Skilled Occupation List in Australia

Skilled migration is one of the most common ways to obtain Australian permanent residency. Whilst there are a variety of visa types under this program, they all share one thing: skilled occupation list.

What is a skilled occupation list?

The purpose of the skilled occupation list in Australia is to ensure that skilled migration can properly and correctly address the skills shortages within Australia. As the name suggests, it is a list of occupations currently in demand in Australia. This means that it is subject to regular changes, in accordance with the latest Australia labour market data analyzed by National Skills Commission.

There are 3 parts to the skilled occupation list in Australia:

  1.  Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)
  2. Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)
  3. Regional Occupation List (ROL)

These lists contain the following critical information:

  • Name of the occupation and their corresponding ANZSCO code, which defines the qualification, experience required for each occupation, along with the expected tasks and responsibilities associated with this occupation
  • Skills assessing authority for each occupation
  • Caveats for some of the occupation, i.e. additional requirements. For example, caveats for the occupation of Chef says the applicant cannot work in a fast food environment.

Each skilled visa is then assigned with an eligible occupation list. For example:

  • To be eligible for Subclass 189 visa, your occupation must be on the MLTSSL
  • Regional visas usually require an occupation on ROL and/or MLTSSL
  • If your occupation is on STSOL, you may still get permanent residency if you are an eligible Subclass 482 visa holder, or are nominated by a state/territory government agency.

5 Most Popular Skilled Occupation List for Australia

According to the latest SkillSelect data, the top 5 occupations invited for Subclass 189 EOIs are:

  • Registered Nurse 
  • Accountant
  • Engineers
  • ICT
  • Chef

Registered Nurse

Australia has always had a shortage for registered nurses in various disciplines. Since COVID-19, the shortage has severely deteriorated. In September 2020, registered nurses became the very first few MLTSSL occupations to join the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL).

To migrate to and work in Australia as a registered nurse, you must be able to obtain registration from Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). For example, AHPRA registration is a mandatory requirement for Australian Nursing & Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC)’s modified skills assessment.

AHPRA registrations cater for nurses in various circumstances. However, generally speaking, applications for those holding an approved Australian nursing qualification will be more straightforward than overseas qualified nurses. You can find a list of approved programs here.

VEVS Global works very closely with several education providers offering approved nursing programs across Australia, including University of Notre Dame’s 3-year Bachelor of Nursing degree.


After years of rumours suggesting Accountant to be removed from Australia’s skilled occupation list, it is still here and stays as one of the most popular occupations, as well as one of the most popular areas of study.

Applicants needing a skills assessment as an accountant can apply from one of the following:

  • CPA Australia
  • CA Australia and New Zealand
  • IPA

Generally speaking, a positive skills assessment for an accountant requires an eligible university degree that covers the required competency areas for this occupation:

  • Accounting Systems and Processes
  • Business Law
  • Economics
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting
  • Finance and Financial Management
  • Management Accounting
  • Quantitative Methods

CPA Australia, for example, has a list of accredited courses for you to verify. Alternatively, whether you are thinking about studying accounting in Australia, or are considering migration pathways as an accountant, you can always contact us and discuss in detail with our education and migration experts. Lastly, if you are interested in a professional year program with CPA, we are also here to help!


Australia has been famous for providing world-class engineering degrees. On the other hand, COVID-19 has caused a huge shortage for engineers in Australia. Research from Engineers Australia (EA) indicated an increasing vacancy rate of 97% for this industry, which explains its inclusion in the MLTSSL.

To work as a professional engineer in Australia, a university degree is generally required. For migration purposes, skills assessments are conducted by Engineers Australia, which has a dedicated stream for applicants holding an eligible Australian engineering qualification. If you are not sure, VEVS Global can help you choose the most suitable engineering study pathway.

However, if you hold an engineering qualification from overseas, you will be pleased to know that Engineers Australia also accepts qualifications accredited by Washington, Sydney and Dublin Accord. Lastly, it is also possible to obtain a skills assessment via Competency Demonstration Report.


ICT occupations are quite diverse in terms of complexity and qualifications required, and you can find them across MLTSSL, STSOL and ROL. In Australia, ICT qualifications range from certificates and diplomas to post graduate degrees.

For those looking to migrate to Australia as an ICT industry practitioner, your skills assessing authority will be Australia Computer Society (ACS). Unlike the previous few occupations where it is possible to obtain a full skills assessment with only your qualification, ACS requires both a suitable qualification and verifiable relevant work experience for a positive skills assessment.

You should note that ACS is very strict in assessing the subjects you studied, as well as the duties performed during your employment. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you consult with a migration professional like our visa team before starting the process. They will also be able to help you if you are interested in ACS’s professional year program.


Chef is perhaps one of the most popular hospitality occupations for international students, and it is one of the occupations currently in demand in Australia, listed on both MLTSSL and PMSOL. Trade qualifications such as Certificate III/IV in Commercial Cookery and Diploma in Hospitality Management can help you to qualify and work as a chef. VEVS Global works closely with reputable vocational education providers such as Stanley College, to ensure that our clients will get the best possible education in Australia.

In terms of migration pathway, lots of chefs will eventually get employer sponsorship, and it is also possible to apply under the general skilled migration pathway, which involves a skills assessment from either VETASSESS or Trades Recognition Australia (the 1-year Job Ready Program). These pathways cater for very different types of chef applicants, so speak to a migration professional to confirm which one suits you the best, and find out how we can make this process as smooth as possible for you.

As mentioned above, the migration program is constantly evolving. To make sure you are always up-to-date, you can follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin. Our migration agents will also provide insights and updates via Blogs. More importantly, you can always reach out with any questions that you may have.

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If you have any enquiries, don't hesitate to contact one of our seasoned Registered Migration Agents or Qualified Education Agent Counsellors.