The Best Jobs in Australia 2017

What makes a good job great? And what makes a great job “the best”?

Today’s workforce isn’t just looking for a competitive salary and benefits package. People also want job satisfaction, culture fit, a positive work environment and career growth opportunities. But while today’s job seeker may want more, many observers are concerned that the number of great opportunities available is dwindling, as the labour market grows increasingly polarized between a small number of well-paid, high-skill opportunities for a privileged few at the top — and lots of low, skill low paid work for everybody else.

Meanwhile, access to the academic and workplace skills required for those high skill jobs may be getting harder to come by. As Indeed Managing Director Chris McDonald says, “The recent increases in university course fees and tightening of student loan repayment schedules has put a focus on the cost of a university degree. As a result, there will be young people out there weighing up the pros and cons who may decide university isn’t for them.”

So what are the best jobs in Australia today? And who can do them? To get at the answer, our data science team crunched the numbers for job postings, salary and growth opportunities on Indeed. And the good news is that while we do see a lot of high skill tech jobs, there are also opportunities for people with very different talents and levels of education — with health care careers most prominent among them.

Let’s take a closer look at the results.

And the best job is…

In fact, the best job in Australia for 2017 is not in tech or health but another field entirely: marketing. And although typically marketing is a profession that requires a higher education, it is open to people from a broad range of educational backgrounds, from psychology to analytics to journalism. With plenty of open postings for marketing managers on Indeed, an average salary of almost $100,000 and close to 200% growth between 2013 and 2016 this career is a good bet for lots of people.

In second place comes a tech job, front end developer, which is also well paid and has an even higher number of postings on Indeed. But interestingly tech jobs do not dominate the list; instead we see lots of healthcare jobs in the top 10, including third place registrar (doctors who have commenced specialist training through a medical college), general practitioner (#4), X-ray technician (#6) and medical officer (#10). This no doubt reflects the impact of Australia’s aging population on the labour market — a phenomenon happening in many advanced economies.

Meanwhile, site manager places just outside the top 10 in twelfth position. And not only that, but this job (which does not require a degree), actually pays more than #11, information technology manager (which does). We also see that the gap between salaries for builders and PHP developers is only a few thousand dollars and the gap between salaries for builders and accountants is only a few hundred dollars.

As Chris McDonald observes, “It’s not surprising to see healthcare and IT roles featured heavily on the list. But while some of the most lucrative careers are limited to university graduates, it will be encouraging for many people to see there are still plenty of well-paid job opportunities open to those without university qualifications.” 

Now let’s take a look at the complete list.

Best jobs 2017 marketing manager Other Observations

Although we considered different factors when creating our best jobs list, it is interesting to see which professions lead in specific categories. General practitioner overwhelmingly has the highest number of openings on Indeed while also having the strongest base salary; only when it comes to job growth does it fall (slightly) behind — and even then, 140% is nothing to sneeze at. Meanwhile, marketing manager shows the strongest growth.  

Other interesting observations:

  • There are more openings for X-ray technicians than for product owners.
  • Five of the top 10 best jobs come with 6-figure salaries.
  • Twelve of the top 15 professions show job growth higher than 100%
  • Of the tech roles, senior Java developers earn the most ($117,474) while PHP developers ($88,958) fall toward the lower end not only of tech jobs in the list, but the overall salary range.
  • Registrars have the second-highest salaries, averaging more than $249,000 annually.

While there are many possible takeaways from our ranking of the best jobs in Australia, one thing is clear: “If one door closes others open,” says Chris McDonald. “And there are many positions that offer pathways to well-paid careers that may require some combination of vocational study, on-the-job-training and work experience gained.”

In that context, the announcement of the new Skilling Australians Fund sends a positive message that there will be well-resourced support for job seekers in pursuit of trade-based career opportunities.

Putting Australia to Work

Meanwhile, here’s something for employers recruiting for these roles to consider: although hiring tips, tricks and best practices vary by industry or region, matching top talent to the best jobs remains a challenge for companies who don’t stay in front of the competition. To do so, you’ll need to determine how best to attract the right talent for your organization’s job openings — whether it comes down to salary, benefits, growth opportunities, culture fit or a combination.

Indeed understands the recruitment landscape. To learn more about how Indeed empowers companies to find and hire the best talent, visit indeed.com/hire.

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