Australia’s healthiest career path

Posted January 22, 2014, by Julia Watters

If you have a philanthropic streak and want to apply that within a professional setting, then have I got some good news for you.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, health care and social assistance is currently the largest employer of Australians, with 1,403,500 jobs as at May 2013 – that’s 12.1 per cent of the total Australian workforce.

This trend is forecast to continue with health care and social assistance jobs top of the list of growing employment opportunities in Australia over the next five years. In fact, the bureau estimates that this industry will offer up 177,800 new job openings between now and 2017. This figure is especially promising for the female population, who currently account for 78.5 per cent of these roles.

So what jobs does health care and social assistance actually include?

health care and social assistance

Breakdown of sub-categories within health care and social assistance

The sub-category ‘professionals’ refers to occupations that require a bachelor’s degree or postgraduate study and includes highly trained roles such as physiotherapists and social workers. In fact, a large proportion of the workers in health care and social assistance need to have obtained some form of post-school education or training to successfully carry out their jobs.

In terms of specific roles, this category covers an impressive range of professions including medical, dentistry, allied health, natural therapies, speech and hearing sciences, psychology, counselling, social work, welfare work and aged and disability care.

The top 5 employing health care and social assistance professions for 2013 were:

If you’re looking for the most lucrative opportunities amongst the health care and social assistance professions, it should come as no surprise that medical specialists come in on top of the earning ladder, with an average annual salary of $283,973. This average is calculated through the MyCareer Salary Centre, based on the job advertisements listed on their site within a 90-day period.

Other top earners include:

Occupation Annual salary
Medical specialist $283,973
Medical practitioner  $232,181
Medical imaging $136,808
Surgical $108,834
Pharmaceuticals $97,147
Administration $95,224
Sales $93,095
Optical $90,588
Nursing management $89,796
Management $89,515
Medical research $88,044
Critical care $87,919
Registered nurse $77,747
Allied health $76,214
General nursing $75,884
Medical assistant $75,785
Physiotherapy $75,594
Occupational therapy $75,281
Speech therapy $74,277
Childcare $74,271
Podiatrist $74,161
Midwifery $74,147
Mental health $74,132
Psychology/counselling $74,102
Educational nursing $72,311
Social work $68,992
Dental $65,334
Pharmacy $59,183
Aged care/disabled care $57,819


So if you’re looking at helping others, why not help yourself along the way by choosing a career that has great employment prospects and even better karma. 

Julia Watters

AIM Business School
All Health Training
Australasian College of Health and Wellness
Australian College of Physical Education
Australian Institute of Business
Australian Institute of ICT
Australian Institute of Management Education and Training
Australian Institute of Personal Trainers
Builders Academy Australia
Building and Construction Training Australia
College for Adult Learning
Deakin University
Ducere Global Business School
Edith Cowan University Online
Endeavour College of Natural Health
Foundation Education
General Assembly
Hammond Institute
Industry Skills Training
James Cook University Online
La Trobe University
La Trobe University Online (Delivered by Didasko)
MCI Institute
Mentor Education
Monarch Institute
Nepean Industry Edge Training
Onfit Training College
Open Colleges
RMIT Online
The Hotel School
TrainSmart Australia
UNE Partnerships
University of Adelaide
UNSW Online
UTS Online
Victoria University Online
Torrens University
University of East London
University of Mauritius
University of New England
University of Wales Trinity Saint David
Open Colleges School of Health
HTMi Australia
Southern Cross University