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What Are the Most In-Demand Careers in Brisbane?

This article is sponsored by The University of Queensland

There’s so much to see and so much to do in Brisbane, including finding work in a number of in-demand industries. Queensland has long been a destination of choice for jobs in fields like mining and tourism, but careers in other industries like healthcare and IT are becoming increasingly popular.

Let’s break down six in-demand job pathways you can take advantage of in your own career, alongside information about finding a job and your migration options.

What in-demand careers are available in Brisbane?

Healthcare and Medicine

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the demand for quality healthcare services across the board. In Queensland, the healthcare and medical sectors is the second-largest contributor to the state’s economy in 2019-20, generating $29.2 billion. 

The industry shows no signs of slowing down, as Australia shifts to a post-pandemic state of mind. With over 350,000 Queenslanders employed in healthcare in 2019-20 across roles as varied as registered nurse, general practitioner, pharmacist and physiotherapist, job opportunities in the health sector are booming and could see you carve out a rewarding role within an essential industry.

Aged care and social assistance

Another industry experiencing high demand is aged care and social assistance. The recent Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety revealed the need for an overhaul of the aged care system, and will see the Australian Government spend over $450 million on immediate measures.

Such developments, alongside the ongoing expansion of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) – which currently benefits over 91,000 people in Queensland – indicate the importance of aged and disability support workers, child carers, community service and social workers, and mental health practitioners in Brisbane and across the state.

Tourism, events and hospitality

Queensland has long been a favoured destination for domestic and international tourists. From the Brisbane River to the Great Barrier Reef, visitors flock to enjoy the state’s tropical climate, beautiful natural environment, and vibrant events and attractions.

The Australian Government’s Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport has introduced a variety of recovery packages to boost tourism after the COVID-19 lull, including aviation route support worth $15 million and the ‘Good to Go’ program, which aims to encourage domestic visitors to explore Queensland and reignite tourism in this much-loved destination.

Queensland’s tourism market is the second largest in Australia, and is worth an astounding $28 billion  – which makes a career in tourism an extremely promising prospect.


Then there’s construction, the state’s second-largest employer, with almost 250,000 people having a job in the industry in 2019-20. Although the industry experienced a downturn in productivity during 2020, builders, engineers, planners and developers are likely to be in-demand in 2021.

It’s been projected that close to 30,000 new residential dwellings will be built by the end of the year, with dwelling approvals rising by 15 per cent in Greater Brisbane in the three months to February, by 76 per cent on the Gold Coast, and by 27 per cent on the Sunshine Coast. This makes starting a career in infrastructure, engineering, architecture and planning, or a trade a very smart decision.

Innovation and IT

Jobs in information technology (IT), software development and cybersecurity have never been in higher demand, and it’s an exciting time to be involved in digital technologies and innovation. 

Two Queensland Cyber Security Innovation Nodes have recently been launched in Brisbane and Townsville as part of Advance Queensland’s initiative to increase cybersecurity jobs and investment. And the new Industry 4.0 UQ Energy TestLab facility at The University of Queensland (UQ) aims to enhance knowledge on electricity networks and drive research into cybersecurity and energy resilience challenges.

If you’re interested in becoming an entrepreneur and beginning an innovative new business, Queensland is the place to be. The Queensland Government are currently boosting the state’s entrepreneurial culture by improving access to finance, new business opportunities, and management support for startups though Advance Queensland. Institutions, such as UQ, are also working to elevate Brisbane’s entrepreneurial spirit. UQ Ventures supports entrepreneurs and over 200+ start-up companies have benefitted from its accelerator and incubator programs.

Education and training

Last, but certainly not least, is the education and training sector. Anyone who has studied in Brisbane – or indeed, anywhere globally – has taken advantage of this industry, and you could be a part of it too, as a school teacher, aide, tutor or Indigenous education worker.

Last year, Queensland schools employed over 63,000 full-time equivalent teachers – but more are always needed to prepare for the next generation of educators.

How do I find a job in Brisbane?

For free career advice in Brisbane, try accessing the support services available at your university, TAFE or education provider, who can help you identify what careers are available in Brisbane that suit your education background. Speaking with career advisors is one of the best things you can do when seeking guidance on work opportunities.

For example, the Careers and Employability team at UQ can support you to develop your employability throughout your degree and highlight the skills and experiences you’ve learned so you stand out to prospective employers.

You can find further student career support in Brisbane and Queensland on the Queensland Government website. The myfuture online portal is another valuable resource that offers lots of career planning advice.

What are my migration options?

Keen on finding a job in Brisbane, but worried you won’t be able to because you’re still studying? No worries! Your student visa allows you to work up to 40 hours per fortnight during the semester and unlimited hours during semester break.

If you intend to stay in Australia after graduating, a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) allows you to work here for up to several years, and General Skilled Migration lets those with proven experience migrate without an employer sponsor.

At UQ we are committed to enhancing your employability by helping you to develop the capabilities that will make you effective in whatever work you choose to do. Visit UQ Careers and Employability for more information.