Solicitors provide legal advice, prepare and draft legal documents, and conduct negotiations on behalf of clients on matters associated with the law.

A Bachelor Degree or higher is required to work in this job. Registration or licensing is also required.

Tasks

  • interviewing clients to determine the nature of problems, and recommending and undertaking appropriate legal action
  • preparing cases for court by conducting investigations, undertaking research, arranging witness preparation and attendance, and giving notice of court actions
  • representing clients in court
  • managing conveyancing and other property matters by preparing contracts of sale, mortgage documents, lease documents and other documents relating to the transfer of land and buildings
  • preparing and critically reviewing contracts between parties
  • preparing wills
  • providing advice on family law, company law, partnerships, commercial law and trusts
  • may act as trustee or guardian
  • may act as executor of clients' wills

Job Titles

  • Solicitor

    Fast Facts

    • Avg. Weekly Pay

      $1,917 Before Tax
    • Future Growth

      very strong
    • Skill Level

      Bachelor Degree or higher
    • Employment Size

      67700
    • Unemployment

      below average
    • Male Share

      49.8%
    • Female Share

      50.2%
    • Full-Time Share

      81.4%

    Find Vacancies

    This is a very large occupation employing 67,700 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has grown strongly.
    Very strong growth is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create between 25,001 and 50,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

    • Solicitors work in most parts of Australia.
    • They mainly work in: Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Public Administration and Safety; and Financial and Insurance Services.
    • Full-time work is very common. Full-time workers, on average, work 43.9 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
    • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $1,917 per week (very high compared to the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • The average age is 40 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
    • Around 5 in 10 workers are female.
    • In 2016, the unemployment rate was below average.

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
    YearNumber of Workers
    200540500
    200646000
    200741700
    200847700
    200952300
    201062300
    201154000
    201263100
    201371500
    201461200
    201567700
    202079700

    Weekly Earnings

    Full-time Earnings

    All Jobs Average

    Weekly Earnings (before tax)

    Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. 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.
    EarningsSolicitorsAll Jobs Average
    Full-Time Earnings19171230

    Hours

    Weekly Hours Worked

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
    CategorySolicitorsAll Jobs Average
    Full-time81.468.4
    Part-time18.631.6
    Average Weekly Hours (full-time)43.940

    Main Industries

    Top Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Professional, Scientific and Technical Services80.2
    Public Administration and Safety9.8
    Financial and Insurance Services2.2
    Administrative and Support Services1.1
    Other Industries6.7

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    StateSolicitorsAll Jobs Average
    NSW37.531.8
    VIC29.325.5
    QLD17.919.8
    SA4.16.8
    WA5.911.2
    TAS1.22
    NT0.61.1
    ACT3.71.8

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketSolicitorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-190-5.45.4
    20-243.5-9.99.9
    25-3430.4-23.423.4
    35-4426.9-21.721.7
    45-5416.7-21.121.1
    55-597.3-8.78.7
    60-648.6-5.95.9
    65 and Over6.5-3.83.8

    Gender

    Male Share

    Female Share

    Gender (% share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    CategorySolicitorsCategoryAll Jobs Average
    Males49.8Males53.6
    Females50.2Females46.4

    Education Level

    Top Education Levels

    Highest Level of Education (% share)

    Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
    Type of QualificationSolicitorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate35.5-8.68.6
    Bachelor degree64.5-17.917.9
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma0-10.110.1
    Certificate III/IV0-18.918.9
    Year 120-18.718.7
    Years 11 & 100-17.717.7
    Below Year 100-8.18.1

    A Bachelor Degree or higher is required to work in this job. Registration or licensing is also required.

    If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
    The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

    It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

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

    Knowledge

    The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

    1. Law and Government

      94% Important

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

    2. English Language

      90% Important

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

    3. Customer and Personal Service

      78% Important

      Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

    4. Administration and Management

      67% Important

      Planning and coordination of people and resources.

    5. Personnel and Human Resources

      65% Important

      Recruiting and training people. Managing pay and other entitlements like sick and holiday leave. Negotiating pay and conditions.

    Occupational Information Network Lawyers Opens in a new window
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

    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.

    Activities

    The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

    1. Getting Information

      95% Important

      Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

    2. Making Decisions and Solving Problems

      95% Important

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

    3. Checking Compliance with Standards

      94% Important

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

    4. Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others

      90% Important

      Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving conflicts, and negotiating with people.

    5. Provide Consultation and Advice to Others

      89% Important

      Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups.

    Occupational Information Network Lawyers Opens in a new window
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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