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.
What the job looks like
starts at $60,000 up to $85,000+
- 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.
Start working on your skills now
If you want to make being a patent examiner part of your big tomorrow you will need a good handle on mathematics, writing and excellent communication skills. Here are some activities to help.
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.
Some subjects will count towards your ATAR, others will not. Check with your career advisor before making subject selections.
- English (Advanced or higher)
- Mathematics (2 Unit or higher)
- Legal Studies
- Information Processes and Technology
What can I do after I have finished school?
Studying one of these degrees can help with your career.
- Bachelor of Law
- Bachelor of Science
- Bachelor of Information Technology
- Bachelor of Engineering
- Bachelor of Mathematics
- 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