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Graduate Jobs in Northern Territory (NT)
Find the best Graduate Jobs in Northern Territory (NT)
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Graduate Jobs in Northern Territory (NT) overview
Living in the Northern Territory
The Northern Territory offers unique career and lifestyle opportunities for university graduates searching for their first graduate job. The Northern Territory provides a large number of job opportunities in the construction, mining, public administration, healthcare and education sectors.
The Northern Territory's mining sector is driven by the production of minerals, energy and petroleum, and it contributes roughly $2.5 billion to the state's gross state product, employing more than 4,600 people. The highest average graduate starting salary of any state is found in the Northern Territory. That being said, the remote locations of major centres in the Northern Territory can mean that the cost of living is higher than in other states and territories.
The Northern Territory has gained an undeserved reputation for issues around job availability and unemployment, however, the Northern Territory actually offers the third highest rate of employment in the country. Part of the reason behind the availability of jobs is the thriving mining and tourism industries.
Graduates are in demand for management positions in businesses involved within the mining industry, with the likes of Glencore regularly offering graduate development programs. The Northern Territory may be remote, but it offers beautiful surroundings and some of the highest levels of graduate job satisfaction in Australia.
Graduate jobs in the Northern Territory
The Northern Territory is host to 1.1% of all employment opportunities, who earn 1.2% of all national income. This area has the fewest jobs in Australia, although that is balanced by the lower population numbers. 6,022 businesses are located in the Northern Territory, which is just over half the number of employment opportunities found in the next lowest state, ACT.
Figure 1: Number of employing businesses in the Northern Territory (NT) vs other states/territories
The top employing industries in the Northern Territory are public administration, health care and construction. The construction and public administration industries tend to be less prominent in other states and territories, so graduates pursuing a career in one of these industries would benefit from considering the Northern Territory. Telecommunications, financial services and agriculture contribute fewer employment opportunities in the Northern Territory.
Figure 2: Per cent of total employment per industry in the Northern Territory (NT)
What is the job market outlook for graduate jobs in the Northern Territory?
The Northern Territory has a fairly impressive rate of employment for university graduates: 80% of bachelor-level graduates in the Northern Territory who are available for work, are in full-time employment, with a further 8% working in part-time or casual jobs. 12% of graduates seeking employment in the Territory are not working.
Figure 3: Employment status of graduates with a bachelor degree in the Northern Territory (NT)
Figure 4: Northern Territory annual growth rates vs other states/territories
The Northern Territory’s growth rate is slightly below the national average. The five-year outlook for the area is around 7.4%, which is just below the national average of 8.3%. Still, the Northern Territory has the fourth highest growth rate when compared to the other states and territories, with only New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland having a higher forecasted growth rate over the next five years.
Figure 5: Annual growth rate across industries in the Northern Territory (NT)
Growing industries with the highest growth rates in the Northern Territory include public administration and safety, construction, health care and social assistance. Accommodation and food services, administration, education and training also offer promising job opportunities in the Northern Territory. The mining and manufacturing industries are in decline, whilst the wholesale trade, information media and telecommunications industries are growing at a slower rate.
Graduate unemployment rates in the Northern Territory
Figure 6: Unemployment rates in the Northern Territory (NT) vs other states in Australia
Going against public assumptions about unemployment in the Northern Territory, the area actually has the lowest rate of unemployment in the country, for both young people and for the general working population. The rate of unemployment of people over the age of 15 in the Northern Territory sits at only 3.2%, well below the national average of 5.6%. Youth unemployment is even further below the national average – at 7.9%, the Northern Territory has far better results than the national average of 12.9% for youth unemployment.
Figure 7: Graduate unemployment rates in the Northern Territory (NT) vs other states/territories in Australia
For graduate jobs, the numbers tell a slightly different story. Graduate unemployment in the Northern Territory is at 12.2%, which is higher than the national average of 11.3%. In fact, the Northern Territory has the third highest rate of graduate unemployment around Australia.
What are the typical roles for graduates in the Northern Territory?
Figure 8: Per cent of total employment by occupation in the Northern Territory (NT)
As a percentage of jobs in the Northern Territory, the Northern Territory employs a large percentage of professionals, technicians, trades workers, clerical and administrative workers. Sales workers, machinery operators, drivers, labourers, community and personal service workers make up a smaller proportion of the workforce in the Northern Territory. The percentage of full-time professionals in the Northern Territory is the lowest in the country, with 13.8% of full-time jobs in a professional field.
Figure 9: Percentage of full-time employees working as professionals in the Northern Territory (NT)
The public sector provides a number of job opportunities for graduates, including The Northern Territory Public Sector (NTPS) Graduate Development Program, which is open to undergraduates in a range of disciplines and promises a starting salary of up to $64,405 per annum. Public sector graduate jobs in the Northern Territory are also offered in the healthcare, tourism and teaching sectors. Among a number of graduate employers in the Northern Territory are AECOM, Aurecon, Deloitte, John Holland and Rio Tinto. For a full list of employers who hire graduates in the Northern Territory, visit GradAustralia’s employer page.
GradAustralia surveyed graduates around Australia, and found that the five jobs in the Northern Territory are:
- ICT engineer
- Mining engineer
- Professional officer
- Project manager
What salary should I expect for a graduate job in the Northern Territory?
Median and mean employee income in the Northern Territory
Figure 10: Median and mean employee income in the Northern Territory (NT) and other locations
The median employment income in the Northern Territory is $54,708, which is the second highest in Australia – only outstripped by the ACT, which offers a greater concentration of high-paid positions than most other states and territories. The mean employee income in the Northern Territory sits at $62,219, which is the third highest mean income out of any state or territory in Australia.
Median graduate starting salaries
Figure 11: The Northern Territory (NT) median graduate starting salary vs other states/territories
The outlook for graduate starting salaries in the Northern Territory is even brighter, with the median starting salary for graduates sitting at $59,500. The median graduate starting salary is highest in the country by $1,500, $5,000 higher than the national median salary for graduates. Graduates who secure a job in the sciences have an average starting salary of $68,000, while those with engineering, maths, IT and computer science degrees start on an average salary of $71,750.
What working hours should I expect in the Northern Territory?
Figure 12: Average graduate work hours in the Northern Territory (NT) vs other states/territories
Higher salaries for graduates in the Northern Territory are accompanied by a longer average work week. The average work week in the region is the highest in the country, almost 10 hours longer than a graduate who secures a graduate job in Tasmania. While 80% of respondents said they worked 30-50 hours a week, a significant percentage of those surveyed said their work week was between 80-90 hours a week. Graduates seeking a position in the Northern Territory would be wise to inquire about the work hours expected at their potential place of employment and to consider if the hours for their preferred job would work for their lifestyle.
Figure 13: Average work hours for graduates in the Northern Territory (NT)
Job satisfaction for graduates in the Northern Territory
Figure 14: Average job satisfaction score in the Northern Territory (NT) vs other states/territories
Long hours notwithstanding, graduates in the Northern Territory have the greatest job satisfaction out of any state in Australia. The national average job satisfaction score was 8.5, but respondents in the Northern Territory rated their own satisfaction with their position at an average of 8.8. As the capital city of the Northern Territory, Darwin also regularly scores highly for job satisfaction.
Figure 15: Average diversity score in the Northern Territory (NT) vs other states/territories
In GradAustralia’s survey of Australian-based graduates, the Northern Territory received the second highest average diversity score in Australia. Darwin, in particular, is very diverse, hosting individuals from many different countries, ethnic groups and all walks of life. This diversity is reflected in the workplace, with the Northern Territory having a higher diversity rating than the national average.
Figure 16: Male and female participation rates by industry in the Northern Territory (NT)
The average female participation rate in the Northern Territory sits around 40%. Industries with higher female participation rates include healthcare, education and training, financial and insurance services. Male-dominated industries include construction, mining, manufacturing, transport, postal and warehousing.
The average graduate starting salary for a male with a bachelor degree in the Northern Territory is $60,200 per year. For females, that number drops to $59,000. These starting salaries are among the highest in the country on average, but there is a disparity in how much males and females can expect to receive once they secure their first graduate position.
Figure 17: Median graduate starting salary for males and females in the Northern Territory (NT) vs other states/territories
Where to find graduate jobs in the Northern Territory
The most sought-after employers in the Northern Territory include:
- BAE Systems
To find graduate jobs in the Northern Territory and throughout Australia, keep an eye on job listings on the GradAustralia website and consider signing up for updates for the latest graduate programs, internships and career advice.
In addition to checking the GradAustralia website, consider attending a graduate careers fair, which will allow you to connect with employers who offer graduate programs. Charles Darwin University offers a career fair in association with the Northern Territory government.
Many employers also offer ‘entry-level’ jobs that are not specifically advertised as ‘graduate’ jobs. Keep an eye out for these on job boards such as SEEK.
Other options for recent graduates in the Northern Territory
If you're set on moving to the Northern Territory but still not sure what you want to do, or if you haven't had any luck locking down a graduate job, you might want to consider:
- Internship opportunities as a stepping stone to a graduate job, or
- Postgraduate study options to further upskill.
If you’re not sure if the Northern Territory is the right place to find a graduate job, for an idea of what it’s like to live in the Northern Territory, check our moving guide to Darwin.