What are the biggest job sectors in Australia?

Boasting good wages and a high standard of living, Australia offers a wide range of employment opportunities for millions of expats. We’ve listed the country’s biggest job sectors to help you decide whether the UK’s most popular expat destination holds the key to your next career move.

Manufacturing

While not the mammoth industry it used to be, manufacturing is still Australia’s leading source of employment. The biggest Australian industries within manufacturing are:

  • Food, beverages and tobacco
  • Metal products
  • Machinery and equipment
  • Petroleum, coal and chemical products

The food and beverage manufacturing industry is the largest in Australia, with meat, beverage and malt manufacturing providing the most opportunities, followed by dairy, sugar and confectionery.

Mining

While mining is another industry in decline, Australia nonetheless remains the world’s leading exporter of coal, mined primarily in Queensland, News South Wales and Victoria. It is also one of the world’s largest producers of aluminium, copper, gold, iron, mineral sands and zinc. Australia’s mining industry employs over 187,000 people directly and nearly 600,000 in support industries.

Agriculture

Farmers and graziers own nearly 135,000 farms covering over 60% of Australia’s landmass. Farming contributes 93% of the domestic food supply, including meat, vegetables, fruit and grains. Including related sectors – manufacturing and processing, distribution and retail – agriculture provides employment for over 1.6 million people.

Finance

Australia’s four major banks – Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, National Australia Bank and ANZ – are among the world’s largest and most profitable. The financial services sector employs 450,000 people, primarily in Sydney and Melbourne.

Tourism

It should come as no surprise that the country’s seven million annual visitors, and enormous domestic tourism market, create hundreds of thousands of jobs in Australia. Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne in particular provide a wide range of tourism-related job opportunities.


With partner offices in 39 Australian cities, including Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, Pickfords relocates thousands of expats to Australia every year. To find out how we can help you fulfil your expat dream, request a callback or contact us on 0800 019 8557.

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