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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:

  • Pathology
  • Audiometry
  • Cardiac technology
  • Health administration
  • Medical practice assisting
  • Operating theatre support
  • Optical
  • Pharmacy
  • 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
  • Clinical coding clerk
  • Central sterile services department (CSSD) supervisor
  • Dispensing technician or assistant
  • Executive assistant
  • Health administrative worker or supervisor
  • Hospital pharmacy assistant or technician
  • Instrument technician
  • Medical practice assistant or receptionist
  • Medical records section leader
  • Medical secretary
  • Optical dispenser
  • Pathology collector
  • Pharmacy assistant or technician
  • Practice manager
  • Senior clinical coder
  • Senior pharmacy technician
  • Senior theatre technician or wardsperson
  • Screening audiometrist
  • Specimen collection officer and specialist specimen collectors (pathology)
  • Sterilisation technician or supervisor
  • Ward clerk or Wardsperson.

Information sourced from the Technicians Support Services IRC Industry Skills Forecast.

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 – are projected to grow by 2022.   

Training trends

Training snapshot

In 2016 there were 18,380 program enrolments, up from 12,942 in 2014.

Nearly half of program enrolments (48.4%) are at the certificate III level, and nearly a third of enrolments (32.4%) are at the diploma or higher level.

The clusters of qualifications with the highest proportion of enrolments are Practice Management (30.0%) followed closely by Pathology (28.7%) and Health Administration (18.9%).             

Overall, TAFE institutes provide 56.2% of training and private providers 38.9% of all Technician Support Services. 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 nearly 100% of Operating Theatre Technical Support qualifications.

The majority of training (64.7%) is government funded, with just over a third of training (34.6%) funded though domestic fee for service. 

Around 31.1% of students are located in Victoria, followed by 30.4% of students in New South Wales.

Commencements in apprenticeships and traineeships have declined significantly in recent years from 1,790 in 2010 down to 124 in 2016. 

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

Infographic title: Priority skills: 2017 skills forecast,, Infographic data,, Title: Top priority skills,,Top priority skills, Customer Service, Clinical, Communication, Leadership, Technology  "Title: Top generic skills,, Communication/Virtual collaboration/Social intelligence, Language, Literacy and Numeracy, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, Customer service/Marketing, Managerial/Leadership " Infographic title: Skills in demand: job vacancies,, "Title: Top generic skills in demand,,Medical Technicians Top generic skills in demand, Communication Skills, Organisational Skills, Detail-Orientated, Writing, Computer Skills  " "Title: Top generic skills in demand,,Practice Managers and Health and Welfare Service Managers, Top generic skills in demand, Communication Skills, Organisational Skills, Planning, Research, Leadership  " Infographic source, Priority skills source: Technician Support Services IRC Skills Forecast and Schedule of Work 2016-17, Job vacancy occupations in demand source: Burning Glass Technologies’ Labor Insight Real Time Labor Market Information tool

Industry insights on skills needs

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

  • Managing and protecting data
  • Increasing demand due to a growing and ageing population
  • Changing customer expectations of healthcare
  • Increasing health insurance membership
  • Moving towards consumer-driven funding models of service provision
  • Technological change and digitisation
  •  Increasing competition between providers
  • Leadership and managements skills in demand
  • Challenges associated with work placements.

The Skills Forecast identifies the following skills as a priority for the Technician Support Services workforce:

  • Customer Service
  • Clinical
  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Technology.

Relevant reports

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia’s Exploring the role of hospital pharmacy technicians and assistants to enhance the delivery of patient centred care report 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, 2017, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal  

  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations , employment projections to May 2022
    • 3112 Medical Technicians
    • 4233 Nursing Support and Personal Care Workers
    • 1342 Health and Welfare Services Managers
    • 5122 Practice Managers.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, Employed persons by occupation unit group of main job (ANZSCO), sex, state and territory, August 1986 onwards 6291.0.55.003 - EQ08, viewed 1 September 2017 <http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6291.0.55.003May%202017?OpenDocument>

  • Employed total by ANZSCO 4 digit occupations, 2000 to 2017, 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:

  • HLT31107 - Certificate III in Sterilisation Services
  • HLT31112 - Certificate III in Sterilisation Services
  • HLT31412 - Certificate III in Hospital-Health Services Pharmacy Support
  • HLT32012 - Certificate III in Mortuary Theatre Practice
  • HLT32607 - Certificate III in Pathology
  • HLT32612 - Certificate III in Pathology
  • HLT32907 - Certificate III in Health Administration
  • HLT32912 - Certificate III in Health Administration
  • HLT37015 - Certificate III in Sterilisation Services
  • HLT37115 - Certificate III in Hospital/Health Services Pharmacy Support
  • HLT37215 - Certificate III in Pathology Collection
  • HLT37315 - Certificate III in Health Administration
  • HLT37415 - Certificate III in Pathology Assistance
  • HLT40507 - Certificate IV in Hospital/Health Services Pharmacy Support
  • HLT40512 - Certificate IV in Hospital-Health Services Pharmacy Support
  • HLT41307 - Certificate IV in Audiometric Assessment
  • HLT41312 - Certificate IV in Audiometric Assessment
  • HLT41412 - Certificate IV in Cast Technology
  • HLT41607 - Certificate IV in Mortuary Theatre Practice
  • HLT41807 - Certificate IV in Pathology
  • HLT41812 - Certificate IV in Pathology
  • HLT42007 - Certificate IV in Operating Theatre Technical Support
  • HLT42012 - Certificate IV in Operating Theatre Technical Support
  • HLT42107 - Certificate IV in Cardiac Technology
  • HLT42112 - Certificate IV in Cardiac Technology
  • HLT42612 - Certificate IV in Anaesthetic Technology
  • HLT43207 - Certificate IV in Health Administration
  • HLT43212 - Certificate IV in Health Administration
  • HLT43312 - Certificate IV in Medical Practice Assisting
  • HLT43507 - Certificate IV in Optical Dispensing
  • HLT43512 - Certificate IV in Optical Dispensing
  • HLT43707 - Certificate IV in Optical Technology
  • HLT43712 - Certificate IV in Optical Technology
  • HLT43807 - Certificate IV in Sterilisation Services
  • HLT43812 - Certificate IV in Sterilisation Services
  • HLT47015 - Certificate IV in Sterilisation Services
  • HLT47115 - Certificate IV in Hospital/Health Services Pharmacy Support
  • HLT47315 - Certificate IV in Health Administration
  • HLT47415 - Certificate IV in Audiometry
  • HLT47515 - Certificate IV in Operating Theatre Technical Support
  • HLT47715 - Certificate IV in Medical Practice Assisting
  • HLT47815 - Certificate IV in Optical Dispensing
  • HLT50612 - Diploma of Paramedical Science (Anaesthesia)
  • HLT51307 - Diploma of Hearing Device Prescription and Evaluation
  • HLT52007 - Diploma of Practice Management
  • HLT52012 - Diploma of Practice Management
  • HLT57415 - Diploma of Audiometry
  • HLT57715 - Diploma of Practice Management
  • HLT57915 - Diploma of Anaesthetic Technology

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 program enrolments
  • 2014, 2015, 2016 subject enrolments
  • 2014, 2015, 2016 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 2016 commencements
  • 2010 to 2016 completions 
  • 2016 apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2016 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.

Priority skills data have been extracted from the Technician Support Services Industry Reference Committee’s 2017 Skills Forecast.

Burning Glass Technologies: Labor insight – real-time labor market information tool <http://www.burning-glass.com> 2017.

  • Job advertisements from all of Australia from January 2014 to August 2017 are included in the analysis.
  • Skills data has also been extracted from the Burning Glass Labor Insights job vacancy data tool. Data shown is the proportion of job advertisements which request generic skills for:
    • 3112 Medical Technicians
    • 1342 Health and Welfare Services Managers
    • 5122 Practice Managers.
Updated: 05 Oct 2018
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