What Is a Good Salary in Australia? [Average Salaries 2022]

Australia is a great country to live in, but how much do you need to earn to have a comfortable life? If you’re considering a move to Australia, one of the first things on your mind is likely to be what salary level you can expect. Wages in Australia are indeed some of the best across countries with a high number of immigrants.

Salary between AU$90,000 – AU$108,000 annually or AU$7,500 – AU$9,000 monthly is considered a good salary in Australia. That said, the national average is about AU$90,000 per year. In major cities such as Sydney and Melbourne, you can expect a higher salary of around AU$110,000AU$150,000.

Australia is the land down under, and while the cost of living can be high in some areas, it’s still possible to live comfortably, even on a modest salary. In this article, we’ll look at good and average salaries in Australia by occupation, experience level, and location.

So whether you’re already living in Australia or just planning your move, read on for all the info you need on Australian salaries.

What is a good salary in Australia in 2022?

A salary of AU$100,000 is a good wage in Australia. It will bring you about AU$77,000 in net income. According to Salary Explorer, the average salary for Australians is around AU$90,000. Some higher-paying jobs can expect wages of AU$110,000 and more. It includes surgeons, anesthetists, and dentists.

It’s not unusual to earn around AU$100,000 a year if you are located in a large city with a strong job market and presence of relevant industry.

However, as a general rule, you should aim for at least AU$5,000 per month or AU$60,000 annually when starting out your career in Australia. As a fresh graduate, you can expect to earn around AU$50,000 per year.

At the same time, the median income is AU$72,000 per year, so it could be a good mark to aim for.

And if you’re looking for work in a major city like Sydney or Melbourne, you can expect to earn a little more than the national average.

With that said, the average cost of living in Australia is AU$3,537 per month for a single and AU$6,660 for a family of four. Therefore, you should look for at least AU$42,444 annually after taxes to cover your expenses.

Read more about good salary in Melbourne and Sydney.

Where the national average is about AU$90,000 per year (about AU$70,000 after-tax) and the Australian median (midpoint) salary is AU$72,000 per year.

Nonetheless, the real good salary will depend on your circumstances, particularly the education and the industry, but you should aim for at least AU$60,000 per year. A salary above AU$150,000 may be difficult to achieve unless you have experience and qualifications in a highly competitive field.

Furthermore, salaries in Australia depend on several factors, such as your occupation, experience level, and location. However, we can give you an idea of the average salaries in Australia for different types of jobs.

Salaries in Australia

What else should you know about salaries in Australia? Anyone earning AU$180,000 would definitely be one of the country’s highest-paid workers. The large majority of workers (about 75%) earn less than AU$78,624 a year before tax, which is about AU$62,000 net.

At the same time, around 25% of employees earn less than AU$660 per week (AU$2,640/m), and about 50% make between AU$660 and AU$1,512 per week.

Official facts about salaries in Australia:

  • Professionals working 38 hours a week are earning AU$1,737 a week in 2022
  • Median employee earnings were AU$1,200 per week, up $50 (4.3%) in 2021
  • Median hourly earnings are at AU$36 per hour
  • Men earn AU$261 per week more than women working full-time, or a difference of 14.2%
  • On average, women working full-time earned AU$1,575 a week while men working full-time made AU$1,837 in Australia
  • The high average earnings growth has been seen in the construction industry

Common salaries across various sectors

Here is an overview of average annual salaries across Australia in the most popular professionals groups:

SectorsThe annual salary in AU$
Accounting, Administration & Human Resources$89,925
Architecture & Creative Arts$88,358
Banking, Finance & Insurance$97,928
Childcare & Education$97,399
Construction & Maintenance$85,404
Engineering$110,965
Food Services$58,700
Healthcare, Pharmaceutical & Social Services$103,884
Hospitality & Travel$80,770
IT$105,385
Journalism & Translation$87,394
Law Enforcement & Security$80,028
Legal$89,117
Marketing & Sales$91,387
Retail, Cosmetics & Customer Service$65,772
Science$102,004

Average salaries in different industries are the combination of wages of jobs. This hardly represents how much you will make on a particular job. Thus, here are the average salaries for specific positions across those sectors:

PositionAnnual salary in AU$
Accountant$92,658
Architect$133,570
Business Analyst$110,104
Nanny$58,500
Carpenter$74,774
Electrical Engineer$110,650
Cook/Chef$59,500
Cardiologist$195,731
Tour Guide$70,000
Back End Developer$140,000
Translator$107,835
Police Officer$68,595
Lawyer$116,921
Content Writer$91,831
Cashier$61,995
Lab Technician$75,185
Source: au.talent.com

Some of the well-paying professions in Australia are:

Professionals in mining receive some of the highest wages in the country. Computer experts are well paid as well, with full-time salaries of AU$109,309. (Yes, software engineers and programmers have great career chances in all countries!).

Finance and insurance jobs were next on the list of well-paying professions, with an average full-time salary of AU$107,401. Jobs in professional, scientific, and technical services have mean pay levels of AU$105,856. 

Public servants also have great income in Australia, with an average wage of AU$95,904.

Read about salaries in Sydney in this post.

Is 100k per year a good salary in Australia?

A salary of AU$100,000 is a good wage in Australia, and it should be enough to live comfortably in most parts of the country.

In large cities like Sydney, you can live with a level of comfort with a salary between AU$80K and AU$100K. It’s more than the average.

An AU$100,000 salary leaves you around AU$75,813 annually or AU$6,259 monthly after tax. With that amount, you can expect to live comfortably, whether alone or with your family. Your minimal monthly expenses may be reflected as seen in the table below:

ItemAverage cost per month
Rent:AU$1,600-AU$2,500
Food:AU$400-AU$500
Transportation: AU$100-AU$200
Utilities (electricity, water, internet, etc.):  AU$200-AU$250
Entertainment:AU$150-AU$200
Health insuranceAU$200-AU$300
Total: AU$3,700 max
Savings/Leisure: AU$2,559

The median rent in Australia is AU$411 per week.

Health insurance for expats in Australia

In Australia, you can sign for private health insurance tailored to expats. Such insurances have international coverage and will save you money on healthcare. Cigna is one of Australia’s best expat health insurance providers, with 74,000 employees, 200 years of experience, and more than 100 million customers globally.

Visit their website to learn more and choose the optimal coverage for your situation.

Is 150k per year a good salary in Australia?

An AU$150,000 salary is considered to be a very good income for Australia. It’s significantly above average and is an upper-middle-class till wealthy salary. You can comfortably on that salary in any region. AU$90,329 was the full-time average salary in Australia in 2021.

Moreover, a household income of AU$150,000 puts you in the top 10% of earners in Australia. A couple can also live a comfortable but not extravagant lifestyle with that income. For a family with kids, it’s still a solid income but doesn’t leave you much room for saving and leisure.

Be aware, though, that wages are growing much slower than the cost of housing and some other expenses in large Australian cities.

Average salary in Australia in 2022

Australia’s average salary for full-time workers was a record high – AU$90,329 in 2021. If overtime and bonuses are included, average Australian earnings were AU$92,102 per annum.

In fact, Australia’s average salary climbed above AU$90,000 for the first time, according to new figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, but these numbers don’t always represent the truth.

The table below shows the average salary for different occupations:

OccupationSalary
CEO or Managing Director:AU$242,500
Senior Manager: AU$146,000
Other Managers: AU$109,000
Skilled professionals: AU$87,000
Associate Professional and Technical:  AU$72,000
Trades Workers:  AU$60,000 
Laborers:   AU$50,000

The average salary in Australia is estimated to grow by around 2% each year. This means that the average salary in Australia will be around AU$100,000 by the end of 2022.

How much does the average person earn in Australia?

In the average Australian city, a typical annual salary for a middle-class worker with a Bachelor’s degree is around AU$90,000 before taxes.

Individual income varies widely, depending on the position, whether one works full-time or part-time, educational background, and at most on the location. The income in Australia also varies by age, race, and gender. Based on this, the average person working on the average wage would earn around AU$45 an hour.

To live comfortably in Australia, a household’s income should be AU$50,000 or greater. However, the lowest-paid workers in Australia earn around AU$20 an hour, while the highest-paid workers can earn up to AU$136 an hour.

This means there is a significant range of salaries in Australia, and your wage will depend on your occupation and experience level.

Salaries by experience and location

Your salary in Australia may also vary depending on your experience and location. For example, the average salary for a CEO or Managing Director is around AU$308,000 in Sydney, while the average salary for the same position is around AU$235,000 in Melbourne.

Likewise, experienced trades workers can earn up to AU$83 an hour in Perth, while laborers can earn up to AU$68 an hour.

Three Australian states have below average salaries, including Queensland (AU$85,628), South Australia (AU$81,635), and Tasmania (AU$79,076). And wages in the Northern Territory are about AU$88,150 on average.

The following table shows earning disparity based on experience.

Occupation0-5 Years Experience (Salary)5+ Years Experience (Salary)
CEO or Managing DirectorAU$242,500AU$308,000
Senior ManagerAU$146,000AU$183,000
Other ManagersAU$109,000AU$137,000 
ProfessionalsAU$87,000AU$106,000
Associate Professional and TechnicalAU$72,000AU$89,000
Trades WorkersAU$60,000AU$83.00
LaborersAU$50,000AU$68.00

The median salaries for some typical jobs in Australia are listed below. This data is based on figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and other sources.

Median salaries for common jobs:

  1. Surgeons: AU$316,000
  2. Anesthetists: AU$294,000
  3. Dentists: AU$269,000
  4. Primary school teacher: AU$65,000
  5. Registered nurse: AU$66,000
  6. Electrician: AU$59.00 per hour
  7. Carpenter: AU$55.00 per hour
  8. Bus driver: AU$37.00 per hour
  9. Receptionist: AU$22.00 per hour

Salaries based on location

Australia is a large country with different states and territories with their own set of regulations and minimum wages. Your salary in Australia may also vary depending on the state or territory you live in.

The table below shows the average salaries for common jobs in two major Australian cities.

OccupationSydneyMelbourne
CEO or Managing DirectorAU$308,000 AU$235,000
Senior ManagerAU$183,000AU$146,000
Other ManagersAU$137,000AU$109,000
ProfessionalsAU$106,000AU$87,000
Associate Professional and TechnicalAU$89,000  AU$72,000 

Salaries based on the education level

In Australia, the amount of money an employee earns is often based on their education level. Employees with a higher level of education can expect to earn more than those who have only completed high school.

The table below shows the average 2020/2021 salaries for employees in Australia based on their education level:

High School   AU$50,000
Certificate III or IVAU$52,000
Diploma  AU$60,000
Bachelor’s degree AU$72,000
Master’s degreeAU$86,000
Doctoral degreeAU$103,000
Source:  Salaryexplorer.com

The table above is a general guide only. The actual salary an employee earns may be higher or lower depending on their job and the company they work for.

That said, data shows workers that attained certificate or diploma level earn 17% more than high school level employees. Similarly, those with a bachelor’s degree make 27% more than those with a high school diploma.

The gap widens for those with postgraduate qualifications who can command salaries up to 45% higher than their counterparts without any tertiary education.

Salary comparison across genders

While gender shouldn’t be the sole determining factor in salary, there is often a wage gap between men and women in Australia.

According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), Australian women earn, on average, 14.0% less than their male counterparts. This figure is based on the median full-time equivalent earnings of men and women working in organizations with more than 100 employees.

The WGEA also reports that, while the gender wage gap has narrowed over time, progress has been slow. In 1998, Australian women earned 17.0% less than men.

When looking at specific sectors, the wage gap is often wider. For example, Australian women earn 31.0% less than men in the finance and insurance sector.

The annual increase in salaries by industry in 2021

While the average salary in Australia is increasing, the rate of increase varies depending on the industry. The table below shows the average annual increment rate for different sectors in 2021:

IndustryGrowth
Energy8%
Banking 4%
IT3%
Healthcare  7%
Travel  2%
Construction6%
Education 1%
Source: Salaryexplorer.com

Overtime and shift allowances

Most jobs in Australia come with the option of overtime work. Overtime is paid at a rate of one and a half times the employee’s regular hourly wage.

According to the Fair Work Act of 2009, a worker will be considered on a shift of they:

  • Work more than five hours on a weekday or more than seven hours on a Saturday
  • Start work before six am or finish after ten pm

Shift allowances are paid to employees who work outside of the regular hours mentioned in the Fair Work Act. The shift allowance payable is based on how many hours the employee works outside of their regular hours.

Shift allowances vary depending on the job. Nurses, for example, can receive up to 25% extra pay for working night shifts, while trades workers can get a shift allowance of up to AU$22 an hour.

Other allowances can also be claimed by employees, including:

  • Overtime pay of 50% from the base rate applies to all hours worked over 38 hours a week.
  • Sunday rates are 150% of the weekday rate (or 200% if overtime is worked).
  • Public holiday rates are 250% of the weekday rate (or 300% if overtime is worked).
  • Shift allowances of up to AU$17.70 per hour may apply.
  • Meal and rest breaks are paid at the ordinary rate.

Periods of leave

Employees in Australia are entitled to several periods of leave, including annual leave, sick leave, and parental leave. All of them are paid.

1. Annual Leave – Employees are entitled to four weeks of paid annual leave for every year of service with their employer.

2. Sick Leave – Employees are entitled to two days of paid sick leave for every month they have worked. An employee can use this leave to care for an immediate family member who is unwell or injured.

3. Parental Leave – Parents (birth parents, adoptive parents, and guardians) are entitled to 18 weeks of unpaid parental leave. An employee can take this leave at any time within the first 12 months after the child is born or adopted.

Bonuses

Many jobs in Australia come with the option of a bonus. A bonus is an extra payment made to an employee, usually as a reward for good work or service.

Bonuses are usually paid out quarterly or annually and can be a percentage of the employee’s regular salary, a one-time payment, or a gift card or voucher.

The amount of the bonus and when it is paid out can vary depending on the job and the company. On average, bonuses account for about six to nine percent of an employee’s annual salary.

Taxes in Australia

On average, Australians pay around 25% in taxes. Taxes in Australia are considerably lower than in other developed countries, especially those in Europe.

Generally, an employee pays the following taxes in Australia:

  • income tax
  • Low And Middle Income Tax Offset
  • Medicare – health insurance 
  • payroll taxes

The amount of tax an employee pays depends on their income and how it is earned. For example, employees who earn a salary are taxed at a different rate than those who earn income from investments.

The list below shows the average 2021/2022 income tax rates for employees based on their income thresholds (AU):

Income thresholdsRate
$0 – $18,2000%
$18,201 – $45,00019%
$45,001 – $120,00032,55%
$120,001 – $180,00037%
$180,001 and over45%

The tax rates in the table above are for Australian residents only. Employees who are not Australian residents may be taxed at a higher or lower rate. The rates will be determined by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and can vary depending on the employee’s country of residence.

How much salary is enough to comfortably live in Australia?

An income of AU$1,600 a week (AU$6,400 monthly) is a good enough salary to live comfortably in Australia. If you want to have a slightly luxurious life, an annual income of AU$100,000 is more than enough.

Yet, it also depends on where you live in Australia and what type of lifestyle you are expecting. Certain places are substantially higher priced to live in terms of accommodation.

You might need to live in further suburbs to keep expenses on the lower side. Yet, expect to spend a minimum of AU$50/week on transport costs.

Ultimately, you aim for the following salary to live comfortably in Australia:

  • Minimum single taxable income is AU$75,000 for someone living in a small town or countryside
  • Minimum city-based single taxable income is AU$100,000

Undoubtedly, it’s possible to live comfortably in Australia on a salary of AU$100,000 or more. And if you’re looking for work in a major city, your wages are likely to be higher than the national average. Of course, your actual expenses may vary depending on your lifestyle and spending habits.

However, if you’re looking for a high-paying job in Australia, you may need to earn more than AU$100,000 per year.

The average salary for surgeons, anesthetists, and dentists is over AU$200,000, so you may need to aim for a higher salary if you want to work in one of these professions.

The ideal lowest wage varies significantly with where you live. In the city center’s, especially Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne, rents are incredibly high. It’s not uncommon to be unable to find a place for less than $AU400/week.

How much money do you need to live in Australia?

You will need at least AU$2,000 a month to live in Australia in order to cover your basics. With that amount, you will live in a shared apartment and cook most of your meals yourself.

With AU$4,000, you will have a better lifestyle. Where rents for a basic one-bedroom will be at least AU$400 a week, food will be at least AU$130-200, if you run a car, allow about AU$90 a fill, if you wish to socialize a glass of beer or wine, allow at least AU$5-10.

Besides, here are some common expenses you will face while living in Australia (AU):

  • Rent – $500/week
  • Grocery shopping – $150/week
  • Petrol for a car – $40/week
  • Car insurance – $2,000/year
  • Car maintenance & service – $400/year
  • Electricity – $280/quarter
  • Mobile phone – $30/month
  • Medicine basic ancillaries – $35/month
  • Home internet – $50/month
  • Meals out – $50–60/week (one meal in a mid-range restaurant)

Tips for negotiating a salary in Australia

When negotiating a salary in Australia, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Remember that the employer may not always be able to meet your desired salary.
  2. Do your research and develop a fair market value for your skills and experience.
  3. Be prepared to justify why you feel you deserve the salary you are asking for.
  4. Try to be flexible and willing to negotiate on other aspects of the job, such as hours or benefits.
  5. Remember that it’s important to be professional and respectful throughout the negotiation process.

Things to consider when accepting a job offer in Australia

When accepting a job offer in Australia, you will need to consider a few things:

  1. The salary offered.
  2. The cost of living in Australia and how it compares to your current lifestyle.
  3. The location of the job and whether it is suitable for you.
  4. Your visa status and whether you will be able to work in Australia.
  5. The benefits package offered.
  6. The company culture and the team you will be working with.
  7. Whether the job is permanent or temporary.

Final word

Living in Australia can be expensive, so it’s important to make sure the salary offered is appropriate for your needs. While the average wage can sustain a comfortable lifestyle in Australia, it’s important to remember that the cost of living can vary depending on the city you live in.

Aim for a salary that will allow you to live comfortably and save for the future. By evaluating your priorities and doing your research, you can negotiate a salary that is right for you.

Anna

Anna is an enthusiastic expatriate with experience of living in Germany, Austria and Greece. She shares her passion for living abroad on this website.

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