Pathologists identify the cause and processes of disease and illness by examining changes in body tissue and in blood and other body fluids, and conduct tests on samples of tissues, blood and body secretions.
Specialisations: Clinical Cytopathologist, Forensic Pathologist, Immunologist.
Medical Practitioners need to undertake further training with the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia to become a Pathologist.
Conducts tests on body samples to determine nature, stage of development and possible source of illness.
Studies effects of selected drugs on diseased organisms to find effective methods for treating specific patients.
May apply scientific knowledge and skills to investigate crimes by analysis physical and biological evidence.
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. Employment projections data are only produced for occupations at the broad four digit Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) level. While data are not available for this occupation, projections data are available for the parent occupation, Other Medical Practitioners, under the outlook section.
Earnings and hours
Around 69% of people employed as Pathologists work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 3 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 44 hours per week in their main job. This is the same as the all jobs average.
Sources:Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average.
Most Pathologists work in the Health care and social assistance industry.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Pathologists||All Jobs Average|
Around 78% of Pathologists live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
New South Wales has a large share of employment relative to its population size.
The regions with the largest share of workers are:
- Melbourne - Inner
- Sydney - North Sydney and Hornsby
- Melbourne - Inner East
- Brisbane Inner City
- Adelaide - Central and Hills.
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 Pathologists is 45 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 62% of the workforce. This is 14 percentage points above 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||Pathologists||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||7.4||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
Medical Practitioners need to undertake further training with the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia to become a Pathologist.
Registration with the Medical Board of Australia is required.
- Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
- ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Pathologists||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||34.7||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||2.4||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 Other Medical Practitioners who are caring and empathetic and can work well in a team, with the ability to communicate with a diverse range of people.
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.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Teaching people how to do something.
66%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
64%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Talking to others.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
52%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
52%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.
45%Management of material resources
Providing the right equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do work.
Looking for ways to help people.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
96%Medicine and dentistry
Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.
Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
76%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
70%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
67%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
63%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
62%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
61%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
55%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
51%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
41%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
36%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
32%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.
29%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Listen to and understand what people say.
Communicate by speaking.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Read and understand written information.
Write in a way that people can understand.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
63%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.
61%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
57%Speed of recognition
Quickly make sense of and organize things you can see like letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
Notice differences between colours, including shades of colour and brightness.
Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
Remember things like words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
90%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
89%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
86%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
86%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
81%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
79%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
79%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
77%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
75%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
75%Training and teaching others
Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.
74%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
74%Giving expert advice
Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups.
72%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
71%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
71%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
69%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
57%Estimating amounts, costs and resources
Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.
57%Providing office support
Doing day-to-day office work such as filing and processing paperwork.
47%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 are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
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.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
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.
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.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
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.
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.
100%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
97%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
96%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
96%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
Talk with people face-to-face.
Talk on the telephone.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
92%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
Work to strict deadlines.
86%Consequence of error
Work where mistakes have serious consequences.
Use electronic mail.
81%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
81%Disease or infection
Be exposed to disease or infections.
Work with people in a group or team.
75%Wear common protective or safety equipment
Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.
74%Spend time sitting
Spend time sitting at work.
72%Letters and memos
Write letters and memos.
66%Responsible for outcomes
Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.
65%Health and safety of others
Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.
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, 29-1069.07 - Pathologists.