Australia’s Highest Paying Jobs Aren’t Really a Surprise, Are They?


Talking about how much money you make has long been taboo, so it’s always fun to peek at any official salary info that’s released. Fun, and, well, important.

The cost of living is increasing, and wages aren’t keeping up with it. So, naturally, many Australians are looking for higher-paid work, often turning to salary guides.

One in particular, the recently-published Hays Australia Salary Guide shows typical salaries for over 1,000 jobs in the financial year ’22 and ’23. It also shares market trends and recommendations, attraction and retention strategies and hiring trends and insights.

“Australia is currently facing a skills shortage at a level unmatched in our 46 years of recruitment,” it says. “The Reserve Bank of Australia has reported unemployment at 4% with a prediction it will fall to the 3.5% in 2023, the lowest level in 50 years.”

It advises jobseekers to remember expectations should be coupled with business realities and therefore the full value exchange of any role should be considered. “This current environment offers an opportunity for us to come together to define a new equation in the world of work,” it concludes.

Doctors note
Image: Getty Images

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Please note that salaries may vary according to a number of factors, such as the state you live in or if you live in an urban or rural area, your specific qualifications and the length of time you’ve been employed with a particular company or in a specific role. The incomes below are a guide.

1. Surgeon – $406,068

Surgeons make an average of $406,068 a year and report high levels of job satisfaction as well, according to Hays.

Average taxable income: $406,068
Average take-home income: $244,549
Number of individuals in the profession: 4,159

2. Anaesthetist – $388,814

Anaesthetists, like surgeons, have a hugely important role and make an average of $388,814 a year and there are only approximately 3500 of them in Australia, according to the ATO.

Average taxable income: $388,814
Average take-home income: $235,405
Number of individuals in the profession: 3,509

3. Internal medicine specialist – $310,848

Internal medicine specialists comprise specialist physicians, cardiologists, endocrinologists, neurologists and paediatricians. They earn an average of $310,848 per year.

Average taxable income: $310,848
Average take-home income: $194,083
Number of individuals in the profession: 9,906

4. Financial dealer – $279,790

The second highest paying industry in Australia after medical is financial services. Financial dealers include stockbrokers and those who buy and sell securities on behalf of clients.

Average taxable income: $279,790
Average take-home income: $177,622
Number of individuals in the profession: 4,754

5. Psychiatrist – $252,691

Psychiatrists earn an average of $252,691 per year. The current shortage of psychiatrists has been flagged by the federal government as a concern by 2030 unless an intervention is made – and in the meantime it will only drive salaries higher.

Average taxable income: $252,691
Average take-home income: $163,260
Number of individuals in the profession: 3,030

So, if you’re looking for a new role or a pay rise, how can you take advantage of the current market conditions?

“If salary is one of your key drivers, understand what you can achieve in the market and make your expectations clear early in the process to avoid pursuing roles which won’t meet them,” says executive search director at recruitment agency Hudson, Leeann Soden. “Understand what you want to achieve from a recruitment conversation, and this shouldn’t be limited to dollars in the bank each payday.”

Soden says it’s worth broadening the conversation with your potential or current employer to the overall ‘package’ they can offer you, to see if there are other benefits they can throw in that might appeal to you.

“This could include working a reduced number of days, such as a nine-day fortnight, or additional annual leave balances if you want to spend time overseas now that borders are open,” Soden says.

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