June 15, 2023

This blog provides a simplified and concise explanation of ANZSCO (Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations) skill levels tailored explicitly for engineers. We’ll delve into the different skill levels, their implications for engineering professionals, and how they impact visa applications, career opportunities, and professional growth in the engineering industry.

What Is ANZSCO Skill Level Classification?

ANZSCO (Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations) Skill Level Classification is a system that categorises occupations based on the required skill levels in Australia and New Zealand. It provides a standardised framework for assessing the skill requirements of different job roles across various industries. The skill levels in ANZSCO are determined based on several factors, including formal education and training, previous experience, and on-the-job training. Each skill level corresponds to specific qualifications and experience thresholds, which help assess an individual’s competence and suitability for a particular occupation.

The Skill Levels in ANZSCO

Skill Level 1

Occupations at Skill Level 1 require a skill level corresponding to a bachelor’s degree or higher qualification. In some cases, relevant experience of at least five years can be considered a substitute for formal qualifications. However, specific occupations may also require additional experience or on-the-job training alongside the formal qualification.

Skill Level 2

Occupations at Skill Level 2 necessitate a skill level equivalent to one of the following qualifications: NZ Register Diploma or AQF Associate Degree, Advanced Diploma, or Diploma. In some instances, a minimum of three years of relevant experience can be considered in place of the formal qualifications mentioned above. Similar to Skill Level 1, some occupations require additional experience or on-the-job training alongside the formal qualification.

Skill Level 3

Occupations at Skill Level 3 involve a skill level corresponding to one of the following qualifications: NZ Register Level 4 qualification, AQF Certificate IV, or AQF Certificate III, along with at least two years of on-the-job training. As with Skill Levels 1 and 2, a minimum of three years of relevant experience can substitute for the formal qualifications. Additionally, certain occupations may require different expertise or on-the-job training with formal qualifications.

Skill Level 4

Occupations at Skill Level 4 require a skill level that aligns with one of the following qualifications: NZ Register Level 2 or 3 qualifications or AQF Certificate II or III. Having at least one year of relevant experience can be a substitute for the formal qualifications mentioned above. However, certain occupations may require additional relevant experience alongside formal qualifications.

Skill Level 5

Occupations at Skill Level 5 involve a skill level corresponding to one of the following qualifications: NZ Register Level 1 qualification, AQF Certificate I, or compulsory secondary education. For some occupations, a brief period of on-the-job training may be necessary, either in addition to or instead of the formal qualification.


It’s important to note that in some instances, no formal qualification or on-the-job training is required for specific occupations. This means that individuals can enter these roles based on their existing skills, experience, or other criteria determined by the industry or employer.

Illustrative Table:

Here is a table showcasing examples of occupations and industries for each ANZSCO skill level:

Table A:

Skill LevelOccupation and Industry
1 – Highly SkilledManagers and professional roles in education and training (teachers), professional and technical services, health and social assistance, and agriculture (farmers and farm managers)
2Managers in the accommodation and retail industries, support workers in the health and social assistance industry
3 – SkilledTechnicians and trade workers in the construction, manufacturing, and other service industries
4Carers and receptionists in the health industry; road and rail drivers in the transport industry; clerks, operators, drivers, store people, process workers in the manufacturing industry
5 – Low skilledSales workers in the retail industry, factory process workers in the manufacturing industry; accommodation, farm, forestry, and garden workers in agriculture; cleaners and laundry workers in administration

Table B

Skill LevelQualificationWork Experience
1 – Highly SkilledBachelor’s degree or above5 years
2Diploma3 years
3 – SkilledNZ Register Level 43 years
4NZ Register Level 2 or 31 year
5 – Low skilledNZ Register Level 1 or compulsory secondary educationShort period of on-the-job training

Understanding the Concepts of Job, Occupation, and Skill Level in ANZSCO


A “job” refers to the tasks performed by an individual for an employer in exchange for pay or profit. This includes both traditional employment and self-employment. ANZSCO categorises individuals based on occupation, representing their relationship to past, present, or future jobs. Even self-employed individuals are considered to have jobs and are part of the labour force.


ANZSCO classifies jobs called “occupations.” An “occupation” consists of a group of jobs that require similar or identical tasks. While no two actual jobs have precisely the same functions, occupations represent groups of positions with highly similar main tasks. ANZSCO determines the similarity of tasks within an occupation based on the level and specialisation of skills required to perform them.

Skill Level

Skill level in ANZSCO is determined by the range and complexity of tasks performed in a specific occupation. Occupations with a broader and more complex task set have a higher skill level. ANZSCO measures skill level based on three factors: formal education and training, previous experience in related occupations, and on-the-job training duration required for competent task performance.

  • Formal education and training refers to the level and extent of education and training needed to perform tasks proficiently. This is measured according to the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) and the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF).
  • Previous experience represents the duration spent acquiring work experience in related occupations or activities necessary for competent task performance. This is measured in months or years.
  • On-the-job training indicates the duration of training required after starting work in an occupation to perform tasks competently. It can coincide with formal training and is measured in months or years.

ANZSCO Skill Levels

ANZSCO assigns occupations to one of five skill levels based on the tasks’ range, complexity, and the education, experience, and training required.

How ANZSCO Works?

ANZSCO (Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations) is a hierarchical classification system that organises occupations into different levels and categories. This system helps classify and manage various job roles, providing a standardised workforce data collection and analysis framework.

Hierarchy of ANZSCO

ANZSCO classifies occupations into eight major groups, further divided into sub-major groups, minority groups, unit groups, and specific occupations. Each level in the hierarchy is represented by a particular number of references or ‘code’, with the number of digits indicating the status of classification:

  • Significant groups: Represented by a single-digit code.
  • Sub-major groups: Represented by a two-digit code.
  • Minor groups: Represented by a three-digit code.
  • Unit groups: Represented by a four-digit code.
  • Occupations: Represented by a six-digit code.

For instance, the 2016 Census Employment Data Cube (ABS 2018) provides workforce figures at the unit group level, which is the four-digit code. This allows for a broader understanding of the workforce distribution and employment trends within specific unit groups.

How Can We Help You?

We’ll help you showcase your skills, qualifications, and experience in line with the skill levels defined by ANZSCO. With our personalised support, you can confidently present your professional abilities and increase your chances of success in obtaining recognition for your skills and qualifications. Trust us to help you excel in your CDR writing journey!

Hey, like this? Why not share it with a buddy?