Machinery Operators and Drivers

This image shows that there were 832,400 Machinery Operators and Drivers as at November 2018, up 9.9% since November 2013. Employment is projected to grow by 4.3% over the five years to May 2023.
36% of jobs are regional. 11% of workers are aged 15 to 24 years. 11% of workers are self-employed. 8% of workers hold a bachelor degree or higher. 29% of workers hold a certificate 3 or higher qualification. 6% of workers hold an other qualification. 57% of workers do not hold a post-school qualification.

Annual employment growth (%), Machinery Operators and Drivers

There have been 74,700 new jobs added in this group over the past five years, with particularly strong growth experienced over the last three years.

The number of vacancies advertised on the internet for these workers is 19% higher than it was five years ago, but remains almost half the level recorded in 2008.

Post-school qualifications are often not essential to gain employment in this group, but tickets or licences are mandatory for many positions.

This occupation group is mostly male and the age profile is relatively old (one in four workers is aged 55 years or older).

Employment in this group is projected to grow by 4.3% over the five years to May 2023 (below the 7.1% growth projected across all occupations).

Top employing occupations, Machinery Operators and Drivers

Top employing occupations
Occupation Number
Truck Drivers 199,400
Storepersons 126,800
Forklift Drivers 68,400
Delivery Drivers 60,900
Drillers, Miners and Shot Firers 57,100
Automobile Drivers 54,800
Earthmoving Plant Operators 50,600
Bus and Coach Drivers 46,200
Other Stationary Plant Operators 29,500
Other Machine Operators 19,500
Agricultural, Forestry and Horticultural Plant Operators 15,400
Engineering Production Workers 15,300
Train and Tram Drivers 13,800
Other Mobile Plant Operators 12,200
Crane, Hoist and Lift Operators 11,900
Sewing Machinists 8,800
Industrial Spraypainters 7,400
Plastics and Rubber Production Machine Operators 7,300
Paper and Wood Processing Machine Operators 6,000
Clay, Concrete, Glass and Stone Processing Machine Operators 4,300

Employment by occupation subgroup, Machinery Operators and Drivers

Employment by occupation subgroup, Machinery Operators and Drivers
Occupation subgroup Employment Employment Profile Workforce Educational Profile Projected Employment
Employ’t Nov 2018  5 year change
to Nov 2018
Part-time Female Aged 15 to 24 years Aged 55 years or older Bachelor degree or higher Cert III or higher VET qual No post-school qual 5 year change to May 2023
‘000 ‘000 % % % % % % % % %
Machine and Stationary Plant Operators 181.8 2.2 1.2 8 13 7 21 6 38 48 -3.6
Mobile Plant Operators 148.6 13.8 10.2 8 4 12 21 2 26 64 5.6
Road and Rail Drivers 376.8 58.6 18.4 23 6 8 31 10 30 55 8.1
Storepersons 126.8 6.3 5.3 23 20 23 16 10 23 62 1.4
All Machinery Operators and Drivers1 832.4 74.7 9.9 18 10 24 19 8 29 57 4.3

1. Some data are trend and, for these, totals do not add

Sources: ABS, Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations; ABS, Labour Force (trend and annual averages of original data); ABS, Education and Work; Department of Jobs and Small Business, Internet Vacancy Index

For more information see joboutlook.gov.au