Teaching and trades among ‘best jobs in Australia’

Visa rules have tightened but opportunities still good for skilled Irish workers

Technology, healthcare, education and construction are the sectors offering the “best jobs in Australia” in 2018, according to global jobs website Indeed.

The site analysed tens of thousands of job advertisements to identify well-paid roles that have seen “remarkable levels of growth” over the past three years, revealing the jobs that “present great opportunities for jobseekers, or those considering future career options”.

Teachers with leadership experience came top of the list, in light of skills shortages at senior levels in the education sector. The average base salary for a lead teacher in Australia, according to the survey, is AUD$92,723 (€58,365).

All roles on the list have an average salary of more than AUD$80,000 (€50,340), with more than half exceeding AUD$100,000.


Skills shortages

Across Australia, skills shortages in healthcare and wellness continue to push up demand for workers in these sectors, particularly in regional areas. The increasing importance of wellbeing in the workplace is leading to a spike in demand for wellbeing managers, with an average salary on offer of AUD$110,518.

Registered nurses also remain highly sought-after with oncology, primary care, maternity and clinical lead nurses all making the list with growth exceeding 150 per cent over the past three years.

The construction sector is still booming, particularly in New South Wales, driving up demand for trades workers. Jobs for lead carpenters and electrical foremen come high up the list of "best jobs", followed by senior landscape architects, site engineers, survey technicians and BIM managers.

Indeed's managing director Australia Ricky Fritsch said the shortage of trades workers across Australia meant traditional trades like electricians and carpenters continued to enjoy excellent career prospects.

“Those roles requiring that heavy human element, whether it be skilled tradespeople, medical professionals, including nurses and GPs or teachers working with students at a very personal level, are also less vulnerable to automation and should always remain in demand.”

Of the technology roles, full stack developers who can work at both the front and back end of software design lead the way in terms of jobsgrowth, followed by roles for data scientists, technology assistants and information systems managers. Technology assistant is the highest paid role on the list, with an average salary of AUD$141,738. Cloud engineer and IT security specialist also feature.

Opportunities for Irish

John McQuaid of Arrive Australia, a Sydney-based visa agent, said the top 20 occupations listed in the Indeed report reflect the demand they are seeing from employers across Australia. Most roles are eligible for employer sponsorship visas.

“We have employers contacting us daily asking for help to fill roles in the trades, health and engineering sectors,” he said.

A tightening of immigration rules and the end in March this year of the “457 visa” programme, which was very popular with skilled Irish immigrants, made it more difficult for workers to secure employer sponsorship. But the government’s long-term skilled occupation list still contains 176 occupations eligible for four-year temporary and permanent residence visas, including secondary teachers, the majority of trades, IT, health and engineering.

Under new visa rules, applicants for the new “482” visas need at least two years’ work experience in the occupation.

"This means Irish graduates should think about building up at least 12 months work experience in Ireland before coming to Australia on a working holiday visa - where a further 12 months experience could be gained across the one or two 12 month working holiday visas," McQuaid said.

Ciara Kenny

Ciara Kenny

Ciara Kenny, founding editor of Irish Times Abroad, a section for Irish-connected people around the world, is Editor of the Irish Times Magazine