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 in law is needed to work as a Solicitor. Many Solicitors complete postgraduate studies.

    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

    All Solicitors

    • $1,646 Weekly Pay
    • Stable Future Growth
    • Lower unemployment Unemployment
    • 64,000 workers Employment Size
    • Very high skill Skill level rating
    • 84% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 48 hours Average full-time
    • 39 years Average age
    • 51% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Solicitors (in their main job) fell over the past 5 years and is expected to stay about the same over the next 5 years:
    from 64,000 in 2018 to 63,000 by 2023.
    Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
    There are likely to be around 13,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 2,600 a year).

    • Size: This is a very large occupation.
    • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2018.
    • Location: Solicitors work in many parts of Australia. New South Wales has a large share of workers.
    • Industries: Most work in Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Public Administration and Safety; and Financial and Insurance Services.
    • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,646 per week (very high compared to the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • Full-time: Most work full-time (84%, much higher than the average of 66%).
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 48 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 39 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
    • Gender: 51% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

    The Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business talks with employers who have tried to fill vacancies. Find out more in the latest report on Solicitors.

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
    YearNumber of Workers
    200847100
    200948900
    201058600
    201156200
    201262200
    201367500
    201465200
    201562100
    201671800
    201773000
    201864000
    202363000

    Weekly Earnings

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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 Earnings16461460

    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)
    Professional, Scientific and Technical Services80.0
    Public Administration and Safety9.3
    Financial and Insurance Services3.5
    Other Services0.8
    Other Industries6.4

    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.
    StateSolicitorsAll Jobs Average
    NSW38.931.6
    VIC25.525.6
    QLD17.220.0
    SA5.07.0
    WA8.210.8
    TAS1.12.0
    NT0.71.0
    ACT3.41.9

    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 BracketSolicitorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-190.0-5.05.0
    20-243.5-9.39.3
    25-3434.8-22.922.9
    35-4424.9-22.022.0
    45-5417.6-21.621.6
    55-597.4-9.09.0
    60-645.9-6.06.0
    65 and Over5.9-4.24.2

    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 QualificationSolicitorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate29.1-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree68.7-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma0.8-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV0.1-21.121.1
    Year 121.2-18.118.1
    Year 110.0-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below0.1-12.512.5

    A bachelor degree in law is needed to work as a Solicitor. Many Solicitors complete postgraduate studies.

    Registration with the relevant state or territory board is needed to work as a Solicitor.

    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 Solicitors with good people skills and are trustworthy and responsible.

    Filter Skills & Knowledge

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. English language

      78% Skill level

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

    2. Law and government

      78% Skill level

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

    3. Customer and personal service

      74% Skill level

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

    4. Administration and management

      65% Skill level

      Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

    5. Personnel and human resources

      62% Skill level

      Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.

    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, 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.

    Filter Work Environment

    Demands

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

    1. Electronic mail

      100% Important

      Use electronic mail.

    2. Indoors, heat controlled

      100% Important

      Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.

    3. Telephone

      99% Important

      Talk on the telephone.

    4. Face-to-face discussions

      98% Important

      Talk with people face-to-face.

    5. Impact of decisions

      96% Important

      Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

    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, 23-1011.00 - Lawyers.

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