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Overview

This page provides information and data on the Civil Infrastructure sector, which is one component of the Mining, Drilling and Civil Infrastructure industry.

The Civil Infrastructure sector incorporates all civic and industrial infrastructure works (excluding the erection of buildings).  Activities include road construction, plant operation, pipeline construction, trenchless technology, bridge construction, rail construction and tunnelling.  Large state and federal government infrastructure programs have increased public investment in civil infrastructure programs from $448 million to $575 million in 2015.  The sector is made up of smaller sized private construction businesses and larger scale organisations engaged in bigger more complex infrastructure projects.

Vocational education and training (VET) is required for a range of Civil Infrastructure sector related occupations such as:

  • Earthmoving Plant Operators
  • Paving and Surfacing Labourers
  • Building and Plumbing Labourers.

Nationally recognised training for Civil Infrastructure is delivered under the RII - Resources and Infrastructure Industry Training Package

For more information on Coal Mining, Extractive Industries, Metalliferous Mining, and Drilling sectors, please visit the respective pages.  For information and data on training qualifications that apply to multiple sectors within the Mining, Drilling and Civil Infrastructure industry please visit the Resources and Infrastructure Cross Sector page.

Information sourced from the Mining, Drilling and Civil Infrastructure Industry Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work.

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

IRC and Skills Forecasts

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

Overall the employment level in the Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction industry has risen over the period of 2000 until 2017 despite some fluctuations related to industry cycles. The employment level is projected to rise slightly further over the next 5 years.

The occupation of Earth Moving Plant Operators makes up nearly 6% of the industry workforce. The employment level in this occupation is projected to decrease very slightly over the next 5 years.

Training trends

Training snapshot

There were approximately 44,500 enrolments in Civil Infrastructure related qualifications during 2016 and just under 7,000 completions. Enrolments and completions have decreased between 2014 and 2016. The large majority of the training is at the certificate III level. Earthmoving Plant Operators is the main intended occupation for the training.

During 2016 over 80% of the qualifications were delivered by private training providers with TAFE institutes making up the majority of the remaining portion. Approximately 80% of the training was government funded. Over a third of students enrolled were from Queensland and just under a quarter came from Victoria.

In 2016 there were approximately 3,500 apprenticeship commencements and 2,000 apprenticeship completions. Commencements and completions declined sharply between 2015 and 2016. As at December 2016 over 50% of training was in Queensland. A large proportion of apprentices were training towards the occupation of Earthmoving Plant Operators.

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,, technical capability including production skills and plant operation, foundation skills / language, literacy and numeracy, information technology and technological change, workplace safety and compliance, leadership and management,, Title: Top generic skills,, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (stem). Technology, language, literacy and numeracy (LLN), learning agility / information literacy / intellectual autonomy and self-management, managerial / leadership,, Infographic title: Skills and occupations in demand: job vacancies,, Title: Top 5 generic skills in demand,, communication skills, organisational skills, planning, problem solving, time management,, Title: Top 5 occupations in demand,, architectural, building and surveying technicians, building and plumbing laborers, other building and engineering technicians, earthmoving plant operators, carpenters and joiners,, Title: Top 5 locations,, New South Wales, Western Australia, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia,, Title: Top employers,, Thiess, Visionstream, Georgiou Group, John Holland,, Infographic source, Priority skills source: Mining, Drilling and Civil Infrastructure Industry Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work 2017, Job vacancy occupations in demand source: Burning Glass Technologies’ Labor Insight Real Time Labor Market Information tool

Industry insights on skills needs

Mining, Drilling and Civil Infrastructure Industry Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work the top priority skills in the Civil Infrastructure sector are:

  • technical capability including production skills and plant operation
  • foundation skills/Language, literacy and numeracy
  • information technology and technological change
  • workplace safety and compliance
  • leadership and management.

According to the job vacancy data, the top requested skills by employers were communication, and planning and organisation skills. The most advertised occupations in the Civil Infrastructure sector were Architectural, Building and Surveying Technicians followed by Building and Plumbing Labourers.  Top locations for job advertisements were New South Wales and Western Australia.

The Mining, Drilling and Civil Infrastructure Industry Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work identifies a number of key issues affecting job demand and skills needs within the Civil Infrastructure sector:

  • Continuing state and federal government investment in infrastructure is expected to drive labour demand in the sector over the next five years
  • The rapid emergence of digital technology in the sector is expected to increase demand for digital designers and data interpreters.  For example Building Information Modelling technology allows stakeholders to view a digital representation of a project from planning though to construction and operation.  The continuing uptake of new technologies will require the sector workforce to be skilled in digital design and data interpretation.

For insights on the broader Resources and Infrastructure industry, please visit Mining, Drilling and Civil Infrastructure.

Links and resources

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment, 2017, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal website:

  • employment projections to May 2022, by ANZSIC 3 digit industry:
    • 310 Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction.
  • by ANZSCO, selected 4 digit occupations, employment projections to May 2022:
    • 7212 Earthmoving Plant Operators
    • 8215 Paving and Surfacing Labourers
    • 8211 Building and Plumbing Labourers
    • 3121 Architectural, Building and Surveying Technicians
    • 3223 Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers
    • 3232 Metal Fitters and Machinists.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, Employed persons by industry group of main job (ANZSIC), sex, state and territory, November 1984 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 – EQ06, viewed 1 September 2017 <http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6291.0.55.003May%202017?OpenDocument>.

  • Employed total, 2000 to 2017, May Quarter, by ANZSIC 3 digit industry:
    • 310 Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, 2016 Census – employment, income and unpaid work, TableBuilder. Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data.

  • Employment level by:
    • 310 Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction
    • 4 digit level occupations to identify the relevant VET-related occupations in the industry as a proportion of the total workforce.                                                                                                                                               

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection and Total VET Students and Courses from the following training package or qualifications:

  • RII - Resources and Infrastructure Industry Training Package
    • RII20709 - Certificate II in Civil Construction
    • RII20712 - Certificate II in Civil Construction
    • RII20713 - Certificate II in Civil Construction
    • RII20715 - Certificate II in Civil Construction
    • RII20809 - Certificate II in Bituminous Surfacing
    • RII20813 - Certificate II in Bituminous Surfacing
    • RII30809 - Certificate III in Civil Construction Plant Operations
    • RII30813 - Certificate III in Civil Construction Plant Operations
    • RII30815 - Certificate III in Civil Construction Plant Operations
    • RII30909 - Certificate III in Civil Construction
    • RII30912 - Certificate III in Civil Construction
    • RII30913 - Certificate III in Civil Construction
    • RII30915 - Certificate III in Civil Construction
    • RII31009 - Certificate III in Bituminous Surfacing
    • RII31109 - Certificate III in Bridge Construction and Maintenance
    • RII31209 - Certificate III in Civil Foundations
    • RII31213 - Certificate III in Civil Foundations
    • RII31309 - Certificate III in Pipe Laying
    • RII31409 - Certificate III in Road Construction and Maintenance
    • RII40609 - Certificate IV in Civil Construction Operations
    • RII40613 - Certificate IV in Civil Construction Operations
    • RII40615 - Certificate IV in Civil Construction Operations
    • RII40709 - Certificate IV in Civil Construction Supervision
    • RII40712 - Certificate IV in Civil Construction Supervision
    • RII40713 - Certificate IV in Civil Construction Supervision
    • RII40715 - Certificate IV in Civil Construction Supervision
    • RII40809 - Certificate IV in Civil Construction Design
    • RII40813 - Certificate IV in Civil Construction Design
    • RII40815 - Certificate IV in Civil Construction Design
    • RII50409 - Diploma of Civil Construction Management
    • RII50413 - Diploma of Civil Construction Management
    • RII50415 - Diploma of Civil Construction Management
    • RII50509 - Diploma of Civil Construction Design
    • RII50513 - Diploma of Civil Construction Design
    • RII50515 - Diploma of Civil Construction Design
    • RII60509 - Advanced Diploma of Civil Construction Design
    • RII60513 - Advanced Diploma of Civil Construction Design
    • RII60515 - Advanced Diploma of Civil Construction Design
    • RII60609 - Advanced Diploma of Civil Construction
    • RII60613 - Advanced Diploma of Civil Construction
    • RII60615 - Advanced Diploma of Civil Construction
    • RII31215 - Certificate III in Civil Foundations
    • RII31509 - Certificate III in Road Marking
    • RII32109 - Certificate III in Timber Bridge Construction and Maintenance
    • RII40106 - Certificate IV in Civil Construction Operations
    • RII40206 - Certificate IV in Civil Construction Supervision
    • RII40306 - Certificate IV in Civil Construction Design
    • RII50106 - Diploma of Civil Construction Management
    • RII50206 - Diploma of Civil Construction Design
  • BCC - Civil Construction Industry Training Package
    • BCC20198 - Certificate II in Civil Construction
    • BCC30107 - Certificate III in Civil Construction
    • BCC30603 - Certificate III in Civil Construction (Plant Operations)
    • BCC30607 - Certificate III in Civil Construction (Plant Operations)
    • BCC10198 - Certificate I in Construction
    • BCC20103 - Certificate II in Civil Construction
    • BCC20107 - Certificate II in Civil Construction
    • BCC20203 - Certificate II in Civil Construction (Bituminous Surfacing)
    • BCC20207 - Certificate II in Civil Construction (Bituminous Surfacing)
    • BCC30103 - Certificate III in Civil Construction
    • BCC30198 - Certificate III in Civil Construction (Plant)
    • BCC30203 - Certificate III in Civil Construction (Bituminous Surfacing)
    • BCC30207 - Certificate III in Civil Construction (Bituminous Surfacing)
    • BCC30298 - Certificate III in Civil Construction (Road Construction & Maintenance)
    • BCC30303 - Certificate III in Civil Construction (Bridge Construction and Maintenance)
    • BCC30307 - Certificate III in Civil Construction (Bridge Construction and Maintenance)
    • BCC30398 - Certificate III in Civil Construction (Tunnel Construction)
    • BCC30403 - Certificate III in Civil Construction (Foundation Work)
    • BCC30407 - Certificate III in Civil Construction (Foundation Work)
    • BCC30498 - Certificate III in Civil Construction (Bridge/Marine Construction)
    • BCC30503 - Certificate III in Civil Construction (Pipe Laying)
    • BCC30507 - Certificate III in Civil Construction (Pipe Laying)
    • BCC30598 - Certificate III in Civil Construction (Foundation Work - Anchors/Piling)
    • BCC30698 - Certificate III in Civil Construction (Railway Construction & Maintenance)
    • BCC30703 - Certificate III in Civil Construction (Road Construction and Maintenance)
    • BCC30707 - Certificate III in Civil Construction (Road Construction and Maintenance)
    • BCC30798 - Certificate III in Civil Construction (Pipelaying)
    • BCC30801 - Certificate III in Civil Construction (Road Marking)
    • BCC30803 - Certificate III in Civil Construction (Road Marking)
    • BCC30807 - Certificate III in Civil Construction (Road Marking)
    • BCC30903 - Certificate III in Civil Construction (Trenchless Technology)
    • BCC30907 - Certificate III in Civil Construction (Trenchless Technology)
    • BCC31003 - Certificate III in Civil Construction (Tunnel Construction)
    • BCC31007 - Certificate III in Civil Construction (Tunnel Construction)
    • BCC31105 - Certificate III in Civil Construction (Timber Bridge Construction and Maintenance)
    • BCC31107 - Certificate III in Civil Construction (Timber Bridge Construction and Maintenance).

      Superseded qualifications and training packages are grouped with current training products.

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%.

RII Resources and Infrastructure Industry 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 Mining, Drilling and Civil Infrastructure Industry Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work.

Burning Glass Technologies: Labour Insight – real-time labour 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. Data shown is the top five advertised VET-related occupations (1–6 digit level Technicians and Trades Workers, Labourers and Machinery Operators and Drivers) in the Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction sector and the top five locations and employers according to job advertisements
  • Skills data has also been extracted from the Burning Glass Labour Insights job vacancy data tool.  Data shown is the proportion of job advertisements which request generic skills for VET-related occupations (1–6 digit level Technicians and Trades Workers, Labourers and Machinery Operators and Drivers) in the Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction sector.
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