Patent Examiner

A patent examiner checks applications for inventions to see if they qualify for a patent. A patent protects an invention from being remade or sold by anyone else. It is your job to find out if an invention is unique enough to be granted a patent. 

Interested in this career? Watch the video
Patent Examiner
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What the job looks like
Salary expectation
starts at $60,000 up to $85,000+
The good
  • Discovering new technologies through applications and research
  • Protecting an owner’s invention
  • Flexible work conditions
  • Promotion opportunities
The not so good
  • If a client discusses an invention publicly before filing for a patent it may not be granted
  • Work can become repetitive

To become a patent examiner you will need to have a strong interest in technology and be able to quickly understand technical jargon. It is your role to make sure each application is new and that there is nothing like it that already exists.

The job involves reading a lot of technical documents, doing Google searches, looking through Intellectual Property and library databases as well as meeting with colleagues to discuss the search and other places to look.

You will be working with databases, procedural manuals and legislation so solid English skills will be an advantage to understand all the aspects of your job. Mathematics is also important to understand the technical subject matter you will read.

If you like working indoors and in a team then this would be a good role for you. Being motivated is also important so you can meet specific targets and organisational goals.

The best thing about being a patent examiner is the flexibility and technical aspects.


Pathways to this career

Subject suggestions for the HSC

Choosing your HSC subjects from this list could really help with your career. Think carefully about what you want to study after school as you might need to choose specific HSC subjects for that course and to count towards your ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank). An ATAR is your academic rank in relation to other HSC students and helps with University admission.

HSC subjects 

Some subjects will count towards your ATAR, others will not. Check with your career advisor before making subject selections.

What can I do after I have finished school?

University degrees 

Studying one of these degrees can help with your career.


Check out IP Australia for more information

  • See if you can get some work experience in the legal field, particularly Intellectual Property Law
  • Go to career expos and events like university Open Days for information about what you will study