Australia’s highest paying jobs and income distribution: your go-to guide

Australia may not have the biggest population in the world at approximately 24.5 million people, but we still live in a vast country, with sometimes quite drastically different incomes across our states and cities.

So, who holds Australia’s highest paying jobs?

To get a better picture of who earns what in our great nation, in addition to where they live, how old they are and other key facts, we’ve compiled a handy summary.

Australia’s highest paying jobs

Based on the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO) findings for 2015-16, the following roles take the top 10 spots for highest paying jobs, on average. We’ve also included how many people have these jobs.

Profession

Average annual salary

Number of people

Surgeons

$393,467

3,822

Anaesthetists

$359,056

3,181

Internal Medicine Specialists

$291,140

8,191

Financial Dealers

$263,309

4,617

Psychiatrists

$211,024

2,740

Other Medical Practitioners

$199,590

27,461

Judicial and Other Legal Professionals

$198,219

3,073

Mining Engineers

$166,557

8,655

Chief Executives and Managing Directors

$158,249

166,741

Engineering Managers

$148,852

25,457


While some of the medical professionals cover the top of the list with the absolute highest paying jobs in Australia, we also see broader representation from the legal, mining, financial and business industries.

Continued below

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Income versus age

Let’s take a look now at the population itself to see when we tend to earn the most money.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) most recent data on the subject from May 2018 reveals that household earning rises quite dramatically from our teens until mid-life, then gradually falls as we approach retirement.

Age Bracket

Average Weekly Total Cash Earnings

20 years and under

$383.70

21 to 34 years

$1,127.60

35 to 44 years

$1503.70

45 to 54 years

$1544.20

55 years and over

$1,373.40


Additionally, 2016 census data from ABS show that the median weekly household income in Australia is $1,438, which is up from 2011 figures of $1,234 per week.

Where do high earners live?

High earners might want to live in a highly sought-after area, whereas those with lower salaries might prefer an area with more manageable rental costs.

For opulent mansions and neighbours with full pockets, the ATO’s statistics show that the following suburbs came out on top:

  1. Sydney’s suburbs of Edgecliff, Darling Point, Point Piper or HMAS Rushcutters
  2. Hawksburn and Toorak, close to the Melbourne CBD
  3. Vaucluse, Watsons Bay, Dover Heights, HMAS Watson, and Rose Bay North in Sydney
  4. Sydney’s Bellevue Hill
  5. Portsea on the Mornington Peninsula

Australian state economic rankings

The Australian Government has regularly releases data on unemployment rates around the country.

Here are the rankings in full, as of December 2018*:

State

Unemployment Rate

Overall State Ranking

ACT

3.6%

1

NT

5%

4

WA

6.3%

8

NSW

4.3%

3

VIC

4.2%

2

QLD

6.1%

7

TAS

5.9%

6

SA

5.3%

5


How do you compare against the rest of Australia?

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