This page belongs to: STEM Equity Monitor

STEM-qualified occupations

Australia’s Labour Force Survey reports how many women and men work in occupations each year.

STEM-qualified occupations

Compare the number of women and men working in STEM occupations, non-STEM occupations and health occupations over different years.

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics 2022

Data insights

The number of women in STEM-qualified occupations increased by around 9,000 (4%) from 2021 to 2022. The number of men increased by around 60,000, also a 4% increase.

The proportion of women in STEM-qualified occupations was 15% in 2022, up from 10% in 2002. In comparison, women have made up approximately 50% of people in non-STEM occupations and 75% of health occupations for 20 years, since 2002.

From 2012 to 2022, women in STEM-qualified occupations rose from approximately 147,000 to approximately 247,000 – about a 68% increase. The number of men in STEM-qualified occupations increased by about 18% during this time.

From 2012 to 2022, the proportion of women increased from 19% to 22% in both:

  • university STEM-qualified occupations, like actuaries, mathematicians, statisticians, civil engineering professionals, computer network professionals, environmental scientists and medical laboratory scientists
  • mixed STEM-qualified occupations, like air transport professionals, ICT managers and science technicians.

Occupations where most of the workforce has VET STEM qualifications (like aircraft maintenance engineers, cabinetmakers, electricians and motor mechanics) have shown extremely low gender balance over time. Women made up only 3% of this group in 2022, the highest proportion across the time since 1987, when it was just 1%.

About the data

We determined the average number of people employed in each occupation per year by:

  • adding together the people employed for each of the 4 reporting periods in a year
  • dividing by 4
  • rounding the final answer.

This survey reports occupations using the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) at a 4-digit level. We defined STEM-qualified occupations by identifying occupations in which the majority of people reported a qualification in a STEM field of education in the 2021 Census of Population and Housing. We further classified occupations by the source of the majority of participants’ qualifications – university, VET or a combination of both (mixed).

View the ABS's methodology for the Labour Force Survey.

Read more about our methodology and this data.