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

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

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

Job Titles

  • Barrister
  • Barrister

    Specialisations: Queen's Counsel, Senior Counsel

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    Unavailable
  • Future Growth

    moderate
  • Skill Level

    Bachelor Degree or higher
  • Employment Size

    8400
  • Unemployment

    below average
  • Male Share

    60.1%
  • Female Share

    39.9%
  • Full-Time Share

    91.9%

Find Vacancies

This is a small occupation employing 8400 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has stayed about the same.
Moderate growth is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create up to 5,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Barristers work in most parts of Australia.
  • They work in many industries. Some of the main industries are: Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Public Administration and Safety; and Accommodation and Food Services.
  • Almost all work full-time. Full-time workers, on average, work 46.5 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • The average age is 42 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Around 6 in 10 workers are male.
  • 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
20054000
20064400
20075900
20087600
20097000
20108300
20117300
20127100
20137200
20149700
20158400
20209100

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

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.
CategoryBarristersAll Jobs Average
Full-time91.968.4
Part-time8.131.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)46.540

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 Services71.9
Public Administration and Safety23.2
Accommodation and Food Services3.7
Other Services1.2

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.
StateBarristersAll Jobs Average
NSW2931.8
VIC2625.5
QLD25.119.8
SA5.76.8
WA7.911.2
TAS1.62
NT1.41.1
ACT3.31.8

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 BracketBarristersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190-5.45.4
20-241.6-9.99.9
25-3432.1-23.423.4
35-4422.3-21.721.7
45-5426.8-21.121.1
55-594.8-8.78.7
60-645.8-5.95.9
65 and Over6.6-3.83.8

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.
CategoryBarristersCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males60.1Males53.6
Females39.9Females46.4

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 QualificationBarristersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate36.7-8.68.6
Bachelor degree63.3-17.917.9
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 Barristers with good people skills who 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.

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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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