How to become a Patent Examiner

Patent examiners investigate patent applications and report on whether they comply with the requirements of Australian patent legislation before granting patent rights for new inventions. The work of patent examiners is technically complex. It involves knowledge of technical processes used in industry and advances in scientific research. It also involves making legalistic decisions based on their knowledge of patent law.

Personal requirements of a Patent Examiner

  • decision-making and research skills
  • good oral and written communication skills
  • able to work as part of a team
  • Australian citizenship or eligibility to apply for citizenship.

Duties & Tasks of a Patent Examiner

Patent examiners: • analyse application documents to determine whether legislative requirements are met • assess whether the patent rights sought are justified and match the invention's technical description • search online databases to discover similar patents held in Australia and overseas • assess whether the advances claimed for the originality of the invention's features are new • communicate with the patent applicant or their legal representative • depending on experience, either recommend or approve the acceptance of a patent application.

Avg. weekly wage:


Future growth:

Very strong

Employment by state:

ACT ACT 7.9%

NSW NSW 26.9%

NT NT 1.4%

QLD QLD 13.8%

SA SA 6%

TAS TAS 2.3%

VIC VIC 33.9%

WA WA 7.9%

Hours worked:



Higher unemployment

Gender split:

Male 49.8%

Female 50.2%

Education level:

Not completed Year 12: 14%

Highest qualification is secondary school: 9.3%

Highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 14.5%

Highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 10.4%

Highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 40.4%

Highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 11.4%

Age brackets:

15-19 - 0%

20-24 - 7.2%

25-34 - 34.1%

35-44 - 27.3%

45-54 - 18.6%

55-59 - 6.5%

60-64 - 4.9%

65 and Over - 1.3%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

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