"Australia is one of the most expensive places to live in, but Australians enjoy some of the highest salaries in the world". Have you ever heard someone say that? Probably yes, but is it really true? Let's have a look at the average earnings in Australia, considering the most popular jobs.
Virginia Padovese

25 Apr 2016 - 10:30 AM  UPDATED 4 May 2016 - 9:53 AM

A few weeks ago we talked about the cost of living down under (you can find our article here), and here we try to figure out how much you can earn working in Australia.

A good starting point is considering the minimum wage in the country. A minimum wage is an employee's base rate of pay for ordinary hours worked, and is generally dependent on the industrial instrument that applies to their employment (for example, a modern award, enterprise agreement, transitional pay scale, or national minimum wage order). The national minimum wage in Australia is currently $17.29 per hour or $656.90 per 38 hour week (before tax). On top of that there is the Superannuation, an investment designed to help Australian workers to save for retirement. Money put aside from your salary gets invested into a fund during your working life which you then access upon retirement, or reaching a certain age or another trigger. You can visit Fair Work to find out all you need to know about minimum wages and what to do if your working agreement doesn't respect the law.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average weekly earning in Australia is $1,500 (about 6,000 per month). Obviously there are many differences according to the area you live in, the occupation, your qualification and years of experience. Here you can find the data provided by the Australian Government for the November 2015 reference period.

If you want to get a more specific idea about the average earnings for your job, you can visit Payscale, a website that offers an extensive database of job salaries around the world. You can search by area, by city and by job. What you can find is the medium annual salary before tax and not including superannuation. Of course, the more specific you are, the more detailed the information you find will be. Let's try.

Here you can find some examples of average wages in Australia for a few popular occupations.


Medium annual



Medium annual






Kitchen Hand


Truck Driver


Farm Worker


High School Teacher


Pizza Cook




Automobile Mechanic


Researcher (Scientific)




Mechanical Engineer


Floor Lyer


Senior Lecturer


Registered Nurse




Head Chef


Doctor (General Practice)


Keep in mind that salaries can vary a lot, according to where you are, your level of experience, and your specific role within the same occupation.

If you need to convert Australian Dollars in Euros, you can do it here.

Now, if you have drafted your budget and you know what your salary may be, it won't be hard to figure out what kind of lifestyle you could enjoy in Australia.


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