24 Careers in STEM

Updated 11 February 2023

Careers with STEM disciplines are challenging and diverse. The wide variety of STEM careers can ensure there's at least one to suit your interests and skills. If you are a critical thinker with a passion for problem-solving, you may be well-suited to a career in STEM. In this article, we define STEM, ask why pursue a career in STEM and list 24 different jobs in STEM, and their average salaries and most common duties.

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What is a STEM career?

A STEM career is a career in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. Some STEM jobs incorporate several of these disciplines. People with STEM jobs apply their knowledge to solve problems and improve our knowledge of the way the world works.

Why pursue careers in STEM?

STEM careers drive society forward, helping people understand more about the world and be more efficient, sustainable and creative. Many people pursue careers in STEM because they want to be at the forefront of these changes. STEM careers also offer:

  • High salaries: STEM careers usually attract salaries well above the national average of $62,549.

  • Low unemployment: People qualified for a STEM career often find gaining employment easy and are unlikely to face redundancy due to automation of their roles.

  • Promotional opportunities: People in STEM roles often have opportunities for additional training and advancement.

  • Strong growth potential: All areas of STEM have experienced rapid recent growth which may continue in the future.

Related: 22 Jobs That Pay Well

What jobs are in the STEM field?

Jobs in the STEM field are jobs using knowledge of STEM subjects to problem solve, develop new ideas and conduct research. These jobs include:

  • Science jobs: People with science jobs conduct experiments and research to solve the world's problems and improve our knowledge. Science jobs can be in any scientific field, including biology, physics, psychology and chemistry.

  • Technology jobs: People with technology jobs use modern innovations, including computers and robotics, to create innovative solutions.

  • Engineering jobs: Engineering jobs use technical knowledge and creativity to solve real-world problems. People with engineering jobs are usually engineers with specialty areas, such as environmental engineering or chemical engineering.

  • Mathematics jobs: People with mathematics jobs apply reasoning and mathematical principles, such as calculus and statistics, to solve problems.


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What are the best STEM careers?

The best STEM jobs offer meaningful work that helps people feel like they're making a difference. People with the best STEM careers also enjoy a great work-life balance. Some of the best STEM careers are:

1. Environmental engineer

National average salary: $71,288 per year

Primary duties: An environmental engineer develops solutions to environmental challenges, such as pollution, human waste and public health. They can work on a wide range of projects, such as containing hazardous waste and designing a wind turbine network.

Related: 12 Key Engineer Skills for Your Resume

2. Software engineer

National average salary: $94,551 per year

Primary duties: A software engineer designs and develops computer programs and apps to meet clients' needs. Software engineers create a range of programs including computer games, record-keeping software and multimedia players.

3. Biologist

National average salary: $94,381 per year

Primary duties: A biologist studies plants and animals to help society learn more about them and to minimise human impact on their habitats and population. Biologists usually focus on a particular type of biology, such as marine biologists who study plants and animals that live in the water.

Read more: What Does a Biologist Do? (Including FAQs)

4. Statistician

National average salary: $100,604 per year

Primary duties: A statistician gathers and interprets numerical data. Their findings reveal trends and help people make predictions in their specialty areas, such as economics or agriculture.

Related: How To Become a Statistician in 5 Steps (Plus Skills and Salary)

5. Aeronautical engineer

National average salary: $101,179 per year

Primary duties: An aeronautical engineer designs, constructs and tests aircraft, including aeroplanes, helicopters, rockets and drones. They also maintain these aircraft to ensure they operate reliably.

6. Archaeologist

National average salary: $101,276 per year

Primary duties: An archaeologist excavates historic sites and collects artefacts and archaeological remains, including bones and fossils. They analyse their findings to determine what they reveal about the past.

7. Robotics engineer

National average salary: $107,513 per year

Primary duties: A robotics engineer designs and constructs robots or robotic systems. Their robots can perform tasks more efficiently and safely than human employees and existing technology.

Related: What Does a Robotics Engineer Do? (And How To Become One)

8. Nurse practitioner

National average salary: $122,278 per year

Primary duties: A nurse practitioner monitors patient health and provides support and advice to patients and their families. They also undertake many tasks performed by doctors, including prescribing medication and ordering and assessing lab tests.

Related: Nursing Skills (Definition and Examples)

What are the highest paying STEM jobs?

When you choose STEM careers, Australia pay rates are usually very high. However, you can enjoy some of the highest pay rates if you choose one of the following jobs:

1 . Energy manager

National average salary: $126,980 per year

Primary duties: An energy manager plans and assesses energy systems to ensure they are efficient and sustainable. They may design energy systems for new buildings or redesign and retrofit older building systems to reduce costs and improve efficiency.

2. Financial management specialist

National average salary: $117,910 per year

Primary duties: Financial management specialists help clients manage their money better. Duties vary between roles but may include identifying investment options, creating financial reports and recommending cash management strategies.

3. Petroleum engineer

National average salary: $126,688 per year

Primary duties: A petroleum engineer plans and supervises the extraction of gas and oil from petroleum reservoirs. They make sure drilling occurs safely and complies with environmental policies.

Related: 10 Highest Paying Engineering Jobs

4. Construction manager

National average salary: $153,044 per year

Primary duties: A construction manager plans and supervises construction projects. They regularly meet with clients, architects and contractors to make sure they share the same vision for their projects.

5. Cybersecurity consultant

National average salary: $169,033 per year

Primary duties: A cybersecurity consultant keeps business data and IT systems safe from cyberthreats. They assess existing cybersecurity systems, identify threats and recommend how businesses can improve their safety measures.

6. Anaesthetist

National average salary: $185,482 per year

Primary duties: An anaesthetist gives patients anaesthesia to reduce pain or induce sleep during surgery. They monitor patients during procedures and make sure they stay safe and comfortable.

7. General practitioner

National average salary: $219,052 per year

Primary duties: A general practitioner helps patients manage acute and chronic health conditions. They diagnose conditions and devise treatment plans, including prescribing medication. They also perform routine medical procedures including physical exams and vaccinations.

8. IT architect

National average salary: $248,335 per year

Primary duties: An IT architect designs IT systems for businesses and manages them so they operate efficiently, reliably and securely. They monitor their systems and adjust them over time to ensure they meet business goals.

Related: 11 IT Careers to Consider With Salaries and Primary Duties

What STEM jobs are in demand?

The following STEM jobs are in demand, as they show excellent growth and have many vacant positions:

1. Auditor

National average salary: $68,150 per year

Primary duties: An auditor reviews the financial records of companies to make sure they are legal and accurate. They make sure companies comply with tax regulations and pay any tax owing.

2. Web developer

National average salary: $79,889 per year

Primary duties: A web developer creates functional websites from client briefs and design plans. Some website developers specialise in front-end development, involving the parts of the website users interact with. Others focus on back-end development, involving the functional processes that work in the background. Full-stack development do both front-end and back-end development.

3. Physiotherapist

National average salary: $80,678 per year

Primary duties: A physiotherapist assesses and treats clients with health conditions limiting their mobility, including stroke, disabilities and sports injuries. They prescribe mobility aids, supervise exercises and offer lifestyle advice to help their clients improve their mobility.

4. Network administrator

National average salary: $84,607 per year

Primary duties: A network administrator installs, configures and maintains computer networks. If issues arise with the network, the administrator resolves them to minimise disruption for users.

5. Solar installer

National average salary: $88,469 per year

Primary duties: A solar installer installs and maintains solar panels on homes, business buildings and land. They make sure the wiring and connections are effective and safe.

6. Data analyst

National average salary: $91,087 per year

Primary duties: A data analyst gathers, organises and assesses data to draw meaningful conclusions. They share their conclusions with their employer or clients to help them make smart business decisions.

7. Civil engineer

National average salary: $105,454 per year

Primary duties: A civil engineer develops and oversees civil engineering projects, including roads, bridges, sewerage systems and dams. They consider factors like the impact on the ground and the durability and cost of materials for successful projects.

8. Cloud engineer

National average salary: $122,241 per year

Primary duties: A cloud engineer assesses business IT infrastructure and helps them migrate to the cloud. They design and develop cloud-based infrastructure and make sure cloud services are secure and reliable.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing.

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