Whats a Good Job/Salary?

In recent years housing affordability questions have been met by politicians saying the first thing people need to do is "get a good job" implying that people of the next generation need to be making a 'good wage' to be able to buy houses where they want.

The average income in Australia for a full-time employee is around $79,000 or 82,000 if you include bonuses.

I want to know what people think is good wage?

I always thought around 95-120k was solid but maybe im wrong?

As housing and cost of living our wages have not increase in proportion with is and i want to know what people think a good wage for a full-time 38-40 hours a week worker should be?

And if you are game

what do you do and what do you earn? and is it enough for all you expenses? do you think your salary is fair?

Poll Options

  • 16
  • 3
    18,001 - 32,000
  • 24
    32,001 - 60,000
  • 88
    60,001 - 80000
  • 66
    80,001- 100,000
  • 88
    100,001 - 120,000
  • 58
    120,001 - 180,000
  • 262


  • 180K+

    • +10

      What are you/we answering?

      There are 3 questions in the OP for which the poll options are valid. :/

      I want to know what people think is good wage?1

      As housing and cost of living our wages have not increase in proportion with is and i want to know what people think a good wage for a full-time 38-40 hours a week worker should be?

      what do you do and what do you earn?

      1. Not technically phrased as a question but probably intended to be due to the termination in a question mark. 

    • +1

      Make sure you put the buzzword 'creative' in your resume. I hear that's an instant 180k puller.

  • +31

    best job i had was with the bikies earning 180K+ cash

    • Breaking Bad are we..?

    • best job i had was with the bikies earning 180K+ cash

      Did you pay tax?

      • +10

        what part of cash did you not understand?

        • +1

          None of it.

          So that's what you paid in tax?

        • +22

          @Scrooge McDuck:
          i paid my tax at crown melb, vip room

    • +4

      Where do I apply?
      I can't find the job you describe on Seek

  • +46

    I busk in the city playing 'My Sharona' on my pan flute and I'm on 180k+.

    • teach me

    • +3
    • +3

      Good work - I fashion a few bins into a drum kit and bang out some beats in the city and just cracked $150k last financial year.

      It always gets some looks when I unload my bins from the Ferrari, but people appreciate the rhythms once I start banging away.

      • +1

        I legitimately cannot tell if this one is true or not.

  • +33

    I shoot pigeons at the airport and I'm on 180k+

    • +21

      I'm a senator in QLD for One Nation and I'm on $450,000.

      • +31

        I pretend to fall over in supermarkets and sue people and I'm on 180k a year

    • I clean windscreens at traffic lights and take home $180 per year

  • +14

    male gigolo and I'm on 180k+

    • +12

      male gigolo

      There are non-male gigolos?

      • +2


      • +5

        It's a niche market.

      • +1

        I think it's a Thailand thing?

  • +29

    electrical engineer on oz bargain all day 180k+

    • +19

      neckbeard on Whirlpool all day and I'm on 180M+

  • +17

    People tend to know others on similar incomes. Neighbours, co-workers etc.
    If you are a labourer, $50k looks like normal. If you are a surgeon, $450k looks like normal.
    Most of our politicians are lawyers, so a good job for them will be $250k.
    Somebody working in retail would think $100k is pretty high.

    My own view is that a teacher or a nurse or policeman have good jobs, and with overtime and allowances and what have you, they earn around $80-$90k.

    • +21

      So you mean 180k+?

      • +17

        Enough with the +180k !!!

        Alright I'm poor. I'm dirt poor, that's why I'm on OzB.
        You don't need to rub it in my face anymore :'(

    • +3

      @ mskeggs"My own view is that a teacher or a nurse or policeman have good jobs, and with overtime and allowances and what have you, they earn around $80-$90k."

      Being a teacher is a great profession however unfortunately it is becoming drowned with bureaucratic reporting and justification systems that shifts the teaching to admin ratio, 20:80 respectively.

      Yesterday's article on HS that discusses teachers leaving their profession for other careers due to this.


      • +2

        Agreed. Easily the most rewarding job I have ever had. However, the paperwork and politics absolutely destroyed my will to grind it out. I miss those lighgtbulb moments when things finally make sense to students, but I love doing a job now where I get to do what I'm paid to do.

        And the day ends at time X, no more 24+ hours of free labour per week.

    • +3

      My brother in law is a high school teacher (catholic school) and earned about $110k last year. With 3 months holidays. He works near home and is home by 3pm most days, always available for things that are on during school time etc. Its not a bad life at all, despite all the complaining you hear from that profession. I've seen no evidence to suggest the out of school work they do is anywhere near close anough to make up for the extra 8 weeks and 2 hours per day most opther people work!

      • +12

        I don't join in with the 'they've got it easy' criticism people level at teachers, and I invite anyone who does to go get a job teaching.
        $110k is right at the top of teaching pay scales, well ahead of what a public school head teacher or assistant principal would earn in NSW, and once you take on those additional administrative roles the concept of finishing at 3pm disappears.

        I think it is a good job, with a useful contribution to society, and an interesting workplace with scope to pursue your interests via extra curricular stuff. And holidays are good, although it must break the heart of the OzBargain teachers when they see flight deals outside peak periods!

        • +2

          In my personal experience, with brother in law and his wife both teachers, they certainly do have it easy compared to the 8 hours a day, 48 weeks a year most other people work. When my wife's sister was single, she spent nearly every day of the summer hols at the beach and had an amazing tan every year. She's paying for it now with more wrinnkles than her age justifies but that's another matter…

          Now they have kids and spend all summer at their swimming pool and having days out. I don't see a lot of stressing and time spent on school work during the holidays, maybe for a day or two before they go back. Maybe its different for others, but in their case its a very comfortable life.

          Also, its probably the most recession proof job out there. They are never going to get made redundant due to an economic downturn.

        • +2

          Is there a reason you don't go into teaching yourself? There is a shortage of maths and science teachers so you would be assured of work if you chose that speciality.

        • +3

          Not for me. It suits a certain type of person but my beef is always that they make it out they have it so tough when in my experience that is not the case. Every job has its challenges and stresses and a lot of them have never done anything else so I don't think they realise this.

        • @Brianqpr:

          and a lot of them have never done anything else so I don't think they realise this.

          Or it simply suits peoples interests to complain about whichever group(s) they belong to in the hope of affecting advantage.

        • @Brianqpr:
          I get where you are coming from.
          I know some teachers who say they have to spend time in the evenings doing prep/marking etc. as if virtually every office worker isn't working late or taking work home these days.
          The range of jobs where you work set hours, clock off on time and leave all the work at the workplace is getting small, and most of those jobs aren't very well paid.
          When I was a kid, the idea that teachers did extra at home on top of their class time was a bit more meaningful, as employer expectations across the board were less. These days there aren't many bosses who would accept your didn't answer a call or email after hours "because I wasn't on the clock".

          The hard bit about teaching is dealing with kids relentlessly, and in a way that you can continue to care for and respect them.

        • +1

          I also have a friend whose mum teaches art at a private boys school, getting paid ~$110k pa.
          When he first told me I was quite surprised, I had always thought teachers were poorly paid.
          Having said that his mum has been an art teacher her whole life, and she enjoys what she does, so she is probably tops.
          Moral of the story: In every profession the pay gets better if you ace in it.

        • +2

          Or people genuinely think others have it easier. Everyone knows what their struggles are. It's much harder to see what is affecting others.

          Something I see with teachers (and stay at home mums) especially, is overcompensating for people who bang on about how easy it is. I have seen a number of posts on Facebook, blogs etc. about how many professionals they have to be every day… e.g. doctor, psychologist, chef etc.

          They annoy me and they're simply not true. However, that doesn't mean teachers (and stay at home mums) are not working hard. Also, I think there are some who work damn hard and some who do the minimum they can get away with and a whole range in between. There's also going to be the work smarter, not harder, types who may be doing a much better job in a much shorter time.

          It's not helpful to judge all based on one case study. There are a lot of variables, such as quality, efficiency, years of experience, school leadership, position in school, behaviour and needs of students, changes in policy, whether teaching the same year level as in the past etc.

        • @Brianqpr:

          it really isn't that tough .
          ill most likely get downvoted to hell but from what i see around me (but this is in a regional area so maybe that makes a difference)
          the people who study primary or secondary education weren't the most brightest of kids at school.

          all the ones who dealt with hs subjects easily tend to think; 'why the hell would i want to deal with these mind numbingly simple subjects over and over each year?
          sure maybe you get the reward of maybe helping out struggling kids but there are lots of better ways of doing that than becoming a pawn who just follows off a ciriculum.

          it just can't be a coincidence that there are so many poor teachers who aren't much smarter than the students while the good bright teachers are rare (bright not just in terms of subject knowledge but general life wisdom etc)

          i still remember when a high school teacher was also tutoring a friend of mine and i decided to tag along, only to find him to be an idiot (and he was a head math teacher)

          seriously sorry if this is inappropriate but u dont need tutoring or shit like that with high school if you pay attention to the textbooks.

          In fact more than teachers it's about what textbook ur school uses. i used to download the books they used at james ruse (i think thats what it was called) and learned a lot better from them

          i rambled on but my point is being a teacher isn't as difficult as some make it out to be, it's probably the avergae students who became teachers that say that to make themselves feel better.
          I'm not dissing the profession because i still remember the couple teachers that really taught me a lot and I'm still thankful for them, but that's it, 2 out of the 6 years of teachers i had.

        • @Brianqpr: I think the particular stress of teaching is related to your most uncooperative colleages: your students. There are times when it's immensely rewarding to be a part of students' lives in the classroom, but at the same time depending on where you're working it can be very difficult (e.g. behaviour, violence, parents, etc.). As I said below, it's certainly not the case for all schools, but we can't avoid the reality.

          Also grass is always greener on the other side. I look at accountants or most other white collar jobs, and envy the fact that once that clock ticks over they can (generally, depending on the time of year) disconnect from their work.

        • @jay0514:

          the people who study primary or secondary education weren't the most brightest of kids at school.

          Grammatical errors aside, I agree with you.

          A relative of mine is a high school English teacher. She only undertook a Dip. Ed. after bumbling through an arts degree and realising she wasn't interested in her major. Her spelling and grammar are atrocious and she is mostly ignorant of the world outside of her Facebook feed.

        • @Brianqpr:

          You seem pretty attached to your pre-conceived notions, so not sure how worthwhile this reply is, but I'll give it a crack.

          First of all, the idea that teachers have "never done anything else" is simply false. The vast majority of teachers that I work with have done an undergrad in the field they teach (Linguistics, Commerce, Engineering etc) and then have done postgraduate study in education. Many have experience working in corporate, in labs etc. The days of a teacher walking in with a Dip Ed. are pretty much done.

          Re: the notion that it's the same as "every job": Given how many young teachers leave the profession within five years, you should be able to find a great number now working in other industries who will reject the claims that it's a particularly difficult job. But you won't, because those who leave do so because of the intense stress and resultant burnout that accompanies it. Those who are in the profession understand its demands all too well. So that just leaves those who have a brother, or a mate, or whoever etc and who as a result feel entitled to denigrate the profession from afar with NFI of what the job actually entails.

          In reality, for anyone invested in their school community 60+ hour weeks are absolutely routine. During busy periods, it's higher. For senior teachers, it's higher again. All with absolutely no prospect of career progression if you actually want to continue to do what you're good at - i.e. teach.

          And yes, being a shitty teacher can probably be quite cruisy. But it requires a real entrenched apathy and a complete disregard for the children in your care. Which is why most who came in expecting cruisy leave by the end of their first couple of years. It would be far easier, and more financially rewarding, to be a shitty almost-anything-else.

        • @jay0514:
          Not all students can learn from a textbook. There are students in high school who can't even read a textbook. Telling students to read a textbook is also not being a good teacher.

          It's definitely true that there are some bad teachers. Teaching is not a respected profession in Australia, though it's improving a bit. There's a problem though, because it's not a respected profession it doesn't attract as many high quality teachers, which then perpetuates the cycle. Another problem is you can be incredibly intelligent and know your subject area really well, but be terrible at teaching students. Particularly those who really struggle with it. There is no aptitude test when going into teaching, maybe there should be.

          Being a teacher may not be hard, but being a good teacher is. You may be right that there aren't enough teachers who are doing a good enough job. Although I'd say there are probably more than you think. There may be many reasons, some teachers really struggle with how little students care or how bad behaviour is in some schools, some with how much pointless paperwork comes with the profession, some have terrible bosses, some are sick of how often the curriculum changes, some are just not good at teaching, some never wanted to be teachers in the first place. They're not good enough excuses to be letting down students and there are teachers working within the same or similar environments who are doing a great job. Many who care and work hard burnout and leave the profession though. The testing and paperwork required is not likely to pick the good from the bad. There need to be effective methods of evaluating teachers, but the people who decide these things are too far removed from the classroom. It just frustrates good teachers and achieves nothing.

      • @ Brianqpr - I am not really sure what happens in the private school sector (as per your brother in law) however I work for the Government sector that relies on Government funding and I can tell you that the reporting, auditing and justification systems are becoming out of control where most of your time is paperwork and reporting. In my view, if you have any job that has the Government as your customer (in my case the main financial contributor) then get ready for twin turbo-charged bureaucracy. Private schools has parents as the main financial contributor (and possibly some government interaction). But not sure parents paying $25K+ pa justifies the private regime vs output.

        Ironically, Tom Elliot on 3AW was discussing this very situation … that is if it is worth it (he says no) But I guess I don't want to start private teacher bashing. I'm sure that they have a strict auditing criteria and to be a teacher in a private school, you have to be a very good teacher, hence the $110K PA. I thought principals get that kind of wage! Maybe Government schools. If your brother n law is happy then that is great! I should start looking there lol.

      • I'm not sure how work hours and pay differs between schools but my girlfriend is a fourth year private high school teacher and regularly works 60 hours a week (8:30-6 weekdays and weekend work) plus spends around half her holidays preparing for the next year/term. Definitely no less than 50 hours. Maybe the preparation load eases with time but I would not call it an easy job by any stretch.

    • +1

      "teacher or a nurse or policeman have good jobs"
      Those jobs are good in terms of job security, not pay.

      In Victoria, tenure based nurse pay is max 10 years and it increased by $0.75/h IIRC.

      Which means base pay for a public hospital registered nurse with 10 years experience is about $75k and its capped there, further raise depends on union deal(EA).

      However job security is like, redundancy is a word in ancient history vs happens every month or so.

      Also stress coming from jobs that you need to deal with all sort of random person is miserable, no need to mention all the dying people and human dramas around inheritance.

      • -6

        I agree teachers do have it pretty easy they complain about there salary when most of them can't spell properly themselves they only work 40 weeks a year and even if they do take home work that is most professional jobs these days.

        Only profession that deserves better money is nurses they have to put up with a load of BS and get a terrible salary for cleaning shit, coping abuse, working long hours and doing more physical work then most commercial tradesmen

        • Depending on where you're teaching you'd be surprised on the BS you have to put up with (e.g. behaviour, violence, assault [verbal / physical], tricky parents). I'm certainly not saying that's the case for every school, but the reality can be at times much more challenging than what you may think.

        • +1

          Mr @ dpgru-a*algesic typed …. [I agree teachers do have it pretty easy they complain about "there salary" when most of them can't spell properly]

          There salary????? … Where is the Salary? … or is it Celery? over there or their???

          Comprehension 101 for you!!!

          Have you tried to teach??? Do you know how is it like???

          I think you should go back to school!!!

      • Nope, not anymore. Wife is a state primary teacher and she can't even get a permanent position with her 20+ years experience. Has been on contract for the 5th consecutive year now at the same school. Has to re-apply for her job (and any job going at the school) at least once every year, and this year it looks like she won't even get her own job back (new management team seem to have a personal vendetta against any experienced teachers).

        Its insane. She also continues to work at home in the evenings till 11pm every night including weekends.

  • +8

    prime minister, 18k + opal

  • +23

    I wash myself with a rag on a stick, on $180k+

  • +13

    CEO of a certain postal service, only 180k.

  • +35

    Homeless here. Earn 180k+

    • +21

      Are you the fat guy at the corner of MYER in Sydney CBD?

      I always wondered how you could afford so much food…

  • +3

    A good job depends on where you live and your overheads …

    I was contracting on the Eastern sea board most of last year and the rates were pretty good …

    I've taken a 50% pay cut to return to SA for a full time permanent job and I'm pretty happy to be back in my house and around family / friends …

    Anyways, there's calculations that you can do, but generally speaking, you should aim for 15-20% of your money to spend on savings / debt (once debt paid off, it becomes savings). If you don't have this amount, you should look for a new job :)

  • +1

    where's the 1 mil option ?

    Most people i know is on 250k+ so i think that's a good salary :(

    Too bad i don't earn anywhere near that!

    • o.O You have some fancy friends! Most people I know are ~80k.

      • +38

        I dont even know anyone

    • +1

      Most people i know is on 250k+

      How do you ask your friend what they make?

      • didnt have to, they told me. Something to do with my job :-/

      • +1

        "How much you earn, mate?"

        • Asking personally for a salary figure always seems rude to me.

          When people casually ask, I automatically make a lot of assumptions like they are the pushy, nosey, money-hungry, money-envious sort of person. I probably shouldn't, but that's just me being judgemental and I tend to think that other people would judge me all the same so always have trouble asking this question because it feels too rude.

          When people ask me like that I brush it off and say something like "never enough, hahah." If they ask again I deflect again a bit more obviously. Three strikes and I make a mental note to try avoid future conversation where convenient.

        • +1

          @Myrtacaea: i guess there is different level of 'friend'. 3-4 i'm open with, but anyone else doesn't need to know and vice versa.

  • +28

    The grass is always greener on the other side

    of 180k.

  • +7

    yeah 180k+ isn't even that good, still takes 3-4 years to pay your house off, and only if you have no kids or a missus!

    • +2

      Depends on what kind of house and where.

      180k+ doesn't even come close to paying off a average house of a average suburb in 3-4 years for Sydney.

    • Yes, but compare that to all the people on 90k with kids and a stay-at-home partner who are renting while trying to save for a deposit in the first place.

      An 180k salary or paying off your mortgage in <10 years sounds like a wonderful predicament to be in imo.

  • +24

    Broden 180k+
    Part time eneloop reseller 180k +

    • +1

      Tom from Ebay, 180K+

      • *Tom from MySpace

        • Whilst other Tom did start my space, yet another Tom made the name for himself, and a fair bit of cash, by ninja crash-selling BBQs on eBay during a 20% promotion a few years ago.

        • @xdreamyst: ah right. Always love a bit of 180k trivia

  • +2

    It's all relative. In most fields, you won't ever come close to $180k. And the cost of living differs wildly within this country.

    • It is relative.

  • +20

    I earn 180k of savings through deals I find on Ozbargain.

    • +2

      You're a Lego reseller too?

  • Infinity bajillion dollars per second

    • +2

      Tevez, is that you?

  • +20

    I step in front of cars and sue the driver 180k+

  • +16

    I am a bonut repairer on $180k+

    • +1

      I admit that I did not check under bonut things properly

  • +68

    I have a $80000 car - Solid investment with high yield.
    ( I save extra money by not insuring it)

    I know it is worth that much, because I had guy working on oil rig offering to buy it sight unseen.

    • +1

      Westpac treating you well huh?

      Did you manage to impress your peers?

    • Yesss ahaha!

      • For the history books

    • just logged in to upvote lmao

  • +4

    Just an all-round great guy. $180k+

  • +59

    if you study in a field that you are passionate about you will never work a day in your life. BECAUSE NO ONE IS HIRING!

    • I dunno, it would seem this guy has quite a few sponsorships…

    • They are hiring, you just need a 457 visa ;)

  • +22

    i heard you if you can do better than 180k, the cops can't catch you, so they don't even try