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

  • Unavailable Weekly Pay
  • 6,700 workers Employment Size
  • Strong Future Growth
  • Very high skill Skill level rating
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment
  • 84.5% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 46.3 hours Average full-time
  • 43.5 years Average age
  • 40.8% female Gender Share

The number of Barristers grew moderately over the past 5 years and is expected to grow strongly over the next 5 years:
from 6,700 in 2017 to 7,500 by 2022.
There are likely to be around 2,000 job openings over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created.

  • Size: This is a small occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2017.
  • Location: Barristers work in many regions of Australia. Many work in Victoria.
  • Industries: Most work in Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Public Administration and Safety; and Financial and Insurance Services.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (84.5%, much higher than the all jobs average of 68.4%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 46.3 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 44 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 40.8% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2017 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2022.
YearNumber of Workers
20075200
20085200
20098200
20108300
20117200
20126400
20137200
20149200
20158000
20166700
20176700
20227500

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

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

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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 Services73.1
Public Administration and Safety19.9
Financial and Insurance Services2.9
Retail Trade2.2
Other Industries1.9

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 2017, 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
NSW29.831.6
VIC38.826.2
QLD10.719.7
SA6.86.7
WA9.710.8
TAS0.62.0
NT2.61.1
ACT1.11.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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
15-192.4-5.25.2
20-244.5-9.99.9
25-347.0-23.623.6
35-4440.3-21.721.7
45-5421.8-20.820.8
55-593.2-8.88.8
60-648.6-6.06.0
65 and Over12.2-4.04.0

Education Level

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.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Public Sector and Community Services VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  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
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 23-1011.00 - Lawyers.

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

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  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
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 23-1011.00 - Lawyers.

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