Research and Development Managers plan, organise, direct, control and coordinate research and development activities within organisations.

A Bachelor Degree or higher, or at least 5 years of relevant experience is usually needed to work in this job. Around three in five workers have a Post Graduate degree.

Tasks

  • 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

Job Titles

  • Research and Development Manager

    Fast Facts

    • Avg. Weekly Pay

      $1,669 Before Tax
    • Future Growth

      stable
    • Skill Level

      Bachelor Degree or higher
    • Employment Size

      9,200
    • Unemployment

      above average
    • Male Share

      61.1%
    • Female Share

      38.9%
    • Full-Time Share

      90.7%

    Find Vacancies

    This is a small occupation employing 9200 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has fallen.
    Little change in the number of jobs is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create between 5,001 and 10,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

    • While there are jobs in many parts of Australia, New South Wales has a large share of Research and Development Managers.
    • They work in many industries. Some of the main industries are: Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Manufacturing; and Education and Training.
    • Almost all work full-time. Full-time workers, on average, work 42.3 hours per week.
    • Average earnings for full-time workers are very high at around $1,669 per week. Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • The average age is 43 years (compared to 40 for all careers).
    • Around 1 in 3 workers are female.
    • In 2016, the unemployment rate was above 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.
    YearEmployment Level
    200511200
    20069700
    200712900
    200811600
    200910500
    201012200
    20118300
    201211800
    201311600
    201410600
    20159200
    20209300

    Weekly Earnings

    Full-time Earnings

    All Careers Average

    Weekly Earnings (before tax)

    Source: ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015 cat. no. 6333.0. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
    EarningsResearch and Development ManagersAll Jobs Average
    Full-Time Earnings16691230

    Hours

    Weekly Hours Worked

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016.
    CategoryResearch and Development ManagersAll Jobs Average
    Full-time93.469
    Part-time6.630.8
    Average Weekly Hours (full-time)43.340.2

    Main Industries

    Top Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Professional, Scientific and Technical Services23.9
    Manufacturing13.1
    Education and Training12.1
    Health Care and Social Assistance10.0
    Other Industries40.9

    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.
    StateResearch and Development ManagersAll Jobs Average
    NSW47.031.8
    VIC27.525.5
    QLD11.819.8
    SA3.36.7
    WA6.911.1
    TAS1.22
    NT0.71.1
    ACT1.51.8

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016.
    Age BracketResearch and Development ManagersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-190.0-5.45.4
    20-242.3-9.99.9
    25-3425.5-23.323.3
    35-4433.1-21.621.6
    45-5419.7-21.121.1
    55-596.4-8.68.6
    60-6411.3-5.95.9
    65 and Over1.7-3.73.7

    Gender

    Male Share

    Female Share

    Gender (% share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016.
    CategoryResearch and Development ManagersCategoryAll Jobs Average
    Males67.0Males53.8
    Females33.0Females46.1

    Education Level

    Top Education Levels

    Highest Level of Education (% share)

    Source: Based on ABS 2016 Survey of Education and Work (SEW).
    Type of QualificationResearch and Development ManagersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate61.5-8.58.5
    Bachelor degree38.5-17.817.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma0.0-10.110.1
    Certificate III/IV0.0-18.818.8
    Year 120.0-18.618.6
    Years 11 & 100.0-17.617.6
    Below Year 100.0-8.08.0

    A Bachelor Degree or higher, or at least 5 years of relevant experience is usually needed to work in this job.
    Around three in five workers have a Post Graduate degree.
    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.

    • myfuture (login required) and the Good Education Group provide information about courses at all levels.
    • My Skills is the national directory of Vocational Education and Training (VET) and provides information about work knowledge and skills based courses.
    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 Research and Development Managers who are organised, with strong people skills and strong attention to detail.

    Knowledge

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

    1. Mathematics

      96% Important

      Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

    2. Computers and Electronics

      80% Important

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

    3. English Language

      70% Important

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

    4. Engineering and Technology

      64% Important

      Use engineering science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

    5. Production and Processing

      62% Important

      Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

    Occupational Information Network Operations Research Analysts 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. Interacting With Computers

      95% Important

      Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

    2. Analyzing Data or Information

      94% Important

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

    3. Making Decisions and Solving Problems

      93% Important

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

    4. Getting Information

      92% Important

      Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

    5. Thinking Creatively

      90% Important

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

    Occupational Information Network Operations Research Analysts 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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