While the government's Jobs and Growth slogan may not have entirely come to fruition, it's not all bad news for the career minded in Australia. Whilst traditional growth areas decline, there is employment growth in alternative areas which are now seeing pay increases and offering lucrative returns as requirements grow beyond current capability. We take a closer look at five sectors and five specific jobs that are expected to grow in Australia over the next 12 months according to the Department of Employment.
Health Care and Social Assistance – Predicted Growth 16.4% to 2020
This sector is expected to go boom big time in 2017: career opportunities are preparing for an increase at all levels and pay rises are expected. We focus on two jobs at different ends of the sectors spectrum.
Job Focus: Child Carer
With a balance in the equality of employment on the increase, child-care requirements are growing. This trend will prove lucrative for those who have relevant qualifications and experience.
Child carers earn an average of $50,000 per year and are responsible for assisting children with day-to-day tasks, facilitating discipline and encouraging play. They need to be good communicators, have a caring disposition and be well organised.
Routes into childcare are often via Certificate or Diploma level qualifications. A Certificate example would be the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care. This covers basic childcare competencies and gives a broad understanding of child development. The Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care builds on this understanding and would be suitable for those wishing to move into supervisory and management roles.
Job Focus: Optometrist
Optometrists are included in the official national skills shortage list and as such a pay increase demand is predicted in this area.
Optometrists earn an average of $78,000 a year and are responsible for sight testing, glasses and contact lens prescription and treatment of other eye issues. They need to be able to analyse medical information, solve problems and communicate well with other people.
All optometrists require a Doctor or Masters level qualification in optometry. Routes towards this might include a Bachelor degree in biomedical science or another science subject.
Professional, Scientific and Technical – Predicted Growth 14.8% to 2020
This lucrative and highly qualified sector is one to watch as it covers a number of growth sub-sectors.
Job Focus: Computer Network Professionals
With the importance of computer networking to most of Australia’s industries, computer network professionals are in high demand.
Computer network professionals earn an average of $65,000 and work with hardware and software to implement and maintain smooth and efficient business networks. They need to be able to resolve intricate problems, handle data and think systematically.
Routes into computer networking are qualification based. Bachelor level qualifications may be required. If you can’t commit to a full Bachelor program a Graduate Certificate such as the Graduate Certificate in Information Technology and Strategic Management would be a step in the right direction.
It is possible to work towards computer networking jobs from a starter level. For example the Certificate IV in Systems Analysis and Design would work alongside a vocational placement and lead into higher-level learning.
Education and Training – Predicted Growth 13% to November 2020
This sector is set to grow with a particular boom for jobs with younger and pre-school children.
Job Focus: Early Childhood Teachers
The National Skills Shortage list is currently showing difficulty in recruiting early childhood teachers. Since 2014 it has been a requirement for day care centres or kindergartens to employ at least one qualified early childhood teacher. With a huge growth of over 70% in the last five years, this sector will continue to see jobs boom.
Early childhood teachers earn an average of $52,500 a year and are required to plan teaching activities, take responsibility for the safe nurture of young children and provide associated support for families. They need to have excellent communication skills, problem solving ability and a level of calmness under pressure.
To become an early childhood teacher you must have a relevant Bachelor level qualification. If you don’t already meet the admission requirements for a Degree, then you could undertake a Diploma level qualification such as the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care or start with a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care.
The Retail Trade – Predicted Growth 8.4% to November 2020
The success of this sector has fluctuated over recent years with clothing and fashion being by far the strongest player in recent times.
Job Focus: Retail Managers
Management jobs across all sectors are set for growth in 2017 and retail managers, who are amongst the youngest in the management sector, will see the biggest boom.
Retail managers earn an average of $52,000 and are responsible for predicting retail needs, understanding consumer trends and budget planning. They need to be able to communicate, make logical decisions and delegate responsibilities.
If you want to work in retail management and don’t have years of retail experience, you will need to gain some relevant post-school qualifications. We would recommend either a Certificate level course such as the Certificate IV in Retail Management, which is suitable for those wishing to manage small retail outlets, or perhaps the Diploma of Retail Leadership, which takes a more strategic look at management and human resources.
These five jobs are representative of the Australian employment sectors that are set for economic growth during 2017. There are other opportunities within each sector and being able to adjust your skills is what will enable you to make career moves and adjustments as Australia’s current state of employment flux persists. The economic future of Australia will not be the same as its past but those members of the workforce who are willing to take a more flexible approach to careers and gain qualifications and experience as necessary will find themselves on new and lucrative paths.