Nominate an Occupation

You'll need to nominate an occupation as part of applying for Skills Assessment. Begin by nominating the occupation which is most relevant to your skills and qualifications.

Generally for a Skills Assessment application for ENS, GSM, RSMS and 457 visa purposes, we require a qualification which is at the required educational level in a highly relevant field to the nominated occupation as well as at least one year of highly relevant employment completed at the required skill level within the last five years. In some cases, additional years of highly relevant employment at the required skill level can compensate for lack of relevance of your qualification to the nominated occupation.

For applicants who meet the skills assessment criteria, VETASSESS will also determine the date that you were deemed skilled in your nominated occupation.

Skilled Occupations Lists

Occupations may be removed from either the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) or the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) at any time and without notice by the Australian Government. You are responsible for ensuring that your proposed occupation is eligible at the date you submit your application to VETASSESS. Should your application be affected by the removal of an occupation from either of these lists please be advised that VETASSESS will continue with the assessment for suitability against your selected occupation.

View the list of General Professional Occupations assessed by VETASSESS

Find an occupation

(ANZSCO Code )


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What could be done next?

If you’re not sure which occupation to nominate as part of your Skills Assessment application, you may find it useful to look up your occupation in ANZSCO website to identify the Australian requirements for an occupation.

If your occupation is not listed with us, you can find your occupation and its relevant assessment authority on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.

Key terms for Qualifications Assessment Criteria

A highly relevant field of study is a major which matches your nominated occupation and/or is assessed as suitable for employment in your nominated occupation in Australia.

To determine whether a qualification is in a highly relevant field of study to the nominated occupation, VETASSESS considers a number of factors including (but not limited to):

  • whether you hold a specialised qualification or whether your qualification has a major or whether your qualification has a major field of study which VETASSESS has identified as being suitable for the occupation in Australia
  • the depth (progression) and breadth of study in the major
  • the employment outcomes of the qualification in the country concerned
  • course requirements - thesis, major projects, internships/work placements.

Your qualification to be assessed must be at the educational level required for your nominated occupation. For example, if nominating the occupation of Actuary (ANZSCO Code 224111), you require a qualification assessed at Australian Bachelor degree or higher degree level.

We take the following factors into consideration to assess the educational level:

  • the education system of the country where qualifications were obtained
  • the accreditation of the awarding institution and the qualification
  • the level, structure, length and content of the program of study undertaken
  • quality indicators for the country concerned – education system, awarding institution and program of study.

Please note that we will not be assessing an Australian Graduate Diploma or comparable overseas postgraduate diploma in combination with underpinning sub-degree qualifications for comparability to the educational level of an Australian Bachelor degree. This is based on the different nature and learning outcomes of an Australian Bachelor degree compared to other qualifications on the AQF. The Postgraduate Diploma may, however, be considered for assessment against the requirements of occupations which require a qualification at Australian Qualifications Framework Diploma or Advanced Diploma level. 

Key terms for Employment Assessment Criteria

Only paid employment which is highly relevant to the nominated occupation and at an appropriate skill level for the nominated occupation will be considered for assessment. This means that the major tasks undertaken in your everyday work should closely match major tasks usually undertaken in that occupation in Australia. The employment also must be paid and at the same skill level as your nominated occupation.

Employment must be skilled

For employment to be considered 'skilled', it must meet two requirements:

  • that it was undertaken after you met the entry level requirements for the nominated occupation
  • that it involved duties at the level of depth and complexity for the nominated occupation

The tasks for nominated occupations at different ANZSCO skill levels will vary in terms of the responsibilities, knowledge and skills required, and the salary will usually reflect this.

For example, when comparing two managers at different skill levels, the major tasks for an Office Manager (ANZSCO Code 512111) may include supervision and orientation of staff, preparation of annual estimates of expenditure, responsibility for budgetary and inventory controls, making recommendations to management, maintaining management information systems (manual or computerised) and other office administration related activities.

In comparison, the major tasks of a Construction Project Manager (ANZSCO code 133111) require specialised knowledge of the construction industry and may include: interpreting architectural drawings, specifications, bills of quantities and plans; estimating costs and quantities of labour and materials; creating and implementing coordinated programs for site activities and work control systems; ensuring adherence to building legislation and standards of building performance; and possibly being involved in the development of government and corporate building policies.

Employment must be paid

You are not required to have been in full time work, but must have been working and paid for a minimum of 20 hours per week. 20 hours per week means work for at least 20 hours  per week during employment. Irregular periods that average out to 20 hours per week over a year will not be considered.

Employment needs to have been paid at the award or market rate. For the purposes of the Skills Assessment, volunteer work or work towards gaining professional skills is not considered to be paid.

The employment assessed for the Skills Assessment needs to be undertaken at least 20 hours per week, highly relevant, at an appropriate skill level to the nominated occupation, and completed in the five years before applying to VETASSESS. The skill level for employment is considered to be post-qualification if the employment follows a qualification which is assessed at the required educational level for the nominated occupation. For Groups A and E, the employment must be post-qualification.

In some cases (Groups B, C, D and F occupations only), applicants may have worked in their occupation before gaining the required qualification. For VETASSESS assessment Groups B, C, D and F pre-qualification employment may be considered. The criteria for pre-qualification employment include a period of “qualifying” employment preceding the required one year of highly relevant employment at an appropriate skill level.

Pre-qualification employment requirement for groups B, C, D and F to be assessed at the required skill level:

  • Group B – five years of relevant employment in addition to at least one year of highly relevant employment at the required skill level in the last 5 years before applying
  • Groups C, D and F – three years of relevant employment in addition to at least one year of highly relevant employment at the required skill level in the last 5 years before applying.

As part of the assessment process, VETASSESS will determine the date you met the entry level requirements for the nominated occupation based on closely related employment within the last ten years. VETASSESS will only count skilled employment post the Date Deemed Skilled as eligible for points test purpose.

Please consider the following scenario for an application received in January 2015:

An applicant has nominated the occupation of Marketing Specialist (ANZSCO Code 225113). He has obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration in December 2008 and is now working as a marketing executive with a global pharmaceutical company since January 2010. Prior to this employment, he worked as a market researcher for a marketing research consultancy firm from January 2009 to January 2010.

For skills assessment purpose, the Bachelor of Business Administration will be assessed as meeting the educational requirements for the nominated occupation. In addition to this, based on his current employment as marketing executive which falls within the last five years, he has at least one year of highly relevant employment which meets the employment requirements for the nominated occupation.

In order to determine the "Date Deemed Skilled", the applicant’s skilled employment as market researcher (From January 2009 to January 2010) will be used to calculate the qualifying period required to meet the skill level of the nominated or closely related ANZSCO occupation. Therefore, only skilled employment post January 2010 will be eligible for points test purpose.

In order to determine the “Date Deemed Skilled”, VETASSESS applies DIBP's definition of closely related employment; to the nominated occupation. DIBP defines closely related employment as paid employment of at least 20 hours per week in an occupation which has the same skill level and draws on a similar skill set and subject matter as the nominated occupation. Usually closely related employment is an occupation which is in the same Unit group of ANZSCO as the nominated occupation.


ANZSCO is the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations.

The occupations in ANZSCO have a 6 digit code and are grouped by occupation type:

  • Major Group 1 Managers
  • Major Group 2 Professionals
  • Major Group 3 Technicians and Trades Workers
  • Major Group 4 Community and Personal Service Workers
  • Major Group 5 Clerical and Administrative Workers
  • Major Group 6 Sales Workers
  • Major Group 7 Machinery Operators and Drivers
  • Major Group 8 Labourers

To find out more information about the definition of ANZSCO Codes, refer to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) website.

Some occupations assessed by VETASSESS are listed as ‘nec’ which means ‘not elsewhere classified’. Examples are Education Managers nec (ANZSCO Code 134499) and Environmental Scientists nec (ANZSCO Code 234399). If nominating one of these occupations, you must ensure that your qualifications and employment are highly relevant to one of the occupation titles given in the ANZSCO description for the particular occupation. Other specific occupation titles which cannot be found elsewhere in ANZSCO will be considered on a case by case basis so long as they are relevant to the 'nec' codes.

Your employment in these nominated occupations should not better match another ANZSCO code (whether assessed by VETASSESS or not).

When considering whether to nominate a 'nec' occupation, you should consider the sub major group description and determine whether your skills best fit this category.

You can find information about each occupation and the requirements for migration on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.

For information about the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO), please refer to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) website. Please note that many occupations listed in ANZSCO may not be nominated for visa purposes.

For all general enquiries correspondence via phone or email, VETASSESS can only provide information regarding our assessment process, and cannot tell you which visa is best for you, which state or territory list your occupation appears on, or whether you will meet the visa requirements.

You need to decide which occupation to nominate before submitting an application for assessment with VETASSESS. 

If your assessment has already been completed, you may apply for another skills assessment application under the criteria relevant to your new nominated occupation.

For scientific occupations such as Agricultural Scientist, Physicist and Chemist, it may be possible to consider your doctoral studies to meet our skills assessment requirement if the work is at an appropriate skill level, is at least 20 working hours per week, and you are paid. You are required to provide official evidence supporting paid employment at this level. Official evidence would include: research publications; a statement of service from the Head of the Department indicating the significance of the research and your tasks; how you are remunerated. Please note that evidence of remuneration would include scholarship grants (full tuition fee coverage and stipend) at doctoral degree (research) level.

Please also note that the employment/research period may only be considered suitable if the research work undertaken closely matches major tasks usually undertaken in that occupation in Australia. PhD research which is unpaid cannot be assessed.

You have 10 business days from the processing of payment fees for your newly submitted application to request for a change of occupation without incurring an additional fee. Please note Change of occupations is not available for Priority Processing. Change of occupation requests received after these 10 days incurs a fee. For further details about changing an occupation refer to Reviews, Reassessments, Appeals and Reissues.