Shaped by local and global forces, some roles have rocketed in value while others tumbled. As we approach 2020, SEEK’s Senior Employment Trends Analyst, Leigh Broderick looks back at the 20 bestand 20 worst performing salaries and shares his insights into where Australian salaries may head in the next decade.
Three trends driving the top performers
Super smashes its way to number one
The gold medal goes to roles in the Superannuation industry, which had the highest recorded salary rise of 46%. The industry has undergone rapid expansion – according to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, superannuation assets in Australia had grown to $2.8 trillion by the end of the March 2019 quarter. Interestingly, however, there hasn’t been corresponding growth in the number of available roles, suggesting the increase in salaries we’re seeing in the SEEK data has been driven by the demand for specialised roles in the industry.
Rise of a caring nation
No less than eight of the 20 fastest risers were in health and education. These included teachers and carers in every age group from preschool to secondary school and people working in aged care, disability support, child welfare and youth and family services. This suggests recognition for those traditionally at the lower end of the scale. As the population grows and ages and initiatives like the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) are introduced, demand for skilled professionals in Healthcare and Education has seen consistent year-on-year growth in Australia. According to the Federal Government, spending on health grew by about 50% in real terms to $16 billion over the decade to 2015-16 and, today, Healthcare and Education combined are Australia’s largest employers by far.
STEM burns bright
It’s little wonder that careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, take up three of the top 20 places. Technology is playing an increasingly important role in both the economy and everyday life. Yet, despite heavy government promotion, between 2008 and 2018 the proportion of people studying these subjects fell. The consequent skills shortage can’t be resolved overnight, and is more likely to intensify, so it seems the value of qualified professionals in STEM will only continue to increase.