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.

You need to be a qualified Medical Practitioner and then complete further training with the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia to specialise as a Pathologist. Many Pathologists complete postgraduate studies.

Tasks

  • 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.
  • Performs autopsies.
  • May apply scientific knowledge and skills to investigate crimes by analysis physical and biological evidence.

All Other Medical Practitioners

  • Unavailable Weekly Pay
  • Strong Future Growth
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment

Pathologists

  • 2,100 workers Employment Size
  • Very high skill Skill level rating
  • 69% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 44 hours Average full-time
  • 45 years Average age
  • 62% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Pathologists (in their main job) grew very strongly over 5 years:
from 1,800 in 2011 to 2,100 in 2016.

  • Size: This is a very small occupation.
  • Location: Pathologists work in many parts of Australia. New South Wales has a large share of workers.
  • Industries: Most work in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry.
  • Full-time: Many work full-time (69%, similar to the average of 66%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 44 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 45 years (compared to the average of 40 years). Many workers are 45 years or older (52%).
  • Gender: 62% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

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

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 Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Health Care and Social Assistance96.4
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services1.6
Public Administration and Safety1.2
Education and Training0.6
Other Industries0.2

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StatePathologistsAll Jobs Average
NSW37.931.6
VIC23.025.6
QLD18.520.0
SA7.37.0
WA8.510.8
TAS1.82.0
NT0.71.0
ACT2.31.9

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketPathologistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.2-5.05.0
20-242.6-9.39.3
25-3418.7-22.922.9
35-4426.1-22.022.0
45-5426.0-21.621.6
55-5911.3-9.09.0
60-647.6-6.06.0
65 and Over7.4-4.24.2

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

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.
Type of QualificationPathologistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate34.7-10.110.1
Bachelor degree42.0-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma7.3-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV7.5-21.121.1
Year 125.3-18.118.1
Year 110.8-4.84.8
Year 10 and below2.4-12.512.5

You need to be a qualified Medical Practitioner and then complete further training with the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia to specialise as a Pathologist. Many Pathologists complete postgraduate studies.

You must also be registered with the Medical Board of Australia.

Checks, licences and tickets

You may need:

  • national police check
  • working with children check
  • be up to date with immunisations

Thinking about study or training?

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

  • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

Useful links and resources


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

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.

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Medicine and dentistry

    96% Skill level

    Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.

  2. Biology

    90% Skill level

    Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.

  3. English language

    86% Skill level

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

  4. Education and training

    76% Skill level

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  5. Customer and personal service

    70% Skill level

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

Occupational Information Network
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.

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.

Filter Work Environment

Demands

The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

  1. Being exact or accurate

    100% Important

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  2. Freedom to make decisions

    97% Important

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  3. Frequent decision making

    96% Important

    Frequently make decisions that impact other people.

  4. Impact of decisions

    96% Important

    Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

  5. Face-to-face discussions

    95% Important

    Talk with people face-to-face.

Occupational Information Network
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.

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