What is an Occupation Ceiling?

An occupation ceiling is a limit on the number of invitations that immigration has allocated for an occupation. For example each year immigration may select 2000 accountants through general skilled migration. These occupation ceilings are used to apply for the skilled independent visas (subclass 189), state nominated (subclass 190) and subclass 489 visas.

Once the occupation has reached it’s ceiling (Eg – the total number of invitations has been issued, no more will be issued for that occupation.) Below you can see the trade occupation allocations for the 2016/2017 general skilled migration, as well as the actual number of invitations issued. 

Trade Occupations

Trade Occupations reached only about 2% of invitations from available allocation. This means Australia could have invited roughly 50 times more tradesmen into Australia last year through General Skilled Migration, than we did. For example, Australian Immigration allocated 7,718 places for Carpenters and Joiner invitations for the 2016/2017. However only 146 carpenters received an invitation. The reason so few tradesmen received an invitation is that it is very difficult for Carpenters to reach the requirements. To be eligible to apply for general skilled migration you need to meet specific education, work experience, skills assessment and english level. Most tradesman, no matter how good they are at their trade, simply struggle to reach the required level.

To make it easier for tradesman to meet the requirements, The Job Ready Program has been introduced which allows Australian trained tradesman the ability to obtain full skills assessments. By studying a trade in Australia, you also receive more points on the points test. This program has only recently been introduced, so the very first graduates of the job ready program will be receiving their invitations this year. This means you can expect the number of invitations received to slowly increase in the future. Find out more about what trades you can study in Aus here.

Profession Allocation  Invitations Issued
3123 Electrical Engineering Draftsperson or Technicians 1000 97
3211 Automotive Electricians 1000 12
3212 Motor Mechanics 5597 215
3222 Sheetmetal Trades Workers 1000 2
3223 Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers 4466 61
3232 Metal Fitters and Machinists 6677 96
3233 Precision Metal Trades Workers 1000 0
3241 Panelbeaters 1000 6
3311 Bricklayers and Stonemasons 1751 34
3312 Carpenters and Joiners 7718 146
3322 Painting Trades Workers 2871 23
3331 Glaziers 1000 3
3332 Plasterers 2149 26
3334 Wall and Floor Tilers 1475 6
3341 Plumbers 5169 76
3411 Electricians 9345 205
3421 Airconditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics 1701 27
3422 Electrical Distribution Trades Workers 1000 7
3423 Electronics Trades Workers 1993 65
3513 Chefs 2854 192
3941 Cabinetmakers 1568 4
3991 Boat Builders and Shipwright 1000 2


Other Professions

Compare this to other allocations in engineering, computing or accounting, which fully exhausted their allocation. Because there was such an oversupply of accountants who wanted to apply for general skills migration, this meant that even if an applicant reached a score of 60 points on the points test, they may not receive an invitation to apply. In fact most applicants for accounting needed a score of 70 on the points test just to receive an invitation to apply

Computing Professions

2611 ICT Business and Systems Analysts 1482 1482
2613 Software and Applications Programmers 5662 5662
2631 Computer Network Professionals 1426 1482
2633 Telecommunications Engineering Professionals 1000 1000

Accounting Professions

2211 Accountants* 2500 2500

Engineering Professions

2332 Civil Engineering Professionals 2174 2150
2333 Electrical Engineers 1254 1099
2334 Electronics Engineers 1000 1000
2335 Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers 1539 1539
2339 Other Engineering Professionals 1000 1018


You can check the full list here

Pathway to Aus has helped numerous tradesman from all over the world study and migrate to Australia. If you are interested in speaking with a registered education or migration agent concerning your situation contact Pathway to Aus on:

E: info@pathwaytoaus.com

P: +61 07 55 327 000

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