The city of prosperity: why SA is the place to be for professional job-seekers

14 March 2024

South Australia's career market remains a dynamic and fertile ground for job seekers across various industries, with plenty of signs of strength in core industries. Learn more about the top six industries recruiting in SA now!

Despite other challenges in the economy, South Australia’s job market has displayed remarkable resilience, with a number of exciting established and emerging industries taking the lead.

In September, through the year seasonally adjusted employment growth was 4.7% for South Australia, compared to 2.9% nationally. Andrew Sullivan, Managing Director at Sullivan Consulting, a prominent South Australian recruiter, observes this trend daily. 

“If we look back to pre-COVID South Australia, there were around 5,000 job openings listed on Seek across all sectors. Presently, that number has more than doubled,” Andrew noted. 

“The South Australian job market remains robust, offering abundant opportunities.”

So for those looking to relocate their potential, here are just some of the key  industries that hold significant promise for job seekers in the New State of Mind over the coming year.



Healthcare has long stood as a cornerstone industry in South Australia, and there are no signs of it slowing down.

Traditional healthcare roles continue to be in high demand, but the ongoing effects of COVID-19 have also opened up opportunities in allied health.

“Mental health, in particular, has seen a surge in demand. We’re actively seeking psychologists, speech pathologists, social workers, and youth workers,” Sullivan remarked. 

“That’s on top of midwifery, doctors, GP, surgeons and physiotherapy, all of which are always in high demand.

“It’s not only one of the fastest-growing sectors in South Australia but also nationally.”



Despite its recent contraction, the construction industry in South Australia remains strong and the demand for skilled tradespeople continues to surge. 

According to Master Builders SA’s projections, by November 2026, an additional 31,149 workers – including 14,685 tradies – will be needed to meet demand. 

Andrew has already witnessed the widening gap between supply and demand for qualified workers.

“Just take a glance at the city skyline to see the number of cranes in operation,” Sullivan emphasised.

“If you talk to apprenticeship training organisations or industry bodies, all of their members are calling out for bricklayers, plasterers, sparkies, plumbers, surveyors… everyone’s in demand.”

Department for Infrastructure and Transport CEO, Jon Whelan said a long list of upcoming government projects was driving the demand for trades. 

 “The South Australian Government is delivering on a significant infrastructure program that includes hospitals, technical colleges, ambulance stations, roads, tunnels, bridges, marine infrastructure and a new aquatic centre,” Jon said.

“The River Torrens to Darlington Project – the critical final stage of the North South Corridor – is now becoming a reality, with major works starting next year. 

“A suite of other transport projects is also underway, including the next stage of the Main South Road duplication between Aldinga to Sellicks Beach and removal of key tram level crossings, plus a number of other projects across the metro and regional areas.

“These projects will support thousands of jobs for local companies, contractors and workers, with the River Torrens to Darlington Project alone to support 5,500 jobs per year during main construction creating a valuable skills legacy for South Australia.”


Accountants and Consulting

In the face of rapidly evolving international markets and local economic challenges, expert advice has never been more valuable. 

Roles such as analysts, change management specialists, policy advisors, recruiters, HR professionals, and accountants are in high demand, particularly those specialising in emerging fields like AI and space.

Executive positions in these industries have been particularly stagnant over the past few years, however, with those who stayed in their executive roles now looking for  new opportunities, Andrew is seeing a big shift in recent months.

“As a recruiter, people weren’t calling us looking for a new CEO or CFO over the past few years – people just sat tight. 

“If I put up an ad today for an executive position, I get an influx of candidates applying for those opportunities.

“This is creating a huge amount of movement in these positions as they open up in quick succession.”

There are substantial opportunities for individuals seeking lower and mid-tier positions, especially those with experience looking to move to South Australia.

“There’s not enough people coming through from university to meet demand and many workplaces want people that have got experience and industry knowledge in their sectors,” Andrew said.

“There are plenty of jobs available for the right person.”


Technology and AI 

South Australia’s move to establish itself as a world leader in AI and data analytics has been evident in the local job market over the past year. 

Notable international companies like Amazon Web Services, Accenture, Google Cloud, Nokia, and Deloitte have established offices alongside innovative start-ups at the Lot Fourteen hub, bringing expertise and creating new job opportunities.

Roles such as business analysts, machine learning engineers, environmental managers, UX designers, data scientists, and market researchers are in high demand, accompanied by competitive salary packages.

“The average Head of Technology has seen a 22% growth from this time last year and application architects had a 14% salary increase,” Andrew said.


Aged care

As Australia’s population ages, and our perceptions of aging evolve, so do demands on the aged care sector. 

With older people living at home for longer than ever before, a new range of community-focused roles has emerged to support clients during this phase of life.

“Older people don’t want to go into nursing homes like their parents went into. They want to live full lives and they want to choose the services they want in order to suit their lifestyle,” Andrew said. 

“We are seeing roles like aged care concierges, which help you navigate the system and pick exactly what services you want, as well as community support workers, home repairs and gardeners, and even holiday planning and support.

“Community aged care work offers so much flexibility as a worker,and the demand for these roles will only continue to grow.”


Opportunities abound

South Australia’s job market remains a dynamic and fertile ground for job seekers across various industries, with plenty of signs of strength in core industries. 

While many industries leading the jobs growth follow national trends, South Australia’s emergence as an AI leader promises new possibilities in the technology and consulting industries for years to come. 

As the economy continues to evolve, opportunities will continue to emerge for those looking to relocate their skills and potential.