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This page provides high-level information and data on the Health industry which comprises the following industry sectors:

More information on these sectors, their Industry Reference Committees and Skills Forecasts can be found on their respective sector pages.

Nationally recognised training for Health is delivered under the HLT – Health Training Package. The relevant Skills Service Organisation for this industry is SkillsIQ.

All data sources are available at the end of the page.

Industry cluster snapshot

Employment and training snapshot

The Health Care and Social Assistance industry is the largest employing industry in Australia. In 2019 there were close to 1.7 million people employed in this industry, which is projected to increase to more than 1.9 million by 2024.

Occupations related to the HLT – Health Training Package make up around a third of the Health Care and Social Assistance workforce. Aged and Disabled Carers and Nursing Support and Personal Care Workers are the two occupations with the highest proportion of the workforce. Both are expected to experience substantial growth up until 2024; Aged and Disabled Carers by more than 25%. Other occupations within this sector are also projected to grow to varying degrees. For example, Welfare Support Workers are projected to grow by nearly 23%, Health and Welfare Services Managers by roughly 19% and Complementary Health Therapists by about 15%.

Program enrolments in the HLT – Health Training Package have declined from the peak of approximately 107,460 in 2015 to roughly 91,190 in 2018. Program completions have remained relatively stable between 2015 and 2018. In 2018 there 29,520 completions. There has been steady growth in subject only enrolments since 2015, reaching a new high of more than 2.9 million in 2018 (the large majority of which are First Aid-related).

Industry insights on skills needs

The work environment across all industries, including Health, is continuously evolving to adapt to external and internal industry trends. Technology, automation, Artificial Intelligence (AI), globalisation, an ageing population, and shifts in workforce demographics are just some of the ongoing trends driving change. Many job roles in the Health industry have been impacted by these trends and, as a result, so too have the skill needs of the workforce. Whilst technical skills to perform job tasks are imperative, employers in the short-to-medium future will be looking beyond these, and have indicated that it will be important for workers in their organisations to be equipped with key interpersonal skills such as emotional intelligence, critical thinking, teamwork and communication, and resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility.

For an analysis of skills needs for specific Health sectors, please see the relevant sector pages.

Links and resources

Below is a list of industry-relevant organisations and associations. Hyperlinks have been included where available.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Board of Australia

Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council of New South Wales (AH&MRC)

Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia (AHCSA)

Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia (AHCWA)

Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (AMSANT)

ACT Ambulance Service (ACTAS)

ACT Health

Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA)

Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT (ATODA)

Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Council Tasmania (ATDC)

Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA)

Ambulance Employees Association of South Australia (AEA)

Ambulance Tasmania

Ambulance Victoria

Association of Alcohol and Other Drug Agencies NT (AADANT)

Association of Massage Therapists (AMT)

Australasian Association of Ayurveda (AAA)

Australasian Ayurvedic Practitioners Association (AAPA)

Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA)

Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association (AACMA)

Australian Anaesthesia Allied Health Practitioners (AAAHP)

Australian and New Zealand College of Paramedicine (ANZCP)

Australian Association of Massage Therapists (AAMT)

Australian Association of Practice Management (AAPM)

Australian College of Nursing (ACN)

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC)

Australian Community Workers Association (ACWA)

Australian Dental and Oral Health Therapists’ Association (ADOHTA)

Australian Dental Association (ADA)

Australian Dental Council (ADC)

Australian Dental Prosthetists Association (ADPA)

Australian Government Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission

Australian Government Department of Defence

Australian Government Department of Health

Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)

Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA)

Australian Institute of Kinesiologists (AIK)

Australian Kinesiology Association (AKA)

Australian Natural Therapists Association (ANTA)

Australian Naturopathic Practitioners Association (ANPA)

Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC)

Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF)

Australian Paramedics Association (NSW)

Australian Paramedics Association (Queensland)

Australian Private Hospitals Association (APHA)

Australian Red Cross

Australian Register of Homoeopaths (AROH)

Australian Resuscitation Council

Australian Services Union (ASU)

Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)

Carers Australia

Catholic Health Australia (CHA)

Community Mental Health Australia (CMHA)

Community Services, Health and Education Training Council (CSH&E TC)

Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM)

Dental Assistants Professional Association (DAPA)

Dental Board of Australia

Dental Hygienists Association of Australia (DHAA)

Diversional and Recreation Therapy Australia (DRTA)

Federation of Sterilizing Research and Advisory Councils of Australia (FSRACA)

First Aid Industry Alliance (FAIA) (formerly Australian Emergency Care Providers)

Health and Community Services Union (HACSU)

Health and Community Services Workforce Council [Queensland]

Health Care Complaints Entities in most jurisdictions

Health Services Union (HSU)

Hearing Aid Audiology Society of Australia (HAASA)

International Aromatherapy and Aromatic Medicine Association (IAAMA)

Leading Age Services Australia (LASA)

Massage & Myotherapy Australia

Medicines Australia

Mental Health Australia

Ministerial Drug and Alcohol Forum (MDAF)

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Association (NATSIHWA)

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO)

National Council of Ambulance Unions

National Disability Services (NDS)

National Enrolled Nurse Association of Australia (NENA)

National Institute of First Aid Trainers (NIFAT)

Naturopaths and Herbalists Association of Australia (NHAA)

Network of Alcohol and Other Drugs Agencies (NSW) (NADA)

New South Wales Ministry of Health

Northern Territory Government Department of Health

NSW Ambulance

NSW Health

NT WorkSafe

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia

Optometry Australia

Oral Health Professionals Association (OHPA)

Paramedics Australasia

Public Pathology Australia

Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC)

Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS)

Queensland Health

Queensland Network of Alcohol and Other Drug Agencies (QNADA)

Reflexology Association of Australia (RAoA)

Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP)

Royal Life Saving Society Australia

SA Ambulance Service

SA Health

Safe Work Australia

SafeWork NSW

SafeWork SA

Shiatsu Therapy Association of Australia (STAA)

South Australian Network of Drug and Alcohol Services (SANDAS)

St John Ambulance Australia

St John Ambulance Australia (NT)

St John Ambulance Australia (WA)

Surf Life Saving Australia

Tasmanian Aboriginal Corporation trading as Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC)

Tasmanian Government Department of Health

The Council of Ambulance Authorities (CAA)

The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA)

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA)

Transport Workers’ Union (TWU)

United Workers Union

Victoria Government Department of Health and Human Services

Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO)

Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association (VAADA)

Western Australia Government Department of Health

Western Australian Network of Alcohol and Other Drug Agencies (WANADA)

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, Office of Industrial Relations

WorkSafe ACT

WorkSafe Tasmania

WorkSafe Victoria

WorkSafe WA

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment 2018, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal  

  • by ANZSIC 1 digit industry, Health Care and Social Assistance, employment projections to May 2023.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018, Employed persons by Industry group of main job (ANZSIC), Sex, State and Territory, November 1984 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 - EQ06, viewed 1st November 2018

  • Employed total by ANZSIC 1 digit industry, Health Care and Social Assistance, 2000 to 2018, May Quarter.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, 2016 Census – employment, income and unpaid work, TableBuilder. Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data.

  • Employment level by 1 digit industry, Health Care and Social Assistance, and 4 digit level occupations to identify the relevant VET-related occupations in the industry as a proportion of the total workforce.                                                                                                  

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection, Total VET Students and Courses from the following training package or qualifications:

  • HLT – Health Training Package.
Updated: 31 Mar 2020
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