Top 10 Occupations in Demand in Australia for Skilled Migration | EMSA

Top 10 occupations in demand in Australia for skilled migration


At EMSA, we push boundaries to ensure that our clients have the most up to date information and the best chance of achieving their residency dreams in Australia…

As you know, each year, Australia’s skilled occupation list is updated and this happens on the 1st of July.

This list currently has more than 200 occupations listed and is updated regularly by the Department of Home Affairs (DoHA).

What you may not know is that each occupation has an upper limit (ceiling) on the number of places that can be granted. This means that some occupations have a lot more space than others. It also means “oversubscribed” occupations wanting an invitation are pro-rata, meaning they aren’t open to invite every month, but every other month.

There are also higher points in certain occupations due to the high competition for places.

In addition, the ceiling is not a target to meet, but rather the maximum allowed in that occupation for the financial year. BUT Occupation ceilings do not apply to State or Territory Nominated or Employer Sponsored visas, which is good news for many sat in the “EOI Queue” for a 189 visa.

To ensure you have the best chance of getting your visa, the team at EMSA stay up to date with which occupations have the most space and which avenues are best for our clients to follow.

Occupation ceilings

The occupation ceiling for trades such as mechanic, carpenter, electricians, etc has each been allocated between 6000 and 8000 places per occupation.

Recent news noted that Australian Apprenticeships are at a ten year low for enrolments which is likely the reason that so many trades are given so many places for potential migrants, as there are less domestic students achieving these qualifications and thus these occupations remain in high demand in Australia.

Registered nurses is more than 17,000 this year, which has increased by almost 2000 places compared to last year!

Secondary school teachers and software programmers places are more than 8,000 while for engineering professionals places vary from 1000 for Electronics, Electrical and Chemical engineers to 3722 places for Civil engineers.

Occupations in demand

For 2019/20, here is a list of the occupations with the most places in the skilled migration program:

  • Nurses – 15,042
  • Electricians – 7,854
  • Carpenters and Joiners – 7,164
  • Secondary School Teachers – 7002
  • Metal fitters and Machinists – 6,816
  • Motor Mechanics – 6,444
  • Accountants – 5,478
  • Construction Project Managers – 5,178
  • Software and Application Programmers – 5,004
  • Structural Steel and Welding Trade Workers – 4482

If we compare the allocation of places for occupations this year versus last year, we can see that all trades have been given a slight increase.

Accountants places have halved, IT occupations have also seen a slight decrease in places and some remain the same.

We can also see how many occupations reached – or nearly reached their ceiling of allocation last financial year, and which ones remained undersubscribed.

For example, as of the end of June 2019, 1327 places had been granted 189 visas out of a possible 3510 places for Civil Engineers and 1267 places had been granted 189 visas out of a possible 1780 places for those in the occupation group of industrial, Mechanical and Production engineers.

Only half the places for chemical engineer were granted 189 visas and software and applications programmers were given 5186 grants out of a possible 7271 places.

Bear in mind the data only shows those who have been granted their visa and does not reflect those who have received an invitation and are in process.

We will know more once DoHA releases their report.

Looking for study pathways to migration?

If you are thinking about studying in Australia to apply for any of these occupations, our team at EMSA can assist you in finding your best pathway to boost your chances to obtain permanent residency.

To learn more please go to study pathways to migration.

Already have any of these occupations?

If you have an occupation on this list or on the skilled occupation list, the worldwide team at EMSA can assist you in applying for residency.

Contact EMSA here

  • Avatar pavansai says:

    i would like to know the scope and Job prospects for petroleum engineer and is it included in sol?

    • Siobhan Chisolm Siobhan Chisolm says:

      Hi Pavansai
      Petroleum Engineer is on the “list” so you can access several visas depending on whether you meet their relevant subclass criteria. Job prospects is hard to answer as it depends on the States.

  • Avatar Valencia tan says:

    Hi, I would like to find out if there are any job opportunities in the special needs sector (autism specifically) in Australia

    • Siobhan Chisolm Siobhan Chisolm says:

      Hi Valencia
      EMSA can’t comment on job opportunities as it is outside our scope but there are several employment agencies that could advise specifically on employment prospects.
      In relation to visa options, there are some but we would need your full profile in order to accurately advise further. Please contact us for assessment.

  • Avatar Dr R Soundararajan says:

    My son is an Australian citizen and he can sponsor me. I am retired and have only one son For sometime 3-4 years I want to spend with my son and I would like to have some work permit I am qualified engineer and management consultant CMA, CS and doctorate in management and work as adjunct professor in India. Can I get PR and be employed for some time so that I can be with my son as we are alone here

    • Siobhan Chisolm Siobhan Chisolm says:

      Hi Dr R
      It all depends on your age, as there are a variety of visas, each with different requirements to meet. If you can email us with more information we can advise further.

  • Avatar Aryan K Sarma says:

    I am 57. Can I get a job of IT application job with hardware experience, small programing?

    • Siobhan Chisolm Siobhan Chisolm says:

      Hi Aryan
      There is Employer sponsored visas that require a certain level of experience/qualifications – but due to age restrictions you may be limited in long term plans to reside in Australia.

  • Avatar Clairol Tidenh says:

    Hi, Im A Filipino, currently in a secondary school teacher in Jakarta, teaching Math to grades 7-10, i’m wondering about the requirements if i want to apply for a work in Australia.

    Could you please inform me on the steps I need to take to be successfully taken there.

    Thank you and I appreciate in advance the help.

    • Siobhan Chisolm Siobhan Chisolm says:

      Hi Clairol
      Secondary School teacher is on the “list” and you would need to meet certain requirements to have your occupation positively assessed in order to proceed to a skilled visa pathway, or possible employer sponsorship. If you can email us your profile we can assess and arrange a consult to discuss in detail.

  • Avatar Kerry says:

    My husband is a Project Manager in Construction. I am a Media Buyer in the Advertising sector. My son is a Chef. We are looking at opportunities to work and live in Australia. We are SA born but hold EU passports-Irish. Any advice would be welcome to immigrate

    • Siobhan Chisolm Siobhan Chisolm says:

      Hi Kerry
      Construction Project Manager is on the “list” so there could be the possibility of a pathway to PR in Australia. There are ‘points’ allocated for different aspects of the applicant, such as age, education level, English level etc. If you can email us your husbands profile and include qualifications/experience, we can assess and provide further information on a pathway forward.

  • Avatar Willie Sam says:

    Degrees obtained: BS in Electrical Engineering and Master in Mathematics Edu.
    Used to be Secondary School Mathematics Teacher in the USA.

    • Siobhan Chisolm Siobhan Chisolm says:

      Hi Willie
      There could be several options depending on your full profile, please can you email us your information so we can advise which occupation would suit and the points process. Age is also important so please include that in your profile.

  • Avatar Chido nyatsungo says:

    Looking for an occupation as a plumber

    • Siobhan Chisolm Siobhan Chisolm says:

      Hi Chido
      Can you advise if you are qualified as a plumber? if you can provide your qualifications and experience we can assess you as that occupation is on the “list” but you would need to connect with an employment agency if you are looking for a job. If you wish to study to become a plumber we can help with this.

  • Avatar Mandla Moyo says:

    I am a maths secondary school teacher(aged 48) at a special needs school and looking for opportunities in Australia. I hold a Bachelor of accounting science degree and an honors degree in mathematics education.

    • Siobhan Chisolm Siobhan Chisolm says:

      Hi Mandla
      The upper age restriction for skilled migration is 45, but there are certain areas (known as DAMA) that could be an option for you. Please email us your profile so we can investigate further.

  • Avatar Chipo Annabel Nyawasha says:

    Iam enquiring about my son who has a degree ofBachelor of Engineering in Computer Science and Technology who is interested to come here to work or study

    • Siobhan Chisolm Siobhan Chisolm says:

      Hi Chipo
      How old is your son? His qualifications have promising options in Australia and there are several visa streams he could consider depending on his age, experience English ability etc – if you can email us his full profile we can advise further.

  • Avatar Munshid Puthan Veettil says:

    I work three years work in Saudi Arabia, three years in United Arab Emirates & now working at Qatar driving Jobs if you have any chance please inform me

    • Siobhan Chisolm Siobhan Chisolm says:

      Hi Munshid
      Australian immigration have a specific list of identified occupations that are “in demand” but unfortunately driving jobs are not on the list.

  • Avatar James says:

    My name is James i have a passion of working in Australia.I am trained on Information Communication Technology.I currently work as Public relation officer at An Hotel in Kenya. Looking forward to hear from you soon.
    James Chebon

    • Siobhan Chisolm Siobhan Chisolm says:

      Hi James
      Please can you email us your full profile (age education level, experience etc) so we can assess and advise on your options.

  • Avatar Amanda says:

    Good day. May I kindly ask please I am about to complete my degree in IT and Supply chain management which companies in Australia can I apply to? I am from South Africa.

    • Siobhan Chisolm Siobhan Chisolm says:

      Hi Amanda
      Congrats on completing your degree! when it comes to finding work in Australia there are a variety of job websites that you can use to identify areas that need your skills set. Your first step should be to have a current resume/CV and create professional profiles on some of the professional networks and job sites so employers can find you whilst you look for them. EMSA can help you identify visa options so if you email us your profile we can assess the possibilities.

  • Avatar Manjula Perera says:

    Hello there
    I’m a hotelier ( management ) if you have any chances even in remote cities , please let me know.
    Currently I’m working as a Facility Manager in Sri Lanka.


    • Siobhan Chisolm Siobhan Chisolm says:

      Hi Manjula
      Hotel manager/Hotelier as an occupation does have some good options, depending on your profile, if you can email us more information we can advise further and plan a pathway for you.

  • Avatar Eklou says:

    What about heavy trucks skills

    • Siobhan Chisolm Siobhan Chisolm says:

      Hi Eklou
      Do you mean as a Driver or a mechanic? Whilst Australia has a thriving industry that rely on Truck drivers (MR, HR licences) it is not an occupation on the “list”. Mechanics are on the list. Let us know if you want to discuss the occupation options.

  • Avatar Merian Caneda says:

    Good day! How can I get tourist working visa in Australia? Thank you.

    • Siobhan Chisolm Siobhan Chisolm says:

      Hi Merian
      There are different types of visas to visit Australia. Tourist visas do not allow the person to work though. Working holiday visas are for applicants who can meet certain criteria and enable them to visit Australia and have some work rights. If you can email us what you wish to achieve (i.e. whether you want a short holiday, longer visit, employer sponsored etc) we can arrange a consult to discuss the options and strategies.

  • Avatar Aina gbenga says:

    do you extend your service to people outside Australia.l mean,some one who is not a citizen of Australia,who lives outside of Australia but qualified for permanent resident.

    • Siobhan Chisolm Siobhan Chisolm says:

      Hi Aina
      Yes , EMSA help migrants from a variety of countries explore and apply for Australian visas and would be happy to provide you with more information, please contact us with your profile and we can advise further.

  • Avatar NDAYIZEYE Clement says:

    Helloo ! I would like to ask how can I apply for Immigration in Australia. I am Rwandan having a education level of Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration/Accounting/Finance with many years of experience in public finances. Thank you

    • Siobhan Chisolm Siobhan Chisolm says:

      Hi Ndayizeye
      The first step is to identify if your qualification equates to an occupation on the list. Financial services occupations vary on the list and require specific work experience, if you can send us your Resume/CV – with as much detail as possible on work experience and course content we can advise further on what your options are.

  • Avatar Hugh van Tonder says:

    We are planning on applying for a 189 visa. I am a motor mechanic and my wife an accountant. Do we asses skills seperately and/or does this increase our chances applying together?

    • Siobhan Chisolm Siobhan Chisolm says:

      Hi Hugh
      It’s good that you both have an occupation on the MLTSSL! Either of you can be the “main applicant” as long as you have had your occupation verified via a skills assessment, the number of places for different occupations varies and can be competitive in certain industries. Let us know if you would like a consult to work out the specific options for your pathway to PR and the points you could get.

  • Avatar Amin says:

    Is possible Accountant job by Bangladeshi certificate?

    • Siobhan Chisolm Siobhan Chisolm says:

      Hi Amin
      It depends on how the qualification aligns with the Australian equivalent, to be classed as an Accountant you would need a Bachelor degree, and it would need to have covered the core units. It can also depend on the visa you wish to access too. If you want to discuss in more detail please contact us and we can arrange a meeting

  • Avatar Sobia zulfiqar says:

    What is the scope of secondary school teacher of Pakistan in Australia

    • Siobhan Chisolm Siobhan Chisolm says:

      Hi Sobia
      Secondary school teacher is on the “list” and in order to commence the process, your first step would be to have your occupation and skills assessed. If you email us we can arrange a consult to discuss the requirements and criteria in detail and create a plan.

  • Avatar Arbaaz qazzafi says:

    Doing masters in marketing will help Me to get pr. Eaisly in Australia?

    • Siobhan Chisolm Siobhan Chisolm says:

      Hi Arbaaz
      It can lead to several visa options and some pathways to PR – and depending on your existing qualifications and background it could be an option, please email us and we can arrange a consult with our education team to explain the study and enrolment process.

  • Avatar andrew Bricknell says:


    I am interested in studying in Australia with a view to migrate, I’m an ex British Paratrooper I served for 23 years and have currently work in Close Protection.
    I’d like to study to become a project manager and have already completed a CMI Level 4 Diploma in Management and Leadership as well as the Certificate in Association in Project management.

    A re you able to offer any advice? I am coming to visit friends in Melbourne for NYE will be there until the 15th of January 2020 so maybe then I can book an appointment.

    Best regards


    • Siobhan Chisolm Siobhan Chisolm says:

      Hi Andrew
      When looking at skilled migration there are certain occupations you can utilise and you will require a skills assessment in order to use that occupation towards your skilled visa pathway. Different occupations specify different education levels – for example an Accountant would need to be qualified to a degree level, whereas a tradesperson such as Mechanic would need to be qualified to Certificate 3 level. Please can you email us more information on your profile (full education, age, skilled work experience details) so we can advise you on best options for study. Hope to see you in our Melbourne office early next year!

  • Avatar YEBOAH KWADWO says:

    Good afternoon,
    Please I want to migrate to Australia,
    Could your outfit assist me with the best options to get there.?

    Hope to hear from you.

    Best regards,
    Yeboah Kwadwo
    Tel:+233 244131058

  • Avatar Ujjwal B. says:

    I am a veteran management person with sound health having expertise in Business Analysis, Customers Service, IT Project Management. I possess strong English communication skill. I am an Indian citizen and looking for suitable assignment anywhere in Australia. I can assure value additions to business or community service.

  • Siobhan Chisolm Siobhan Chisolm says:

    Hi Thomas
    Yes it does, and as part of the skilled visa process you would need to gain a positive skills assessment. If you can email us your qualifications and full profile we can provide more specific information for you.

  • Siobhan Chisolm Siobhan Chisolm says:

    Hi Tu
    Yes we can. That occupation is not on the main occupation “list” but it does feature on other visa lists – and if you can meet the requirements then you do have a possible pathway. If you can email us your full profile we can then advise on the best visa subclass to consider and pursue.

  • Siobhan Chisolm Siobhan Chisolm says:

    Hi Stephen
    If you can confirm whether you currently have an occupation we can advise further. If you are looking to study in Australia to achieve an occupation we can help with that too. Please send us your current situation (age, education gained, any skilled work experience, English ability etc) so we can investigate options.

  • Siobhan Chisolm Siobhan Chisolm says:

    Hi Scott
    Good to hear you have been enjoying Australia on your WHV and looking at options! We can arrange a consult with one of the Education team to explain the requirements and process for enrolment – and our migration team can also confirm the process and pathway to skilled visas. If you can send us an email with confirmation of your previous studies/courses it would be great.

  • Siobhan Chisolm Siobhan Chisolm says:

    Immigration updates are due when the new visas launch mid November so we are all eagerly waiting!

  • Avatar Bernt says:

    Hello. I am a Swedish auto mechanic, 52 years old and I’m interested to work in Australia. What is my chance of getting a job in Australia?

    • Siobhan Chisolm Siobhan Chisolm says:

      Hi Bernt,
      Auto, Diesel and heavy Mechanic are all in demand in Australia, and chances of getting a job will depend on a number of factors that employers are looking for such as work experience tenure, brand familiarity, English ability and diagnostic capability. Your age will restrict your ability to gain PR but other visas that involve an employer sponsoring you could be an alternative, it depends on your overall goals.