Find your next job in these fast-growing industries

As technology continues to evolve and more jobs become automated, the world in which we work is changing. Fast! If you’re on the hunt for a new career with longevity, it could pay to investigate the job opportunities within current growth industries.

Industries with great potential

It’s estimated technological advances could see around 40 per cent of jobs disappear in the next 10 to 15 years, to be replaced by machines. The good news is, if the job requires human contact, interpersonal skills, creativity or innovation, you’ll still be needed (in the foreseeable future, in any case).

Healthcare, retail and education all require the human touch and together with professional, scientific and technical services will generate more than half of all new positions in the coming years.

In New Zealand, the construction and utilities industry is expected to show the strongest employment growth, with a forecasted 6800 additional jobs each year between now and 2025.

Want to get a jump on the most prosperous industries and professions in Australia and New Zealand over the next five years? Here’s where you should be looking.

Healthcare and social assistance

With our ageing population, it’s hardly surprising that the healthcare sector has been booming since the 1990s and is expected to create a further 250,000 jobs by 2020. In addition to providing health and home-based care for older Australians, jobs are also being generated by the National Disability Insurance Scheme, and an increased demand for childcare.

Over the next five years these are the jobs that will be in highest demand:

  • Registered nurses.
  • Aged and disabled carers.
  • Child carers.
  • Nursing support and personal care workers.
  • Receptionists.

Professional and technical services

Accounting for nine per cent of the Australian workforce, the professional and technical services industry is currently the country’s fourth largest employer. It’s an umbrella industry including a diverse range of professions including legal services, computer and system design, accounting services, business analysts and more.

The sector is highly skilled – 80 per cent of employees have a post-school qualification, with universities contributing the bulk of these skilled employees (59 per cent hold a bachelor degree or higher).

This industry is predicted to grow by 14.8 per cent over the next five years. Not surprisingly, more than half the jobs offered will require employees to hold a professional qualification – good news for students putting in the hard yards to earn their degree, diploma or advanced certificate.

Top five growth professions within the professional and technical services sector are:

  • Accountants.
  • Software and applications programmers.
  • Solicitors.
  • Graphic and web designers, and illustrators.
  • Management and organisation analysts.

Education and training

Growing numbers of school children and international students means more jobs in our schools and tertiary institutions. Over 120,000 new roles will need to be filled by 2020. While the bulk will be teaching roles requiring professional qualifications, a range of support staff will also be required.

Over the next five years there’ll be increasing demand for the following jobs:

  • Primary school teachers.
  • Secondary school teachers.
  • Education aides.
  • University lecturers and tutors.
  • Private tutors and teachers.


Retail is a huge employer with 1.2 million workers, many of them less skilled or in part-time roles. By 2020, an estimated 106,000 new positions will need to be filled. More than half of the jobs in this sector are in sales, which often require little or no formal qualifications, meaning this is the perfect industry for young people and those seeking flexible work while juggling study or family commitments.

Over the next five years there’ll be increasing demand for the following jobs:

  • General sales assistants.
  • Retail managers.
  • Checkout operators and office cashiers.
  • Shelf fillers.
  • Pharmacy sales assistants.

In New Zealand: Construction, utilities and business services

Looking to work in New Zealand? Construction and its related trades (plumbers, electricians, tilers and so on) are predicted to boom more than any other industry with a forecasted annual growth of 2.7 per cent over the next five years. Business services, including sales managers, accountants and IT, follow closely behind with a predicted annual growth of 2.5 per cent over the same period.

Within these industries, there will be increased demand for both highly and less skilled workers, in particular:

  • ICT managers.
  • Business and systems analysts and programmers.
  • Advertising, public relations and sales managers.
  • Glaziers, plasterers and tilers.
  • Electricians.
  • Office and practice managers.
  • Plumbers.
  • Legal professionals.

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