Professionals

Professionals is the largest employing occupation group in Australia (accounting for almost one in every four workers). This group recorded the largest employment growth of any group over the past five years (up by 476,100 or 18.7%). Significant numbers of jobs were created for

  • Registered Nurses (up by 42,600)
  • Software and Applications Programmers (37,900)
  • Advertising and Marketing Professionals (26,700).

There are marked differences in the representation of men and women across occupations in the Professionals group. Around 74% of Health Professionals and 73% of Education Professionals are female, but 83% of ICT Professionals are male.

Are qualifications required?

Most Professional jobs require a bachelor degree or higher qualification (76% of Professionals have this level of qualification), so university study is the main pathway for employment. Reflecting the time it takes to gain the relevant qualifications, a relatively low proportion of Professionals are aged 15 to 24 years.

In which industries do Professionals work?

Around two thirds of Professionals are employed across just three industries: Health Care and Social Assistance (24% of Professional employment), Education and Training (21%), and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (20%).

Are there job opportunities?

In line with the recent employment growth, the number of vacancies advertised on the Internet for Professionals has risen strongly over the past five years (up by almost 50%).

While the demand for these workers is rising, the supply of university educated Australians is also increasing, with higher education enrolments up by 43% over the past decade. Accordingly, for some Professional occupations, there are now large numbers of qualified applicants vying for vacancies.

There are signs, however, that employers are beginning to have more difficulty finding the Professionals they need, creating opportunities for job seekers. Following weakening employment outcomes over much of the past decade, bachelor degree graduates have been finding it easier to secure employment in recent years, see Education Employment Outcomes.

Will there be future opportunities?

Professionals employment is projected to grow strongly over the five years to May 2023 (up by 10.9%), with particularly strong growth expected for Health Professionals and ICT Professionals.

Top employing occupations, Professionals

Top employing occupations
Occupation Number
Registered Nurses 278,900
Accountants 188,400
Primary School Teachers 164,700
Secondary School Teachers 133,000
Software and Applications Programmers 123,200
Advertising and Marketing Professionals 74,000
Management and Organisation Analysts 70,500
Human Resource Professionals 69,600
General Practitioners and Resident Medical Officers 69,200
Solicitors 65,500
Graphic and Web Designers, and Illustrators 62,800
Civil Engineering Professionals 50,300
University Lecturers and Tutors 49,200
Database and Systems Administrators, and ICT Security Specialists 46,900
Financial Investment Advisers and Managers 44,600
Private Tutors and Teachers 43,200
Early Childhood (Pre-primary School) Teachers 38,000
Social Workers 37,700
Computer Network Professionals 37,700
Other Information and Organisation Professionals 33,400

Employment by occupation subgroup, Professionals

Employment by occupation subgroup, Professionals
Occupation subgroup Employment Employment Profile Workforce Educational Profile Projected Employment
Employ’t Nov 2018  5 year change
to Nov 2018
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 2023
‘000 ‘000 % % % % % % % % %
Arts and Media Professionals 109.3 18.3 20.1 37 49 10 18 56 18 22 4.0
Business, Human Resource and Marketing Professionals 725.2 129.4 21.7 19 50 6 16 69 16 13 7.9
Design, Engineering, Science and Transport Professionals 436.7 55.8 14.6 17 33 9 16 74 17 8 8.1
Education Professionals 582.3 81.5 16.3 33 73 8 21 84 9 6 8.9
Health Professionals 625.4 112.6 21.9 37 74 7 21 83 13 2 16.3
ICT Professionals 291.0 69.4 31.4 8 17 5 10 72 14 12 16.0
Legal, Social and Welfare Professionals 244.3 31.8 15.0 31 65 4 24 80 13 7 13.0
All Professionals1 3,018.10 476.1 18.7 26 55 7 18 76 14 8 10.9

1. Some data are trend and, for these, totals do not add

Sources: ABS, Labour Force (trend and annual averages of original data); ABS, Education and Work; Department of Jobs and Small Business, Occupation Employment Projections; Department of Jobs and Small Business, Internet Vacancy Index; Department of Jobs and Small Business, Skill Shortage Research; Department of Education and Training, Higher Education Statistics; QILT, Graduate Outcomes Survey

For more information see joboutlook.gov.au