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5 High Demand Jobs in Perth and Western Australia

Are you considering coming to Western Australia for work or study, and wondering what the job market looks like?

Overall, the WA job market is taking a positive turn in the last few years. According to one analysis by 11Recruitment of all online job listings on Seek, the number of jobs posted overall in the Perth region has gone up by 3.4%, between August 2018 and August 2019.

To find out what the 5 most in-demand skill sets are, we’ve gone over the latest market data on industry growth and job listings in WA. Here’s what we found.

1. Mining, construction and resources industry skills are still in top demand

Despite the end of the mining boom in 2012, mining remains the state’s biggest industry and has overall contributed the most to job growth in Western Australia in recent years.  

According to the 11Recruitment analysis, the following 10 industries showed the most growth in online job listings in WA, year-on-year:

  1. Mining, Resources and Energy (1.36%)
  2. Government and Defence (1.01%)
  3. Education and Training (0.77%)
  4. Community Services (0.59%)
  5. Manufacturing, Transport and Logistics (0.48%)
  6. Administration and Office Support (0.48%)
  7. Information and Communications Technologies (0.42%)
  8. Human Resources (0.21%)
  9. Healthcare and Medical (0.2%)
  10.  Accounting (0.19%)

This analysis rings true with industry growth projections that show mining will continue to play a big role in the WA economy.

A 2018 survey by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry identified key industries that are creating jobs in WA, and mining also came in here at number one.

In terms of skill sets, mining operations, construction and related fields require university graduates with bachelor degrees in areas such as: Engineering, Mineral Science, and Environmental Science.

2. Healthcare demand will grow in the future

At the moment, the health sector is the third biggest contributor to the WA economy. There is an increasing demand for qualified health professionals across WA, with the ageing population being a big factor.

A national report “To Health and Happiness” released last year found that over the last decade, the number of people in aged care with complex healthcare needs in WA, increased from 12.7% to 51.8%, but the number of qualified staff did not keep pace.

Other reports have found increasing demand for healthcare professionals across the disability sector as well as aged care. Forecasts show that the health care and social assistance sector will grow by around 40,000 jobs by 2023, if supply can keep up with demand.

It’s because of this shortage of health professionals that the majority of jobs on the 2018 Western Australian Skilled Migration Occupation List (WASMIL) are health professional positions, such as:

  • Audiologist
  • Gastroenterologist
  • Registered Nurse
  • General Practitioner
  • Rheumatologist

If you’re considering studying laboratory medicine, nursing and related medical fields, WA has great prospects across these industries.

3. An information and communications tech (ICT) boom is just starting up in Perth

The last few years have seen a huge growth in tech start-ups in WA; there are now more start-up businesses in the state than ever before. ICT is said to be the next boom industry in Perth, and both the government and private investors have been stepping up when it comes to seed funding.

Startup WA is one new institution helping innovators to find funding and develop their business projects, while banks such as NAB are putting aside money to invest in this emerging industry in Australia.

According to the Startup WA ‘Ecosystem Report’ from 2016, a “vibrant high-tech sector in WA could contribute over $76 to $100 billion in gross state product in 2025, with 3,000 to 5,000 new companies formed per year in the sector.”

They predict that with investment, the ICT start-up sector could create over 150,000 jobs by 2025.

Skill sets in demand for the ICT start-up sector in WA include: computer science, information and communications technologies, business information systems, and business innovation and management skills.

4. Teachers and vocational trainers in growing demand in WA (and Australia!)

According to the 11Recruitment analysis previously mentioned, ‘Education and Training’ came in at #3 as the biggest area for job listing growth in the Perth region, year-on-year.

With one in five educators in WA now being over 60 and almost at retirement (according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics), the demand for skilled teachers will only go up in the near future. This is particularly the case in rural areas, where demand is even higher.

If you’re interested in becoming a teacher, WA might well be a great place to start your career!

5. Scientific, professional, financial and technical services on the rise

A recent report, “Future-Proofing the WA Economy” by the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre analyses existing market trends and creates a plan for a diversified WA economy.

This report looks at the existing economy, and lists each industry in order, according to its current overall contribution to the economy. Predictably, mining came in first, followed by construction, healthcare and manufacturing.

Next on the list (and with a combined contribution that equals more than 10% of the whole economy), were professional, scientific, technical and financial services. Specifically:

  • #5 Professional, scientific and technical services $13,627 million (5.8% share of the economy)
  • #6 Financial and insurance services $11,240 million (4.8% share of the economy)

Significantly, according to their estimates, this professional services sector has grown by a huge 265% between 1992 and 2018.

In terms of skills in demand, the need for professionals, consultants and specialists across financial, scientific and technical areas of expertise can be expected to continue to grow.

What does that mean exactly, in terms of jobs and in-demand skills in WA?

More specifically, these terms generally refer to the highly skilled professionals who work across industries in a supporting role. For example, HR managers or researchers required for infrastructure projects.

In Western Australia, some skillsets required to support the major industries of mining, healthcare and construction include: architects, building and surveying technicians, administrators, managers, clerks, and human resource managers.

Plus, there’s the whole field of accounting and financial services, which offers a stable demand for employees in WA.

If you’re thinking of coming to WA to study, check out the courses on offer at MIT, your pathway to Murdoch University.

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