Australian Careers Outlook for 2020 – Part One

2020, Job Market

What is the Outlook for Australian Careers in 2020?  

As 2019 winds down and another new year is upon us, people’s thoughts turn to fresh starts, and that includes a new job or even a new career. But what does 2020 hold for job seekers? Where the growth areas? What industries are declining? Where is the best place to be practising your particular trade? 

What Are the Details? 

The Department of Employment has released its yearly forecasts, and their findings show that over the five years to May 2023, the Department of Jobs and Small Business projects employment will increase in 17 of the 19 broad industries, with declines in employment projected for Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (1400) and Wholesale Trade (9700). Total employment is projected to increase by 886,100 (7.1 per cent) over this period. Almost two-thirds of this growth is projected to come from the four largest contributing industries: 

  • Health Care and Social Assistance (250,300 new jobs)
  • Construction (118,800)
  • Education and Training (113,000)
  • Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (106,600)

However, according to a Yahoo! Finance report, Job ads are down 7.8 per cent year on year, meaning fewer employers are keen to make hires, according to the latest Seek employment data.

The data found that while business leaders’ hiring intentions remained stable in this last quarter, the expectations for hires in 2020 had softened. 

Recruitment firm Hays’ Managing Director Nick Deligiannis told Yahoo! Finance the job market would, in fact, be active in 2020, particularly in Australia’s professional and financial services, infrastructure, mining and healthcare industries.

“The key trends we’re seeing are for skilled professionals who, regardless of role or industry, possess interpersonal and creative skills,” Deligiannis said.

Top Employing Industries

For graduates, it’s useful to know the most top employing occupations as you prepare to enter the workplace. 

Australian Career Outlook 2020

Jobs By Industry

Health Care and Social Assistance

Currently employing 1.6m of which 79% are female

Top occupations: Registered Nurses, Aged and Disabled Carers, Child Carers

Retail Trade

Currently employing 1.3m of which 32% are aged 15 to 24 years

Top occupations: General Sales Assistants, Retail Managers, Checkout Operators and Office Cashiers


Currently employing 1.2m of which 51% are Certificate III or higher VET qualified

Top occupations: Carpenters and Joiners, Electricians, Construction Managers

Professional, Scientific and Technical Services

Currently employing 1m of which 77% are full time

Top occupations: Accountants, Software and Applications Programmers. Solicitors

Education and Training

Currently employing 1m of which 87% hold post-school qualifications

Top occupations: Primary School Teachers, Secondary School Teachers, Education Aides

For those currently in careers and considering a move, this is the state of the market by occupation:

Jobs By Occupation


Currently employing 1.6m of whom one in four are aged 55 years or older

Top occupations: Retail Managers; Advertising, Public Relations and Sales Managers; Construction Managers


Currently employing 3m of whom more than three quarters hold a bachelor degree or higher qualification

Top occupations: Registered Nurses, Accountants, Primary School Teachers

Technicians and Trades Workers 

Currently employing 1.8m of whom 84% are employed full-time

Top occupations: Electricians, Carpenters and Joiners, Motor Mechanics

Community and Personal Service Workers

Currently employing 1.3m of whom 40% are employed in Health Care and Social Assistance

Top occupations: Aged and Disabled Carers, Child Carers

Clerical and Administrative Workers

Currently employing 1.8m 

Top occupations: General Clerks, Receptionists, Office Managers

Sales Workers 

Currently employing 1.1m of whom 40% are aged 15 to 24 years

Top occupations: General Sales Assistants, Checkout Operators and Office Cashiers, Real Estate Sales Agents

Machinery Operators and Drivers

Currently employing 0.8m of whom 82% are employed full-time

Top occupations: Truck Drivers, Storepersons, Forklift Drivers


Currently employing 1.2m of whom 61% do not hold post-school qualifications

Top occupations: Commercial Cleaners, Kitchen hands, Building and Plumbing Labourers


In the next part of this blog post, we’re looking at other trends such as what the most methods employers use to recruit staff

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