Guide to the Occupation Matrix

How do I use the Matrix?

Employment and training decisions should be made after consideration of all relevant issues, including aptitude, interests, expectations about pay and working conditions, training requirements and goals.

The Occupation Matrix includes summary statistical information for around 350 occupations, which can provide useful background, but it needs to be read in conjunction with other occupational resources.

Titles in the Matrix have been grouped into broad categories based on field of work to assist users to better explore the labour market. There are 21 groupings.

  • Accounting, Banking and Financial Services
  • Administration and Human Resources
  • Advertising, Public Relations, Media and Arts
  • Agriculture, Animal and Horticulture
  • Automotive, Transport and Logistics
  • Construction, Architecture and Design
  • Education and Training
  • Electrical and Electronics
  • Engineers and Engineering Trades
  • Executive and General Management
  • Government, Defence and Protective Services
  • Health and Community Services
  • Hospitality, Food Services and Tourism
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
  • Legal and Insurance
  • Manufacturing
  • Mining and Energy
  • Personal Services
  • Sales, Retail, Wholesale and Real Estate
  • Science
  • Sports and Recreation

Some titles appear in more than one category.

The relevant occupation major group is listed in brackets after each occupation title.

Key Occupation
M Managers
P Professionals
TT Technicians and Trades Workers
CP Community and Personal Service Workers
CA Clerical and Administrative Workers
SW Sales Workers
MO Machinery Operators and Drivers
L Labourers

Employment and employment change

The employment information gives the total number of people employed in the occupation at November 2017. It includes both full-time and part-time workers.

Employment change refers to levels of employment increasing or decreasing, as well as the percentage change, over the five years to November 2017.  

Data Source: ABS, Labour Force, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend

Working part-time

This column shows the proportion of workers in the occupation who work part-time. The information uses the ABS definition of part-time, which is working less than 35 hours per week.

Data Source: ABS, Labour Force, annual averages of original data


This shows the proportion of those employed in the occupation who are female.

Data Source: ABS, Labour Force, annual averages of original data

Median age

The median age is expressed in years for all workers (part-time and full-time). Half the workers are younger than this age and half are older.

Data Source: ABS, Census of Population and Housing

Unemployment rate

The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed persons as a percentage of the labour force (employed plus unemployed). The unemployment rate is presented in three categories: below average, average and above average. These categories are based on the occupation’s average unemployment rate over 2017 relative to the average across all occupations. Occupational unemployment rates do not reflect underutilised skills (such as an Accountant working as an Accounting Clerk).

The occupational unemployment rate may be lower than the published national unemployment rate as it does not include first job seekers and those who have not worked full-time or part-time in the past two years.

An occupation may have a high unemployment rate but also be experiencing shortages for particular skills.

Data Source: ABS, Labour Force, annual averages of original data

Median earnings

Median weekly earnings are before tax and are for full-time workers. The median earnings ranges are for all ages and levels of experience. They are indicative only and cannot be used to determine what a worker will actually earn. Data are not available for all occupations.

Key Median weekly earnings
$ ≤ $950
$$ $951 to $1,100
$$$ $1,101 to $1,350
$$$$ $1,351 to $1,650
$$$$$ > $1,650

Data Source: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2015

No post-school qualification

The figures are a percentage of those employed in the occupation who have not completed education other than pre-primary, primary or secondary education.

Data Source: ABS, Census of Population and Housing

Projected employment change

This presents the percentage change in employment projected over the five years to May 2022.

A large percentage growth in a small occupation will yield fewer new jobs than low growth in large occupations.

  • For example, 20% projected growth in an occupation that employs 300 people will create 60 new jobs. However, 5% projected growth in an occupation that employs 10,000 people will provide 500 new jobs.

These estimates do not provide any guidance about the number of job seekers in each occupation. Although there may be a large number of new jobs, there may be strong applicant competition for available positions.

Data Source: Department of Jobs and Small Business, Occupation Employment Projections

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