What is the Average Australian Wage

The average Australian wage according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) as of May 2016 is $78,832 per year. One thing to keep in mind when looking at this average is that it doesn’t include those whose sole income comes from government assistance or payments. This average income has increased by 2% over the past 12 months, which is nearly half the average growth over the past 10 years. When this is adjusted for overtime and bonuses, the average Australian salary is $81,947. So that makes the average hourly Australian wage $42.02 an hour based on a 37.5 hour work week. The average salary in Australia per month is $6,829.

As a nation we have quite a varied average wage by state, where for example the average wage in Tasmania is $69,477 versus the Australian Capital Territory which is $89,846. The state breakup can be seen below:

Average Wage by State

StateAverage Annual Wage
ACT$89,846
New South Wales$80,132
Northern Territory$81,624
Queensland$75,936
South Australia$73,757
Tasmania$69,477
Victoria$75,634
Western Australia$88,327

The average Australian wage by gender:

One of the most political and topical subjects when it comes to average wages is the discrepancy between men and women. The average full-time wage for a woman is $70,392, where as the average full-time wage for a man is $83,902. It has been propagated that these pure numbers show exactly that there is a wage gap between men and women. The typical line about the wage gap is that women earn 77 cents to every mans dollar. This is an over simplistic way of looking at the differences in wages and without considering many over arching socio-economic factors.

Take for example one study which collected data over the previous six years which showed that the salary for young women without children in large cities were on a higher salary than men of the same age group. Although this trend did not remain consistent as you moved away from city centres and does change as women get into their thirties. The correlation here can also be associated to the amount of women who at that stage of life decide to have children. Another major factor in this wage gap is the average pay by the type of job, which can see jobs such as in mining being paid fifty thousand dollars more than the average wage. Jobs which are dominated by men. This average pay by job type can be seen below.

No doubt there is still a huge discrepancy in regards to women holding political, leadership and executive positions. There is also a great push and initiatives to help women who have the ambition of getting to such positions in place. The hope is that such change will happen in due time. Other areas which should help and assist this happening was to allow the primary carer of a child to be the male, that if the man chooses to be the carer of the child that they should also be eligible for the same work entitlements and pay as women receive when choosing to take time off to raise children.

The average salary in Australia by profession?

As mentioned previously the discrepancies in average salary by profession is quite disparate. Also as mentioned in the previous point in regards to the gender gap, industries which have gender biases play a part in the average wages of the genders. The two lowest Retails trade and Accommodation Services are the two of the highest number of employed people and are also the lowest paid. Both these industries are have a clear bias to female employment. The below table displays by industry how many people they employ and the average wage of the that industry.

IndustryEmploys ('000)Average Wage
Mining277.2139303
Manufacturing943.772332
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services15694396
Construction1024.478957
Wholesale Trade403.577241
Retail Trade1261.458640
Accommodation and Food Services778.156113
Transport, Postal and Warehousing590.682805
Information Media and Telecommunications192.196652
Financial and Insurance Services414.897235
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services195.972394
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services884.392482
Administrative and Support Services390.167642
Public Administration and Safety763.585202
Education and Training907.7899500
Health Care and Social Assistance1416.584183
Arts and Recreation Services209.173148
Other Services471.964704

How does the average Australian wage compare to the rest of the world?

Australia is regarded as one of the lucky countries and rightly so. According to the Davos 2014 calculator, Australias average wage is 3 times higher than the worlds average annual wage (a touch below $18,ooo USD). Our average wage is 23 times higher than a teach in Ethiopia, 10 times higher than a Cleaner in Thailand and 6 times higher than a driver in South Africa.

We are the 6th highest ranked in annual wages in the OECD nations with the following nations ahead of us:

  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Switzerland
  • United States
  • Luxembourg

Where Australia does stand out is our minimum wage, which is currently $17.70 per hour. In comparison to some similar economies, we are strides ahead. Below is a list of nations and their minimum hourly wage (in AUD):

  • United Kingdom $14.66
  • New Zealand $14.22
  • France $14.98
  • Germany $13.17
  • Canada $10.47-$13.81
  • United States $10.08
  • Japan $10.01

Average income in Australia by age

It has been revealed in the latest census of 2017 how much people earn by different age brackets. The average salary in Australia by age is as follows:

  • Late teens (aged between 18 and 20years old) – $1,850 per month
  • Early twenties (aged between 21 and 24 years old) – $3,027 per month
  • Mid twenties to early thirties (aged between 25 and 24years old) – $4,773 per month
  • Mid thirties to early forties (aged between 35 and 44years old) – $5,912 per month
  • Mid forties to early fifties (aged between 45 and 54 years old) -$5,928 per month
  • Mid fifties to early sixties (aged between 55 and 64 years old) – $5,286 per month

So it would seem by these number you hits your maximum earning capabilities typically between 35 and 55 years old and if you haven’t done so by then well chances are you’re going to continue dwindling in the shadows.

What is considered high income in Australia

As mentioned above the average salary per year in Australia sits at aroun $78k per year. Of course the average accounts for people earning a lot more than that so the average Aussie does not earn that wage, in fact almost 70% of Australians earn less than the average wage. But what is considered to be a high wage? You’re wondering who are these people buying $2-$3 million properties and driving around Maserati’s?

Well, the truth be told to be one of the elites in Australia and be considered to be a high-income earner you need to be earning a bucket load. To be considered a high-income earner in Australia you are most likely earning over $200,000 a year. Here is the weirdest part though, in a recent poll done by Ipsos Australia, the Australia Today Report, nearly two-thirds of high-income owners over this $200k mark think otherwise. Most people in this bracket still consider themselves to be middle-class all the way to working class. Give it a spell! These people need a reality check or they need to stop buying jet skis they don’t need.

How much does a doctor earn in Australia?

Doctors in Australia earn anywhere between $200,000 to $300,000 per year. This is a much higher average salary than most non-medical based professionals. A GP on average typically earns more than the likes of lawyers and architects and engineers. The amount that a Doctor gets paid has many factors including their length of service and where the GP’s practice is located. A doctor in the CBD of major cities will definitely be paid more than a doctor based in a regional town.


Information resources:

ABS: Average Weekly Earnings, Australia, May 2016

Living in Australia: Average Salary Australia

ABC: Do young, childless women earn more than men?

Parliament of Australia: Snapshot of employment by industry, 2012 to 2013

CNN: Davos 2014

ABC: Minimum wage: How does Australia compare to other countries?

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