Psychology and occupational therapy labour force update

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has released two reports about important segments of the allied health labour force in Australia - psychologists and occupational therapists.

Drawing from a number of sources, including AIHW surveys, figures from registration boards, and Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) labour force and census data, these reports describe various aspects of the two professions including some demographic and work characteristics of people employed in the psychology and occupational therapy professions.

Some of the findings from Psychology labour force 2003 were:

  • In 2004-05 there were 22,175 registered psychologists in Australia (excluding the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory, where registration figures were not available).
  • Over 80% of surveyed psychologists were working in the profession.
  • Psychology appears to be a predominantly female occupation.

Findings from the Occupational therapy labour force 2002-2003 report include:

  • According to ABS census figures, there were about 5,300 employed occupational therapists in Australia in 2001.
  • Over 80% of surveyed occupational therapists were working in the profession.
  • Occupational therapy also appears to be a predominantly female occupation.

Ms Glenice Taylor, Head of the AIHW's Labour Force Unit said the Institute intends to do more work in these areas.

'The Institute aims to expand and improve its allied health data collections over the next few years. We plan to work with major stakeholders to improve the quality and timeliness of these collections,' she said.

19 July 2006

Further information: Ms Glenice Taylor, AIHW, tel. 02 6244 1153

For media copies of the report: Publications Officer, AIHW, tel. 61 2 6244 1032.