Is Healthcare an In-Demand Career in Australia?

The Australian healthcare and social assistance sector currently accounts for 14 per cent of the total workforce, making it Australia’s biggest employer. The healthcare system covers a wide range of occupations and includes everything from doctors, nurses and ambulance drivers to speech therapists, pharmacists and aged care workers.

As the pandemic continues to place pressure on healthcare systems around the world, the critical need for healthcare workers has never been more evident. But, you may be wondering, what is the current demand for healthcare workers in Australia? Here’s everything you need to know about the need for this valuable industry. 

Is there a demand for healthcare professionals in Australia? 

Yes! There is a huge demand for healthcare professionals in Australia. Employment in the industry has actually increased by 19.3 per cent over the last five years, and this is expected to accelerate with Australia’s ageing population. 

An ageing population means that there is an increase in the proportion of older people within a community. Most countries, including Australia, have an ageing population due to declining fertility rates and because people are living longer than they did in the past. This means that the number of Australians requiring healthcare services will only continue to grow. 

Australian skilled occupation list 

The current high need for healthcare professionals in Australia means that many healthcare professions are listed as in-demand careers on the Australian Skilled Occupation List. The list includes a wide variety of healthcare occupations, including anesthetists, audiologists, cardiologists, clinical psychologists, dentists and nurses.

If your occupation is listed on the Australian skilled occupation list, then you may be eligible to permanently migrate to Australia. You can read more about this pathway and the requirements here

The most in-demand jobs in healthcare in 2021

With so many in-demand healthcare professions in Australia, you can’t go wrong with pursuing a career in this industry. 

Nurse

Nurses play a critical role in medical facilities and are primarily responsible for caring and supporting patients who require medical treatment. There are many different types of nurses in Australia, including emergency room nurses, operating room nurses, school nurses, mental health nurses and midwives. 

Demand 

Currently, there is a huge need for nurses in Australia. According to Australia’s Future Health Workforce Report, the country is very likely to have a shortage of 109,000 nurses by 2025. 

Average salary 

The average nursing salary in Australia can vary depending on qualifications, location, seniority and experience. However, most registered nurses can expect an average base salary of around $64,000 per year

Aged care worker

Aged care is an extremely rewarding career path where you can make a difference to the quality of someone’s life. Aged care workers provide care for elderely patients in hospitals, aged care homes and private residences. An aged care worker is usually responsible for assisting patients with personal care, managing medical issues and some domestic duties. 

Demand 

Considering Australia’s ageing population, the need for aged care workers is expected to significantly increase in the coming years. It has been estimated that the current aged care workforce would need to double or triple by 2050 to support the growing number of elderely patients, particularly in regional areas of Australia. 

Average salary 

The average salary for an aged care worker can vary depending on the role, facility and experience. In saying that, an aged care worker can usually expect an average salary of between $42,000 and $61,000 per year.  

Psychologist    

A psychologist studies human behaviour and mental processes, and will often assist patients with the care of their mental health. There are many types of psychologists, including child psychologists, school psychologists, forensic psychologists, community psychologists and sports psychologists.   

Demand 

Jobs for psychologists are predicted to grow by over 20 per cent over the next five years. This is largely due to more Australians choosing to access mental health services on a regular basis. During the pandemic, the industry was unable to deal with the public’s increased demand for mental health services, revealing the need for more staff. 

Average salary 

The average salary of an Australian psychologist can vary greatly depending on role, experience and location. It can start at $58,000 per year and reach up to $120,000 or more with significant experience.