There are many opportunities in the jobs market, but you may have to think about working in a different industry or job to what you are used to. Online self-help resources such as JobOutlook and Skills Match can help you identify where the jobs are and what you need to do to get them. This page also contains support for people who are over 45 and looking for a job.
Choosing an occupation
What’s in your area?
If you want to learn more about how your skills and work experience can prepare you for a career change, Skills Match on Job Outlook can help.
Skills Match shows you the skills you have built in past jobs, and suggests new jobs or careers you might be able to move into that use your skills. This is a great resource to help build a resume and provides language around skills that can be used in discussions with employers. It also shows the training or skills you might need to build on to move into a new career.
Transferable skills are increasingly important in assisting workers to move between jobs in a dynamic economy. Skills Match can highlight careers that you may not have previously considered but that have shared skillsets with your work experience. It will also highlight potential skills gaps along with pathways information to help you make the leap.
Identifying your skills
Start thinking about the skills, experience and qualifications that you have developed in your current or most recent role, and in all other jobs you have worked in. It’s a good idea to write them down to help you think about how those skills might fit with other jobs you might be interested in, and how the skills you have developed can make you stand out to a new employer. Skills Match on Job Outlook can help you identify your skills.
Don’t just focus on the skills and knowledge are specific to your or most recent job. Your work experience also shows that you are reliable, that you turn up to work when required and that when you are at work, you work hard. These kinds of skills and experiences are very important for employers, who are always looking for reliable people.
For more information on identifying, updating and transferring your skills, go to the "Get some training" section of this website.
Formal recognition of skills
Even if you have never formally studied or trained in a particular area, you may have gained knowledge and skills through your education, training, work, volunteering (including activities in the community) and life experience.
You may be able to have this skill and knowledge formally recognised and count towards a qualification. This is called Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). RPL assessments can reduce the amount of study you have to do for a qualification, and may even award you a qualification in full.
There are many benefits of having your skills and experience formally recognised, including:
- attaining a formal nationally recognised qualification in a shorter period of time and at a lower cost;
- increasing your career options;
- using a diploma qualification as a basis for starting a university course; and
- making sure you do not waste time studying something you can already do.
For information about how to get assessed for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) go to the myskills Help page.
How do I get RPL?
To have your skills recognised, you need to get a formal assessment from a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). An RTO will ask you for evidence of past experience, training or skills relevant to the training course you want to do, such résumés, certificates, performance reviews and job descriptions.
After your RPL assessment, your RTO will tell you how much of your experience will count towards your chosen. They will then tell you which parts of your training you do and do not need to enrol in.
For more information on RPL in your state, see the below links.
- Australian Capital Territory
- New South Wales
- Northern Territory
- South Australia
- Western Australia
If you are considering a career change, the Job Outlook website provides information about different occupations and industries to help you make the decision.
Job Outlook is the Australian Government’s online guide to careers and trends in the labour market. The website has useful information on more than 1000 occupations, including job tasks, required skills, future employment prospects, and pay. This is a free resource that can support you at any age or stage of your working life. Job Outlook can help you make decisions about job search, study or further training, and has a number of features that can help you move into or between jobs.
If you are unsure of what sort of job you are looking for, the Job Outlook Career Quiz can help you to understand your work preferences and explore career options suited to your interests. The Career Quiz is quick and easy to complete and helps you to explore a range of careers you may not have previously considered.
Relocating for work
When deciding on your next career move, you may have to consider moving for the right job.
Expanding your job search beyond your current location may increase the number of job opportunities, but there are some important factors to consider to make sure moving is the right decision for you.
On this page you’ll find some questions about moving for work that you can work through to make sure your decision is the right one. You’ll also find tips on how to make the most of a potential move.
Choosing a location
- Where will you live? Would you move to another town, another state or overseas?
- How close is your home to your work?
- How will you get to work?
- Will you need a car or rely on public transport?
- Do you have easy access to public transport, shops and schools?
Preparing for your next job
- Will you find a job and then move, or move to a new place and then find a job?
- If finding a job takes longer than you think, how will you live without an income in the new location?
- Do you have the required skills and experience for jobs in your preferred location or industry?
- Are there many vacancies in your chosen location or industry?
Impact on your family
- Will your partner be able to find work in the new location?
- How will you cope with being away from friends and family?
- Where will your children go to school/childcare? How will they get there?
- Will you have a support network (i.e. friends/family) in your new location? How important is this to you?
- What are the costs of moving?
- For example, upfront costs, transport, housing costs, etc.
- Will your new employer cover some of the moving costs?
- What is your starting salary in your new job?
- What is the cost of living in your chosen location?
- Will you buy a house or rent?
- Will you sell your current house or rent it out?
- What is the cost of travelling back to visit family and friends?
Talk to your family and close friends
Moving may have a direct impact on them, so their views are important and any concerns need to be discussed before a decision is made.
Research trusted sites for industry and occupation information
Look online to identify the opportunities and challenges to finding a job in your preferred industry and location. Good candidates will always be highly sought after by employers regardless of labour market conditions.
The Job Outlook website provides detailed, practical information on specific occupations.
The Australian Jobs publication provides forward-looking occupational and industry information to help readers understand where the jobs will be in the future.
Use national jobs boards
Online jobs boards will help you find a job and figure out where the vacancies are in Australia. If you are willing to move for the right job, focus on locations with the most job vacancies in your chosen field. If you want to move to a particular location or stay where you are then look at the range of vacancies available and identify your preferred industries or occupations.
For tips on job hunting refer to Where do I look for work?
Brush up on your budgeting skills
Starting a job in a new location may be a challenge – both emotionally and financially. Good planning will help you balance your budget so you don’t end up in debt or you have a plan for managing your debt. Consider drafting a rough budget of living costs in the new location to get an idea of how far your money will stretch.
For more information on budgeting go to the AISC MoneySmart website.
Make connections in your new location
Visit the place you want to move to in order to find out more about rent, transport and potential employers. Line up some work experience in an industry you are interested in. Join professional associations and do some networking to find out where the jobs are. Consider linking with community groups or volunteering organisations in your new location as a way to meet new people.
Support for over 45s
Restart - help to employ mature workers
Restart is a financial incentive of up to $10,000 (GST inclusive) to encourage businesses to hire and retain mature age employees who are 50 years of age and over.
Payments are made by employment services providers to businesses over six months. Employers may also be able to receive a kickstart payment of up to 40 per cent of the total amount after four weeks of the job starting.
If you have any questions or would like to apply for Restart contact an employment services provider or by calling the Employer Hotline on 13 17 15.
Skills and Training Incentive
The new Skills and Training Incentive assists older Australians to update their skills and stay in the workforce.
The incentive provides up to $2,200 (GST inclusive) to jointly fund training to help you build skills to remain in the workforce longer. The Skills and Training Incentive is directly linked to the Skills Checkpoint Program.
Either you or your current employer must match the incentive to ensure a joint investment in your skills development. More information can be found online at the Skills and Training Incentive page.
Skills Checkpoint for Older Workers program (Department of Education, Skills and Employment)
The Skills Checkpoint for Older Workers program is administered by the Department of Education and Training. The program provides advice to workers aged 45-70 who are at risk losing their job on how they can use their existing skills to gain new jobs or help them identify what skills and training they may need to seek alternative employment.
Participants receive guidance on transitioning into new roles within their current industry or pathways to a new career.
Career Transition Assistance
Career Transition Assistance help mature age job seekers build their confidence and become more competitive in their local labour market.
The program provides practical assistance to help participants gain the contemporary skills they need to move into ongoing employment. Eligible job seekers will be referred to Tailored Career Assistance, Functional Digital Literacy, or both, depending on their needs.
Career Transition Assistance is available in five Employment Regions across Australia and available nationally from July 2019.
Pathway to Work
Pathway to work program helps mature age job seekers become more competitive in their local labour market.
This initiative is established in up to ten regions across Australia with eligibility differing between pilot projects. The program is limited to mature age individuals in receipt of income support who are registered with a jobactive provider.
Labour Market Information Portal (LMIP)
Future job opportunities
If you are considering your training and career options, it can be useful to know where the jobs are in the Australian labour market, and where they will be in the future.
The graph below shows the projected growth industries over the five years to 2023. Almost two-thirds of this growth will come from the four largest industries: Health Care and Social Assistance; Construction; Education and Training; and Professional, Science and Technical Services.
The largest employing industry in Australia is Health. Health is also the fastest growing industry in Australia over the last 5 years, and that’s going to continue.
You may not immediately think that you have the skills, training, or experience to work in that industry. Think about what goes on in a hospital or an aged-care home - there are plenty of people doing a whole range of different types of work. As well as doctors and nurses, the health industry also employs:
- Clerical workers
- IT workers
- Human Resources staff
- Maintenance people
- Kitchen hands, and
Retail is another very large industry in Australia. People often rule out retail as a possible industry because they think that retail only means working in a shop. As well as shop assistants, retail companies employ many people in logistics, IT, marketing and many other fields.
So think as broadly as possible about what you want to do next, remembering you need to have several options. The more broadly you can think, the better your odds of getting a job.
For information on what employers are looking for go to the Labour Market Information Portal.