Research and Development Managers
Research and Development Managers plan, organise, direct, control and coordinate research and development activities within organisations.
determining, implementing and monitoring research and development strategies, policies and plans
developing and implementing research projects, priorities and targets to support commercial and policy developments
leading major research projects and coordinating activities of other research workers
assessing the benefits and monitoring the costs and effectiveness of research and development activities
interpreting results of research projects and recommending associated product and service development innovations
providing advice on research and development options available to the organisation
monitoring leading-edge developments in relevant disciplines and assessing implications for the organisation
may publish results of significant research projects
JSA 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 21,500 by 2026.
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia 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.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 86% of people employed as Research and Development Managers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 20 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 45 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Median full-time earnings are $2,452 per week, this is much higher than the all jobs median ($1,593):
- 3 in 4 workers earn more than $2,404
- 1 in 4 earn more than $3,458
Median hourly earnings are $66, 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)
|Earnings||Research and Development Managers||All Jobs Average|
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.
Research and Development Managers work in industries like:
- Professional, scientific and technical services
- Education and training
- Public administration and safety.
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2021.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Research and Development Managers||All Jobs Average|
Around 82% of Research and Development Managers live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
The Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and New South Wales have a large share of employment relative to their population size.
The regions with the largest share of workers are:
- Melbourne - Inner
- Australian Capital Territory
- Sydney - North Sydney and Hornsby
- Sydney - City and Inner South
- Melbourne - Inner South.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Research and Development Managers is 44 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 35 to 44 years.
Females make up 46% of the workforce. This is similar to 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)
|Age Bracket||Research and Development Managers||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||3.5||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
A university degree in a related field and relevant industry experience is usually needed to work as a Research and Development Manager.
- Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
- ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Research and Development Managers||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||44.9||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||1.1||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 Research and Development Managers who are organised, with strong people skills and strong attention to detail.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Reading work related information.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
66%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Talking to others.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
61%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Using maths to solve problems.
Understanding needs and product requirements to create a design.
57%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
57%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.
Teaching people how to do something.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
66%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
61%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.
55%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
54%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
53%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.
49%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
44%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
41%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
39%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
37%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
34%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Listen to and understand what people say.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Communicate by speaking.
Read and understand written information.
Write in a way that people can understand.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
57%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
55%Working with numbers
Add, subtract, multiply, or divide.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
See details that are far away.
39%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
Remember things like words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
86%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
81%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
80%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
80%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
79%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
79%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
76%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
73%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
70%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
69%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
68%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
68%Scheduling work and activities
Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
68%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
68%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
63%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
63%Coming up with systems and processes
Deciding on goals and figuring out what you need to do to achieve them.
55%Estimating amounts, costs and resources
Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.
48%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
46%Leading and encouraging a team
Encouraging and building trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
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 are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
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.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
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.
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.
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.
Use electronic mail.
96%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
Talk on the telephone.
93%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
Talk with people face-to-face.
Work with people in a group or team.
83%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
83%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
83%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
83%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
82%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
Work to strict deadlines.
80%Responsible for outcomes
Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.
76%Letters and memos
Write letters and memos.
73%Contact with the public
Work with customers or the public.
72%Spend time sitting
Spend time sitting at work.
69%Health and safety of others
Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.
67%Loud or uncomfortable sounds
Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.
Compete with others, or be aware of competitive pressures.
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, 11-9121.00 - Natural Sciences Managers.
Links and downloads
Research and reports
The Skills Priority List provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for nearly 800 occupations nationally. Current labour market ratings are available for occupations at a state and territory level.
Occupation profiles data are available for download.
The Employment Projections are available for download.