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

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

Job Titles

  • Solicitor

    Fast Facts

    • $1,917 Weekly Pay
    • 64,000 workers Employment Size
    • Stable Future Growth
    • Very high skill Skill level rating
    • Lower unemployment Unemployment
    • 84.9% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 44.7 hours Average full-time
    • 38 years Average age
    • 49.6% female Gender Share

    The number of Solicitors 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 2017.
    • Location: Solicitors work in many regions of Australia. Many work in New South Wales.
    • Industries: Most work in Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Public Administration and Safety; and Financial and Insurance Services.
    • Earnings: Full-time workers earn around $1,917 per week (very high compared to the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • Full-time: Most work full-time (84.9%, much higher than the all jobs average of 68.4%).
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 44.7 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 38 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
    • Gender: 49.6% 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 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 Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. 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 Earnings19171230

    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 Services80.3
    Public Administration and Safety8.6
    Financial and Insurance Services4.5
    Information Media and Telecommunications1.6
    Other Industries5.0

    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.
    StateSolicitorsAll Jobs Average
    NSW46.231.6
    VIC24.526.2
    QLD14.319.7
    SA3.56.7
    WA7.310.8
    TAS0.92.0
    NT0.71.1
    ACT2.61.8

    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 BracketSolicitorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-190.0-5.25.2
    20-243.4-9.99.9
    25-3439.3-23.623.6
    35-4426.5-21.721.7
    45-5414.6-20.820.8
    55-594.4-8.88.8
    60-644.8-6.06.0
    65 and Over7.0-4.04.0

    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 QualificationSolicitorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate35.5-8.68.6
    Bachelor degree64.5-17.917.9
    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 Solicitors with good people skills and 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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