Australian Privacy Jobs Report – Jan to Jun 2023

Privacy 108’s report on privacy jobs advertised in Australia between January and June 2023 is now available.

June 2023 Quarterly Job Report

Main findings

Continued rise in number of advertised privacy jobs

Following the drop in jobs in the last report, the most recent job ad data shows a consistent rise in the number of advertised positions for privacy professionals.

There were a total of 262 jobs in the June 2023 half, compared to the December 2022 half which had a total of 213 jobs. The average number of jobs advertised each month rose from 35 per month to 39 in the June 2023 data set.

Government was again the biggest advertising sector in the half followed closely by professional services organisations. There was a big drop in advertised roles in Higher Education, balanced by slight increases in advertised roles in Banking, Government and Health. Although, the health sector, higher education and not for profit, still remain the lowest three advertising sectors.

It will be interesting to see if this increase continues in 2023. The proposed changes to the Privacy Act, plus the significant new fines for privacy breaches introduced at the end of 2022, are likely to drive increased opportunities for Australian privacy professionals.

Sydney the main location for privacy jobs

Sydney remained the preferred location for privacy practitioners, with Melbourne coming in behind Sydeny. Brisbane stayed steady and there was a small decrease in regional roles this half. There were no advertised positions in Hobart or Adelaide.

Flexibility of location remains strong with 21% of privacy roles flexible regarding location (though with a preference for East Coast capitals).

Working from home remain popular in advertised privacy jobs. 58% of positions specifically mentioned work from home or hybrid work options, an increase from the previous record high of 46%. It looks like privacy professionals are still working from home to some extent…

Privacy manager most common role

The majority of advertised positions were for privacy managers / leaders (34%, up rom 30% in the previous half). The second most popular role was privacy officer (a level below privacy manager), at 32% which remained the same as the previous half.

Privacy counsel roles remained steady at 18% as did specialist roles at 6% (the same as the previous half)

Analyst roles dropped slightly from 6% to 4% of total roles advertised this half, as did consultant roles (down from 7% to 6% of total roles advertised).

Again, we are still not seeing great consistency in role titles but more commonly we are seeing “Privacy Manager”, “Privacy Lawyer / Privacy Counsel” and “Privacy Officer” used in job titles.

Experience and qualifications required for privacy jobs

Most positions again required some prior privacy experience. While 5+ years was the most common requirement, there were an almost equal number of positions with 3+ and 1+ years experience required. There were no jobs that were clearly positioned as entry level or graduate roles (that is, for applicants with no previous experience).

There was a move away from positions being offered forqualified lawyers, with privacy managers and officers being in higher demand. Again this is probably linked to the drop in roles with professional services organisations. However, lawyers are still in demand. Where positions specified that a degree was required, the most common requirement was for a law degree.

Although a law degree is one of the main requirements for a privacy role, reviewing the job descriptions suggests that the majority of job functions are still compliance focused (almost 78% of the roles this quarter). This move to taking a compliance focused lens to privacy is a concern for privacy practitioners.

There were fewer references to privacy and security certifications, perhaps again reflective of the shift to government rather than professional services firms as advertisers this quarter.

Salaries for privacy professionals

The number of advertised positions that include salary ranges dropped to 0nly 24% of roles over the June 2023 half.

For permanent roles, the most common salary range offered was between $126,000 – $175,000 inc super (33 roles). From the information available, the highest paying role was for $220k for a Director, Product Management – Privacy and Security with Duck Duck Go.

The lower paid roles included an FOI & Privacy Officer full time position with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services offering $68,414.00 – $75,915.00 per annum.

19 contract roles specified salary ranges. The most common rate (11 roles) was between $800 – $1,000 per day, with 6 roles at less than $650 per day. Only 2 roles were for more than $1,000 per day.

Other general observations

  • Other observations from the data presented during the half to June 2023 include the following:
  • More specialist roles seem to be harder to fill particularly in the domains of data retention, people/HR privacy, privacy outreach
  • Privacy roles with certain organisations in international education and entertainment seemed to be continually re-advertised suggesting they were also hard to fill
  • There was a stronger trend for contract roles in the last half, most of these roles coming from the Government sector followed by Corporates. Contract roles suggest less permanent positions or headcount.
  • Regulators have been employing in the last half with the OAIC advertising for a Freedom of Information Commissioner and a Privacy Commissioner in May 2023.
  • There was a modest yet rising demand for data and technical proficiency in the privacy domain, evidenced by the emergence of roles such as Program Architect – Data Privacy (Talent) and Data Stewards (ING), along with a unique position at Canva that required a close synergy between legal and technical aspects, representing a role that closely resembled a true engineering position.
  • The fusion of ethics with privacy appears to be a growing trend, particularly among large corporations aiming to enhance their responsibility in managing big data. This integration is becoming prevalent, with notable examples including NAB and Qantas, especially in the context of AI applications.

Privacy Job Report: Our Methodology

As part of our ongoing research into the state of the Australian privacy profession, Privacy 108 analyses the privacy job market, comparing on-line job adverts monthly.

Job listings provide a useful snapshot into how both private and public sector organisations value privacy, the resources they are willing to commit to developing and managing privacy programs, and to building their privacy maturity.

A list of all positions with ‘privacy’ and/or ‘data protection’ in the title is compiled from jobs advertised on, and Linked In on a selected date each month. These lists are then analysed.

From December 2018 to July 2021 the job surveys were conducted on a quarterly basis only. Commencing in August 2021 we began taking monthly (rather than quarterly) snapshots. This will help us identify, for instance, jobs that are advertised for more than 30 days. Linked In job ads were also only added to the analysis from August 2021.

Data from every month and from all three job advertising platforms we now survey (Linked In, Seek and Indeed) are included in our charts and analysis in this report, with the exception of the quarterly trend charts. In order to continue comparing trends from when we commenced surveying the job market in Dec 2018, these quarterly trend charts are based only on the snapshot numbers for the quarterly months of March, June, September and December.

The full version of the June 2023 Job Report can be viewed here:  June 2023 Quarterly Job Report

Previous reports

At Privacy 108, we are passionate about privacy and data protection. We work with organisations to ensure they collect, use and secure all information in a way that is both compliant and meets community expectations. Privacy 108 is a law firm. Our team of lawyers can provide specialist legal advice on privacy and security issues.