STEM Careers List for Australia: Future Jobs

Australia’s STEM workforce is projected to grow by 2.5% per year to number more than 1.9 million workers in 2024. The makeup of the following STEM careers list may surprise you. Among the biggest fields are the use of mathematics in business and of science by healthcare professionals.

Jobs in STEM Majors

We broke down Australia’s employment projections to find out where science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills are actually in demand. Here are the top occupational fields where STEM knowledge and abilities are essential for getting the work done. Salary data are from

1. ICT Professionals, Including Data Analysts

IT professional

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) professionals are projected to soon become Australia’s largest group of STEM workers. Future employment is projected to swell to 376,000 in 2024 (19.4% of STEM jobs), up from 313,000 in 2019.

The ever-expanding role of information technology, including the harnessing of big data, explains growing demand for ICT professionals. Career opportunities are strongest in the areas of software and application programming, systems administration and security, computer network management, and business and systems analysis.

ICT professionals usually have a bachelor degree in information technology or computer science. Many specialised bachelor and masters are available to help you break into the field. The industry also places a premium on job-relevant knowledge demonstrated or learned through recent projects.

Indicative salary: The median yearly compensation for a software engineer in Australia, as of 26 June 2023, stands at $104,861. This figure is based on the reports of 2,600 salaries.

2. Business Professionals Who Use Mathematics

Counting money

Around one in five STEM workers (slightly reducing to an estimated 19.5% in 2024) are business professionals. They rely on mathematics for activities such as accounting, financial analysis, auditing, statistical analysis and economic modelling.

Typically, these number crunchers hold a business degree with a major in a field such as accounting, finance, statistics or economics. They may also hold a science degree with a mathematics or statistics major.

Indicative salary: $75,571 is the yearly median wage for an accountant in Australia, as reported by 3,000 individuals.

3. Health Professionals, Including Physicians

Medical imaging

Health professionals make up the third largest STEM occupational group, projected to account for 17.1% of jobs by 2024. Here, we are counting most health professionals but not nurses and midwives (in which case the group would more than double in size and be easily the largest).

  • Nursing and midwifery accounts for the bulk of jobs for health professionals.
  • Like other health professions, science knowledge is required to train as a nurse and science is taught in nursing school.
  • But people are divided on the issue of whether nursing is a STEM discipline, partly because of the many care-giving roles with few or no science connections.

Among health professionals, the biggest “STEM” occupational groups are physiotherapists, general practitioners, occupational therapists, and audiologists and speech pathologists. One study found that 9 out of 10 doctors consider science education valuable to their clinical practice.

Indicative salary: The average salary for a nurse in Australia is $68,152 per year, according to 3.9k reported salaries.

4. Engineers: Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, etc

Engineering professions

Engineering is the fourth biggest category of STEM occupations in Australia. Professional engineers account for an estimated 9.1% of the STEM workforce, a share expected to stay about the same into the future.

You become a fully qualified engineer by completing a 4-year professional degree at an Australian university. The largest disciplines within engineering are Civil (3.5% of STEM jobs), followed by Industrial, Mechanical and Production (1.5%), Electrical (0.9%) and Mining (0.6%).

Salary data: The median annual wage for an engineer in Australia is reported to be $89,551, based on data from 1.7k salaries.

5. Technicians for Architecture, Building and Surveying

Technician building plan

STEM skills are in high demand for translating design ideas and plans into actual construction work. Architecture, building and surveying technicians carry out technical functions to help construction site managers, architects and surveyors.

These professionals supervise and inspect construction sites; estimate time, cost and resource requirements; inspect plumbing or electrical work; collect survey data; and prepare maps and plans. Job numbers are projected to grow to around 165,000 in 2024.

Depending on the individual occupation, a university degree may be expected to work as a technician. Generally, though, a vocational education and training (VET) advanced certificate or diploma is the standard qualification.

Pay data: The yearly income for a technician averages at $74,191, according to 1.3k salary reports.

6. Designers, Architects, Planners and Surveyors

Web and app designer

The sixth biggest STEM occupational group is often at the intersection of technology and art. Accounting for just over 7% of STEM jobs is a careers category that includes web designers, graphic artists, architects, urban and regional planners, and surveyors and spatial scientists.

A university degree is essential for many of these fields, though less so in the information technology space. Ultimately, career success tends to rely on creative and business talents that are difficult to measure in an academic setting.

Indicative pay: Based on 861 reported salaries, a surveyor earns an average annual income of $108,309.

7. Scientists, Including Medical and Environmental Science Professionals

Environmental scientist

STEM starts with “Science” but actual scientists make up only around 6% of the jobs. In the Natural and Physical Science Professionals category, the largest occupational groups are medical laboratory scientists, environmental scientists, geologists and agricultural scientists.

The workforce of scientists, which is projected to grow to 117,000 jobs in 2024, is limited in part by the skills and qualifications required. A PhD in your scientific field is the norm if you want to have a successful career in research or applied science.

Income: On average, a scientist earns a yearly salary of $86,371, as reported by 420 individuals.

Other notable STEM career fields

We’ve covered the seven major occupational groups in terms of STEM jobs. Other ones include:

  • Specialist Managers in ICT, Engineering and Research and Development (4.2% of STEM employment in 2024)
  • ICT Support Technicians (3.8%)
  • Medical Technicians (1.9%)
  • Tertiary Education Teachers (1.6%).

3 thoughts on “STEM Careers List for Australia: Future Jobs

  1. There is a huge future in the tech industry given how much tech is just constantly evolving. I would definitely encourage my nieces and nephews to consider being an expert in data analysis, machine learning or just IT in general. Although the regular engineers and STEM courses would also be fine too.

  2. I told my son years ago that as technology advances, STEM fields would be the ones to keep an eye on. He is now a student who is looking for a better option. I told him he should have waited before deciding to go to university. I think online learning would be a much better option for him.

  3. I always forget about the technology component in STEM. I love computers and tech and I know many people who feel the same way. I’m not sure I want to switch careers but if I did, I’d certainly look into a technology-based job.

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