Most in-demand jobs in Australia

Posted October 13, 2011, by Aziza Green

Check out our updated hot list of jobs that are on the up in 2013.

Are you at a crossroads in your career? Are you looking for a new job or wanting to start tertiary education, but not too sure what you actually want to do yet?

If so, the recent results of Manpower Australia’s latest Talent Shortage Survey will be of particular interest. The survey has revealed the top ten most in-demand jobs in Australia in 2011. With 54 per cent of employers in Australia having difficulty filling key positions in their organisations, you could help to meet those demands and enjoy a thriving career while you’re at it. Here are some of the most sought-after positions from the top ten.

Skilled trades

If the thought of sitting at a desk all day is enough to drive you crazy, a skilled trade may be the job for you.

Skilled tradespeople include plumbers, electricians, metal fitters, mechanics, chefs, hairdressers and carpenters, to name just a few. These careers generally require manual dexterity and practical training, and often require you to complete an apprenticeship where you can begin earning and learning on the job. It’s practical, hands-on, flexible work that can offer a great lifestyle alternative for those who don’t want to be desk-bound.

As a skilled tradesperson you can have the security of working for big or small organisations, or have the freedom of running your own business. For those with an entrepreneurial streak, starting a small business is a great way to make a living while being your own boss.

Read more about how you can qualify for a career in skilled trades.

Sales representatives

Sales reps often get a bad rap, but they’re critical to the growth and success of many businesses. For those with the gift of the gab, sales can be an extremely lucrative career.
Being a great sales rep requires a combination of hard work, great interpersonal and communication skills, market knowledge and business savvy. Sales people can come from any background, from within the ranks of a particular industry or from a sales and marketing background. If you think you’ve got the right stuff, with the ability to build relationships and provide excellent customer service, this may be the perfect career for you.


Have you always been interested in the way things work? If you’re an innovative and practical thinker, you might like to consider a future in engineering. As an engineer, the possibilities are limitless – you could design energy efficient buildings, faster aeroplanes or a spacecraft that takes us to Mars and beyond.

Engineers use science and design to improve the way things and systems work. As an engineer you will need to be a problem-solver with the ability to think laterally to find creative solutions.

If you’re interested in being at the forefront of development in society while enjoying significant rewards, find out more about a career in engineering.


If you have strong communication skills and the ability to lead and motivate others, you may want to consider progressing toward a management or executive position in your industry. Dynamic leaders are highly sought after in all sectors, and with the right training and experience you can launch into this challenging and rewarding career path.

Many employers provide in-house training programs to prepare candidates for management roles within the organisation. There is also a wide range of formal qualifications which give you the skills and knowledge to handle the challenges of managing a business or company department.

Management and executive roles will foist you with greater responsibility for the growth and success of a business, but with this comes greater financial rewards. If you have a big picture mentality, work well with people and enjoy taking initiative, stepping up into management may be a great career move for you.

Accounting and finance staff

For those with an aptitude for numbers, a career in accounting or finance can offer ample rewards and challenges. You can help keep companies on track and make better financial and strategic decisions so they can grow their bottom line.

As well as numerical ability, you’ll also need a head for fine print and legislation – think tax law and business contracts. If that doesn’t faze you, be prepared to field job offers and enjoy great remuneration.

Secretaries, PAs and office support staff

This is the job for the super-organised, super-efficient person with a system for everything.

If you want a career in office administration, you have to embrace structure and detail and be prepared to juggle phones, mail, diaries, computers, photocopiers, spreadsheets, meeting rooms … and that’s all before lunch! But at the top levels, office admin staff are very well rewarded. 

Many people working in office support begin their careers as office juniors and work their way up from there. With the right general skills, you can work in almost any type of company, large or small. There are also many industry-specific office support careers to be found, such as medical secretary or legal secretary, that require a specific set of skills and knowledge.

IT staff

If you have a fascination with technology and an aptitude for logic and problem-solving, you really can’t go past a career in IT. Not scared by coding and love nothing better than a game of WoW? Then this is definitely the job for you.

Skilled IT staff are vital to the functioning of every modern business, with needs varying from IT support to cutting-edge software and web development. The range of work that you can get involved in is limited only by your imagination. This is one of the fastest moving industries around so you’ll have to keep up with the latest developments to stay on top of the game, but this is one area where there will be no shortage of jobs. 

To get the right skills and get up to speed, a short course or formal qualification in IT will help you break into this in-demand profession.

Top ten most in-demand jobs in Australia in 2011

1. Skilled trades
2. Sales representatives
3. Engineers
4. Management/Executive (Management/Corporate)
5. Accounting & finance staff
6. Technicians
7. Secretaries, PAs, office support staff
8. Mechanics
9. IT staff
10. Customer service representatives & customer support

Aziza Green

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
Griffith University
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
Integrated Care & Management Training (ICMT)
Open Colleges School of Health
HTMi Australia
Southern Cross University