Top in demand jobs in Australia for immigrants

Top 20 occupations in demand in Australia

The Skills Priority List (SPL) produced by Jobs and Skills Australia’s predecessor, the National Skills Commission, highlighted the impacts of Australia’s tight labour market. As detailed in the SPL: Key Findings Report, the proportion of occupations assessed as being in shortage increased from 19 per cent in 2021 (153 out of 799) to 31 per cent in 2022 (286 out of 914).

While skills shortages are currently observed in a wide range of occupations, there are several key areas of the labour market, notably caring occupations and digital and data occupations, where shortages may be more pressing. The SPL provides a point–in-time assessment of occupations in shortage. Combining the SPL with other data sets produced by Jobs and Skills Australia, such as job vacancies and five-year employment projections, provides an estimate of some of the economy’s key skills needs.

For example, Table 6 provides a list of the top 20 occupations in demand nationally using:

  • the national 2022 SPL skills shortage ratings;
  • job vacancies data from the IVI (monthly average of internet job vacancies during the three-month period from October to December 2022 inclusive); and
  • projected growth in national employment over the five years to November 2026.

The list is ordered by the number of internet vacancies for each respective occupation. The equivalent analysis for each state and territory is provided in Appendix A.

Related:

Top 20 occupations in demand nationally

No. Occupation IVI job ads*
1 Registered Nurses 8,377
2 Software and Applications Programmers 6,269
3 Aged and Disabled Carers 4,642
4 Child Carers 4,277
5 Construction Managers 4,230
6 Motor Mechanics 3,924
7 Retail Managers 3,777
8 Chefs 3,725
9 Generalist Medical Practitioners 3,352
10 Metal Fitters and Machinists 3,137
11 ICT Business and Systems Analysts 3,053
12 Civil Engineering Professionals 2,871
13 Electricians 2,839
14 Early Childhood (Pre-primary School) Teachers 2,493
15 Contract, Program and Project Administrators 2,392
16 Advertising and Marketing Professionals 2,265
17 Physiotherapists 1,262
18 Gardeners 1,015
19 Mining Engineers 957
20 Database and Systems Administrators, and ICT Security Specialists 942

Notes: IVI data are October to December 2022 monthly average

  • National Skills Commission, Skills Priority List, 2022; National Skills Commission, Employment outlook Industry and occupation trends over the five years to November 2026, 2022; JSA, Internet Vacancy Index, December 2022

This list, like the SPL, represents a diverse mix of occupations including, health care, digital, construction and engineering professionals, as well as traditional trades workers. It is important to recognise, however, that there are many, many more occupations of key significance to the economy and the well being of Australians.

Regional skills pressures

To help gain a better understanding of regional skills pressures, the National Skills Commission developed an indicator based on the ratio of online job ads (IVI) to employment at the regional level, which Jobs and Skills Australia will continue to develop and use in the future. This regional skills pressure indicator can be combined with findings from the SPL to test current labour demand pressures for occupations on a region-by-region basis.

Table below presents the top 10 vacancy rates (job ads as a proportion of employment) from the regional skills pressure indicator, for larger employing occupations that have been assessed as in shortage for the SPL. Occupations with the highest vacancy rates are heavily concentrated around Mining Engineers and medical professions, mostly in regional areas.

Top 10 regions/occupations by vacancy rate (November 2022), for occupations in shortage on the SPL
Region Occupation Vacancy Rate (%)
Western Australia – Outback (North) Mining Engineers 38.0
Western Australia – Outback (South) Mining Engineers 29.4
Newcastle and Lake Macquarie Mining Engineers 22.7
Far West and Orana General Practitioners and Resident Medical Officers 18.1
Queensland – Outback Chefs 17.6
Latrobe – Gippsland Occupational Therapists 17.5
Latrobe – Gippsland Enrolled and Mothercraft Nurses 17.3
Central Queensland Mining Engineers 17.2
Australian Capital Territory Other Miscellaneous Technicians and Trades Workers 16.9
Queensland – Outback General Practitioners and Resident Medical Officers 16.0

Notes: Regions presented in this table are Statistical Area 4 (SA4) regions, with the exception of capital cities, where relevant SA4 regions are combined to present an overall result for that capital city.

  • National Skills Commission, 2022 Skills Priority List; JSA, Internet Vacancy Index, November 2022; Nowcast of employment by Region and Occupation, November 2022.

By examining similar figures for particular occupations that are assessed as being in shortage, the regions also experiencing high vacancy rates can also be identified. In effect, this provides an indication of the variations in regional skills pressures for any given occupation.

Labour demand and recruitment difficulty remain highest for the higher skill levels

Some of the recent trends in the percentage growth (or in some cases, decline) of IVI job advertisements should be viewed in the context of overall job advertisement volumes and employment growth.

For example, the percentage growth in job advertisements is highest for Skill Level 1 (up by 11.7%) and lowest for Skill Level 5 (down by 7.9%), compared to twelve months ago. As Table 5 highlights, the number of Skill Level 1 job advertisements far outweighs the other skill levels – making up just over one-third of all advertisements.

Qualified applicants per vacancy and suitable applicants per vacancy, select occupations

Labour markets for occupations often differ – employers across different occupations generally receive different numbers of applicants, have different mandatory qualification and experience requirements, and therefore find different proportions of applicants to be suitable.

Many occupations in shortage have fewer than one suitable applicant for every two qualified applicants. Retail Managers appear to be exception to this trend, with some employers not requiring mandatory qualifications in order to assess an applicant as suitable for filling these vacancies.

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