While not a stand-alone industry, sustainable business practices are becoming increasingly common place across most industries. Sustainable business practices are beneficial to business and the environment through the adoption of lean and agile processes, and sustainable environmental practices. Sustainability aims to improve productivity and efficiency through embedding sustainable operations, environmental monitoring and technology and competitive systems and practices.

In the private sector, most technicians and paraprofessionals are employed by large companies associated with environmental consultancies, manufacturing, mining and major infrastructure projects. In the public sector, the emphasis of work is more about sustainable management of natural resources, compliance and community education.

What does this industry cover?

  • Competitive systems and practices
  • Sustainable operations
  • Environmental monitoring and technology.

Industry Information

According to IBISWorld, the Environmental Science Services industry sector (which covers many more occupations outside of Sustainability) is currently employing 35,400 people and is predicted to grow to 39,037 by the year 2021.

Over half of the businesses operating in this sector are located in NSW and VIC, with another 40% in the mining states of WA and QLD.

Traineeship and apprenticeship commencements in this industry are good, especially in WA and VIC.

Employment and wage data for this industry

Apprenticeships Employment Size

This is a small to medium industry for Australian Apprenticeship commencements. In the year to September 2019, commencements were: 587

Source: VOCSTATS, extracted on 14/04/2020. AATIS analysis.

Commencements Change

Commencements in the year to September 2019 in this industry have decreased, compared with the previous year.

Source: VOCSTATS, extracted on 14/04/2020. AATIS analysis.

Apprentice Employment Outcomes

For Australian Apprentice graduates from this industry, employment outcomes are high.

Source: NCVER National Student Outcomes Survey, 2017, unpublished. AATIS analysis.

Industry Employment Size

This is a small to medium sized industry compared with other Australian industries.

Source: Department of Education, Skills and Employment, 2019. AATIS analysis.

Industry Employment Change

Over the past 5 years, change in employment in this industry has increased.

Source: Department of Education, Skills and Employment, 2019. AATIS analysis.

Industry Wage

The average wage of all employees in this industry is medium to high.

Source: Department of Education, Skills and Employment, 2019. AATIS analysis.

Key Occupations

Manufacturing Operator (Competitive Systems and Practices)

Team Leader - Manufacturing

This industry is positioned in the following groups


Manufacturing & Production

Work Type

Analytic & Scientific

Ready to see where Sustainability can take you?

Career Pathways

The Sustainability Industry has career pathways from Certificate II through to Diploma. Look at the Job Pathway Chart to see what is of interest.

Job Pathway Charts

MyGain - YouTube Channel

Watch videos on apprentices in various industries and their rewarding experiences doing an apprenticeship.


Support Services

Further Research


Industry information is published by peak level associations, government and major employers.  Accessing industry association sites, including member lists, is a good way of building up an understanding of an industry.  Visiting employer websites and looking for careers or employment menus helps identify how employers recruit and the skills they are recruiting.

Use Google to search for the associations and organisations listed below. 


  • Sustainable Business Australia
  • Sustainability Victoria
  • Greening Australia
  • Department of Industry, Innovation and Science
  • Geoscience Australia

Careers Sites