Defence Industry

The defence industry is made up of the thousands of Australian businesses, men and women across the country who aren’t in the Defence Force but use their expertise, experience and trade skills to supply and support it - they are The Workforce Behind The Defence Force.

A historic $200 billion is being invested by the Australian Government to modernise Australia's defence capability, securing our nation while strengthening our defence industry and creating Australian jobs.

Over the next decade and beyond, the demand will increase for Australian workers with trade, technical and science and technology skills within defence industry. Australian workers will be needed to design, install, build, integrate and maintain our ships, submarines, aircraft, land vehicles, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities and information technology and cyber security, and provide services to support the men and women in the Australian Defence Force.

This is an exciting industry to be involved in, and you’ll be amazed at the career choices available to you.

Contribution to the Australian economy

Defence Industry

Industry Value

$200bn (to 2026)

Government investment

People Employed


People employed in the sector

Business Trading


Businesses trading in the sector

* Statistics sourced from Australian Bureau of Statistics and Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources. For more information, please refer to the Statistics Explained page.

THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO SUCCEED. Real Skills for Real Careers

Sectors & Occupations

Australia’s defence industry will provide increasing and rewarding long-term career opportunities as a number of major Defence projects ramp up over the next decade. New opportunities will exist in the large multi-national companies that win Defence contracts as well as Australian businesses across different regions of Australia that are part of the supply chain. Defence bases and facilities will need to be upgraded and serviced.

If you’re interested in being part of The Workforce Behind the Defence Force and working with the latest high-tech military equipment without joining the ADF, you can get the practical skills you need for many occupations in the industry through ‘real life’ vocational education and training (VET) courses.

Check out a sample of the most popular occupations in each sector. Click on them for more information.

Want to view courses related to this Industry?

Apprenticeships & Traineeships

Australian Apprenticeships (apprenticeships and traineeships) are an important part of VET. Gaining a VET qualification through an Australian Apprenticeship gives you the opportunity to train, study and earn an income at a variety of qualification levels in most occupations. Australian Apprenticeships combine time at work with training, and can be full-time, part-time or school-based.

Search Apprenticeship & Traineeship Courses in this Industry

Career Stories

VET delivers outstanding employment results for its graduates – read and watch the following stories and see for yourself. You will be amazed at the career pathways that a VET qualification can unlock for you in the defence industry. To view case studies related to VET and the Defence industry, please visit

Skills for your Career

My Skills can help you find the right course to ignite your career in the defence industry. You can search for VET courses and compare information such as fees, durations, graduate satisfaction, job prospects and available subsidies.

There are a number of different ways to search for VET courses on My Skills.

Course Search

Search for keywords in course titles, such as ‘welding’ or ‘shipwright’:

Local Providers

Explore Training Providers in your area:

Careers in Demand

A number of skilled occupations applicable to the defence industry are currently in shortage. These jobs are in demand across Australia, so there’s a good chance of ongoing employment when you complete your training. If you want to set yourself up for a rewarding career, check out the following jobs and the VET courses that will give you the practical skills you need to gain employment in them.

Growth Areas

If you’re interested in a career in the defence industry, the following VET courses are worth considering, because they will prepare you for work in areas where employment is expected to grow over the next three years.

Data has been sourced from the Australian Government Department of Defence (Defence Industry Policy Statement and Defence White Paper (2016)), and the RAND Corporation (Australia’s Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise – Preparing for the 21st Century (2015))


With so much information about careers, it’s hard to know where to start or where to look.
Here are a few sites you may find useful once you’ve found the right VET course and training provider on My Skills.