Health & safety professionals, machinery operators and contracts managers are in demand as red hot conditions in the apartment building market drive demand for tradespeople and professionals within the building and construction sector in Australia, the latest report suggest.

Unveiling its latest analysis of job advertisements posted on its site, employment search web site Seek says ads for tradespeople and professionals within the building sector in Australia were up by 13 percent in October compared with the same month last year.

Leading the charge was health, safety and environment professionals (up 37 percent year-on-year followed by plant and machinery operators and contracts managers (up 33 percent and 30 percent respectively).

Ads were also up for estimators, surveyors, forepersons/supervisors, project managers, managers, and planning and scheduling professionals.

In terms of absolute numbers as opposed to year-on-year comparisons, contract managers had the greatest number of job ads (average salary $104,349) followed by estimators ($96,459) and forepersons/supervisors (113,950) and health, safety and environment (4105,342).

In terms of states, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland led the way with the number of positions advertised being up 16 percent and 25 percent and 19 percent respectively, whilst South Australia (up 37 percent) and the ACT (up 8 percent) also performed well amongst smaller states.

Whilst there are doubts about the outlook going forward, current labour market conditions within the construction sector in Australia are extremely strong amid the surge in apartment building activity which saw the nation brake ground on record levels of almost 230,000 new dwellings over the past financial year.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the number of people employed within the sector has risen by 35,000 over the past two years to go from 1.039 million people to 1.074 million, according to ABS data.

Because of this, multiple sources have been reporting extremely strong demand.

In its latest quarterly report, for example, recruitment outfit Hays said demand for project managers, project engineers, site managers, contract administrators, estimators and forepersons was strong in the professional realm whilst that for carpenters, commercial concreters, steel fixers, plumbers, electricians and painters was strong in terms of tradespeople.