Best and Worst Jobs in Australia as Voted by Aussies

April 2023

About the Study

Immigration to Australia commissioned a survey of an independent panel of 1002 Australians to discover what respondents believe are the best and worst industries for immigrants to work in. Respondents were asked to choose the best and worst three industries for immigrants to work in, from a list of 17 industries with average weekly wages, using ABS data[1].

The industries and average salaries were:

  • Mining ($2497 per week)
  • Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services ($1,855 per week)
  • Financial and Insurance Services ($1,700 per week)
  • Professional, Scientific and Technical Services ($1,692 per week)
  • Public Administration and Safety ($1,620 per week)
  • Information Media and Telecommunications ($1,600 per week)
  • Construction ($1,380 per week)
  • Transport, Postal and Warehousing ($1,355 per week)
  • Manufacturing ($1,300 per week)
  • Wholesale Trade ($1,300 per week)
  • Education and Training ($1,299 per week)
  • Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services ($1,201 per week)
  • Health Care and Social Assistance ($1,150 per week)
  • Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing ($1,100 per week)
  • Arts and Recreation Services ($1,000 per week)
  • Retail Trade ($800 per week)
  • Accommodation and Food Services ($600 per week)

 

What do Aussies think are the best industries to work in?

Mining came out on top, with the largest proportion (51 per cent) of respondents choosing this as the best industry for immigrants to work in – and it’s no wonder, with this industry offering the highest salaries in Australia.

Construction came in at second place (chosen by 32 per cent of respondents), and electricity, gas, water and waste services (chosen by 29 per cent) ranked third.

Professional, scientific and technical services, health care and social assistance, and financial and insurance services all came in at equal fourth (chosen by 22 per cent). Manufacturing ranked fifth (21 per cent) and transport, postal and warehousing ranked sixth (19 per cent).


What do Aussies think are the best industries to work in? By age.

Older Australians are more likely to view jobs like mining, construction, professional, scientific and technical services, manufacturing and health care and social services as better industries than younger Australians. In particular, 41 per cent of over-55s chose construction as a ‘top three’ industry for immigrants to work in, compared with just 28 per cent of respondents aged 35-54 and 26 per cent of those aged 18-34.


Younger Australians are more likely to perceive agriculture, forestry and fishing, electricity, gas, water and waste services, financial and insurance services, and arts and recreation services better for migrant workers than do older Australians. Electricity, gas, water and waste services were chosen by 38 per cent of respondents aged 18-34, 25 per cent of respondents aged 35-54 and 23 per cent of over-55s.

What do Aussies think are the best industries to work in? By State.

Residents in Western Australia, our ‘mining capital’, generated the highest proportion of respondents who believe mining is a top industry to work in, with over half the state (53 per cent) placing it in the top three industries. Fifty-two (52 per cent) of both Queensland and NSW residents said the same, as well as 50 per cent of South Australians and 46 per cent of Victorian residents.

NSW respondents chose financial and insurance services as a top industry above other major states (chosen by 28 per cent of the state), compared with 20 per cent of Victorians, 20 per cent of South Australians, 19 per cent of West Australians and 18 per cent of Queenslanders.

Response Percentage (%)
NSW VIC QLD SA WA
Mining ($2497 per week) 52 46 52 50 53
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services ($1,855 per week) 33 27 23 30 24
Financial and Insurance Services ($1,700 per week) 28 20 18 20 19
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services ($1,692 per week) 22 23 21 29 18
Public Administration and Safety ($1,620 per week) 8 9 10 8 6

Response Percentage (%)
NSW VIC QLD SA WA
Information Media and Telecommunications ($1,600 per week) 13 13 9 15 10
Construction ($1,380 per week) 29 31 37 30 37
Transport, Postal and Warehousing ($1,355 per week) 21 20 16 13 28
Manufacturing ($1,300 per week) 18 21 24 21 30
Wholesale Trade ($1,300 per week) 4 6 5 1 6
Education and Training ($1,299 per week) 4 11 7 5 5
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services ($1,201 per week) 3 2 2 1 2
Health Care and Social Assistance ($1,150 per week) 22 21 24 22 17
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing ($1,100 per week) 11 16 14 13 15
Arts and Recreation Services ($1,000 per week) 2 8 4 3 2
Retail Trade ($800 per week) 13 13 19 17 14
Accommodation and Food Services ($600 per week) 18 15 19 21 17

What do Aussies think are the worst industries to work in?

Retail trade was chosen collectively (by 46 per cent of respondents) as the worst industry to work in. Accommodation and food services came in close behind as the second-worst industry (chosen by 45 per cent). Arts and recreation services ranked third worst (chosen by 33 per cent) for immigrant jobs. All three industries offer relatively high-labour jobs with relatively low wages.

From there, Immigration to Australia found a big drop to the fourth-worst industry – financial and insurance services – which was selected by 20 per cent of respondents.


What do Aussies think are the worst three industries to work in? By age.

Older Australians are more likely to view mining, construction, professional, scientific and technical services, manufacturing and health care and social services as better industries for immigrants than younger Australians. For example, construction was chosen as a top industry for immigrants to work in by 41 per cent of over-55s, compared with 28 per cent of respondents aged 35-54 and 26 per cent of those aged 18-34.


What do Aussies think are the worst three industries to work in? By State.

Mining was proven to be a polarising industry in Western Australia. Despite over half of the state choosing mining as the best industry for work, over a third (35 per cent) chose it as the worst industry. This was followed by 21 per cent of Victorians, 20 per cent of South Australians, 18 per cent of Queenslanders and 16 per cent of NSW residents who chose mining as the worst industry.

NSW residents are more likely to choose retail trade as one of the worst industries, chosen by 53 per cent of the state, followed by 47 per cent of Victorian residents, 46 per cent of South Australians, 43 per cent of Victorians and 31 per cent of West Australians.

Response Percentage (%)
NSW VIC QLD SA WA
Mining ($2497 per week) 16 21 18 20 35
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services ($1,855 per week) 10 11 11 17 14
Financial and Insurance Services ($1,700 per week) 17 18 23 17 28
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services ($1,692 per week) 14 9 13 12 13
Public Administration and Safety ($1,620 per week) 19 15 16 11 24

Response Percentage (%)
NSW VIC QLD SA WA
Information Media and Telecommunications ($1,600 per week) 11 13 14 12 16
Construction ($1,380 per week) 7 9 10 13 14
Transport, Postal and Warehousing ($1,355 per week) 4 8 9 4 7
Manufacturing ($1,300 per week) 7 10 6 8 6
Wholesale Trade ($1,300 per week) 6 8 8 5 7
Education and Training ($1,299 per week) 16 14 18 11 19
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services ($1,201 per week) 11 11 21 11 14
Health Care and Social Assistance ($1,150 per week) 12 16 12 9 16
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing ($1,100 per week) 15 10 11 9 12
Arts and Recreation Services ($1,000 per week) 33 34 32 47 28
Retail Trade ($800 per week) 53 47 43 46 31
Accommodation and Food Services ($600 per week) 50 48 40 48 29