With Australia’s net overseas migration set to fall into the negative for the first time since World War II, the lack of skilled migrant workers, international students and backpackers have contributed to a significant skill shortage across many industries. And with the great resignation adding to this shrinking labour pool, the gaps are beginning to show. Shortages have been identified across 153 occupations, equating to almost 20% of assessed occupations nationally. As the economy bounces back post-COVID, there’s a huge demand for local talent to plug these gaps – and with demand, comes opportunity. Here’s where you can find it:


1.  STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)

The number of STEM jobs is currently growing almost twice as fast as other jobs, with this sector predicted to grow a further 12% in the next five years. This number is rapidly outpacing our homegrown talent, with the engineering industry, for example, predicted to have a deficit of more than 2,400 graduates annually. According to Careers with Stem, Australia needs 6.5 million additional workers with digital skills by 2025, and here’s where STEM is in demand:

  • Large-scale Data Modellers
  • Software Operations Support
  • Web/Software/Game Developers
  • Cloud Architects


Looking For A Career Change? These Are Australia's Most In-Demand Industries Engineers


2.  Medicine

Medicine and healthcare is the largest employing industry in Australia (directly employing around 1.8 million workers), it’s projected to grow by almost 16% by 2026, and with an ageing (and growing) population, the shortage of workers is very apparent – particularly in regional areas. The pandemic has compounded this, placing added demand on an already highly pressured sector. With some roles requiring extensive education, the imbalances aren’t a quick fix, and it’s estimated it could take 5-10 years to fill many of the gaps. Registered nurses are in particular demand, with Health Workforce Australia predicting a shortage of over 100,000 nurses by 2025. The healthcare occupations currently the most in-demand are:

  • General Practitioners
  • Psychiatrists
  • Resident Medical Officers
  • Registered Nurses


3.  Trades

According to the Labour Market Insights Skills Priority List, shortages are most common in the technician and trades workers occupation group, with 42% of these occupations assessed to be currently experiencing a shortage. While there’s been a focus on increasing traineeship and apprenticeship intakes in the construction sector, these measures take time. Here’s where you’ll find the most in-demand trade jobs:

  • Automotive Trades – this covers mechanics to panel beaters, heavy vehicle mechanics and other automotive specialists.
  • Construction – everything from plumbers and carpenters to painters and bricklayers.
  • Electrotechnology Trades – electricians, air-conditioning and refrigeration mechanics, telecommunications specialists, and more.


Looking For A Career Change? These Are Australia's Most In-Demand Industries Tradesman


4.  Hospitality

Prior to 2019, almost 400,000 international students and 250,000 working holidaymakers were employed in Australia each year. Many of these worked in hospitality-based roles, and as the borders closed and temporary residents left, large holes appeared. As a result, there’s a huge demand in this industry across various roles. According to the National Skills Commission’s Recruitment Insights Report, 63% of hospitality employers reported having problems with filling positions. Predictions for the most in-demand hospitality jobs for 2022 include:

  • Chefs and Cooks
  • Hotel Managers and Staff
  • Bakers and Pastry Chefs
  • Sommeliers and Specialty Bartenders
  • Revenue Managers


5.  Education

The pandemic has exacerbated Australia’s teacher shortage, with additional stressors placed on the already diminishing workforce. With several documents showing low completion rates of teaching degrees (fewer than 60% will complete the degree) and reports of public schools in NSW predicted to “run out of teachers in the next five years”, this is an industry that is very much in demand. Similarly, other education-based roles in childcare are experiencing shortages. Here’s where the demand lies:


Reap the benefits of high demand industries and help Australia fill its labour gaps

Whether you’re looking for a change in 2022 or preparing to get into the workforce, there’s plenty of opportunity across various sectors. You can also benefit from government assistance with free or low-fee training courses through the JobTrainer Fund in some industries. And at First National Real Estate, we are always on the lookout for great people to become part of our team – whether as a staff member with one of our 300-plus offices across Australia and New Zealand or through partnering with First National Real Estate and leading your own team in your preferred local area. Find out more here.



While we hope you find this information helpful, please note that it is general in nature and does not constitute legal, financial, or professional advice.

The following advice is of a general nature only and intended as a broad guide. The advice should not be regarded as legal, financial or real estate advice. You should make your own inquiries and obtain independent professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances before making any legal, financial or real estate decisions. Click here for full Terms of Use.