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Technicians Support Services

Overview

This page provides information and data on the Technician Support Services workforce. Technicians Support Services is a diverse workforce and includes the following sub-sectors:

  • Audiometry
  • Cardiac technology
  • Health administration
  • Hospital pharmacies
  • Medical practice assisting
  • Operating theatre support
  • Optometry
  • Pathology
  • Sterilisation services.

The Technician Support Services Industry Reference Committee (IRC) has responsibility for sixteen qualifications within the HLT Health Training Package, aligned to the following job roles:

  • Admissions Clerk
  • Anaesthesia Technician
  • Audiometrist
  • Biomedical Laboratory Assistant
  • Cardiac Technician
  • Cast Technician
  • Clinical Coding Clerk
  • Central Sterile Services Department (CSSD) Supervisor
  • Dispensing Technician or Assistant
  • Health Administrative Worker Or Supervisor
  • Hospital Pharmacy Assistant Or Technician
  • Instrument Technician (CSSD)
  • Medical Practice Assistant
  • Medical Records Section Leader
  • Medical Secretary or Receptionist
  • Optical Dispenser
  • Pathology Collector
  • Pharmacy Assistant or Technician
  • Practice Manager
  • Senior Clinical Coder
  • Senior Pharmacy Technician
  • Senior Theatre Technician or Wardsperson
  • ScreeningAaudiometrist
  • Specialist Specimen Collector (Pathology)

Information sourced from the Technicians Support Services IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast (forthcoming).

For information on other health-related training and employment, visit the Health industry page and the various sectors.

All data sources are available at the end of the page.

IRC and Skills Forecasts

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

Employment levels in some of the key occupations resulting from training in Technicians Support Services qualifications – Medical Technicians, Nursing Support and Personal Care Workers, Health and Welfare Services Managers and Practice Managers – have grown significantly since 2000 and are projected to grow further by 2023.    

Training trends

Training snapshot

In 2017 there were 14,206 program enrolments, down from 18,380 in 2016. Completion numbers also dropped from 5,235 in 2016 to 4,173 in 2017.

Well over half of program enrolments in 2017 (60%) are at the certificate III level, with the rest being at certificate IV level or higher.

The clusters of qualifications with the highest proportion of enrolments in 2017 were Pathology (36%), Health Administration (22%), Practice Management (16%) and Sterilisation Services (13%). In terms of destination occupations for the courses, the largest was Pathology Collector, followed by Health Practice Manager, Medical Receptionist and Sterilisation Technician.             

Overall, TAFE institutes provide about a half, and private providers 42%, of all Technician Support Services training. However, there is considerable variation depending on the different qualification clusters. For example, TAFE provides all the training for Audiometry and Hearing Device Prescription and Evaluation qualifications, and private providers deliver 100% of Operating Theatre Technical Support qualifications.  

The majority of training (63%) is government funded, with over a third of training (36%) funded though domestic fee-for-service. 

In 2017, around 36% of students were located in New South Wales, followed by 25% in Victoria and 22% in Queensland.

Commencements in apprenticeships and traineeships have declined significantly in recent years from 1,790 in 2010 down to 123 in 2016. In 2017, commencements rose to 229. Completions have declined, falling to 112 in 2017 (down from 1,125 in 2011). The largest destination occupation for apprenticeships and traineeships was Pathology Collector. Sixty three percent of the apprenticeships and traineeships were reported in New South Wales, followed by Victoria (15%).

For more data specific to your occupation, industry or training package, visit NCVER’s VET students by industry.

For more data specific to your region visit NCVER’s Atlas of Total VET. If you are prompted to log in, select cancel and you will continue to be directed to the program.

If you are interested in extracting NCVER data to construct tables with data relevant to you, sign up for a VOCSTATS account.

Industry insights

Industry insights on skills needs

The Technicians Support Services IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast has identified a number of factors which affect the Technician Support Services workforce and the training needs. Some of these factors include:

  • increased demand due to changing population and demographics
  • consumer direct care models which give the consumer more choice in selecting health care providers
  • digital health technologies which have the potential to improve health and medical care and the ability to share data
  • automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) potentially supplementing the existing workforce
  • increased personalised and accessible health care
  • an increasing need for STEM skills
  • leadership and management that creates operational efficiencies
  • opportunities and challenges for learners associated with industry work places.

The top skills areas for Medical Technician roles mentioned in the Skills Forecast and sourced from Job Outlook include:

  • active listening
  • reading comprehension
  • critical thinking
  • speaking
  • science.

In addition, communication was the top ranked generic skill in the job advertisement data for Medical Technicians and Practice Managers and Health and Welfare Service Managers.

Relevant reports

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia’s report, Exploring the role of hospital pharmacy technicians and assistants to enhance the delivery of patient centred care, found that the roles and responsibilities of hospital Pharmacy Technicians and Assistants vary significantly across Australia. Australian hospitals primarily utilise the Pharmacy Technician and Assistant workforce for traditional technical roles rather than clinical roles. The education requirements for hospital Pharmacy Technicians and Assistants are set by state and territory-based legislation and enterprise agreements, with no consistency. The report recommends a national education and training standard for Pharmacy Technicians.

 

 

Links and resources

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment 2018, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal  

  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2023
    • 3112 Medical Technicians
    • 4233 Nursing Support and Personal Care Workers
    • 1342 Health and Welfare Services Managers
    • 5122 Practice Managers.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018, Employed persons by occupation unit group of main job (ANZSCO), Sex, State and Territory, August 1986 onwards 6291.0.55.003 - EQ08, viewed 1st November 2018 <http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6291.0.55.003May%202018?OpenDocument>

  • Employed total by ANZSCO 4 digit occupations, 2000 to 2018, May quarter
    • 3112 Medical Technicians
    • 4233 Nursing Support and Personal Care Workers
    • 1342 Health and Welfare Services Managers
    • 5122 Practice Managers.                                                                     

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection, Total VET students and courses from the following training package or qualifications:

HLT Health Training Package:

  • Anaesthetic Technology
    • HLT50612 - Diploma of Paramedical Science (Anaesthesia)
    • HLT57915 - Diploma of Anaesthetic Technology
  • Audiometry and Hearing Device Prescription and Evaluation
    • HLT41307 - Certificate IV in Audiometric Assessment
    • HLT41312 - Certificate IV in Audiometric Assessment
    • HLT47415 - Certificate IV in Audiometry
    • HLT51307 - Diploma of Hearing Device Prescription and Evaluation
    • HLT57415 - Diploma of Audiometry
  • Health Administration
    • HLT32907 - Certificate III in Health Administration
    • HLT32912 - Certificate III in Health Administration
    • HLT37315 - Certificate III in Health Administration
    • HLT43207 - Certificate IV in Health Administration
    • HLT43212 - Certificate IV in Health Administration
    • HLT47315 - Certificate IV in Health Administration
  • Medical Practice Assisting and Cast Technology
    • HLT41412 - Certificate IV in Cast Technology
    • HLT43312 - Certificate IV in Medical Practice Assisting
    • HLT47715 - Certificate IV in Medical Practice Assisting
  • Operating Theatre Technical Support
    • HLT42007 - Certificate IV in Operating Theatre Technical Support
    • HLT42012 - Certificate IV in Operating Theatre Technical Support
    • HLT47515 - Certificate IV in Operating Theatre Technical Support
  • Optical Dispensing and Technology
    • HLT43507 - Certificate IV in Optical Dispensing
    • HLT43512 - Certificate IV in Optical Dispensing
    • HLT43707 - Certificate IV in Optical Technology
    • HLT43712 - Certificate IV in Optical Technology
    • HLT47815 - Certificate IV in Optical Dispensing
  • Pathology
    • HLT32607 - Certificate III in Pathology
    • HLT32612 - Certificate III in Pathology
    • HLT37215 - Certificate III in Pathology Collection
    • HLT37415 - Certificate III in Pathology Assistance
    • HLT41807 - Certificate IV in Pathology
    • HLT41812 - Certificate IV in Pathology
  • Pharmacy Support
    • HLT31412 - Certificate III in Hospital-Health Services Pharmacy Support
    • HLT37115 - Certificate III in Hospital/Health Services Pharmacy Support
    • HLT40507 - Certificate IV in Hospital/Health Services Pharmacy Support
    • HLT40512 - Certificate IV in Hospital-Health Services Pharmacy Support
    • HLT47115 - Certificate IV in Hospital/Health Services Pharmacy Support
  • Practice Management
    • HLT52007 - Diploma of Practice Management
    • HLT52012 - Diploma of Practice Management
    • HLT57715 - Diploma of Practice Management
  • Sterilisation Services
    • HLT31107 - Certificate III in Sterilisation Services
    • HLT31112 - Certificate III in Sterilisation Services
    • HLT37015 - Certificate III in Sterilisation Services
    • HLT43807 - Certificate IV in Sterilisation Services
    • HLT43812 - Certificate IV in Sterilisation Services
    • HLT47015 - Certificate IV in Sterilisation Services

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

Data covers a range of selected student and training characteristics in the following categories and years:

  • 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 program enrolments
  • 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 program completions.

Total VET students and courses data is reported for the calendar year. Program enrolments are the qualifications, courses and skill-sets in which students are enrolled in a given period. For students enrolled in multiple programs, all programs are counted. Program completion indicates that a student has completed a structured and integrated program of education or training. Location data uses student residence. Subject enrolment is registration of a student at a training delivery location for the purpose of undertaking a module, unit of competency or subject. For more information on the terms and definitions, please refer to the Total VET students and courses: terms and definitions document. 

Low counts (less than 5) are not reported to protect client confidentiality.

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place. This can lead to situations where the total sum of proportions in a chart may not add up to exactly 100%.

HLT Health Training Package apprentice and trainee data has been extracted from the National Apprentice and Trainee Collection, including:

  • 2010 to 2017 commencements
  • 2010 to 2017 completions 
  • 2017 apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2017 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.

Priority skills data have been extracted from the Technicians Support Services IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast.

Job vacancy data have been extracted from Burning Glass Technologies 2018, Labor Insight Real-time Labor Market Information Tool, Burning Glass Technologies, Boston, viewed July 2018, <https://www.burning-glass.com>.

Data shown represent most requested generic skills according to internet job postings in Australia between July 2015 and June 2018 filtered by ANZSIC and ANZSCO classification levels listed below.

ANZSCO occupations have been used as industry filters because they provide more relevant job vacancy data for this sector.

  • Generic skills
    • 3112 Medical Technicians
    • 1342 Health and Welfare Services Managers
    • 5122 Practice Managers.
Updated: 18 Dec 2018
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