Barristers

ANZSCO ID 2711

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
9,100
Future Growth
22.5%
Weekly Earnings
$2,734
Full-Time Share
85%
Female Share
32%
Average age
46

Summary

Barristers plead cases before civil, criminal and industrial courts and other tribunals.

Specialisations: Queen's Counsel, Senior Counsel.

A law degree is needed to work as a Barrister. Barristers also need to pass the Bar Examination and obtain an Australian Practising Certificate (Barrister).

Tasks

  • receiving written information in the form of briefs and verbal instructions concerning cases from Solicitors, other specialist Legal Professionals and clients

  • providing advice and written opinions on points of law

  • conferring with clients and witnesses in preparation for court proceedings

  • drawing up pleadings, affidavits and other court documents

  • researching statutes and previous court decisions relevant to cases

  • outlining the facts to the court, calling and questioning witnesses, and making addresses to the court to argue a client's case

  • providing opinion on complex legal issues

  • may draw up or settle documents

Characteristics

Job Type
Professionals
Skill Level
Very high skill
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
Below average
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • University
Interests
  • Analytical
  • Creative
  • Enterprising
Physical Demand
  • Sedentary

Outlook

Employment Outlook

The NSC produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:

  • is expected to grow very strongly
  • is likely to reach 11,100 by 2026.
  • Source: National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.

    Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.

    Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.

Projected Change
22.5%
(or 2,000 jobs)
From
9,000
in 2021
To
11,100
in 2026

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Year Employment
2011 7,900
2012 6,400
2013 6,700
2014 10,600
2015 8,300
2016 5,300
2017 9,600
2018 10,000
2019 14,400
2020 8,800
2021 9,000
2026 11,100

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • Around 85% of people employed as Barristers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 19 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).

    Full-time workers work an average of 50 hours per week in their main job. This is 6 hours more than the all jobs average (44 hours per week).

    Median full-time earnings are $2,734 per week, this is much higher than the all jobs median ($1,593):

    • 3 in 4 workers earn more than $2,318
    • 1 in 4 earn more than $3,322

    Median hourly earnings are $72, this is much more than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).

    Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Earnings Barristers All Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings 2,734 1,593
Total Earnings 0 0

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.


Industries

Main industries

1
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
68.5%
2
Public Administration and Safety
31.5%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

35.4% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

30.2% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

16.3% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

6.3% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

7.3% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

1.6% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

1.1% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

1.8% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Barristers All Jobs Average
NSW 35.4 31.6
VIC 30.2 25.6
QLD 16.3 20.0
SA 6.3 7.0
WA 7.3 10.8
TAS 1.6 2.0
NT 1.1 1.0
ACT 1.8 1.9



Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
46
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
32%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Barristers is 46 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.

    A large share of workers are aged 45 to 54 years.

    Females make up 32% of the workforce. This is 16 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age Bracket Barristers All Jobs Average
15-19 0.0 5.0
20-24 0.6 9.3
25-34 17.7 22.9
35-44 26.2 22.0
45-54 26.5 21.6
55-59 10.3 9.0
60-64 9.4 6.0
65 and Over 9.4 4.2
Median Age 46 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

Education, training and experience

A law degree is needed to work as a Barrister. Barristers also need to pass the Bar Examination and obtain an Australian Practising Certificate (Barrister).

Registration or licencing may be required.

Visit

  • Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
  • ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of Qualification Barristers All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 33.8 10.1
Bachelor degree 59.3 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 3.9 11.6
Certificate III/IV 0.7 21.1
Year 12 1.8 18.1
Year 11 0.3 4.8
Year 10 and below 0.2 12.5

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.


Skills and Knowledge

Employers look for Barristers with good people skills who are trustworthy and responsible.

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 70%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 70%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 70%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 70%

    Writing

    Writing things for co-workers or customers.

  • 68%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 64%

    Persuasion

    Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.

  • 61%

    Active learning

    Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.

  • 61%

    Judgment and decision making

    Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.

  • 61%

    Negotiation

    Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.

  • 57%

    Complex problem solving

    Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

  • 57%

    Social perceptiveness

    Understanding why people react the way they do.

  • 57%

    Time management

    Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.

  • 54%

    Monitoring

    Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.

  • 54%

    Serving others

    Looking for ways to help people.

  • 50%

    Systems analysis

    Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.

  • 48%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 46%

    Systems evaluation

    Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.

  • 45%

    Instructing

    Teaching people how to do something.

  • 45%

    Learning strategies

    Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.

  • 43%

    Management of personnel resources

    Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 78%

    English language

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  • 78%

    Law and government

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

  • 74%

    Customer and personal service

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  • 65%

    Administration and management

    Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

  • 62%

    Personnel and human resources

    Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.

  • 58%

    Computers and electronics

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  • 50%

    Education and training

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  • 47%

    Economics and accounting

    Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.

  • 46%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 45%

    Communications and media

    Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.

  • 38%

    Clerical

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  • 33%

    Therapy and counselling

    Diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and career counselling and guidance.

  • 31%

    Sociology and anthropology

    Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.

  • 31%

    Public safety and security

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  • 27%

    Psychology

    Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

  • 25%

    Philosophy and theology

    Philosophical systems and religions, including their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and impact on society.

  • 24%

    Sales and marketing

    Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

  • 24%

    Geography

    Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.

  • 22%

    Telecommunications

    Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.

  • 21%

    Transportation

    Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 71%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 71%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 71%

    Written comprehension

    Read and understand written information.

  • 71%

    Written expression

    Write in a way that people can understand.

  • 66%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 64%

    Speech clarity

    Speak clearly so others can understand you.

  • 63%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 61%

    Inductive reasoning

    Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.

  • 57%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.

  • 55%

    Brainstorming

    Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.

  • 55%

    Sorting or ordering

    Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

  • 54%

    Categorising

    Come up with different ways of grouping things.

  • 54%

    Originality

    Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.

  • 48%

    Speech recognition

    Identify and understand the speech of another person.

  • 45%

    Memorization

    Remember things like words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.

  • 43%

    Selective attention

    Pay attention to something without being distracted.

  • 43%

    Flexibility of closure

    See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.

  • 41%

    Far vision

    See details that are far away.

  • 37%

    Multitasking

    Do two or more things at the same time.

  • 37%

    Speed of recognition

    Quickly make sense of and organize things you can see like letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.


Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  • 90%

    Negotiating and resolving conflicts

    Handling complaints and disagreements, and negotiating with people.

  • 85%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  • 84%

    Checking compliance with standards

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

  • 79%

    Looking for changes over time

    Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  • 79%

    Making decisions and solving problems

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  • 78%

    Planning and prioritising work

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  • 77%

    Keeping your knowledge up-to-date

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  • 76%

    Building good relationships

    Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.

  • 74%

    Giving expert advice

    Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups.

  • 73%

    Collecting and organising information

    Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.

  • 73%

    Thinking creatively

    Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.

  • 67%

    Communicating with the public

    Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 66%

    Working with the public

    Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.

  • 66%

    Making sense of information and ideas

    Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.

  • 62%

    Assessing and evaluating things

    Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.

  • 61%

    Explaining things to people

    Helping people to understand and use information.

  • 59%

    Documenting or recording information

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

  • 55%

    Providing office support

    Doing day-to-day office work such as filing and processing paperwork.

  • 51%

    Communicating within a team

    Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 45%

    Working with computers

    Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.


Interests and demands

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Interests

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 100%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.

  • 67%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.

  • 57%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.

  • 52%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 48%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.

  • 19%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 90%

    Recognition

    Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.

  • 86%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

  • 86%

    Independence

    Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.

  • 86%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.

  • 62%

    Support

    Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.

  • 57%

    Relationships

    Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 100%

    Electronic mail

    Use electronic mail.

  • 100%

    Indoors, heat controlled

    Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.

  • 99%

    Telephone

    Talk on the telephone.

  • 98%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 96%

    Impact of decisions

    Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

  • 96%

    Letters and memos

    Write letters and memos.

  • 94%

    Frequent decision making

    Frequently make decisions that impact other people.

  • 94%

    Contact with people

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  • 92%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  • 91%

    Spend time sitting

    Spend time sitting at work.

  • 91%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 91%

    Time pressure

    Work to strict deadlines.

  • 84%

    Responsible for outcomes

    Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.

  • 84%

    Conflict situations

    Deal with conflict or disagreements.

  • 84%

    Teamwork

    Work with people in a group or team.

  • 82%

    Angry or unpleasant people

    Deal with unpleasant, angry, or rude people.

  • 82%

    Consequence of error

    Work where mistakes have serious consequences.

  • 82%

    Lead or coordinate a team

    Lead others to do work activities.

  • 81%

    Unstructured work

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  • 79%

    Contact with the public

    Work with customers or the public.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 23-1011.00 - Lawyers.


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