The South Australian health industry employs 56,700 people, which is 7.1% of the State’s workforce.

Most people in this industry work in a hospital, medical clinic or other health service.

Most of the jobs are in the metropolitan area. There are also good job prospects in regional South Australia.

Job openings for skilled workers

Enrolled nurse

General practitioner/Doctor

Medical laboratory scientist

Registered nurse


Quick facts about this industry

  • Science and maths are important to train and work in this industry.
  • Slightly more people work full-time in this industry than part-time.
  • The majority of the workforce has a diploma, advanced diploma or university degree.
  • Around three quarters of the workforce are women.
  • People are generally older than those in other industries.
  • For many roles in this industry you need to be calm under pressure, able to solve problems and communicate well with people from all backgrounds and cultures. Many roles require a high level of maturity and willingness to work in situations that may sometimes be difficult or stressful. Some roles require high-level technical skills.
  • Many of the skills acquired in this industry are in demand around Australia and internationally.
  • Wages generally depend on qualifications and experience. For example, a full-time pharmacist earns from $1,500 to over $2,000 per week, while a full-time enrolled nurse earns about $1,000 per week and a dental assistant earns on average between $800 and $1,000 per week.

School options

Ask your Vocational Education and Training (VET) Coordinator at school for information about doing vocational education during the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE), including the Training Guarantee for SACE (or equivalent) students. Visit the VET section of the SACE website for training options in:

  • Health

Vocational qualifications include:

  • Certificates II – IV in Population Health
  • Certificate IV and Advanced Diploma of Ayurveda
  • Certificate IV and Diploma of Aromatherapy
  • Diploma and Advanced Diploma of Nursing
  • Certificates III and IV in Dental Assisting
  • Advanced Diploma of Oral Health (Dental Hygiene)
  • Certificate III qualifications in Basic Health Care, Dental Laboratory Assisting Hospital/Health Services Pharmacy Support, Allied Health Assistance, Health Support Services, Pathology Collection, Ambulance Communications (Call-taking), Nutrition and Dietetic Assistance, Community Pharmacy and Sterilisation Services
  • Certificate IV qualifications in Medical Practice Assisting, Audiometry, Cardiac Technology, and Operating Theatre Technical Support
  • Diploma qualifications in Dental Technology and Reflexology.

See courses related to this industry.

University disciplines include:

  • Chiropractor
  • Dentistry and oral health
  • Dietetics
  • Exercise physiology
  • Health sciences
  • Medical radiation science
  • Medicine
  • Medical sciences
  • Midwifery
  • Nursing
  • Occupational therapy
  • Optometry
  • Paramedic science
  • Pathology
  • Pharmacy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Psychology
  • Speech pathology
  • Sport science

Explore university courses offered in South Australia, including courses from:

For more information about university courses visit South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC) or for information about student satisfaction visit Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT).

Apply to study

For application information for South Australian universities and some TAFE SA courses, visit the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC).

For subsidised training enrolment information, see Enrolling in subsidised training.

For more information, call the Infoline on 1800 673 097.

Occupations in this industry

This sector provides a wide variety of services including:

  • public and private hospital services
  • primary care services, including general practitioners and community nursing
  • public health services such as cancer screening, immunisation and food safety
  • specialist medical services including pathology and medical imaging services
  • allied health services, such as dental services, physiotherapy, occupational therapy,  chiropractic and ambulance services.

Medical practitioners (doctors) diagnose physical and mental illnesses, disorders and injuries, and prescribe medications and treatment to promote or restore good health.

Nurses provide acute, preventative, curative and rehabilitative nursing care in hospitals, in the community, and in aged care facilities and other health care settings.

Physiotherapists diagnose and treat functional problems using a range of techniques to strengthen and stretch muscles and joints to improve patient mobility such as massage, hydrotherapy, breathing and relaxation techniques.

Natural therapists use a range of complementary techniques and remedies (including traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy, herbalism and myotherapy) to diagnose, treat and prevent physical illness or dysfunction.

Dentists diagnose and treat diseases, injuries and abnormalities of teeth, gums and surrounding structures in the mouth. They also undertake preventative procedures, conduct surgery and perform other specialist techniques.

Key occupations

Other occupations in this industry include:

Aboriginal health worker, acupuncturist, allied health assistant, ambulance officer, exercise physiologist, health promotion officer, medical laboratory technician, nuclear medicine technologist, nursing support and personal care worker, orderly, osteopath, paramedic, podiatrist, practice manager, prosthetist/orthotist, radiation therapist, speech pathologist, sterilisation services assistant, surgeon or ward assistant.

Related industries for these occupations:

Useful links

Career information has been sourced from government publications. See data sources for more information.

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