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Construction Roles in Huge Demand Across the Country

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Despite Australian Bureau of Statistics reports of a Construction decline of around 0.7 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016, the Australian Construction market remains active in most States and Territories, with different trends in each, and soaring demands for particular skills becoming apparent in each region.

This week Hays Recruitment released its Quarterly Report into Construction Recruitment, highlighting trends by state and territory between April and June this year, as well as the most sought after roles.


High Rise residential and mixed use commercial projects remain the focus in the nation’s capital, with the civil market remaining buoyant and land releases progressing ahead of road projects which are currently commencing. The result is a recruitment drive by civil contractors, where some roles appear to be high in demand but short in supply: 

  • Contract Administrators with commercial experience in the construction sector
  • Site Managers with multi-story residential experience
  • Civil Forepersons with subdivision experience to assist civil contractors who have won projects with the ACT Government
  • Civil Supervisors with utilities, rail or large road projects are being sought by civil contractors


There is continued and sustained demand for experienced construction professionals across all sectors of the industry, with competition so strong that companies are willing to hire the best without having specific projects to start them on. Some are even offering sign-on bonuses and counter offers, giving experienced professionals the opportunity to achieve salary increases or even opt out of the permanent market completely, in favour of short term lucrative contracts, with increased project exposure. A great time for: 

  • Site Managers with residential and commercial construction experience dues to large number of residential projects across the state
  • Contract Administrators in building and construction––especially qualified ones across all sectors of the market
  • Sales and Production Estimators are required to keep up with the high demand for project homes
  • Project Managers across commercial and residential construction
  • Building Engineers and Building Services Engineers are sought across regional NSW to work on a large number of complex construction projects due over the next year


Queensland’s project home market (specifically around Brisbane) remains strong, with an additional 220,000 homes scheduled to be completed in the outer suburbs by 2027, which will be achieved through subdividing council property and park land.

The commercial market is strong with some defence projects already underway, and though subdued, the civil market is showing signs of improvement. 

The jobs most in demand are:  

  • Estimators to work with residential project home builders
  • Supervisors to work on residential projects
  • Site Managers with Defence experience, especially those used to high security clearances
  • Qualified Contract Administrators in the commercial sector. Employers did not take on CA cadets in the downturn, and as such now have serious shortages of qualified  Administrators


South Australia’s commercial construction market is building momentum as several projects commence, creating a demand for experienced civil delivery specialists. There are also five major infrastructure projects underway, and South Australia is experiencing shortages in suitable candidates following a defection to the Eastern States during their boom period. The recent storms have also created demand for roles in the building insurance sector.

As a result there are several in-demand roles across the state:

  • Estimators across civil, commercial and residential construction are needed, with Sales Estimators in huge demand in the residential market
  • Commercial Site Managers are required for a number of new projects commencing this quarter
  • Civil Project Engineers for major infrastructure projects, especially after the defection of many to the eastern states
  • Senior Contracts Administrators are required across a huge number of new projects
  • Site Supervisors for new build and maintenance and repair for insurance repair builders


Victoria’s construction market remains strong across all sectors, especially in Melbourne, which is undertaking numerous projects in infrastructure and commercial construction, including the Sky Rail project.  

The residential and apartment market is currently still strong though there are predictions this may slow in the next couple of years.

In the commercial space, education, healthcare and aged care are extremely strong at the moment. 

The big opportunities in Victoria are: 

  • Site Managers with high-rise experience in the residential and apartment sector
  • Contract  Administrators for large-scale inner city developments
  • Entry Level Contract Administrators for fit-outs and refurbishment
  • Site Managers with retail or education experience
  • Project Managers for aged care and health care projects


In the Northern Territory, priority has been placed on defence with a focus on upgrades to existing facilities. Infrastructure projects are also underway.

Key roles required include:

  • Project Managers for defence projects
  • Civil Project Engineers for infrastructure projects
  • Contract Administrators for infrastructure


Western Australia continues to focus on large publicly funded infrastructure projects, especially in roads and rail. There are also a number of temporary assignments for highly skilled construction professionals to work on delivery and project control across a range of projects. The main opportunities are:  

  • Civil Estimators for small to medium sized businesses
  • Civil Supervisors in the land development industry
  • OHW Engineers for the construction of a large electrified rail network

The report does not cover Tasmania.             


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