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10 hot health science careers

Health and social care is Australia’s largest employing industry, and demand is on the rise for people seeking health careers

According to government stats, ‘Health Care and Social Assistance’ not only employs more Australians than any other sector, it’s also the fastest growing sector in the country. It includes doctors, dentists and nurses, allied health professionals like physiotherapists, paramedics and exercise scientists, and also people working in health careers in aged care and childcare. 

There are loads of factors contributing to the huge demand for grads with health skills. A big one is our ageing population – older people are more likely to have health conditions and generally require more care. Back in 1922, only 4.6% of Australians were aged over 65, now it’s more like 16%! The Australian Council of Deans of Health Sciences says we’ll need to train an additional 25,000 allied health professionals in the next decade in order for Australia’s aged care sector to meet international care standards. 

Advances in medical technology and increasing rates of chronic disease are other factors fuelling demand for healthcare workers. That means choosing a study and career path focused on health will not only set you up for a job that’s seriously meaningful and rewarding, but also super secure. 

Working in health means you’ll also likely be able to work wherever you want. Healthcare jobs aren’t tied to big cities; there’s a big skills shortage in regional Australia. Get this – job vacancies for medical practitioners and nurses in regional Australia represent nearly half of all job vacancies in Australia, even though regional Australia only makes up a third of the total population!

Interested in a fulfilling career that helps people and is in high demand? Here are our top 10 hot health careers.

1. Dentist

Diagnose and treat issues with teeth and oral health.

Choose this job if you: Are meticulous, compassionate and enjoy hands-on work.

2. Exercise and sport scientist

Study physical activity and its impact on health and performance.

Choose this job if you: Love working with people and are passionate about sports, fitness and rehabilitation.

3. Food scientist / nutritionist

Study the properties of food and the effects of diet on health.

Choose this job if you: Love research and are passionate about food, health and diet.

4. Medical doctor

Diagnose and treat illnesses, prescribe medications and perform surgery.

Choose this job if you: Are compassionate, have great attention to detail, and enjoy helping others.

5. Nurse

Provide patient care, administer medications and work closely with doctors.

Choose this job if you: Are dedicated to patient care and comfort and are great at multitasking.

6. Paramedic

Provide emergency medical care and transport to patients.

Choose this job if you: Thrive in high-pressure situations.

7. Pathologist or sonographer

Diagnose diseases by examining body fluids, tissues and organs.

Choose this job if you: Have great attention to detail and enjoy hands-on lab work.

8. Pharmacist

Dispense medications and provide advice on their safe and effective use.

Choose this job if you: Are analytical and interested in medicine and patient care.

9. Physiotherapist

Help people affected by injury or illness through movement and exercise.

Choose this job if you: Enjoy helping others recover and maintain mobility.

10. Sports medicine specialist

Diagnose, treat and prevent injuries related to sports and exercise.

Choose this job if you: Are interested in combining a love of sports with medical practice, and want to work closely with athletes to improve their health and performance.

Healthy facts

  • Most workers in health care and social assistance are uni or VET qualified – 45% uni and 31% VET
  • The Health and Social Assistance sector is expected to grow by 15.8% by November 2026.
  • Medical practitioners and nurses are the most in-demand roles in regional Australia – the number of vacancies for these jobs doubled in the five years to December 2022.

This article was originally published in Careers with STEM: Health.

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